Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the disclaimer. That's right, the disclaimer. Since this is an adult-oriented story, the American apple pie institution known as parental discretion will not be able to cleanse any sense of innuendo or sarcasm from the words that might actually make you think.
So protect your family. This story contains explicit depictions of things which are real. These real things are commonly known as life. So, if it sounds sarcastic, don't take it seriously. If it sounds dangerous, do not try this at home -- or at all. And if it offends you, just don't read it.
WARNING!! This story contains SLASH! That means homosexuality, male/male relationships, gay people, and possibly graphic m/m sex. If you are offended by this, I suggest you stop being such a fucking hippie, and if that doesn't work, press the BACK button.
Additional warnings: This story may contain one or more of the following: drug use/abuse, alcohol use/abuse, physical/mental/sexual abuse, graphic violence, graphic sexual acts, blasphemy, vile language, self-injury, suicidal ideation, homicidal fantasies, removal of mattress tags and/or gross misuse of kitchen appliances.
You have been disclaimed.
I want to thank Gretchen, Kalmia, Peter, and Tabby for helping me out immensely with this story. I lurve you guys. *Smooch*
If anyone feels the urge to email me about this story, my email is: [email protected]
And now that all that's out of the way...
Thoughts Without Words
Chapter One: Welcome To My Nightmare
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I used to have a window. A lovely double-paned soundproof window, with metal grating on both the inside and the outside. If I pressed my face to that crisscrossed metal, and arranged it so that my eyes lined up with two of the holes in the grate, I could see the trees and the sky and the neatly-mowed lawn, unmarred by the spider web of black steel. I could almost pretend I was on the outside. But then that cold metal pressing up against my forehead would remind me.
This is my existence.
This place has no windows. None that I can see, at least. They're all locked away, in doctors' offices and nurses' stations, as if a view of the outside world is a privilege, something not meant for the likes of me. The trees and the sky and the birds and the clouds are something reserved for those with slightly more sanity than I.
My therapist, he has a window. So does my psychiatrist; and the youth counselor as well. But not I. No, not I.
I lament this fact as I stare out of my therapist's window. He has a nice view of the front lawn and the parking lot of this vile place. His window is double-paned, tinted and soundproof, of course. Just like all the other windows in the building. We can't have the insanity leaking out into the open, now can we?
And then that man's damnably monotonous voice interrupts my reverie.
"You seem preoccupied, Nathan. Is there something bothering you?" His voice gives the impression that he doesn't really care. Which, I'm sure, he doesn't.
Well, your use of my full name is bothering me, for one, I think, but don't bother saying out loud. I am not Nathan. I'm Nate. Only the damnable cunt of a woman who regrettably gave birth to me calls me Nathan. But this man doesn't seem to care. Although perhaps it has something to do with my first visit to him.
The name plate on his desk had read Dr. Richard Clarke.
"How are we feeling today, Nathan?" he had asked me from behind his massive oak desk, his voice as emotionless and toneless as it is today. I had already asked him to call me Nate, but no, the man told me that if my mother had meant me to be called Nate, she would have named me so. He earned my hatred with that one sentence alone, although I did not let him know that.
"Well, Richard -- may I call you Dick?" I had asked him with almost mocking politeness, lounging back comfortably on his brown leather couch.
"I'd prefer you call me Doctor Clarke."
"Right. Mm. Well, I don't know about you, Dick, but I'm feeling peachy," I'd answered with a winning smile. It had been the beginning of a wonderful relationship. A love/hate sort of relationship, really. He hates me, and I love it.
"Nathan?" comes the doctor's dull voice. "I asked you a question."
"Hrm? Oh, yes. Right. What was it?"
"I asked if there's something bothering you."
"Would you like a list?"
Dick sighs. "Why don't you just pick the thing that's bothering you the most, and we'll talk about that."
"We? We'll talk about that? Since when are you a participant in my therapy, Dick? When did you stop playing tic-tac-toe on your clipboard and start conversing with me? It seems as though I missed this magical transformation."
"You seem irritated, Nathan. Are you irritated?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, I am. In a manner of speaking. But you see, it seems to be growing into more of a pain than an irritation."
"I see..." Dick sets his clipboard on his desktop and looks at me expectantly, hands crossed, small round glasses sliding down his bony nose. "Would you like to tell me about this pain?"
