Ward of the State - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ward of the State

Ward of the State

Published September 6, 2010

In this place time is an abstract. Though it inches it still leaps. The crazies don’t mind, they just sit and stare into empty space. Time, for them, is irrelevant. The voice, pleading, desperate, nagging, sweet sends a thrill of well being down my spine. The old lady seems always lost and at her wits end. The skin hangs down her face in yellowing ripples like a set of tidal waves crashing on shore. Always she is on about something – what it is I don’t know, as her voice makes no distinction between words. It just rambles on in begging soliloquy hoping for help in the losing battle with time, crippling age and creeping insanity. The ward is full of foreigners—a Pole who never speaks a word and seems to have given up. His posture is bent and his aura extinguished. Nothing seems to be on his horizon and he receives no visitors. All is at a loss I would venture. A girl, sweet and innocent clad in cuts deeper than superficial, scars for a lifetime, fighting to float in a well of depression with a soul full of sadness with life as a waiting game. A sharp mind heading down the drain of a faltering future. I myself cry like air raid sirens in my hospital bed and fight my wards like a caged animal. I am too at the very end of my wits—longing for her again grappling with emptiness clinging onto bitter despair. Face down on the linoleum, knees on my back and temple screaming enraged threats and insults at the Pigs and rent-a-cops pinning me down. A kick flies into a uniformed belly, 5-O catapults into the wall. Handcuffed, ankle-cuffed, manhandled and sore a cold cell awaits me where I cry into the wee hours. The lights won’t go out. No one checks up on me. All is in ruin. She, lanky tall like a model, all energy and singing spitting talent. She is a marathon race at a sprinters pace. Words to her are myriad and ever flowing. She gives the world light and drains me of my energy all without respect of boundaries a packet of nerves and deeply personal stories. She sings and draws and flutters and flails non-stop burning the candle at both ends atop her shimmering cloud. Him a psychotic with facial scars aiming to beat me down all I know is he ain’t allowed to roam the halls. The woman next door thinks her words are being taped and that fictional characters are her friends. She mellows out eventually. One night an actress is wheeled in. She was found ambling the streets in her bathrobe. She is sweet and out of here in a jiff. The big black mama strides the halls playing at walking the catwalk. She gives me sage advice. Very wise for a lunatic. Two nights I’m on suicide watch. I tell them fuck it. I’ll kill myself by holding my breath. I’ll show you willpower! 

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