Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sin... room 101...

It's quiet in Room 101. You can hear a pin drop or a mouse's whiskers twitch.

Of course, the only pins are the needles they use to fill us full of drugs and if a mouse managed to get in here it'd probably be eaten by Kevin "Haggis" McNally, who would eat anything, whether it had a pulse once, still or not.

Room 101 is also the only room where, when the lights go out, it's actually dark. There's no phosphorous glow from the glaring white of the walls, floor and ceiling that burned itself onto your retina. Extra thick padding adorns the walls like a landscape of snow covered hills and valleys that's only missing the odd smoking chimney from remote farm houses and the occasional huddled copse of trees. It deadenes all sounds and all light. When you're locked in there, you experience a deadening of not just your senses, but also of your soul. When it's lights out, the lights go out inside you.

I don't really know what I did to be worthy of a stay within its venerated walls. One minute I was staring into space wondering if I really could see the colour blue out of the corner of my eyr and why it kept running away if I quickly turned my head to check, and the next I was under a pile of arms and legs as a fight between Hilda, the woman with the glass eye and black teeth who had served up her pet dog on a barbeque, and Darcy, the girl who had apparently tried to marry her labrador, swept by like a tornado leaving a wake of destruction in its path. I was one of the cars or homes that were lifted like twigs and cast casually aside.

I can't remember what happened after that, really. I know I tasted my own blood and I do recall the weight of three orderlies seeing if each could be the straw that broke my back. Then I was in the Room wondering, instead, if I could actually see little people wandering over the hills that covered the walls. Was I Gulliver to their Lilliput? Was I the giant to their Jack, feeing, fying and foeing while they scaled their beanstalks to hide the golden goose?

Time takes its own course when there's no ticking to keep it on a leash. It will speed up and slow down as it fancies to mess with your mind, taking great pleasure in dragging your days out to weeks or squeezing your weeks into hours. In the end, you forget Time is even out there, watching you, playing with you. In the end you simply ARE, lost in the moment with no notion of past or future. In the end there's only you and Now. And Now is not the best conversationalist in the world.

If you weren't already in an asylum and, by default, mad, you could go insane in there.

I think that's the plan, though. I think that's part of the fun. I think the whole point of Room 101 is to flick the switch and turn your Crazy up a notch or two.

All in the name of therapy, of course.

I don't mind it. I don't fear Time and its games. I sometimes talk to the wee ones on the walls. I embrace the darkness because it's so welcome after the ultra brightness of everything else. And, when I am in there and the lights go out and I die inside, I (for a little while) can't hear the screams.

It's quiet in Room 101. You can hear a pin drop or a mouse's whiskers twitch.

But you can't hear anything else.

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