We’re All Equal
Meeting a patient confined by a straitjacket was strangely appealing. It was the first time my erstwhile idea of a patient in a mental institute came alive. Despite the synchrony between my mental picture and the patient in front of me, I trod cautiously. Unpredictability was the only certainty within these walls.
“Hi there! Mind if I have a word with you?”
The patient stopped pacing and turned to face me. Her eccentric braids flew and whipped her throat. The sound of a flagellant’s instrument echoed through the sombre quarters, her purple lips stretching in a sinister smile. I gulped.
“Boy, this damn jacket always makes me itchy! Do you mind?” She hinted at her back, squirming as if holding back pee. My pathological tendency to help guided me from my chair to her rear.
“Oh yeah, that’s the spot.” Her moans, sprinkled with an amorous chuckle, were just loud enough to be audible.
“Oh yes, don’t stop!”
I didn’t, but I poked her bottoms with not-my-hand.
“I…I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to….”
She spun and faced me. “To get noticed?”
I took a step back and bumped into her bed. She smirked. Time sat on my chair and relaxed as we froze. After eons, I finally managed to break her ocular spell and dislodge Time from my perch.
“Why are you restrained here?” The brusqueness in my voice surprised me.
“Because I’m unbounded.”
“Not by the looks of it.” Wiping off conceited grins always pleases me.
But not on that day.
“Vain attempts to contain something they cannot fathom. I can still make things very hard.”
I clicked my pen and looked down at my notebook to deny her the pleasure of looking at my flustered face.
“I doubt you’re the only one who can do that. But I don’t think that reason enough to bind you like this.”
“It’s their idea of fostering equality. When men find someone rise higher than they can grasp, they do everything to drag them down. Or, perhaps they try to keep me from doing this.” She moved and kicked the metal frame of her bed. The structure jumped a couple feet high and cluttered to a rest.
Before I could act, she erupted in a rampage, hitting anything she could find with her feet and head. The noise alerted the guards. She kicked and screamed as they led her out.
“I am limitless! There’s nothing I can’t do! I can overcome pain! I can fly! I can form a government and bring about change!”
As I stood panting, a ward boy touched my shoulder. “Don’t worry. She cannot overcome chemical dosage.”