Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Division Bell

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. It’s all I can hear. Over and over. And over. And over. Tick. Tock. The incessant ticking of that damn clock! It’s like they’re pumping it into the room just to send me loopy. I can’t stand it.

I can’t seem to wrap my head around it, this place. Even after all this time. These awful “nurses” -- they call themselves that, I hardly would! -- don’t seem to get the bitter irony that I’m losing my marbles in this place. It drives a man out of his mind, truly!

I find myself locking away parts of my mind so they cannot get to them. They mustn’t get to them. Though there is a downside. I am losing not only my mind, but my memories. My most precious are slipping away. What is a man without memories -- like the corners of my mind -- misty water coloured memories… Curse you Streisand! Your wretched lyrics afflict my soul!

I was told by a young male nurse -- whom I can only assume was on some form of illicit narcotic -- to “chillax” this morning. Seemingly some sort of portmanteau word melding “chill out” and “relax”. The things the youth of today are doing with our language…


Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider who sat down beside and frightened Miss Muffet away!

Why this Miss Muffet was frightened away by a creature presumably no bigger than her big toe I cannot fathom. Arachnophobia perplexes me so…

Though the little buggers are everywhere in this place!

I cannot help but feel sorry for the poor spider. One can only imagine that he simply wanted some company, or perhaps good conversation. Miss Muffet appears to be quite antisocial!

That story -- fictitious as it more than likely is -- reminds me much of this hell hole to which I am confined. Most of the inmates -- they call us “patients”, but I have chosen to take a different stance! -- here do not enjoy you sitting besides them, much like Miss Muffet did not enjoy the spider’s company.

I must confess, however, I can’t say that I would much enjoy most of those people out there sitting besides me. Not through any sort of antisocial aspect of me, personally. They’re just quite unwell, more so than -- they claim! -- I am.


There was quite a commotion today in the lunch room. A man made an awful scene over pudding. Apparently he demanded his pudding before his meal, something the staff had trouble comprehending. They refused, which just set him off!

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” they tried to explain, eventually shouting it at him from all angles. The question -- posed many years ago in my youth by a famous, and rather trippy, rock group in the seventies, ironically on an album about insanity and social isolation -- seems to be of the utmost importance to the people here. Why? I cannot quite understand.

But yet, they insist that pudding must come after meat. One really has to wonder: who on earth are they to decide such a thing? Though, I suppose it is not really them. This kind of control is rampant throughout our society, rules and codes of how things should be done that have apparently been in effect since the dawn of man.

I can’t help but question them.

What is the advantage of having meat first? Biologically, there is no difference. It gets just as digested no matter the order in which it goes in. My mother used to say, “It will spoil your appetite!” I always thought that the meat would spoil my appetite for the pudding! Alas, I never expressed this opinion. As far as I can recall, my mother was too fierce a woman to cross with such brazen insolence.

We are an undoubtedly a controlled society. Rigid codes of conduct handed down through the generations that cannot be broken, lest you be looked on as some sort of animal!

They -- whoever “they” are, those in charge, I presume -- are intent on keeping us in line. Never has that been more easily identifiable than in here. The constant routine is mind numbing…

All in all it was all just bricks in the wall…

This nostalgic musical pondering has reminded me of my extensive record collection! Oh how I adore it. Can you imagine the pain of having such a collection of records and yet have no access to it? No means by which to listen to it? It truly does break ones heart.

I hypothesize that if those vile creatures were to allow records and record players, they would all be a might saner in this place! But they don’t seem likely to listen to me, which is a shame…


It occurs to me that one usually has some sort of date heading on writings such as this. Though, this would prove problematic. This place tends to suck the life out of a person, and it has rendered my sense of time more or less shot to hell!

I cannot remember how long ago I wrote any of the previous entries in the makeshift diary of sorts. They could have been yesterday, last week, last year, they could very well have been this morning! It does not help with what they like to call my healing process. Not at all.

For all I know, I’ve been in here my entire life. I have only the briefest recollections of my life before my -- unfounded! -- incarceration. It’s almost like it was a dream that someone else had and described to me. It’s so far away, now.

There was a time when people from my life would visit me, but that, alas, has ceased. It became just Michelle, and now I am alone with myself. My constantly judgemental self. I miss her almost constantly -- even if I, in fact, never knew her! Michelle. Ma belle. Sont des mots qui vont trés bien ensemble, Trés bien ensemble.

