Neurosis- 2200 words (explicit language)


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  1. #1

    Neurosis- 2200 words (explicit language)

    Chapter 1 Way to Go Mila

    FUK LIFE is hacked into her calf. “I’m Macy, she intones. And you can stop staring now.” Mila blanches. “I’m…I’m Mila. Sorry. I’m sorry”
    “No big deal,” she sighs and throws herself heavily onto her bed.
    The room is an agglomeration of dull, faded pastels idly trying to relax the patients out of madness. The jumble of muted coloring only augments boredom. Pink. Yellow. Green. Blue. Pink. Yellow. Green. Blue. Thick grids on the windows to reinforce the madness. It overlooks complex squiggles of parking lots and baby wards. This is Six South.
    Two beds. Macy and Mila. Macy with her hot pink hair ending in a horrific rat tail, and a fish hook jutting from her nose that the orderlies would soon confiscate. Utterly beguiling girl.
    “So. What’s your story?”
    Macy with the FUK LIFE in your lacerated calf, thinks Mila. Macy with the pink rat tail and the fish hook in your nostril, why do you ask? So Mila gingerly pulls up her sleeves. Deep gutting slashes streak up the underside of her pale forearms. “Oh, Mila,” she says softly. “That’s a terrible way to go.”
    And that’s when she starts crying hysterically into her pillow. Macy, coming over and patting her on the head and rolling her eyes says, “There. There. Yep. I think you’re gonna fit in just fine here.” She takes Mila by the shoulder and conducts her on a tour of psych floor number Six South.
    A terrible way to go. But she didn’t. She had stayed right there and had come right here. She would be forever tormented by voices egging her on. Do it. Do it. Do it.
    Two hospital gowns doubled front and back over her mutilated body. Feet shuffling in special slippy socks that every patient dons. Arm in arm (breaking patient to patient conduct rules discussed later in chapter ?) with a fellow mutilator. A friend?
    No. Not a friend. There was the imposing barrier of the hot pink hair and the fish hook that would keep them soundly apart. A companion in crazy but not in the outside world. Macy is already planning a party, with drugs and drink, that Mila would soon be invited to. She would later politely decline, solidifying their non-friendship forever.
    It is around Christmas. It’s eight days away in fact. Snowing and toasty warm in the ward. Mila would rather stay nestled in her bed but Macy has other ideas. Insists on dragging her into a world of neurosis.

