Red is the new Black

2003-01-10 - 12:41 a.m.

before - after

8100 (ARBCH)

I remember the first night i was there,

trying to slit my wrists with my fingernails


the tears i cried into the flimsy hospital pillow, the ones i wept loudly.

the next day when breakfast was my enemy

all the new people begged me to eat

so i wouldnt lose my privileges

i couldnt imagine what those would be in a place like this

crying into my cheerios, i sat alone

later during goals group, i was taken away by a psychtech who wanted to teach me the ropes of life there

i was told crying would get me nothing but more time for my crime against myself

i wanted my make-up, a huge zit had crept upon my face in the misery.

but alas, glass was not to be allowed, so i bargained for concealer

a little eyeliner and my blue-rimmed eyes were no longer red

there was such an intense pain in my head

a clearness, a clarity, that i wasnt ready for

and i went through the motion for days

waiting for visiting hours and my lost father, to find his way through akron to this floor.

days spent retching at the thought of my mother, screaming at the sight of her when she arrived after constant no's

there was a saviour there, and he helped me bide my time pondering numbers, and soul mates, and taught me the value of one person impacting the world.

But i saw only my past and my 500 dollar man.

Later I would cut my arm with a staple in desperation.

My time circled around the schedule, and my mind swirled between the medicine.

they taught me i was good, i was full of worth, and i was happy.

I fixed so many others who became my nameless friends.

(communications between patients outside of the hospital were forbidden)

I allowed myself to be twisted in favor of societal norms, and 2 weeks later i was out.

the carride home gave me motion sickness

and my brain dipped and fell about the colors, the palate having soared above the off-mint and creme-taupe of 8100.

i felt reborn and lifted.

i ate crab rangoons at the chinese buffet with vigor, but missed hospital food all the same.

i longed for the security i had simply tossed aside to return to chaos.

i talked to the divorce lawyer on the phone and made a better case for my father based on my attempt.

and they all were "so happy!!" that i was alive.

and i felt all my enthusiasm die.

i had no way to fill the voids the clock ticked by- no plan...

i woke and slept and ate on psychiatric time.

they loved me and so did not hide the medicine cabinet from my reach...but later- it was to became an issue

i had to rebuild trust.

family came and brought me presents.

i avoided it all, and wrote letters,

to a boy who didnt even know if i had survived.

and they were sent back.

i turned myself towards forward and tried to remember and not yearn

school passed and faded, and i escaped

i dont remember that summer at all.

education once again commenced and i excelled,

i was bored.

i had a party, was the whore.

that weekend came to its end before long

i tried really hard to carry on

my job held some joy, yet,

i had left behind a chunk of my heart with some guy who hardly knew me

i was withering again

and i needed a friend bad

i wanted a man who delivered understanding, and maybe pizza

he existed but his life was just as twisted

he had a story somewhat like mine

and we drove around to share

we stayed out till god knows when

and then,

it turned out we were together

and i want it to be forever

ive learned from this year in review

that a hug from my dad

is a cradle of life, something to treasure

and love,

includes choices.

Click Complete Anthology for All Poems

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