By Nicole Cater
Apart from sounding like two of the most illiterate inbred country bumpkins, DonRoy and Clayton were two of the coolest guys in the shack. And trust me, cool people are at a premium when you’re talking about Crazy Town, aka, your local mental health facility lockdown.
The first thing I noticed about DonRoy was his hair. Ironic, because that’s the first thing he noticed about me. But seriously, it was hard to miss DonRoy’s hair. It was about shoulder length, had the texture and appearance of steel wool, and was immaculately kept. It didn’t so much fall down to his shoulders as it billowed out around his head to shoulder length. The man had his own built in head-gear. Anyway, I also noticed that DonRoy was not really a “joiner,” as he was never in group sharing his deepest darkest feelings about who he really was.
One night, as I wandered into the community room, with my big baking book, I saw DonRoy in the comfy chairs waving me down like a 747 puling into a jet way. I’ll admit my first thought was “Oh good lord, what have we here?” But I went and sat down next to him and after introductions, DonRoy said, “I just have to say it, I love your hair.” Not what the Pinkster was expecting at all. But we sat for a good hour or so, going through my book, talking about our favorite desserts and the merits of pie over cake. After a while, DonRoy got brave enough to ask me what happened to my book, the front cover was a little split. Considering all the postie notes, did I just really use this one a lot?
Well, I had to be honest with him. This was about an hour before the whole cellie restraint book demolishing debacle, so why was my second best book ripped up? See, it turns out that Bipolar Disorder is not just Manic or Depressive, it can also be ferociously angry too! And I was ferociously angry. At me, at you, at life, at everything, really. So I threw my own book across the room. If I’d had better aim, I would’ve smashed to bits the mirror I was hurling at. Alas, I throw like a girl. But I ripped the corner of my book just the same. I didn’t know it till my mom brought it to me at first visiting hours. It wasn’t so much that I needed the book. It was that I needed her to bring me the physical reminder of why I had gotten into my car at 9:00 on a Friday night and committed myself. Things like that are important.
In any event, I promised I would make DonRoy a Chocolate Lava Cake.
Then there was poor little Clayton. Clayton was a sweetheart of a kid who just took a left when everyone else went right. He had a great sense of humor, and we could chat at length about different books. The problem was that Clayton didn’t have any visitors. And that meant Clayton didn’t get any books. None on the ward, we might paper cut ourselves to death. So every once in a while, Clayton would stop and ask what I was reading. Well, the answer varied from cake books to a study on the Salem Witch Trials. Was that it? Yep, sorry, you want me to have my mom bring you something? Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh, no, that’s okay. What can I say? I wasn’t bringing my whole library into the ward with me. But are you sure, just cake and witch books? Yep, ‘fraid so. Clayton was supposed to go from our loony bin side to the drug rehab side. But lo and behold, he saw a good doctor, and they figured out he had been misdiagnosed! He was going to be taking new meds! His parents were giving him another shot! Good for Clayton, he needed it.
And then I had a visit from mom. I suggested sitting in the comfy seats because the other seats hurt my ass like no other. As we were sitting there talking, I saw the woman next to me was crying. So I did what anyone else would do, I asked what she needed, went to get her water and Kleenex, and then she took a phone call. In this time, Clayton and DonRoy, having no visitors of their own, had bogarted my mom. I think they were trying to put her at ease while I had walked away, but since the guys are cool, you know, conversations happen. Anyway, I come back in time to hear Clayton tell mom that I have the most awesome daughter ever. Mom responds, to Clayton’s total glee, “I know.” Lord, my parents! And then he proceeds to tell her that that was the most brilliant answer ever. So much cooler than a typical mom “Thank you.” Right, like my parents need any encouragement. Just to make it official and let her know that she’s not dealing with a Barb or Roger, I make proper introductions.
As she was leaving, mom made the comment that we had quite the little community going. I told her only among the cool kids mom, only among the cool kids!
This is our new Wicked Short Stories page with submissions from various Authors. Please look for bio-snippets about the Author at the bottom of the various pieces. Enjoy!