"Well, the longer I sit here and listen to you spouting your dime-a-dozen psychiatrist's phrases, the more intense this pain seems to get."
"I see," he replies doubtfully.
"This pain, well... it's sort of generalized, but it seems to be mostly concentrated in my ass." I nod in mock thoughtfulness.
"I see," Dick says crisply, standing from his desk and walking toward the door to his office. "Well, it seems our time is over for now, Nathan," he announces, holding the door open for me.
I stand, taking one last lingering look out his window, and exit the room, where I find a short, chunky nurse with a bad bleach job sitting in a plastic chair, reading what looks to be a trashy romance novel.
"Stella, Nathan and I are finished for today," Dick informs her. She dog-ears a page in her book and stands. A run in her flesh-colored nylons reveals a flash of one pale, flabby calf.
"Thank you, Doctor Clarke. I'll take him from here."
I smile charmingly at Stella, but she only rolls her eyes and starts down the hallway. I, in my dirty socks, follow quickly, like the obedient little puppy this place tries to turn all its patients into.
Stella pushes a key into a lock on the wall next to a door labeled "UNIT B" in big black letters. A small light above the door switches from red to green, and a buzzer sounds. Ah, that buzzer. So familiar; usually signaling a change of scenery. Arrival or departure of a nurse or patient, or arrival from or departure for the cafeteria -- or, more rarely, the gym.
Stella holds the door open for me. "After you, Mister James," she says with false sweetness, which never quite succeeds in masking the bitterness lying just beneath.
I flash the woman a cheerful smile as I pass through the doorway and into the main hall of Unit B. My home, of sorts.
To the left of me is a rather long hallway filled with identical wooden doors, labeled with big black numbers and letters -- ten doors on each side. At the very end of the hallway is a door with a glowing green "EXIT" sign above it. A blatant lie, that sign is. It requires a key to open it, just like every other goddamn door in the building.
Instead of taking a left, I go straight -- not all the way down the hall, which leads to many more identical wooden doors labeled with different numbers and letters -- but to the window of the nurse's station. Stella's shoes make clicking noises on the black-and-white checkered linoleum floor as she follows behind me.
I peer through the Plexiglas sliding window. There are several orderlies and one nurse inside, with their backs to me. I try to slide the window open, but it's locked from the inside.
"Get away from the window," Stella snaps from behind me. Bah. Even windows that don't lead to the outside are forbidden. "Go to the Dayroom," she says, and flicks her hand in the general direction of the room as she inserts another key into the door of the nurse's station and goes inside.
I ignore Stella's order, as well as the large "NO LOITERING" sign just above the window, and hover around a while longer, trying to see whatever it is the orderlies are doing.
I catch sight of a blood pressure cuff, which turns out to be attached to an arm, which leads to the shoulder and then the rather nice body of a young man -- and as I get a quick, fleeting glimpse of his face, I realize I don't know him. I perk up immediately. I know every patient on this unit. Therefore, he has to be either a nurse, a visitor, a doctor, some other hospital employee, or a new admit... and only new admits need their blood pressure taken.
I get on my knees on top of the chair that sits just under the window and crane my neck to the side, trying to see past one particularly fat nurse's ass -- one would think that a woman whose entire career is centered in health would pay a little more attention to her own -- but I can't see his face.
"Can I help you?" comes a rude voice as a large, ugly face suddenly pops up in front of me. I yelp in surprise as Nurse Jones's wrinkly glare catches me off guard, and then I'm falling backwards, my arms windmilling briefly before I swoosh through the air and my back collides with cold linoleum.
Holy fuck. I can only thank the god of mental institutions that that old hag stays in the nurse's station. If she woke me up in the morning, her wrinkled old ass of a face might finish the job I started and kill me.
Nurse Jones continues glaring down at me as I pick myself up off the floor and dust myself off. She unlocks the Plexiglas window and slides it open.
"Either go to your room, or go to the dayroom, but get away from the nurse's station!" she barks at me.
Despite my desire to tell her to back to the kennel from whence she came, I turn and start toward the dayroom, muttering, "Christ, go gnaw on a shoe or something," under my breath. The last thing I need to do is make the woman (and I use the term 'woman' loosely) with the syringes angry.
