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Some People Aren't Meant to be Caged -- Part I + II + III + IV
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Depression101 Offline
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Post: #6
Some People Aren't Meant to be Caged -- Part I + II

I spend three days in the infirmary, and in that time I did a lot of thinking. At first, it thinking about my mother, and how sweet back home would feel, and I cried when I remembered. Then it was dreaming about a house in the hills, or in the mountains; a nice little wooden cabin perched upon some snow-capped peak, or in some enchanted forest. Somewhere in Scotland, maybe, or Canada. Sometimes I thought I should play-along and they would soon let me out, no problem. But I knew the only way to see the mountains of Canada, and still remain free and independent, was to escape. On the second day I found I was not confined to my bed with sickness and I could freely explore the room; it was of liberal size, bright and white, with six beds and a latticed window. The window was my first destination, and I strolled over to it like a free man. Outside, the sun shone and and the sky was clear save a couple of clouds, but they looked less like masses of ice crystals and more like a painter’s brush strokes. They looked magical, like they defied natural law and construct, like they were painted by an impressionist. Or insurgent. Or both. When I looked at them, and the sun’s biblical beams, I felt the chains of oppression break away, and I was soaring above the world like a free man. That was when I made up my mind definitively: I was going to escape. I felt a rush of warmth in my gut at the conviction of that thought.

There were no cameras in the room and I knew the routine of the nurses by rote, so that eliminated the fear of discovery. I next explored the medicine cabinet. I looked at the labels: some vicodins, some paracetamol, the usual stuff; but what shocked me was a tub of smokeless powder sitting in the back of the cabinet. I took it out and examined it; it looked like smokeless powder, all right. Then I remembered a time ages ago. It’s New Year’s eve, me and my mother are making makeshift fireworks and launching them, it’s one of the best moments of my life, I know when those happen. But that was a different time. Now, I had an idea. I knew that if I could get my hands on some other items, I could make a firework. The only part I was unsure of was what I would use it for. I dismissed that thought and instead focused on how I would smuggle the powder out.I pondered the issue a while and eventually I tore my sock off and poured a liberal amount of powder in; then, thinking I would look suspicious with one sock on, I took the other off and filled it with valiums and adderalls. They probably did equipment checks but they hardly checked the exact amount of pills, I thought.

Suddenly, footsteps started thudding up the steps at a fast pace. I panicked, and, in a whirl of confusion, I threw open the window and hurled both of the socks out. They fell about six feet down and landed in the corner of the main building. I slammed shut the window and dove into the bed, sweating, heart thumping. The door opened and the doctor came in. He acknowledged my disturbed state with a heavy frown. I thought he was going to get some ideas and I started breathing faster. But I was relieved when he said “Don’t worry, young man, you’re merely in a state of shock. We’ll give you some medicine and tomorrow you’ll be able to begin your rehabilitation afresh.”

I tossed and turned in my bed all night, I couldn’t sleep: I was too anxious someone would discover the socks and I would really be in trouble. But I re-assured myself that, in the end, nothing really matters. We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone, and all for nothing. And only idiots conform to that idea, and only weak fools seek escape in religions. In contrast, the smartest of us seek to escape this world, but never turn our fantasies into religion and try to sell them as reality. I fell asleep but was awoken by the medical staff before the sun even tasted the horizon. They gave me a cup of water and two pills. I was still droopy but I knew I wasn’t about to take their pills. I wore a shirt with oversized sleeves the infirmary supplied and I saw a golden opportunity. I cupped my fist around the pills, like I was looking at them, but, really, I let them fall along my wrist and down into my sleeve. I frowned and quickly slapped my hand into my mouth. I promptly gulped down the water and looked up. Apparently, I was quite the actor. The doctor and nurse nodded approvingly and gave me my clothes.

