on new years eve, 2018, i did something bad....this is what i wrote when i was in the hospital
There are two little guys that live behind my eyeballs
I have these facial ticks and stuff, twitching my eyes and everything like that. It's like they're pulling all these switches desperately trying to get out
Whispering hard truths in my ears and and tying my stomach in a neat little bow that hangs heavily from my lungs
Alex lives behind my left eye. He has long hair and a dirty patchy beard. He likes watching television with his girlfriend and talking long into the night. He likes going to art exhibits with her and making future plans. He likes the beach and the sunshine, and watching the people go by on the boardwalk. He wears an old baseball cap because his hair had become too long to manage effectively. It seemed to grow OUT rather than down, making his head look kind of like a coconut. He likes to wear jeans and converse shoes and plain t-shirts and a tan button-up flannel shirt on which he ironed two patches. He is in love with a girl that no longer loves him, and he searches for meaning in a terribly stagnated and pathetic small town that he once loved and cherished. He has no one, and he wants to die. The mere thought of her can send him into a wild panic that lasts for hours on end, and cannot go even two minutes without an image of her manifesting in his subconscious. He was guilty, ashamed he couldn't make her happy, ashamed of Louis, who treated her like trash. The eye that he lives behind droops slightly downward.
Louis lives behind my right eye. He enjoys hockey and cheating on his girlfriend. He likes to wear gym shorts and collared shirts and old basketball sneakers, and tends to get angry very easily. He keeps his hair short and clean and trims his sideburns regularly. He lives in a small town that he has grown to hate. He longs for success and decided to move north. He likes going to see jazz shows with his friends and smoking pot in the bathroom in his dorm. He likes to drink with his roommate at night and blow cigarette smoke out his window as to not set off the fire alarm. He likes talking to girls, least of which is his girlfriend. He knew she would not leave him no matter how horrible he was to her. She called him late at night wanting to talk, pleading with him to help her, she needed him, she had people of her own living behind her eyes, and they were trying to get out. Louis did not care, and frequently screamed at her to make her “shut the fuck up you selfish fucking bitch”. Louis likes to watch pornography. He is angry and cynical and mean and vulgar and narcissistic, but how else could he be? He was this way because everyone around him was pathetic and immobile, too stupid to realize what’s out there, blinded by the sunshine and the smell of the sea air. Why wouldn’t he be this way? She was blinded by the sun too, and I suppose he resented her for that, but then again, he seemed to resent everyone who wasn’t him.
For a long time I hated Alex and Louis. I pleaded with them to settle down and stop trying to claw their way out under my eyelids. I needed to find a quiet place to yell at them to stop, but that only made them more eager to leave. I became too exhausted and they eventually took control of me entirely. As the knife slid across my throat I thought about the three of us when we were young. They were still behind my eyes but they were relaxed then. Laid back. Never wanting to take the wheel, happy with whatever decisions I made for us. Things were easy back then, when I only had one person to worry about. When I was in the hospital I met many different people who had people behind their eyes too. These are their names
I wrote down things about some of these people that I made connections with and here they are
XXX- Worked with my mom, got fired cause of a “reply-all” incident. Glasses, pointy nose, wears a gold chain with a strong man lifting a barbell on it. Says he used to lift, really likes talking about sports, thinks he is very smart. Asks me a lot of questions about music and composition, he saw me playing the piano in the recreation room and said I should keep playing because it was really beautiful. He was in PIP but I didn’t see much of him there.
XXXX- Also from PIP. Don’t see much of him. Very big guy with a rough ginger beard. Sometimes has glasses. No pants or socks, just the gown with a cross drawn on the front. He kept screaming “CURSE YOU GOD!” back in PIP, now he prays before every meal and talks to himself quietly in his room all day. His mom and sister look just like him minus the beard. I was playing chess with him one day and he fell asleep with his eyes open.