I believe she has my record collection, actually. I do wish she would bring it by…


Every now and then, they bring in new patients to this place. It’s rather disturbing, to be honest. They practically parade them through the halls. Keeping everyone back, which makes them incapable of not looking…


The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long…

More like all night long!

That infernal song is as annoying as the clocks in this dreadful place! My neighbour in the cell -- despite what they say, that’s what they are, cells -- next to mine sings this song every night. He claims he cannot get to sleep without singing it.

The so called nurses -- if they can so be called -- believe that it will help him in the long run. But what about the rest of us? What do they care about us? The songs will likely drive us all mad! Those of us who aren’t already, that is…


Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. All. Day. Long.


Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see...


This morning I was sat down with a group of others and made to read nursery rhymes -- apparently it was a request by one of the loonier patrons, one which the nurses thought would suit me to be a part of. It didn’t.

I did, however, gain a new insight into the ludicrous nature of nursery rhymes and fables from my childhood. Aren’t they supposed to have some form of moral lesson from which children can learn in a way deemed by someone to be “fun”? Some have no such lesson. Jack and Jill is about an illicit love affair, for example. The only lesson I can see is be faithful or you will end up with a cracked skull!

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses,

And all the king's men,

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

I see no moral for this little tale. Nor do I see any mention of Humpty Dumpty being an egg! Nor can I see why the king would be so reckless in his use of ALL of his horses and ALL of his men.

Sounds to me like he should be one of my cell mates in here!


My brief re-acquaintance with nursery rhymes recently awaked certain memories of my childhood. Blurry, hazy memories, but memories nonetheless!

All I have managed to keep, however, if the vague recollection that they were happy memories. Happier times. Simpler times.


I didn’t sleep a wink last night! It seems it is not only my neighbour who required the wheels on the bus to make their eternal circle in order to drift off to sleep.

The nurses -- I still cannot fathom how they have the nerve to call themselves medical professionals… blast, I fear I’m repeating myself -- took him away last night for “therapy”. They blast him with electricity and say it makes him better -- all it does is render him incapable of just about anything, except perhaps slow roasting a beef joint…

I believe the very same technique has been employed to get information out of people by those less liberal than I. I cannot imagine Roger has much information that is useful to these people…

It makes me quite sick. How I wish I could get out of here…


I am growing more and more sick of this God forsaken place.


How these nurses were ever cleared to work with human beings is beyond me!

I had a run in with one today -- at least, I think it was today. Regardless when it was, it was infuriating! She has incredibly little people skills!

They were herding us into the onsite chapel, and I expressed my distaste for being made to do so. Being a free world, I assumed this would be acceptable, but apparently not! It seems we no longer live in a world of free speech!

She looked at me as if I had just vomited up a human head. She looked both confused and repulsed.

“Excuse me?” she said, as if she were personally offended.

“I refuse to be made to sit through this ritual when none of it has any relevance to me.”

“You’re disturbing the other patients” She said, and for a moment I almost believed that she cared about any of us.

“The other patients have no idea what’s going on!” I told her, and quite rightly so! “Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ll go back to my room.”

As I went to walk away, a number of orderlies got in my way, manhandling me! I was livid! Naturally, I pushed them off, and they had the cheek to drug me!

I’m told they dragged me back to my room in a drugged up daze. Animals…


Silence. For the first time in who knows how long, there is silence. I’m not at all used to it.


I came to an unusual realisation today. This place is named after Saint Claire, and I don’t know why. Saint Claire, I think, is the patron saint of such things as clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embrodiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television… And I believe there are others.

Why on earth would someone name a mental institution after a saint with no apparent relevance to the mentally ill?


They are threatening to take away my typewriter! This is preposterous! They claim the clicking is disrupting other “patrons”.

They do not understand the importance of this outlet. It is keeping me sane. How can they expect anyone to stay sane with the barbarous techniques they employ! They can’t take away my typewriter! They will not!

My headstrong nature, however, does not extend much further than this page. I fear that if they come to take it, I will be rather useless to stop them…


Here endeth the Prose.

That, faithful reader, is the prose piece for my Creative Writing folio in Advanced English. So I thought I'd share.