I was transported to my cell where everything was as I left it, except the dead mouse and the trap. Those were gone. My mind was racing, trying to devise a plan of escape; I was pacing the room, anxious about the two socks resting in the corner of the building. I tried to calm myself but couldn’t. Finally, I decided to write my thoughts down in that notebook, hoping to get them in order. But, instead, what followed was an insurmountable burst of creative energy, unleashed on that pitiful paper: I never wrote so much in my life, all my thoughts expressed, half the notebook filled, the passion so burning that I forgot what reality I’m in, my writing so furious it tore holes in the paper. I wrote everything. Horror stories. A prison break. A cautionary tale against authoritarianism. A drama. It transformed into a tragedy. Finally, I forced to stop writing when a bell sounded and sergeants started opening every single cell door and telling the inmates to get a move-on. I missed breakfast and morning exercise. Now it was time for work. The way it worked, you had a selection of jobs, some better some worse, and you got paid for them; you would use the money to buy food at dinner time, and pay the sergeants to look the other way when you beat some motherfucker up at play-time. It was like prison, that way.

I was on the janitorial staff. I was assigned to the E wing, where all the staff and conference rooms are, with this other kid, Jerome Anderson. He had long hair, pierced ears, and sagged pants. He began to talk a little. He asked me what I was in for, in a tone that mocked prison movies. I lied and said I was here for slapping my teacher and skipping school; he told me he robbed a liquor store and his pa was a hard-assed military major. He wasn’t too bright -- he asked me if I could get him a shiv. Asking a stranger that could be your demise, but I wasn’t a snitch and I valued connection, which I never had in my life. I always stuck to myself and never saw the criminal side of life.

“Why ask me? A guy like you must have some connections,” I said

“Well,” he said. “See, money, I don’t need the shiv. Big Bobby is gonna buy it off me, for something I need.”

Big Bobby. That killed me, I nearly started laughing, but I was afraid he might kill me if I did, so I contained myself.

“Sure, slick, but I need two things in return.”

“Anything you want, my man.”

“One: I need a toothbrush; two: I need you to introduce me to, and get me in good with, the people who run the show around here.”

“You as good as got them,” he said.

“One more thing, I need a wooden toothbrush.”

“Sure thing, those come cheaper anyway.”

Lunchtime was hell. The food stank and tasted like vomit, probably because odour made the cook puke into it. After lunch, it was thirty minutes rest. Once the cell doors shut and I heard the sergeants disappear down the hall, I threw open my briefcase and took out my wooden toothbrush. The edge of the doorway was so sharp I think the sadist who made it hoped that some poor tall kid would cut their head open on it. I ripped the hairs out of the brush and got to work sharpening it. I slid it along the edge of the doorway like a hacksaw, with precise deliberation; I knew that furiously slicing it off the wall would make an uneven product. When I finished it, I retrieved the hairs and the wooden chippings and flushed them down the toilet. I admired my handiwork, it was amazing. Ironically, I got ten weeks of woodwork experience in school. I pocketed the shiv and opened my book. The bell rang: it was play-time. As we were lining up to go outside, it occurred to me they might search us, but my worries died on a sigh of relief when I went outside without hassle.

There were a bunch of benches, some dumbbells and mats, and some tables laid out with chess boards. I saw Jerome leaning against fence; we were in a fenced-off section within a fenced-off section. I walked up to him, elbowed him and slid the shiv half-way out of my pocket. I began to shake a little. I saw this shit in movies, for fucks sake, I never even realized how terrifying and threatening this stuff can be, you never realize how serious this shit is in real life. I didn’t know if I was doing it right, but I, once again, became relieved when Jerome’s face lit up like New York at night. I fit in pretty well into the criminal world after all. He tried to grab the weapon, but I pulled back.

“Quid quo pro,” I said. And I damn near shit my pants when I did so. It was a bold move -- I was rebellious, but I was always a quiet kid only hiding his faggyness and lameness with a mask of masculinity. I thought Jerome was going to force that shiv out of my hands and stab me with it. Shank me, as the prison term goes. And I did start thinking of this place like a prison. It was juvie, just without the judicial part.

