I’m barely fitting in under the wire with this submission, but here it is. Sorry about this, I had 2 stories that needed written and submitted to my various editors for publication. Nothing like procrastination for inspiration!
Without further ado~ here is my submission for “BE KIND REWRITE INSPIRATION MONDAY XX”
Rearrange Me-Till I’m Sane
I met Janna after I awoke in a bleak hospital room, my wrists securely anchored to the bed rails as were my ankles. I could feel a hose snaking out from beneath my hospital gown, draping over my right leg down below the height of the mattress. I wondered what that was and what it was for. My throat was very sore, and I remember the ER staff lying on top of me to restrain me from fighting their efforts to insert a tube to my stomach. They were gonna pump it, and then insert a charcoal concoction meant to strain the chemicals still roaming about my system. I never quite understood that reasoning. If ya pumped it out, what the hell is still roaming around in there? Just another way to milk my poor husband and family out of thousands of dollars is how I still see it, but what do I know?
My eyes fluttered about the room and I craned my neck about like it was a swivel stick. I was trying to observe my surroundings. It was quite dark in the room: I guess it was after lights out on the floor. I felt the door open more than I heard or observed anything. You know the eerie feeling of unease? It appears that while I had assaulted my senses with deadly levels of toxic chemicals; my radar for danger was still on high alert. Out of the darkness to stand beside my bed was the biggest and scariest man I’d ever been confronted with. He stooped over my bed, reaching for my chest when suddenly Janna’s body flew from the shadows hiding the bed next to the window. She was little thing screeching and scratching like a mongoose devil at this humongous and threatening male. Janna landed on the guy’s back. She had clawed a hole in his cheek and had his ear between her teeth; ripping and tearing at his flesh as both growled and screamed obscenities at each other. It took something like 45 seconds for a pair of nurses to arrive, both male, both of them ready to do battle with whatever they met in this room filled with swearing, screeching, the smell of blood and fear permeating the air with the hormones that create the fight or flight factors in humans. The nurses had a called for security and by the time those guys were in the room the nurses had accessed who was where, doing what to whom and who to direct security to subdue first. The guards quickly separated Janna from the big intruder, she and the big guy received mega doses of some calming agent in their backsides. After the nursing staff had accessed me as being securely trounced and not a danger, they me left to wonder what the fuck had just happened. My heart was in my chest. Not one of the people in charge asked if I was OK. They just checked my moorings and left me there in that damned bed!
Janna had been returned to our shared room 12 hours later. The powers that be had he sedated, stripped and placed spread eagle on a dirty mattress, securely bound hand and foot to four eyelets sunk into the cement floor . Thorazine was the drug of choice in these instances. She was quite aware of the circumstance she was in, quite aware the guards and staff were watching her prone and naked body on the live feed that came from the camera in the upper corner to the right of the door. She had been in this room many times before. The orderlies wheeled her to this same room every time they came to take her for the treatment. She was belligerent and fought them until they had her hog tied and drugged. She would then be taken for “treatment” and after the orderlies would bring her back to the “quiet room”.
Jenna was a small girl who liked her smack. A drug addict: her father had her committed against her will. Daddy was a council man in the town we lived in. He paid doctors to diagnose her as paranoid schizophrenic: a danger to herself and members of the community. After spending 6 weeks with her, I knew she wasn’t. I know she was simply a sad little girl who got hooked on drugs and shoved into this hell hole; left forgotten by her family. She was an embarrassment to her father as he fought his way up the political ladder of the community.
Jenna came back after each treatment less and less the girl who saved me on my inaugural night on the ward. The last day I saw her, she knew she was going back into the room for another treatment. It was during one of the few lucid moments she was experiencing those days that she looked into my eyes and told me, “They said they’re gonna rearrange me till I’m sane, Lesley. They’re gonna kill what makes me-me.” Her sad sunken black rimmed eyes were already dead. I was so scared for her and for myself. I just wanted to “be good” and pass the next evaluation that would decide if the Baker Act would be able to keep me here at Pembroke Pines State Hospital.
I remember her saying that. Clear as day. There she is in my memory echoing over and over “Rearrange me till I’m sane.” What a sad epitaph she’s been saddled with, but it’s true. She was “rearranged” by them. I miss her, yes after all these years I still miss her.