XXXXXXX- Mumbles constantly, the only person who can understand him is XXXXXX. Usually has to get shots administered by force in his ass. Asks everyone where he knows them from. I gave him some fries and he kept asking for more. XXXX and XXXXXXX hate him. Normally hangs out by the phone in the recreation room.
XXXX and XXXXXXX- I think of them as one because they’re always together. XXXXXXX is a little louder and more outspoken. They seem to have a feud with two other women at One Pines but I’ve never seen them, they just always talk about them. They were gone by the end of the second day.
XXXXX- My roommate. He was at PIP too and they had to have someone watch him sleep. He barely says anything but when he does it’s always one word and VERY angry. The entire first day he slept in the room. The second day he came out more but said nothing. He slammed the wall one time and the nurse told him to take a walk and he kicked the door on the way out. During visiting hours on the first day his dad came to see him. Had a pretty thick asian accent and I could tell it was a very traditional asian household. He kept berating him saying thing about smoking and pinching his arm, saying how fat he was, XXXXX just sat there and took it. He’s said three words to me, “sorry” when he opened the door when I was peeing, and “it’s fine” when I asked if I could turn on the light. He was on the phone with someone and I heard him say “I’m sorry about what I said I was acting stupid”, but I think they hung up. Saw him smile for the first time when we were in music therapy and they played a Post Malone song.
XXX- I think he said he was 37 but he looked a lot older. Says he’s been smoking crack since he was twelve years old. Really close with the trailer trash gang as I like to call them (XXXXX, XXXXXX, etc). Played a billy ocean song in music therapy. Jokingly flirts with the nurses sometimes. Said “why you wanna go look yourself for? You got your whole life ahead of you, man”. Watched me play piano and gave me a fist bump. Not a huge fan of his wife, has a daughter that he loves.
XXXXXXXX- Meth addict, going to jail at the end of the month. Extremely gorgeous, don’t see much of her at all, though. I get butterflies in my stomach whenever she’s around. Every time I’ve tried to sit next to her during a meal she always finishes her food really quick and goes back to her room before I can get there. They told me not to make friends anyway. Got her number on the last day but haven’t tried to call her yet.
XXXXXXX- Seems like the most normal one here. Went to pleasantville and graduated in 2008. Star quarterback and graduated in the top 20% of his class despite having a learning disability. Very intelligent and extremely good at chess. I beat him once but I don’t know if he was letting me win or not because he lets XXXXXXX win all the time. XXX always thinks he can beat him at chess but never can.
XXXXXXX (XXXXXX XXXXX/BIG DOG)- From Kensington in Philly, real rough. Got a Phillies tattoo under his eye. Really similar to Sal in that he had really loud and vulgar phone conversations but seems nice enough when he’s not on the phone. Him and XXX talk logistics on their sentences. Says he’s in detail so he’s gotta go back to jail once he gets out of here despite him wanting to go to rehab. Has a really fucking weird hair cut, like a bowl but painted onto his head. Has all fake teeth that are pearly white which contrasts everything else about him. Really nice to me though.
XXXXXXX- One of my favorites I think. Plays chess a lot with Antonio Rob and I but doesn’t actually know how to play. It’s fun watching him try to learn. It’s always “you can’t do that” “WHY NOT” “that piece only moves forwards” “oh alright alright cool cool I see” XXXXXXX lets him win a lot. They went to school together but XXXX is a few years older than XXXXXXX. Saw him wearing a bunch of towels wrapped around his head. Asked him if he was cold and he said “nah man I just try to reinvent myself every time I’m in here. Him, XXX, and XXX X pace around the halls at night, and when it’s curfew time I see him pacing around in his room.
