Monday, 4 April 2011

Sin... wobbly handles...

"My handle's loose."

Caroline told me that once. I was never one to follow rules, not really. So the one about, if you weren't told, don't ask, didn't particularly apply to me. Well, it did, but I didn't take any notice. People had a tendency to die around me, so they weren't going to complain - oh, hold on... yes, they would, given the chance... OK, forget that. People in here, mental as anything, were not going to complain. How's that? Better?


In here, where you spent your days in a daze, wading through a haze, things either bothered people or they didn't. There wasn't much of a mid-way. Tolerance stayed on the outside, not wanting to step through the door lest it be warped into a special brand of crazy along with the rest of us. Not that people get uppity, don't get me wrong. You had your Banjo Bensons and your Olivia de Halibuts who could snap if you so much as breathed the wrong way near them. But mostly, people were chilled. How else could you be with a murder of orderlies ready to tie you down and play pin cushion with your arm at the drop of a hat or the roll of a die?

Or the toss of a coin..?

The Corner-copias, eye-spying their spot on the floor, wouldn't move if you stay off their hallowed spot. Most others were too deep in their own private purgatory to worry about anyone else.

So if I wanted to ask my questions or make my statements, nobody was going to mind too much.

Well, there was that time with the Whippet, but that's another story.

I was the only one in the institute who was there voluntarily. Even though my 'voluntarily' no longer had the same definition as Dr Connors', I wasn't actually insane. If you forgot about my claims of death and destruction and concentrated just on my usual mental state, I was fairly sane - I flew close to the precipice of whoop-de-doo but I never quite reached the leap into the abyss below. You may think differently, but you'd be wrong.

Just because I'm in a mental home doesn't make me crazy.

So I asked Caroline, quiet and sweet, with quite tiny feet, why she was there. Why she was a member of the Crazy Club? What was her own brand of barmy? She said her handle was loose.

I think that's possibly the best reason I've heard. Some will say they had a wobble. Some will tell you, straight out, the deepest depths of the troubled psyche. I, myself, give various versions of paranoia. Caroline's handle was loose. It was a long time before I discovered the truth behind what had loosened it. By then Jersey had become her 'friend', she had merged with the wallpaper and her fear had faded. By then she was dead.

The institute and Dr Connors were meant to be the screws that tightened that handle back up. It seems they just screwed her up more.

I wonder how they were with putting up shelves.

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