The poll on my facebook is telling me that the leading genre in the poll “Which genre is your favorite?” is literary fiction. This, of course, means we will have a prompt on it. And by goodness we will.
Prompt: Write a piece in the style of a literary fiction novel.
The nurse was back again. Gone again. Then she was talking, at least I thought she was talking, her mouth moved, yaw, yaw, yaw, but I couldn’t hear her over the warm hum in my ears. I saw my head vibrating with the low, gut jumbling, growl that drowned them out. Drowned them all out.
“And that’s when you you cut their throats Johnny?”
The buzzing stopped and I heard those words a thousand times in a long, distant echo.
The voice was the white coat in front of me. Alpha doctor. No bullshit doctor.
“Johnny, I said that’s when you cut their fucking throats, yeah?”
“Doctor that’s enough.” A woman said. I thought she said. All I saw was the alpha coat, and the warm buzzing was trickling in.
The nurse was back again. Gone again. “Buzz humm humm humm buzz …” I hate waiting and sitting and buzzing. I was chilly and I wanted to lay in my bed and pull the covers up to my nose. I wanted mama to put on the television and let me watch Reagan. President Reagan. Reagan was an actor, Reagan was an funny man who became president. I was funny, but mama didn’t think I could be president.
The voice snapped the noise in my head and light rushed in and I could see clearly then. She was older than me, but just a little. I was eighteen, finally a man, eighteen, and this nurse couldn’t be twenty-two.
“Johnny, sweet heat,” the nurse said. It was the first time I sat up in an hour. The table was synthetic and white. I rested my elbows on it and sat in a plastic chair that wobbled as I tapped my heel over and over and over again.
“Do you have The Hasty Heart?”
I said it before I could stop myself. I broke my rule. Never talk. When you talk then they ask questions, then they think they know something about you, but they don’t know anything.
These villains in their white coats. They said I was a murderer. They said I killed my mama, but they are wrong. I am not a killer. I never killed anything in my life except a small frog, and he was just a small frog.
“Do you mean the movie? The Hasty Heart movie? Yes I believe we can get that.” The nurse sat in my chair’s mate and she turned quick to a little dark nurse in the corner and gestured for her to make note. “That one has president Ronald Reagan in it, am I correct Johnny?”
This white coat was better, softer, but I knew that she was no different from the others. Not really. I’ve seen the nice ones. The nice ones come and go. They always smile. They are gentle and nod and smile and make those eyes at you. Then, when you finally feel like opening up, like telling them something important, like something about Mr. Reagan, or about how a funny guy can be president.
The noise was back in my head and I opened my eyes to the familiar poster on my ceiling. It is bonzo the chimp, and then Mr. Reagan. I smile and pull my covers off and go to the cold desk below the only light the coats leave on at night in our rooms, and I begin to write:
Friday, October 26, 2012
I survived another round with the white coats. I think they are starting to get it. I am still waiting to hear back from Mr. Reagan to know if he has accepted my invitation for the viewing party for Bedtime for Bonzo, and that I think it was much better than some people say.