I swear, the walls are talking to me. If I stop breathing for a few seconds, the silence is so deafening that I can hear them whisper. I can’t quite make out what they’re saying, but they sound upset. Maybe the poor souls of the men in here before me never left… maybe they’re still screaming, trying to escape. Thinking that nobody can hear them.
I can hear you.
They think I’m fucking insane. I’m not fucking insane. I’m no more mad than they are. Oh how I’d love to turn the tables; throw them in here, slide a plate of “food” under the door 3 times a day, hose ‘em off every couple hours in case they shit themselves. It’s bordering on abuse, and quite frankly, I’m supposed the government allows this bullshit.
1 hour a day is all I get out of here. And even then, it’s in the prison gym, tied up in a straightjacket, and I’m forced to associate with the guys who actually are psychos. It’s degrading, that’s what it is. There’s one dude in here who routinely tries to climb the walls, because apparently he’s fucking Spiderman or something. And this other guy, he was having kinky sex with his wife, and then in the middle of it, she left and never returned. The poor fucker was handcuffed to the bed for a week; had to drink his own piss, and ended up chewing his own hand off. And then there’s Mr. Sunshine who stands in the corner the entire time, smiling at anyone who passes by like he’s some deranged joker. And damn it, of course I can’t look at him without feeling like my life is in danger.
I’m not like these people. It takes a perfectly well-functioning mind to try to kill yourself in this pit of hell… but nobody seems to understand that. They don’t listen to me when I speak, because they’ve already made up their minds that I belong here.
A hand appeared under the door, and with it came a plate of food. Using the term loosely.
“Frank.” Said a man’s voice through the intercom system. “You need to eat your food today, or no gym time. Got it?”
“Fuck off, I’m not eating your poisoned shit!” I yelled back, kicking the tray back so its contents splattered all over the floor and wall.
I listened to the man’s footsteps as he walked away.
Well, now I have even more shit on my walls. How delightful.
I ran my thumb through the yellow-tinged gunk on the floor, and gave it a whiff. My stomach turned at the smell; onion puree or something. I took the bread roll instead and took a bite out of it. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, in all honestly. Still not fine dining, but if it got me into gym today and out from the hold of these four fucking walls for an hour, I can live with it.
Or maybe I’m just really fucking hungry from refusing to eat for the past 2 days.
It’s not that I really think the food is poisoned, per se. It’s more to do with the fact that they take away everything in here; my dignity went with a fight, but it went nonetheless. So damn it, I’m Frank Iero – mafia master… I have to find a way to bend the rules and rebel. That’s who I am now, right?
Quite possibly the worst thing about high-security psych: there’s no clock. No way of telling what time it is, whatsoever. From the minute we’re born, we’re taught and brought up to rely on time for everything, and when that’s taken away, you literally start to go crazy. Not crazy as in the Spiderman guy or the dude who chewed his hand off, but crazy as in throwing yourself against the padded walls as hard as you can, so that maybe just maybe you’ll pass out and pass a couple of hours.
So, that’s exactly what I did. I ran head-first into the wall a few times, but all I got was a neck ache and a pounding head. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it was enough to lie down on the floor, fall asleep, and not wake up until the warden came and got me for gym time.
Quite honestly, I was surprised that they let me out today, as I barely ate my food. But they did; they grabbed me as usual, put the straightjacket on, and led me into the gym where surely enough, Spidey was trying to climb the wall, Stumpy was meandering around aimlessly (he was spared the straightjacket, humorously enough), and Joker’s eyes meeting mine as soon as I walked in.
I have the run of the gym. Now normally, this would mean trouble time for me. But there are guards in every corner of the room, so that likely would not be the best idea right now.
Although I really don’t suppose it can get much worse than the bouncy cells.
Wait; then again, there is that guy who’s dragged in with full-body restraints and a dog muzzle every day. There’s some incentive to behave.
I walked to the center of the room with my head held high. After all, I’m the only biologically sane one in the vicinity. And if that’s not something to be proud of, I don’t know what is. I decided to sit down on the couch in front of the TV and see what monstrosities were on.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. And… shit.
I settled on a rerun of Criminal Minds, although what I really ended up doing was watching the freak show right in front of me. Honestly, it’s 100 times more entertaining than any TV show could be. Something I hadn’t noticed before; there was this guy sitting a few feet away who looked relatively normal. He had long-ish jet black hair, smooth body movements, and appeared unexpectedly aware and alert to the world around him. He was decidedly different from the others; for one, he wasn’t dancing around like a fucking idiot or trying to climb up walls. He had all his extremities intact, for fucks sake! This guy’s like me.
“Hey.” I said, leaning back into the couch. “I’m Frank.”
He flashed a grin my way, then looked down at the floor.
“I’m Terrence. Nice to meet you, Frank.”
A sane human being, who presumably, isn’t out to get me. This is quite the pleasant change.
“It’s pretty dead in here, huh?” I laughed awkwardly. “What are you doing?”
“Just passing time. You said it yourself, it’s fucking dead in here.”
“The cell’s no better, though. You’ve got a bouncy room, too?” I asked.
“Yeah.” He answered with a chuckle. “They’re not that bad. You just gotta get used to them.”
“How long have you been here?”
“17 years.” He said. “I never even saw general; they put me in here straight away. It’s my home.”
“Shit.” I grimaced. “Why?”
“I was in Washington State until I murdered 2 of my cell mates. They pronounced me criminally insane, and transferred me here.”
That was quite the strange turn of events, holy shit.
“Wait, Washington State? Why did they transfer you here?”
“They primarily house death row inmates there. And California is better equipped for the psychos.” He said with a wink.
Lord, thank you.
“S-So if I were to murder someone here, I’d have a chance of getting into Florida?”
The bell rang, meaning that it was time to go back to our cells. One of the wardens came over and grabbed me, and another took Terrance away.
“See you tomorrow, Frank!” He grinned as they tugged at his straightjacket.
I was thrown back in my cell, and for once, I had something to concentrate on besides the four white walls sucking me in. I had to talk to Terrence again.
Someone up there must like me a whole hell of a lot. I don’t know why – I don’t deserve any measure of mercy… none at all.