The first door on the left is propped open with a chair, and I can hear some kind of group going on inside. As I pass through the doorway and into the pale-blue room, I see Angie's impeccable blond head bobbing up and down as she talks animatedly about something undoubtedly inane. The girl never stops bloody talking; I don't understand why her roommate hasn't smothered her in her sleep. Half the patients sitting around the table are nearly sleeping, bored to tears with Angie's yakking, and the other half are in a drug-induced state that may as well be sleep.
She keeps on babbling as I take a seat on an uncomfortable blue vinyl couch. I suppose I should be grateful that she chooses to ignore my presence; otherwise I might never escape the hell that is Angie's talking.
I don't even know what she's talking about, really. Her mouth keeps moving, and sounds keep bursting forth, but nothing worth hearing comes out. I suppose I've learned to tune her out. But sometimes I wonder if the noises that come from that great gaping hole in her face pass through her brain before they leave her head.
There's some guest speaker sitting silently at the front of the room in one of the uncomfortable blue chairs. They're like Playskool plastic chairs for crazy people; one big hollow chunk of blue plastic in the vague shape of a chair. Wooden or metal chairs pose too much of a hazard to crazy people, you see. Wood can be broken and used to stab oneself or one's fellow patients... metal sometimes has sharp edges and can be used to hurt oneself, or the entire chair can be used as a large, heavy weapon. And of course, we're all much too unstable to be trusted not to make complete jackasses of ourselves, and much too stupid to know that we'd be caught and sedated before we ever got the chance to do anything worth doing with our splintered wood or our chair-as-weapon.
I stare idly at the man at the front of the room. Undoubtedly, this group is about telling us to do, or not to do something, but it seems by the look on his face that he's already noticed that Angie is going to monopolize all his preachy-time.
Is this Alcoholic Anonymous, or perhaps Narcotic-users Anonymous? No, there're no Living Sober books, no pamphlets, no bibles. I never understood AA, by the way... how is something anonymous if you've got to stand up, let everyone see you, and announce your name? And ignoring the fact that AA and NA are not, in fact, anonymous, there's this little bit of a problem: we've got neither alcohol, nor narcotics on this unit. One cannot be an alcoholic or a drug addict in a place like this, unless of course the drugs you're addicted to are doctor-prescribed, in which case you damned well better take them, lest you be strapped to a bed and injected with them.
Perhaps it's a group on anger management. 'Don't punch a wall,' they say. 'Draw a picture of what makes you mad, instead.' As if the kind of thing it takes to escalate a person to punching a wall could be relieved by drawing a picture. Thanks, but no thanks.
My pondering ends as the speaker stand from the Playskool-esque chair and leaves the room. Ah well. I wasn't particularly interested in the group anyway. Angie seems rather put out, though, as it seems no one wants to listen to her babble if they aren't required to sit there for group therapy. Unfortunately, she seems to decide that I look like I want to listen to the verbal diarrhea spewing from her mouth, as she sits down next to me on the couch and begins talking. She doesn't seem to notice that I'm lost within my own thoughts, and not listening to her.
She stops suddenly, her mouth frozen in the open position, her eyes drifting to the door of the dayroom. The sudden stop in the flow of noise from Angie draws me from my thoughts, as silence from Angie is quite unusual. I follow her gaze to the doorway.
They've taken the new admit's watch. For some reason, that's the first thing I notice. He's got one wide, pale stripe across one wrist. Tanned arms cross over his torso as he stands uncomfortably in the doorway. His soft brown eyes look hazy and slightly confused -- he's got the look of a man who's been heavily sedated. His short, dark, uncombed hair is flat on one side and flaring upward on the other.
I can't help raking my eyes up and down his body, a smile starting to play across my lips. The rumpled clothing can't hide his sturdy frame, and even the look of befuddlement and worry on his face manages to be gorgeous. The look of apprehension in his eyes tells me it's his first time being in a place like this.
My smile turns to a smirk. Mmm... An attractive young man with issues, all by himself in a scary new place... if this isn't a situation worth taking advantage of, I don't know what is.
He will be mine. Oh yes, he will be mine.
Well, there we have it. Like it, love it, hate it? Let me know! Please, please leave me a review! I really want to know what you all think of Nate and of the story so far.
If you want to email me, my email is: [email protected]