    Chapter 2 Don’t Go to India

    This is a day of seconds for Mila. For the second time in her life, the first being yesterday, she rides in an ambulance and lays strapped down on her very own stretcher. For the second time in her life she wants to die. For the second time she doesn’t.
    Dying is like a walk in the park. One slice. Two slice. Go away. Except on this walk you’re never supposed to come back.
    All strapped in by John the ambulance driver man. Dan the ambulance man is sitting next to Mila deriding John for having taken “the bumpiest fucking road possible while I’m trying to write here and Mila’s trying to sleep.” Sleep. That’s a real laugh. She had not slept in four days.
    Shit happens she guesses.
    She’s gone longer than this before. No REM for weeks. But the suicide attempt was a new addition to her so called routine. She really didn’t know what set her off. Wasn’t there enough already? School. Parents. Boys. Girls. The bubble burst (as bubbles are want to do).
    Next thing she knew she was lying on her floor just bleeding out and waiting for the inevitable that was yet to come. Staring at the ceiling. Fan spinning lazily. Why a fan in winter? What would be her last thought? Her last sensation? The breeze flowing over her face so good. The feel of the carpet on her bare arms. Instead of dying she’d waited four hours in the ER at Pilson for Dan and John to arrive to fill out all of their tedious paperwork. The nurses there were really kind, she recalls. Feeding her chips and soup. Soothing her. Soothing her mother too.
    “How are you doing?” asks Dan.
    “Tired,” she counters. He consults his chart.
    “Yeah, I bet,” and he makes her laugh a little. “Crank up the tunes, John!” Dan sings her, “I hear the secrets that you SLEEP when you’re talking in your sleep!” Tells her about his navy days, how he was a mama’s boy, about chess in his high school days, about past bitchy girlfriends and his new fiancé. She tells him she was born at the hospital they’re leaving now and he says, “that’s pretty cool, Mila. It’s Mila, right?”
    “Yeah. Mila.” I’m sorry but she just isn’t feeling like herself today.
    Dan and John wheel Mila through labyrinths of complex foyer and corridor of this new hospital. All white walls and disinfectants. All faces staring from rooms gone by. They ride on the elevator up up up to the top floor so she cannot escape. So on the up and up she wishes she could push that big red button in Willy Wonka that breaks through that glass ceiling but she can’t because there is no fucking glass ceiling and no physical way to break free. No oompa loompas or vernicious knids or happy endings for Charlie here. The sixth floor is the end of the line. Please Mom, don’t tell anybody I’m here. Please. Sign on the door says it’s never too late for a happy ending. Sign says but you are screwed for the time being Mila.
    The nurse weighs her. 120 pounds and six feet is pretty lanky Mila concludes. She and food haven’t been agreeing too much. Like there’s some acid resistant rope constricting around her esophagus. Or something. Nurse whistles, “damn gurl you ah thin. Gotta get some mashed potatoes into you girl. Those thangs ah loaded. Mmmhmmmm.”
    She checks her heart rate. 130 bpm. Way high. She is shaking and fighting for calm breath. I wanna go home. And that’s when Shawna, that’s the nurse, cloaks a white blanket over her shoulders and gives her a box of tissues. “You’re gonna need ‘em,” she says sounding quite apologetic.
    Dan’s at the front desk and he’s leaving now. It now dawns on her that she’ll probably never see him again. And he’s kind of cute, all lesbianism aside (discussed in chapter ?)They fist bump. She’s a bit sadder.
    The interview process is thorough and brutal. What is your sexual orientation? How many boys/girls have you been with? How far have you gone? Any childhood traumas? Hell yes. Oh, describe them. Tell us about the relationship between your parents. How would you describe your mother? How would you describe your father? How often have you cut? How long have you been depressed? How often have you thought about suicide? What brings you here now? When did your suicidal thoughts begin and Shawna was right because she has a lap full of tissues and nowhere to put them and any substance abuse?
    All this asked by Rick. The night guy. And the rules.
    No electronics.
    No band or drug paraphernalia.
    No strings.
    No sharp objects.
    No patient to patient contact.
    No more than 3 day outfits and 2 night outfits.
    No television at 9 through 5 and past 10 at night.
    Bed at 11 for adults.
    Bed at 10 for adolescents.
    Do NOT go into other patients’ rooms.
    Do NOT go to laundry room unattended.
    Do NOT stay on the phone for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
    Sign out phones at desk.
    Do NOT stand near the nurses’ station.
    Drugs to be administered at breakfast, lunch, and after nine pm.
    “Tomorrow will be busy for you,” says Rick. “You’ll be writing your autobiography and getting acquainted with the ward.”
    Great, Mila thinks. I thought I was here to relax. Like some extended vacation. Or something. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
    Her mom had been at her side the whole time sniveling and wringing her hands. “Oh, Mila honey I’ll be back later with your clothes and things. No strings. No band stuff. Your toothbrush, shampoo, soap…” Mila truly didn’t hear any of it. She was off in her own daze. How exactly did she get here? Dan?
    She is now staring at the ceiling of her room. There’s a big pink wad of gum stuck up there. Mila remembers everything. Like chewing gum is one of the oldest candies in the world. For thousands of years, people of all cultures have enjoyed the many benefits of chewing various gums, resins and latex secretions of plants. Like the first patent for chewing gum was issued in 1869 to William F. Semple, a dentist from Mount Vernon, Ohio (U.S. patent #98,304 of course). Like the largest bubble ever blown was 23 inches in diameter. That record was set July 19, 1994 by Susan Montgomery Williams of Fresno, California. (Guinness Book of World Records 1998 of course). Like the British singer Lonnie Donegan achieved some success with his 1959 novelty song entitled Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on The Bedpost Overnight? All this from the International Association of Chewing Gum’s website.
    Sometimes it was too many facts. Too many random tidbits. Like Abraham Lincoln hated going to the dentist. Like seahorses can rotate their eyes 360 degrees and each independent of each other. Like your heart beats with enough strength to shoot blood thirty feet.
    The facts would pop and gush in her head like so much gum and blood. On these days she would have unrelenting migraines and the nightmares were unspeakable.

    The next day, she wept into her pillow and took the grand tour. Dining room with puzzles and half completed crosswords. Laundry room. Nurses’ station. Therapy rooms. Craft room where they keep all those dangerous scissors and strings. Place where they bring the food in. Dorm with your own bathroom. And that’s about it.
    She wrote her autobiography. Molested grades 3rd through 7th by my father. Raped last month. Depressed since sixth grade. Cut since 7th. First suicide attempt was two days ago. Came here yesterday. And that’s about it.
    Hey. In India, every 26 minutes a woman is molested. In India, every 34 minutes a woman is raped. In India, every 93 minutes a woman is killed. Mila just though you might like to know.
    Another nurse, Julia, like the one who fed her chips and soup in the other hospital where she was born, takes the autobiography from her. She’s really fat and Mila feels bad for thinking this but she jiggles away and Mila kind of can laugh at that.
    Fast forward. It’s two am and her roommate is snoring blissfully. One pink rat tail is all she sees under a bundle of blankets. Mila’ll need pills to sleep and the chubby nurse provides two green ones. That night she has no particularly bad nightmares. A first for Mila.
    She sits on her bed the next morning wondering how she got into all this so quick and so deep. And how it didn’t happen sooner. Why wasn’t she admitted to a ward in third grade when those…things happened? Or last month when that…thing happened? Well. There’s nothing to hide anymore. She’s surrounded on all sides by major depression, hallucinations, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, delusion disorders, anxieties, paraphrenia, chemical imbalances and who knows what else.
    All she seems to do anymore is weep. She’s used up all her tissues already. She quit cross country and lost weight somehow. Switched food for mass depression and a suicide attempt. What a life she has.

