After making two phone calls (one to my landlady, another to my father who would be visiting me in the morning) I retired to my room. It looked a whole lot smaller in the darkness. I made myself as comfortable as I could on the not-so-pleasant hospital bed, but my eyes did not close. I stared at the ceiling for a while, obsessively going over what I was going to do the next day:
"do NOT try to talk to any of the other patients, this is a hospital, not a tap house. Try to find something you'll actually eat (I'm ridiculously fussy) and thirdly, act completely sane, smile, be courteous, do whatever it takes to help the staff see you aren't a danger to yourself!"
This was my mantra as I rolled over and tried to sleep, doing my best to ignore the door opening and closing while the nurse checked up on me. Eventually though, sleep came at last.
In my dream I was still in the hospital, but I was the only patient...actually I was the only person on the unit. I wandered around, doing my routine of checking the whiteboard to see what therapy/activity I was scheduled for (It was all gibberish). When I woke up, I knew where I was, and why I was there. My morning nurse entered the room, a round woman with brown eyes and chin-length blonde hair.
"Good morning, Liam. Sleep well?" I nodded and sat up, faking a yawn or two. "Any suicidal thoughts last-night or this morning?" I shook my head. "Sorry, Its a grim question to ask first thing in the morning, but I have to. Breakfast'll be in fifteen minutes." And then she left. I got out of bed and put it back in order, and then sat on it and began to read the purple pamphlet again. The nurse returned with a little paper cup of pills, two more than what I usually take.
"Um...I really can't take that much, in case you didn't know, I'm pretty thin." I said as pleasantly as I could.
The nurse didn't smile and nodded her head. "I know, but you can either refuse it entirely, or take all of it." I didn't want to not take the medication, so I took the whole dose (100 milligrams more than what I'm used to) I would come to regret this later that evening. My nurse introduced herself as Arlene. I explained my social anxiety about leaving my room for breakfast, so Arlene brought me my tray. The moment I was dreading...hospital food. I was served a cheese omelette, coffee (which I can't really drink anyways, bad for my nerves) and a carrot muffin. I was amazed that they left a suicidal patient alone in a room with silverware, not that I would have considered anything like that, but it was strange anyways. So I ate less than half of the omelette and drank the surprisingly good orange juice. I really needed to get on a pass to the cafeteria...or I was convinced I would wither away.
I opened my curtains and inhaled deeply. The sun was warm, I could see the roofs of the houses along the street, as well as some cars. The thing that depressed me, was seeing people walk by. I longed to be one of them, going about my daily business without even thinking about being in a place like this. I pulled the comfy chair in front of the window and sat there, watching life exist beyond the glass. Suddenly, a knock at the door and it opened:
"Time for an activity!"