XXXX- Jesus christ where to begin. When she first got here I could already tell she was gonna be trouble. Crying and shit while the nurse was taking her blood pressure. Very huge girl, not that that's relevant or a problem it's just worth mentioning. Blonde and very pale, red face. Tons of horrible tattoos. There's one that is a horse shoe and a shamrock that says lucky under it. An eagle cause she said she likes the eagles. Real creative. She's got one that says riders on the storm cause it's tooootally her favortie song. music therapy with her was a fucking nightmare. XXXX is just trying to explain how it works to the new people but she keeps interrupting him like "can we start, can we just start, let's start now hello". Picked a Post Malone song. Says she knows him which is bullshit. She blasts that in the alexa room. All of her tattoos are really new too I can tell because of their color. Said she got them because she hates her mom or something. Said something like "She only sees herself in me so I ruined it for her" or something like that. Said she sold her body in AC but that's a little hard to believe. Had a couple weird moments in the recreation room. Her and XXXXX were talking for a while and I guess they hit it off and I think they might have had similar tattos so they thought it was sign from god or something. Both of them started crying. Another night XXXXXXX was acting up again and XXXX totally knew how to help her. "Shut the fuck up bitch I'm gonna help you. Sit the fuck down I'm gonna help you shut up" and she slams her huge fucking leg up on the table to show her the eagles tattoo and says "See that? You're and eagle! Fly away! You can fucking FLY!" and XXXXXXX starts screaming again and they had to take both of them back to their rooms. When she got here she really clung onto the trailer trash group pretty hard and the first few days theyy were fine with her but it became increasingly evident that they did not like her at all. Based on everything I write you can probably tell why. Plus, she would literally take all of the extra snacks in the fridge and leave all of her fucking trash out on the table for the nurses to clean up. Gross. Also, and this it what really pisses me off, she said she almost had cancer. How the fuck can you almost have cancer? Said she had a breast cancer scare. Yeah, you THOUGHT you had breast cancer because you're a hypochondriac, you didn't almost have cancer. Now she's acting like she's a "survivor" because she felt a lump on her tit one day. XXXXXXXX says the word cancer a lot and Judy came over and got all mad "HEY CANCER ISN'T FUNNY OKAY I ALMOST HAD CANCER IT'S NOT A JOKE" sit down and clean up your shit
XXXXXXX- This was the first person I met who I legitimately thought was insane. I mean we all are, that's why we're in here, but her most of all. I don't even know how old she is, she looks really really young but I know that they don't let anyone under 18 come into this place. I don't even know where to start in terms of what is wrong with her. Sometimes she will sit completely still and silent for a long time and not blink, other times she running around screaming like and lunatic, other times shes hiding under a table and screams when someone gets near her, other times she forgets who she is and where she is and freaks the fuck out. There was that one incident with XXXX, then in music therapy she slid under the table, during TV time we were watching a game show and she got up and started screaming "THE GIRLS HAVE WON THE GIRLS HAVE WON" and they had to give her a shot. XXXXX 1 laughed and said "you can't make this shit up". Two nuns who looked fillipino came in often during visting hours and were very sad, they prayed with her, but she didn't really seem to care and could barely sit in her seat. she didn't really seem to know what was going on at any time.
XXXXXXX- she looked really anxious and sad whenever i saw her, which is obviously understandable. but a lot of people there didn't seem be sad like she was, they just seemed to be crazy. I think she's in her thirties, and she a very skinny hispanic lady. A few nights ago I went to sit with her during TV time and played checkers with her. She's so nice, one of the nicest people I've ever met. She doesn't speak much English, and I don't speak much Spanish, so there was a bit of a language barrier when I tried to talk to her, but she understood how to play checkers. Two people who came to visit her, one of them I think she was her husband, were so horrible to her. Whenever she talked they told her to shut up and that she was weak and pathetic. No wonder she ended up here with such a loving family like that, Jesus. We didn't say much, but we enjoyed eachother's company. I said "Nosotros normal, todas personas otras, muy locos" and she laughed. I know that's not correct syntax or whatever but she understood. Whenever someone is doing some stupid shit the two of us make eye contact and laugh. It's nice. I'm glad I went and sat with her that night.
