Monday, 11 April 2011

Sin... purple princess...

With the help of some purple paint and three imaginary friends, Luscious Lily tried to change the world.

Lily, of the Luscious kind, was probably one of the more outgoing patients I've met. Well, less probably, more certainly. She was never backward in coming forward, said what she thought and danced almost all the time. Even on the days when MTV wasn't on the TV, and after Tuesdays had died their dismal death, Lily de Lush seemed to have a song constantly in her head. Her feet were never still, her hands waved as if she was part Mexican and her body swayed to a beat no-one could hear but her.

And she was away with the fairies.

The phrase could have been coined - two pence or otherwise - especially for her. Lily's entry into this non-exclusive club was her genuine belief that, when dusk fell and all was quiet, a secret doorway opened in her room and the elves and pixies came to take her to play. Whether that room was at her home or in the asylum, the door would appear and playtime would begin. She would, apparently, spend her time in this other land, snorting fairy dust and dancing.

How she managed to get her hands on the purple paint, I have no idea. To my knowledge, you could get any shade in the institute as long as it was white. The only place that had anything other than blinding was the nursery, but that oasis of greenery was off limits to all except when visiting dignitaries or big money spenders were around and it had to look like is was being used for the patient's therapy. Which it wasn't. I can't imagine - and I can imagine most things - that there had been an odd tin of Precocious Purple, vinyl silk, lying around in the corridor. She managed to get her hands on one though. Somehow.

Maybe it came through the secret magic door with her...

Anywho, once Jeremy (luckily it was him and not one of his illustrious colleagues) went to collect her the next morning, she was bathed in paint and her room covered in hand daubed musical notes. Lily was no longer Luscious, she was lavender. The paint dripped and smeared together to hide much of the stanzas, but it appeared that she had composed a concerto of some sort. No-one tried to piece it all together to find out if the opus was awful or genius. It, and she, were hosed down and scrubbed until spotless once more. When asked where she had found the means to make the mess, she insisted her friends, of which there were three, had given it to her, and that they had said she should write down the song in her head. She was bringing music to the masses, a song to the silent and colour to the crazy. Even though she spent a long stretch in Room 101, she was unrepentant. But then, her special doorway opened anywhere.

Strange. Weird. Bizarre. Pick your adjective. You couldn't help, though, but be infected with the drum of Lily's feet and you could almost be sure your heard the music in her head. It was a little like the overflow of noise from someone listening to music on the bus. You can just hear the beat and a touch of chorus. With Lily, if you were close enough, you could sometimes swear you heard it too.

And rumour, along with its brother-in-arms gossip, reported that she had once woken with grass on her feet. Seemingly from whatever field or meadow was on the other side of the door.

But that, dear fellow lunatics, was impossible. Much like causing a bus to smash through the window of a post office with the toss of a coin and the bite of a Big Mac. It doesn't happen. Except it does. At least the bus side of things does. Hence my appearance within these hallowed walls. Who am I, considering the things I know and can do, to say that Lily, Luscious as she is, is nuttier than a bar of Snickers, all wrapped up in chewy caramel? Who am I, in fact, to say that any of the surrealities that exist in the minds of my friends are not actually real?

For all I know, when all is quiet and darkness falls, a crack of light starts in the wall. It opens wide and Lily's gone to dance and play in the garden beyond.

But I doubt it. Probably, Lily, who is quite easily the most attractive patient in here, hence her Luscious pseudonym - red hair and green eyes that sparkle in even the brightest light - is a chicken short of a kebab and lives in a world all of her own invention.

To be honest, though, I don't blame her.

To be honest... I wouldn't mind visiting occasionally.

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