Monday, September 16, 2013

Introduction to Alone - One Point Three

They had given me a mauve colored plastic washbasin with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a small bottle of mouthwash, and a travel size bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s Body Wash.

"No Tears."  Naturally.

I push the door open to my room.

The first bed is empty.

In the second bed lies a tall muscular black man.  Covered in blankets and green hospital scrubs.  His feet dangle off the bed.  The sheets he had cocooned himself with framed his face, and a tattoo of a long-stemmed black rose on his left cheek.  He was sleeping.

Eyes open.  Staring at me without seeing me.  They close.  More sleeping.  Mostly sleeping.  All day.

In between sleeping, Ben told me that he lived with his mom, who suffered from dementia.  That he had lost his job.  That the power company turned off their electricity last week.

"I tried to hang myself while I was in prison," he said.  "It didn't work."  "So now.  I'm here."

Ben's Story.

What's my story?

Inside my head, I scream: "I don't belong here!"
But don't I?

Ben looks up.  "We have so much in common," he says quietly.

And then he smiled.  And then he stopped smiling.

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