For part 1: 


I’m not dead.  At least they told me I wasn’t dead.  They had to give me a sedative because I was screaming so loudly.  I tried to tell them about the girl, but I couldn’t.  I was too tired.  That would be my secret.  Well, mine and the girl’s.  I looked for her today when I went out to the common area.  I saw her, watching the tv.  She was quiet now.  I wanted to go to her and tell her that I saw what had happened.  But, instead, I just watched her.

Her skin is so pale.  I feel cold just looking at it.  My hair stood up as I shivered.  So cold.  Her hair was silent today though.  She exacted her revenge by subduing it into a ponytail.  It makes her look different.  Fresh.  Girl-ish.  Again she rocked back and forth, but this time, her body found its rhythm in the melodies drifting from the tv.   Her fingers, long and thin, moved down, left, right, up.  Down, left, right, up.  1-2-3 and 4. 1-2-3 and 4.  The rhythm of the music.  Keeping time.  Her fingers fascinated me.  The tips on each finger, the nails, were painted today.  A dark violet-blue, like a wild flower.

Down, left, right, up.  I can hear the music coming from her fingers, in the hum of the AC.  It was Mohini Enchantment.   My fingers joined hers.  Only she directed while I played.  My fingers knew every note, every key on the keyboard.  The song begins soft and then crescendos, and I could hear it unraveling perfectly toward the climax.  The song is a butterfly breaking free of its cocoon.  Slowly, slowly the wings spread.  The song ends.

A nurse, a different one this time, came over to me, her green scrubs a welcome relief from all of the white surrounding me.  She asked me if I would like to go into the recreation room.  She told me it was where they keep all of the musical instruments.  She said the others would like to hear me play.

I looked at her, but I couldn’t tell if working in this place had messed with her mind that much, or if she was just stupid.  “No.” I tell her, my voice oddly low and husky.  “No, I can’t play.  I don’t know how to play anymore.”

The look she gave me implied that skepticism.  It angered me.  I knew what she wanted.  But I wasn’t going to let her have it.  Everyone always wants me to play.  Play, play, play.  They want my music.  But  my music is mine.  I created it, and I can kill it.  Nobody will ever have it again.  My hands, the hands that had just been gliding up and down the keys clenched, and I held them to my chest.  My body started shaking as I tried to hold it in.  Don’t give in.  Don’t give in.  My mind was still foggy except for the music playing.  Mohini had turned into Vivaldi’s Winter as my body responded in agitation which was trying to catch up to my mind.  My feet stood me up and began to pace.  “I don’t play.  I can’t play.  I don’t play.  I can’t play.”  I tried to get her to understand.  I tried to get my fingers, which were fighting their imprisonment, to understand.  “I can’t play.”

The nurse continued to watch me, to tell me that it doesn’t matter if I could play or not, I could still the use the piano.  She kept talking. Talking. Talking.  So, I told her okay.  I followed her into the room.  And I saw it.  I walked right over to the piano.  I ran my hands over the smooth ivory keys, the dusty wood.  And then, I did it.  I lifted the lid and slammed it.  Hard.  The strings’ vibrations reverberated throughout the room.  But I didn’t say a word.

The doctor says my right hand is broken, or at least fractured.  All of the fingers and a few of the knuckles are broken.  When he was finished, I looked at the nurse who brought me to him, the one who tried so hard to get me to play.  “Now,” I said, “Now, I can’t even use it.”

2 thoughts on “Asylum, Part 2

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