    Her mom’s the one who found her. Half a pint of blood gushing out of each arm. She was barely lucid and it felt so good so dizzy so surreal to be outside her own skull. So good. Sounds disconnected from the world reverberated in her brain which weighs three pounds approximately. The smell of her blood would be the last scent before her death. But the next thing she smelled was her mother’s lavender perfume. Heard her frantically on the phone, “my baby is dying help help.” Damn dog yipping in the background of her skull. She bandages her wrists with towels and hovers over her. She really should have taken the pills too. She stares off under her bed where she sees her dog who squealed on her. Damn dog. She never did care for him too much.

    There are still no linens on her bed yet. Don’t know how this was overlooked. Black and Sassy or Big Julia will fix that though. It’s Black and Sassy for the win and she wants to change her bandages too. I want to die. I want to bleed out on the floor in my room. You damn dog.
    Blood takes up about 7% of a person’s weight unless that person is Big Julia.
    Her mom the neat freak she is now will be scrubbing the blood stains out of the carpet. She’s one of those freaks with the cleaning blogs. You know Tupperware Tuesday and Fresh Linens Friday. Today Mila attempted suicide and I got the stains out with some clover. Real, genuine four-leaf clovers come from the White Clover plant, trifolium repens…
    But really she was terrified like Mila’d never seen her before. Eyes big and buggy like a fish. Fish have been on earth for more than 450 million years you know. Now she’s flopping around. Sobbing like fish don’t. Running her hands through her hair like fish don’t.
    Mila knows why she did it. There’s no room in this world for me and people like my dad and my rapist. All the potential rapists and molesters crowd me out of my own breathing space and I shut myself in a bell jar voluntarily. Don’t go to India. No. There’s no more room on this elevator.
    Ever since dad sat her on his lap in third grade.
    Mila sleeps and wakes in a fetal position. This hot pink rat tail girl who introduced herself as Macy leads her to the dayroom. Pale sunlight shines through the windows. There are tables bolted to the ground and green plastic chairs. They wobble when they sit. The nurses come around taking blood pressure and asking when your last bowel movement was. Mila knows no interesting facts about bowl movements and frankly doesn’t want to know any.
    There are a lot of men in bathrobes here and a lot of women with unwashed hair. There’s a half finished puzzle of adorable kittens playing in some autumn leavers sitting on her table. One’s face is covered in some kind of sticky purple jam. A boy shambles out of his room wearing two hospital gowns. “Are you gonna eat that?” Before she answers he inexplicably takes one of the kittens’ ears and swallows it. Shambles away. “Oh, that’s Willy. We don’t know about him,” whisphers Macy to Mila.
    That old guy over there can’t remember anything for longer than thirty seconds. He waves at Mila. “Name’s Don. JesusChristshitfuck it’s cold in here!” She points out Erik, wearing a Metallica t-shirt he’s not supposed to be wearing. “He’s mine.”
    Don waves. “Name’s Don.” And again about how JesusChristshitfucking cold it is in here.
    They eat breakfast. Graham crackers, artificial looking sausage, and blocks of pancake. Square. Orange juice with extra extra extra pulp. She dips the graham crackers in the orange juice and Mila laughs because Macy looks at her like it’s the craziest thing she’s ever seen at 6 South. “You people,” she says like she’s not one of them. But she is. The burns on her arms and the FUK LIFE in her leg says she belongs right there with the rest of them.
    Macy sees her sometimes tracing her finger over her leg scar and sighing. Regret?
    The day continues will arts and crafts. Mila draws the least dark thing she can think of: a butterfly. But still she paints it red and black. Maybe that’s what she is. A gloomy pretty thing. Macy says it’s beautiful.







    Relaxation time begins. That means being locked in your room while the social workers and nurses talk about you. Macy says she’s heard them through the walls. “They say my progress isn’t good. They say yours is unpredictable. Too soon. Go figure.”
    Mila just lays there wondering again how everything had gotten so out of hand. Here she was now anyway. Rotting away in this stylish pastel jail. When does it end? The nurse said about a week until she gets out and even then there’s therapy outpatient groups she’ll get pushed into after that. She doesn’t want to spend time talking about her feelings to total strangers. She just wants home. Lying on the floor. Bleeding. Gone.

  2. #2
    Member Prinkes's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    I like Macy and I like Mila, but the story lacks a sense of general clarity. I'm guessing from your title that you want to disorient readers, or at least make them think sort of like Mila, but if you are going to write confusing prose, then simplify the actions of your story. I'm not always sure what's going on, or what has already happened - specifically the ambulence ride confused me. I'm not sure why the India sentence comes up, and the time skips confuse me. Perhaps adding in some line breaks, or italicizing what's happening in the past, could clear that up.

    "Dying is like a walk in the park."
    I love the idea of this metaphor, but I want more explanation around it... Why is dying like a walk in the park? Because it's easy? Simple? Because it takes you somewhere?

    Overall, I'm intrigued by this story. With a little clarification here and there, I think it could turn out really interesting. This kind of story is right up my alley. I'll read more updates if you post them!
    We'll Carry On.
    Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them, in order that the reader may see what they are made of.- Rule Number 6, Kurt Vonnegut
    "I’m happiest when I’m writing."- John Green

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