Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Notes from Cahill

Recently, I was held in a locked facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts which was designed to hold mentally ill people. This is done, I'm told, to prevent anyone from getting hurt or dying, almost always through suicide. Homicidal behavior is extremely rare, but most of the mentally ill people are keen on committing suicide. To slip away, unseen and unremembered.

Anyhow, that's also why they have no silverware, mirrors, shower heads or any hooks on which one may hang oneself, that sort of thing. This may mean restraints, which are sort of fun, for about 5 minutes. After that, panic. For the most part, people just walk around like normal. Talk. Eat. You know.

The last time I was in one of these places, Called "Cahill House," I spent most of my free time writing like, well, a lunatic. I did most of the writing with a contraband pen. Yay for me!

Here is what I wrote one hot day in July. I told myself at the time that I'd post what I write, but I'll try to spread it out. La de da.

"Looking through any of these windows is a frustrating experience. Not because I'm trying to escape, although being here and not home is deeply upsetting. The problem with the window, however, is a thick mesh screen to keep the nuts in. The windows are also locked and barred. But that damn screen, combined with the heat and humidity, makes it well-nigh impossible to see the city teeming below. The Prudential Building is visible, but barely, because of the screen and hot-fog outside.

I'm in some sort of relaxation room, that's where you'll find the window with a view of the Pru. Keep that in mind if you're ever committed to Cahill 4. There are small plastic boxes, shoe box size, each containing seemingly random objects; sunflower seeds, rice, dry beans, sponges, that sort of thing. Tactile relaxation. If you're stressed, you're supposed to stroke some beans and feel some rice and you'll be as right as rain.

So basically I come into this room to read, because nobody is ever here feeling the beans.

The Men's dorm Shower/bathroom has a good window, but I can't linger in there. I'm in there getting raped enough as it is! Ha! A joke.

Saturday night I could spy a happy looking couple walking down the street, but briefly as I could only look out the window at an angle. He was holding a pizza box, while she laughed heartily at something, and the two of them made their way down the avenue. When she laughed, she touched the young lad's arm. From where I sit right now, it was a little cute and a little sexy, but most importantly it was real. I'm not sure why, but I'm glad I saw it. Romantic nihilism. Gosh."

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