XXXXXX- I think she's the mom of these dumbass kids from high school. Lots of trouble they were. Could kinda tell, she seemed pretty exhausted. Her hair was dyed black but she hadn't dyed it in a while and the front half of her head was all gray. Hangs out with the trailer trash gang, seems like she's the matriarch. Seems really close with XXX and XXXXX, XXX jokingly flirts with her a lot and she blushes, that's nice. She cries sometimes at breakfast and XXX and XXXXX don't always know how to help but they do their best. She didn't like the Townes Van Zandt song I played in music therapy, but other than that she's been pretty nice to me in the few interactions we had.
XXXXXXXX- Had a weird first encounter with her. The first night I got here she came into the room where they were taking my blood pressure and stuff. She started talking to the nurse, saying "Hey, how are you? How have you been doing?" the nurse just said she was doing fine but didn't really make a lot of eye contact with her and kind of pretended she wasn't there. XXXXXXXX told me that they used to be girlfriends and for some reason split up. I don't know if that's true or not, but she kept trying to talk to her. She never seemed to be sad at any point though, just sort of spacey. Always says "we got cancer, we got AIDS" after every sentence. She explained it at some point but I don't remember. She said she wants to design clothing, and makes really nice drawing of clothes. Says her boyfriend is transgender and wears pretty clothes, and she wants to design them for him. She says she knows that they were meant for eachother because the last four digits of their social are the same. She kept saying the numbers and nurses made her stop. Kinda wanders around and tries to talk to people, she's really nice just a weirdo.
XXXXXX- Don't have much to say, she's just really trashy and yells at people on the phone to get her "the fuck outta here".
XXXXX- Had a weird moment with Judy the other night but seems to have caught on with the rest of the trailer trash gang and avoids her now. She was gone pretty early. Seemed nice enough, don't have too much of an opinion on her. Just a basic EHT woman with tattoos and dyed black hair, kinda pale.
XXXX- Think he had a lobotomy or something cause he's got a scar on the side of his head. Super quiet and stares off into nothing 90% of the time. Nice enough when someone talks to him but I'm pretty sure he doesn't even know anyone's there.
XXXXXXX- Older hispanic lady, or maybe filipino or something. Similar to XXXX in that she just kinda stares and doen't say much, sometime she gets excited and happy, other times shes just dead silent, but I've never really seen her sad. She kinda shuffles around the halls at night and takes really long to eat a spoonful of soup, like she's having a staring contest with it or something. Some people who I'm assuming are her adult kids come to visit her and they all just kinda sit there because she's not much for conversation.
XXX X- He was gone by the third day I think, but he was pretty interesting. Older asian guy with one of those suuuper long mustaches like you see in those old chinese paintings. He does laps around the halls at night with XXX and XXXXXXX. He had this yellow wristband that said "RISK" on it and I thought that meant he was suicidal but it turns out I didn't see all of it and it said "FALL RISK". He had a funny moment in art therapy when he drew himself killing his wife, the nurse didn't think it was that funny but I did. Most of us did, gave us a laugh.
XXXXXX- Definitely on crack or heroin, some shit like that. Lots of pock marks all over her and fucked up teeth, always wore the robe, maybe she didn't have clothes of her own, or maybe it's more comfortable than whatever she was brought in with. She seems nice enough, gets along well with XXX X and XXX, she drew really beautiful pictures in art therapy, she spent a lot of time on them and looked really happy after she finished them, and made really realistic portrait of XXX X
XXXXXX- She was my nurse for most of my time here and she's so sweet. I don't have a single bad thing to say about her, really. So nice and caring, she made me feel so comfortable and welcome, made me feel like I was normal, and I'm really grateful for that. And there was another nurse who was so nice to me as well but I don't remember her name.
XXXX- This guy cracks me up, he's one of the orderlies and he's real muscly and shit, real manly, and XXX and them always make fun of him in some way or another. He's funny though, he doesn't take it personally, he jokes around in his own weird serious way, while also getting people like XXXXXXX or XXXXXXX in headlocks so they can give them shots, best of both worlds I guess.
I guess that's pretty much all I have to say, I'm out now and don't really know what to do. I let her know that I was okay the day I got out but haven't heard from her since, I really hope I don't.