“Wah?” Jerome said, confused.

“This for that,” I said with a strangled voice. ‘It’s only gonna be strangled when good ‘ole Jerry goes to work on your windpipe,’ I thought to myself.

“Oh, cmon, money, I just can’t getcha a toothbrush that fast, you know. I can introduce you ‘round if you give me the brush.”

I calmed down. His compliance gave me courage and I remember my “nothing matters” philosophy. I said, “You owe me an introduction as down payment, and I deserve a toothbrush for quick service. Don’t you think that’s fair?” He agreed.

Big Bobby was a handsome guy with blonde locks and tattoos up the ass; there was so much of them I wouldn’t be surprised if they literally went up his ass. He had the most connection in the boot camp, his father was on good terms with the piece of shit who runs it. Next was Connor Keating, a towering golem, as ugly as he was big. He was the muscle, you payed him to roughen people up. When he wasn’t in boot camp, he was in prison. Lastly, Kaden Dimes: smart, dangerous and influential. He ran a gang that would do you any favour in return for goods; they could get you past any sergeant, they could beat up almost anybody and they could steal from almost everybody.

I thanked Jerome and when I made sure he was occupied and far away, I approached Big Bobby and said I heard he’s looking for a weapon.

“Sure, I need a shiv for one of my boys. He don’t mind going to prison, he says it’s better than this shit-hole.” I registered the fact that I was providing a murder weapon but the magnitude of the fact didn’t hit me until a measly kid with glasses, whom I never saw before, was murdered a week later. I never saw him when I was scanning the crowds for someone who didn’t fit in like me. And thank God I didn’t because I would have sought him for friendship, and then we both would have been murdered.

“How’s this for a shiv?” I said as I discreetly slipped out my upgraded toothbrush.

“Swell and swanky. Brilliant craftsmanship. Who did you get it off?”

I smiled with pride and said, “Yours truly.”

“No shit! Well we gotta do business some other time. Whaddya want for it?”

“I need a lighter, for one, and some information as a tip won’t hurt. I’m a greeny.”

“Sure, I can getcha the lighter by tomorrow. Bring the shiv. Whaddya wanna know?”

“Do they do cell shakedowns here like in a prison? Do they search you often?”

“They ‘inspect’ your cell every week, but it’s all scheduled. It’d get ‘em in trouble otherwise, we’re not even in juvie, for Chrissake. They always search you after yard-time is over. If you want to get in without trouble, you gotta either pay a guy with connections to get it in forya, or dig a hole in the yard.”

“How much would it cost to smuggle something in.”

“One easy-to-conceal item should be about a buck twenty-five.”

I got five dollars for work, and I blew three in the cafeteria.

“Say, buddy, would you mind giving fifty cent. I’ll owe you a dollar, okay?”

“Sure, but pay me back in three days, if ya know what’s good for ya.”

I borrowed the dough because it was then that I remembered about the corner of the building, and thankfully it was within the confines of the yard. And thank fucking lord I saw the two socks there. I took them to Dimes and paid the fee to have them snuck in. I told him my room number and then went to back to the corner and dug a hole where I buried my shiv.

When I returned to my cell after supper, I found the socks on my bed. I counted the pills and weighed the powder in my hand. Everything felt about right. The next day transpired about the same, but when I went to dig up my shiv, I couldn’t find it. I started digging frantically around the whole corner, but I just couldn’t find the shiv. It was gone.

"Then it was straight to the 40 ouncers/ slapping teachers and jacking off in front of my counselors." As the World Turns - Eminem.

"A man is a success if gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between does whatever he does what he wants to do." - Bob Dylan.

"A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong." - Orson Welles.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons, even death may die." - H.P. Lovecraft.

"I became insane, with long intervals of painful sanity." Edgar Allan Poe.
05-28-2017 06:54 AM
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Some People Aren't Meant to be Caged -- Part I + II - Depression101 - 05-28-2017 06:54 AM

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