The days and the nights crawl by, just as they did before. I sleep, eat, fight with myself to make it another day, and sell my soul and body in exchange for a bag of white crystallized powder that in itself, creates an infinite paradox. The men in here teach me to seek destruction – not with their words, but with their actions – and I can see myself becoming just like them. On the best highs, I’m not myself. I’m literally outside of my body, and I can almost physically see myself, through my own eyes; and it’s fucking terrifying. The man I see isn’t me: his skin is dull and broken, his eyes are a cloudy grey, and he doesn’t have a purpose in this world anymore. He’s trapped in the cage that he was sure would ultimately lift him out of the hole where this all started. But the meth takes the pain away, and I don’t feel the fear that I know I should.
And then, when I come back down, it all comes rushing back. I get the feelings of despair and self-loathing and hopelessness, but without the meth-induced apathy. So, of course, I figure I need more. And once again, I give my body to the man with the white bags in his pocket. And I manage to make it through another day with the help of the powder scattered on the cold ground.
But today is the last time I will be able to say that.
“Glen.” I said.
“Yeah?” He answered from his bunk, flipping through an issue of Playboy casually.
“Can I use your lighter?”
He grabbed it from inside the hole he made in his mattress, and chucked it my way.
“There ya go. Be careful, now.” He sneered.
I picked it up from the floor and grabbed my toothbrush from the sink, not even bothering to acknowledge his snide little comment. I had been planning this ever since I came off my last high, and nothing the little shit could say would be able to discourage me. Not this time.
“What the hell are you doing?”
I held the end of my toothbrush and flicked the lighter on. The plastic started to drip down the shaft of the toothbrush, making for an easily mouldable surface.
“Shit!” I said as a drop of melted plastic rolled down over my thumb.
“I said be careful!” Glen laughed. “What the fuck are you doing with that?”
“Take a wild guess, smartass.” I grunted.
He watched me silently as I finished melting the toothbrush. Once it was about 1/3 melted, I took it by the solid end and used my jumpsuit as a make-do glove to create a point on the melted end. By the time I was finished, it was sharp; sharp enough to cut through human skin, no doubt. Glen looked down on me, impressed.
“Gimmie that for a second.” He said.
I threw it over to him, and he examined it for a minute or two, running his fingers along the pointed end and digging it into his finger, just enough to draw a drop or two of blood.
“I underestimated you. You’re smart, Iero.” He grinned, throwing it back to me. “That thing’s gonna annihilate.”
Glen, you have no idea.
He gave it back to me and when he turned around, I stuck it in my pocket.
Through rec time and dinner, I was the calmest I’d been since I arrived. It’s comforting, knowing that so soon, it will all be over with. Kinda makes you not give a shit what happens to you until then, because the next few hours are so crucial; they’re literally all that matters. And hey, if all goes as planned, I’ll never again have to worry about the consequences of my actions.
If they knew what I had in my pocket, they’d know what my smile is all about. But what they wouldn’t realize, is that none of them are even remotely in danger; I wouldn’t waste my time on those bastards for anything short of a ticket out of here.
Bedtime approached. I climbed in under the covers and pulled the shank out of my pockets, fiddling with it between my fingers for a few minutes. It was quiet; the only sounds I could hear were the footsteps of the wardens, and Glen’s sheets rustling as he tossed and turned beneath me.
I had a bit of leftover meth saved up from yesterday, so I spread it across my pillow and snorted a line or two. In the few weeks that I had been using it daily, I had taught myself how to snort from nearly any surface, which in prison, is a really convenient skill to have. Hell, I could probably snort a line off my rapist’s white shiny ass if needed.
“Are you doing meth? Again?” A sleepy Glen croaked.
“Yeah.” I answered. “Got a problem?”
“You’re a fucking addict.”
We all get addicted to something that takes the pain away, don’t we?
I played with the shank between my fingers for a few minutes before taking out my notebook and pen and scratching down the only words I felt Glen and the wardens needed to see.
I’m trapped in a cage that has no key. And even if I were to try to escape from this piece of hell, it would never truly leave me. I have nothing left, therefore nothing is where I belong.
The meth was just starting to kick in; I grinned uncontrollably, waiting until it was fully in effect to make my next move. Once I was in that beloved space where I had not only left my body, but couldn’t feel a damn thing, I took the shank and stabbed it into my stomach. I let out a gasp as I felt it pierce through my skin; blood started to pour out of me. My heart raced inside my chest, and suddenly, it felt like I was flying. The pain was separate from me, a completely separate being. Maybe this is what it feels like to knock at heaven’s door.
Or maybe it’s just the meth. God knows anything.
I must have let out a scream in my half-conscious, half-mad, half-dead state, because before I could fully understand what was going on, Glen was climbing up onto my bunk. And then, in the blink of an eye, doctors and wardens were smothering me, bandaging my wounds and dragging me away to heaven-knows-where. The only thing I remember is laughing, just before the world went black.
They can’t save me. It’s finally over.
I awoke in a padded cell, surrounding by four white walls and nothing else. My eyes still weren’t quite working, and I tried to feel my way around a bit. It was then that I realized I was in a straightjacket; just like the ones in the movies with the scratchy fabric and buckles that tie the sleeves around your back. What happened to get me in there, I didn’t quite remember. All that came to mind was a lot of blood… lots and lots of blood…
A sharp pain in my stomach as I shifted reminded me.
“W-Warden!” I called out, using all the strength I had in me. “Warden!”
I called out, but no one answered. I was stuck in the high-security psychiatric unit, I didn’t know what I was doing or how I was going to make it through the next few days, and to top it all off, I never expected to make it this far. I didn’t plan for this, because by now, I expected to be crossing the gates of heaven, or hell, or wherever I would have gone.
I’m a good person, I swear. I think I would have gone to heaven. God knows I’d rather be there than here…
A tear fell from my eye, and onto the stained white material tying my arms to my sides.
Where am I… Where are you…