The Mind Camp

Chapter One

Pre-Flashback Ramble

It was midnight when I heard the thump. For the next two weeks it continued, and who knows how long before that. It had been sheer coincidence I had even been up to hear that thump. I lived in the Darkhurst Manor. An apartment complex that was maybe, four, five floors? Fuck if I remember. It's been a while. But I'd had the most fucked up dream. Definitely can't remember that one now. Guess it wasn't one of those prophetic ones. You're supposed to be able to always remember those. I would've liked one of those prophecy dreams. Especially in the wake of the fookin' nightmare that I would live through.

No one believes me. That's the funniest shit about these days. Everyone's so conditioned to the way things are supposed to be, no one can even wrap their brains around it when something unexplainable happens. They can't even start. Their brains see the information and facts before them, and if the facts point toward something miraculous or unexplainable, they just reject. Shut the fook down, buddy.

That's why I am where I am. Neston. The Sanitarium. The Insanitarium, I remember calling it as a kid. One of the most well-off Sanitarium's in North America, I've heard. With the crazies in Darkford County, I ain't surprised. It's pretty funny, being in a nut-house while sane. How people treat the mentally disturbed. With this ridiculously thin facade of sympathy and assurance badly masking their blatant contempt and superiority. Half of the employees only go there to boost their already inflated egos, I swear.

This one guy just randomly pissed on stuff. I don't know what his deal is, and I certainly wasn't going to get close enough to ask him, but that's what he did. From a purely unbiased standpoint, he often publicly urinated. They always rushed in and restrained him, apparently so he didn't incite chaos in the other inmates, but I think they just didn't want to clean it up. Usually there's a glance between the employees. A shared expression that seemed to say, 'Harty har, look at this fucker, I'm glad I'm not like that.' As if this was just a routine job as opposed to the care and the respect of this man who may have once had a mind of his own. Who despite his handicap, feels and bleeds like the rest of us.

He's gone now, so no more problem for them.

I've learned several interesting things while in here. They do have a library, for the more controlled patients. (Apparently there have been suicide attempts with paper nonetheless.) Did you know the first institute for the insane was built by the Nazis? Did you know most medications for mental disorders accomplish the same effects as regressive torture? But just on crazy people, so no sweat off your back.

Interesting, the Nazi thing, no? Not so much different people running it now. People disappear. Piss Boy, as I dubbed him, lasted about three weeks. Some go in for individual therapy and come back, worse. Much worse. Some just don't come back. Sometimes you'll hear screams. Sometimes, a chilling silence that is somehow worse. I avoid the medication. In quite a beast fashion, if I do say so myself.

I once had a large labret piercing, and a tongue one. Chicks dug it. Especially those sexy goth, punk chicks. Metal turned me on. Always has, always will. Something about that clash of cool steel and warm flesh when you're making out with a girl is just phenomenal. I figured it'd be the same in reverse for the lucky lady I happened to be making out with. But anyway, I'd tuck the pills into the holes where those piercings used to be, as they made me take them out upon 'admission'. I love how they say that like you have a fucking choice. I used a beard to cover up the labret hole, which is a spike that went through the center of my lower lip for those not familiar with the art of body piercing. And the tongue one was easy to conceal a pill inside. Fuckers never noticed.

You might wonder how I write, in the confines of this increasingly disturbing hellhole. You may also be wondering, why I'm in here, if I am as sane as I would state before God, Jesus, Buddha, or whoever the fuck we're supposed to believe in, that I am. I'll get to that. Grant me my pre-flashback ramble.

The medication they give us for disorders has more side-effects and is arguably more damaging than the even the most extreme cases of psychosis. The way I see it, most people who go crazy, do so because the fucked up state of the world drives them mad. The government don't want those people able to articulate their fears. So they institutionalize mass-brain control, and call it psychiatry. Call it a form of medicine. First do no harm, right?

Right.

Some were in for stupid little things. Chronic depression, (Lots of those were fakers who just wanted the pills to sell or use, but you got the legit ones too.) or irrational fears. They'd get put on the meds, and get worse. Then, the increasing symptoms are labelled as an evolution of their disorder, and then what happens? Increased dosage. Bam. Here's a permanent stay at the Nut-bar Hotel. This one dude swore up and down he was getting secretly drugged by an ex-girlfriend, causing him to display paranoid schizophrenic symptoms. They called it a figment of his non-medicated paranoia and gave him a mega-dose. Now he's a zombie, skulking in corners and staring at the books in the library. Still proclaims his truth though, and if he ain't dead honest, I'll take a page out of Piss Boy's book and paint the cafeteria yellow.

I hear the orderlies comments about us. For the most part I pretend to shuffle along, appearing to the world to be completely subdued by the pills. But I never am. "I bet he's checking the clocks for cameras." They'd say about the reasonably paranoid, amorously deceived drugging victim. "Hey, it's the Sock Gremlin survivor." They'd whisper as I moved past. "Someone should've told him not to feed the Mogwai's after midnight."

So now we come to why I'm in here. I have a tale to tell, though it may force your agreement with those slithering serpents who dare to call themselves practitioners of healing. I am not insane. Well, I wasn't when they put me in here. These days I wonder.

My world ended, not with a bang, but with a thump.