Apparently it’s Christmas next week.
I say apparently as the days blur into weeks blur into months, much like the sky as it descends over to the horizon. There’s no actual delineated line where one colours decides to let the next have control of the sky so it can rest and wait until evening when they all turn their lights down for the day. Yes, night comes and day breaks, but even then they tend to be flipsides of the same coin. A miasma of loneliness, lethargy and lunacy.
It could have been August, except there wasn’t, normally, snow on the ground. I may have been that the Day After Tomorrow had woken before its alarm, so decided to get an early start, but I doubted it. With the lack of decent heating in the recreation room, we could see our breath. It was cold.
Viola, she of the maximum Medium, convinced she was in contact with ‘The Other Side,’ believed her breath was her soul escaping. She spent the day chasing after it, attempting to push it back in her mouth, screaming every time she saw it spew forth. At first, this was a little funny. Then it was irritating. But, when Viola decided to use half of Mucous Mickey’s toilet roll to block her throat and fell in a convulsing heap, it suddenly became serious and Dr. Connors decided to put the heating on.
Just to shake the chill off, of course. We didn’t feel as if we were sprawled out on a tropical beach somewhere wondering where we’d put that bottle of sun cream or where the waiter was with our cocktail.
No. It was still cold, just a little less so. Enough so that our breath became an invisible escapee, sneaking out of our bodies to disperse, freely, in the air. Well, if only a small part of us could be free, let it be the expulsions of our lungs. Better that than nothing.
Christmas. Next week. Jeremy mentioned it, not realising, bless him, that it was just another day in the asylum. There was no tree. No tinsel wrapped the windows nor cards from friends or family adorned the sill. Presents would be in the form of a pill or injection. Perhaps a little electro-shock to spark up your day.
I have the cries of my Dead to keep me company. To reflect on family and loss. The season of goodwill, except I was good enough to take their will and trample it. Choke it. Destroy it. They remind me, daily, of that. And, to be honest, I am thankful. I should feel their sorrow. I should be suffocated with their screams.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la la-la-blah-blah.
Be well, be happy, be warm. Cherish what you have and worry not for what you don’t. Fears can freeze your heart like the ice that covers the outside of the windows – a slippery coating that obscures the view of the vista beyond. Hopes can be like Viola’s breath – a ghostly mist that slips through the fingers until it vanishes no matter how much you try to hold on.
How many lunatics does it take to build a snowman? None, because they already believe they’re one.