I hate the airport and all Holiday Inns, but I love cucumbers because they taste like summer.
prison reform. anything aberrant or deviant.
rockabilly, psychobilly, hardcore/grindcore, beethoven, velvet underground, irving berlin, early rolling stones, dead kennedys, sex pistols, schubert, johnny
cash, billy lee riley, the flamin' groovies
political documentaries, Mr. Ed
sub-incision, a clockwork orange, suspiria, taxi driver, eraserhead, any roman polanski, any george romero, educational shorts
notes from underground, physician's desk reference, diagnostic and statistical manual, 4th edition, any nietzsche
Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore's final words, just before his execution by firing squad--"Let's do it."
"She's not responding to the Thorazine…let's switch to Haldol, and start her out at…oh, say…point five milligrams and see how she does with
In here, everything is 70's Government Issue, all browns and orange-beige, except for the gown you're wearing which is gray covered in smiling
cartoon cats, and missing one of its ties; the copper tint of madness and melancholy's lavender assaults are camouflaged in here, like something shameful
and difficult to hide is sometimes called a sacrilege instead. Pain has been reduced to the contents of a petri dish in here, suffering only visible when
magnified at high power on a slide, and there's nothing institutional green at Bolivar anymore.
The nurse gently dabs your arm with a cold, wet cotton ball and tries to sweetly say, "We're…starting…you…on…a…new…medicine," but the words pop
out like smoke rings from her mouth.
This is how it happens: back when it was your job to mow the lawn in summer, you finished then stood guzzling Kool-aid until you felt that ache in the middle
of your head. And she knew you drank it straight out of the pitcher, too, and never said a word-but if it happened you were one of the one per cent who
wound up frozen on the inside of that ache, back then they blamed your mother for it. This is how it happens, especially when you're mute and static at
the surface, and at the core, humming fast enough you're still: when the doctor speaks you're lulled by the solidity you've always known you
lacked, and you throttle down whatever life is left inside.
"Miss ? We're gonna get you fixed up and get you out of here."
Like piped tones charm a snake out of its hole, these words hope to draw you to a place you've long forsaken and has long forsaken you, of a home once
glimpsed in a catalog of fever-dreams, where taupe-colored carpet stretches wall-to-wall, and you learn easily how to cook an egg without the yolk breaking,
and whether that boy likes you, or whether you like him, where only Kool-aid makes a frozen ache inside your head.
Built in the days of Prohibition, in large part with the sweat and bones of people the infamous Jim Crow laws prohibited from its services, this edifice of
Southern gothic lore sits in the heart of Bolivar, Tennessee, and signifies a fate that even children understand it's better not to tempt. In every
family there were stories only safe to tell in whispers, of aunts and uncles never seen or never seen again, and they'd say, "your cousin so-and-so
did such-and-such and he wound up in Bolivar, ya know," when children's games began to grate on parents' nerves. Now in these lobotomy-free and
stigma-reduced days, "Western State Institute of Mental Health" or simply "Western State", is what it's called, but to those of a
certain generation and to the locals, the singular appellation of "Bolivar" alone is quite enough to say.
"Give her another point five milligrams of Haldol around nine, let's get this one fixed up and get her out of here."
The doctor gives your hand a warm and reassuring squeeze. And tomorrow brings another doctor who prescribes another drug, and tells another nurse to sink
a needle gently in your vein.
On one side torn and frayed from boredom, faded out by apathy and sunlight on the other, the artificial ferns and ficus trees dot a landscape called
"the dayroom", a boorish punchline to a cruel insipid joke. More than care is managed here, hope is dosed out like a pill; the treatment goal is
ending both your nightmares and your dreams. There's nothing institutional green today and no one stays here long-but everyone who comes here now comes
back, and everything is late November leaves and winter cream, at Bolivar these days.