Dr. Chen should have prescribed Prozac to me. The anti-depressant is far less toxic than the newer class of drugs. Instead I was given Celexa, a flavorful, anti-depressant.
It appeared that all the patients insideTrinitas Hospital psychiatric ward were taking the little red pill. Some hid them under the tongues, others spit them out, and a few crazies had ‘take-downs’ simply because they were not cooperating at pill-taking time.
I tried my best to keep to myself and avoid the ego struggles within that hell hole. My silence proved to be a deadly mistake. They diagnosed my desire to remain out of the loop as anti-social behavior and quickly labeled me with schizophrenia and extended my involuntary hospital stay for well over a month.
“Open you mouth or you will never get out of here.”
“I don’t care,” I said. “Keep me forever if you want,” I laughed.
“All right, Mr. Taylor. You will not be going outside on the next smoke break.”
I quickly grabbed the tiny plastic cup and swallowed all of my pills as if I had given head to a hunk with a stinky crotch, swallowing the load not out of love, but pure infatuation. I needed to smoke desperately and would have fucked a woman just for some nicotine.
Something happened to the creative side of my mind a few days after taking Celexa. The left side of my brain, the creative side, suddenly went haywire. I was thirsting for a creative outlet—anything—writing, painting, singing, dancing, whatever—I needed to let it all out.A kid with spiked hair was in one of the group rooms sitting all alone one evening when I walked by with restless leg syndrome. All day I walked up and down the hallways of the hospital with extreme anxiety. I couldn’t sit still until I saw his beautiful face. I wanted to mold a statue of him from the clay we used during our art therapy classes twice a week, but there was no clay. He was drawing on a sketch pad. His parents brought him a wooden case filled with colored pencils. I walked into the room and sat across from him. I hadn’t made friends with anyone at Trinitas because they all looked crazy.
Not the twenty-something kid.
“What happened to your neck?” I asked the strange boy, referring to what appeared to be tiger claw marks or vampire scratches on his trachea.
“I scratched myself,” he replied without taking his eye off of a bouquet of flowers sitting in the center of a table in the room. He was busy drawing.
“May I have a piece of paper and one of your pencils?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said while carefully removing a blank sheet from the last page of his tablet.
I sensed him looking at me as I started to draw. My hands seemed to float on their own, as if I were tracing and touching the flowers with the tip of the pencil. I refused to look down at my paper, as I learned in art class in high school years ago. I knew my drawing was accurate. I could feel it. I didn’t have to look down. The pills enabled me to trust my own artistic merit. Two more ice cream seasons for that little boy, I thought to myself as I sketched away. I knew he would grow up to be gay. I could sense it. He would break many hearts, I realized. My gaydar also went haywire on Celexa.I handed back his pencil.
“Let me see,” he requested.
I looked down and was shocked. “Did this come from me?” I asked the kid.
He was suddenly angry with me.“Very good,” he said. “How’d you do that?”
“I don’t know,” I said, although I did understand what had just happened. The pills had enabled me to somehow steal the boy’s artistic skills. Our minds had somehow become one in that room. Everyone else was in the recreation room watching cartoons on television.
The talents buried deep within his subconscious were released in that room because he too was on the drugs. He must have felt violated. I was sorry and meant no harm.
“Hey listen, I’m a talented writer. I’ll let you have some of my talents if you want.”At that moment, Dr. Chen walked by the room—
“Charles. You are talking to people again. This is so good. Good for you. I’m going to go write up your discharge paperwork now.”
The young man seemed angry. He ran from the group room into his own hospital bed. I was sorry for suggesting that I had somehow tapped into the artistic side of his mind. I hoped he wouldn’t cut himself again.
My legs were hurting again. I walked up and down the floors of the hospital, passing the boy’s room approximately every ten minutes. I didn’t say anything to him, but could sense him thinking as I walked by. He wasn’t sketching he was writing.
Suddenly, I felt violated and couldn’t wait to escape that place. I hoped the boy wouldn’t take all of my craft before I got released from there, but his hands were moving fast, as if an entire novel had been stolen from my medicated mind.