Monday 20 May 2024

Deluded is disarmed (draft)


My room is rectangular, white and silent. My bed has a white enamel frame and sensible metal springs. High up, on the south wall, there is a square, metal-framed window, too small for me to jump out of even if the reinforced glass could be broken. I cannot jump out, but the sky can and does float in whenever I want it to.

Two unoriginal landscapes hang on the south and east walls. One depicts a field of corn in the foreground, with trees in the background.

The other, trees in the foreground and many fields of corn in the back-ground. Both scenes are overlooked by a summer sky.

There are two hard chairs and one reasonably comfortable, upholstered one that I deny myself and reserve for visitors. Oh yes, I still practise self-denial as others exercise their bodies. And with just as much pleasure.

For the rest, there is a bedside table with a small cupboard under-neath, a washstand with an unbreakable, blue, plastic water-jug and an equally unbreakable, blue, plastic beaker. My toothbrush and toothpaste sit happily in the beaker waiting to be used.

Not my razor. I do not have a razor any more, not even a safety razor. The authorities, in their utter ignorance of my character and disposition, fear that if I had access to a sharp enough blade of any kind I might try to do away with myself. Instead, a razor is brought to me every morning. I shave under the closest supervision. As soon as I have finished, the razor is taken away.

The light is attached to the ceiling, out of my reach. It is controlled by a master switch in the ward-orderly's office. At seven every morning it is switched on. At eleven every evening it is turned off. Day in, day out. winter and summer, it never changes. The authorities have no sense of diurnal variation.

No doubt, the authorities think that it was they who decided to send me here, It was I who decided to come here, By my actions most carefully calculated I made sure that the judge had no alternative but to send me here. I have no doubt that the authorities think that i am confined here at their pleasure. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. I would only be confined if I wanted to leave. I have no intention of leaving. Let the authorities have their little delusions. Deluded is disarmed.