The door was locked and I’d had my nose pressed firmly against the window pane for approximately five minutes before realising that there was a sign on the other side. I read the words backwards through the glass; an experiment for the mentally distorted… the words told me to ring the bell, ring the bell and embrace melancholy. I wouldn’t keep her waiting.
The woman at the desk wore a yellow shirt and a happy smile, contrasting dangerously against the glum blue hue of the walls. I’d have torn out her throat, but blood doesn’t soak well into the leaves of potted plastic plants. Instead I took my seat and waited to be called.
The woman who collected me smelled strongly of cheap perfume, and her multi-coloured vest top lay over her crinkled skin and harmonised very closely with the yellow of her teeth. She led me through the dreary corridors, past rooms filled with silence and the told words of the agonised and afraid. Our room had no windows. The woman’s blue eyeshadow told of a dinner lady, having taken a wrong turn and having been adorned with the bright coloured clothes of the psychiatric ward of the hospital. She smiled at me and held her pen between her old, frail fingers. Today she would be serving patronisation.
Some days were worse than others. Today I was careless and fuelled with thoughts of disarray. I had been here before, a thousand times perhaps, in different rooms and with different nurses, all with a cheery smile and a chest without a heart. I was interesting if I was bleeding. Today I was only mordant.
She asked me if I had any obsessive thoughts recently. I told her that I had. She asked me if I had tried to harm myself recently. I told her that I had. She asked me if I had planned to kill myself again. I told her that I had a bag of various pills that I had collected over the years, just incase. She told me that it was dangerous to have these pills because I lived in the same house as a 12 year old. I told her that being 12 doesn’t necessarily make you an idiot, nor a master locksmith. Nor a zookeeper for that matter.
She told me that pills were dangerous. I told her that oxygen was dangerous, if you had too much of it. And water. And love. And chicken. She asked me if the television ever spoke to me, and I told her that of course it did; how else would I know what stuff to buy? She asked me if I was full of doubt, and I told her that I was mostly made up of water.
She wrote something down on her clip board and told me that she would be in touch, and to have a good day. On the way out I noticed a single real plant, with luscious green leaves in a ceramic pot. The next time I would be bringing my knife.