The number of slats in the air vents under the window.
A small amount of glitter was peppered where the vent met the tile on the floor.
I kind of giggled thinking of the irony of something so notoriously associated with magical happiness and unicorns presented itself in this room.
It was an omen of sorts, I supposed.
I curled into my feelings of defeat on the oddly concave mattress.
Outside, I could see the tips of trees almost barren of leaves hiding behind the intimidating brick walls of the hospital.
Behind me was my boisterous roommate who busily rummaged through her stacks of books and cleared her throat a thousand times over.
I could hear her approaching by the sound of her distinct shuffle.
I rolled over and she was standing at the side of my bed.
“It’s scary as fack* here. You’ll be ok ’cause you’ve got me little bird. I’m the Mama bird and I am also the self appointed manager here at the ‘Puzzle Factory’. Get it? We are all missing the pieces of our puzzles. I’ve been here for 22 days. These assholes formed** me. How long is your form?”
I was too afraid to tell her that I was actually there on my own free will.
“I’m really depressed.”
“Come. You need a hug.”
She pulled me in and held me tightly.
I couldn’t hold my stoic presence any longer and just let go.
I was a puddle in this stranger’s arms.
“You’re going to do good,” she said as she shook my shoulders. “If you don’t, then fack me. I’ll have to quit my job as a facken psychic.”
I began to laugh.
“You’re going to be just fine. Just play their game and you’ll make it out of here in no time.”
I don’t want to play a “game”.
As much as I detested the fact that I was there, I knew this was the only place that would keep me safe from myself.
I started to think about the woman who had occupied my bed hours before I “moved in”.
I wondered if she had found her “puzzle pieces” and had decked them with the same glitter found on the air vents.
I imagined her smile as she walked out of the locked doors and into the sun.
I wanted that.
I needed that.
I was going to fight for that.
As my roommate said “I’m facken going to do this.”
Just a wee note…thank you everyone for your outpouring of support. I read all of your comments and tweets and emails. They give me strength everyday xoxo
*Fack: She actually says fack instead of fuck. Remember when I used to use the word fack so that I wouldn’t sound too vulgar but then I decided to use the word fuck because it has more power to it. It’s a solid word.
**Form/Formed: If you are a threat to yourself or others and refuse to stay in the hospital, you can still be involuntarily admitted to the hospital for at least 72 hours.