It was the uniforms that I thought would make it all better. Once the uniform took charge, the burrowing under the cotton sheets would subside. The dreams of banging into the wall over and over again would end. That inevitable fear of death and the ache of eternity would no longer be winning. It was the uniform that was supposed to save me.
Visions of controlled environments make that sense of despair turn 180 degrees and bring hope to the forefront, excitement even. Excitement for the future. For the future of the remainder of my days. The future even when I am no longer in this body. Visions of pets I have lost, Grandma, Andrew, and maybe a celebrity here and there to greet me would be a reality. There would be a sense of order and a lack of the absurd, an understanding of how it all makes sense. The controlled space filled with uniforms. The cloth of clarity. The crisp cotton that would save my life.
Tap, tap, tap. My internal demon was awoken. “This is the police, and we would like you to let us in.” The uniform. The demon flew out the window. If I was being saved why did I feel so ridiculous? Why did I not feel like I was going to be saved? The blood, the scars, the yelling, the sleep, the heartache, and the sublime all seemed like yesterday’s news. This wasn’t real.
“She is worried about you.”
“She shouldn’t have left than.”
There were ashes from 100 cigarettes scattered on the table. The razor was still there. The pills were gone, she took them. The cat was sleeping at my feet oblivious to the pain and chaos and the unreality of her home. I wanted to trade places with her. I am not really here.
I opened the door.
“There is the razor!” Flashlights in the home that was once ours. The uniform swooshed, creating a new sound. Was it the sound of my saviour? Was there really a heaven? Would I be like everyone else? This is not how I imagined it. I was scared. Embarrassed. I was not like everyone else.
The neighbours will know. I am not ready to let it be known.
Quick! Tell them you are fine!
“Get in the car please.”
“You have a lot to live for.”
Stares. Everyone was staring. The police, the nurses, the doctors, the paramedics. The uniforms. This where the saving happens. Why was I not feeling safe?
“You are fine.”
You are not crazy enough. You are an idiot. You shouldn’t be here. Stop wasting my time. Here is a list of more uniforms to help you. Get out.