The next two weeks in the hospital offered a world apart; the bars on the windows, the locks on the doors, and a prominent security guard
ensured that, keeping in the 30 or so men and women confined to the beige and
dusty blue walls of the sixteenth floor.
Room after room merged into one large hall; rooms for sleeping
with white covers and single metal beds, bathrooms with white sinks and shiny
mirrors, private commodes and showers
with heavy cotton curtains, a large dining room for eating and watching TV with rows of
tables and wooden chairs, a small arts and crafts room with drawings of birds and trees on the walls.
I recall it all as clean and comfortable,
a place of few distractions where I could keep to myself.
During the mornings, I shaped science fiction characters from logs of clay found in the arts and crafts room. In the afternoon, I’d sit on a large couch in
the main hall, sketching potted plants and patients with a ball point pen. The heavy medication kept me tired and calm. For the first time in many months, I felt contained and cared for.
To be continued ...