(my box; my mask; my room: difficulties ago)
Dr. Jodi says “it’s bullshit, but” if I want to be free, I’ll live like they please… Just like she’ll “follow the books like they please…”
I guess, since telling me that wasn’t in the lines of her job and was alright, all I chose to remember, she meant, was my life as I please, could be lived in between.
The drugs are wearing off, but the pain’s just started… I hear chattering that seems too distant to make out.
My stretcher is upright, but for my shoulders, I feel unstrung…
I feel free of straps, and groggy. I’m stood in gray, in a plain trench-coat…
I wonder what shoes I might have on… So I bend over to try and see…
With every inch forward, I tilt by thrice to my left side… Sliding more and more off the board.
I remember my promise to be of little interest, and find its too late hold motion.
I fall in, arms bound to my side, unable to guide my fall… I cause considerable attention (noise). But I notice the door, ajar; I forget my immediate concern.
I stare and wonder as the chatters stop. They agree, and I listen, laid as they rush around. They weigh like the hurry of two and a third. The doors soon swing full open, and myself: pale; bathed in light.
I shut my eyes and wonder which they are… What I’ve done, and what my punishment may be. I finally again see light, not filtered. And the air here smells kind and free. I want to see… And I’m willing to behave. But who has my leash, I wonder. Who controls by chord, my thrill…
“Mr. KoOk…” I hear, “are you alright???”
In relief, I exhale her name: “Jodi” …lifting my head from its rest; clearly winning with a smile; my eyes finding for her sight. Her accompanist mumbles some things starting with “That’s Dr. Jodi to you…” and fades fast away from there on… My mind utterly uninterested as my vision clears and catches her gleam.
I’ve witnessed in sight, nothing so beautiful in character and art… But what do I know, my world is full of pads and white. And like so, I complement her casually, I believe. But the orderly starts off again… She cuts him asking “…but are you ok???” I proceed to explain why I fell and how I intended for no attention, and she responds “Do you like your new shoes???”… They felt just like loafers… I respond saying: I wanted to be sure.
They both help me up, then she’s leading me to door. The wind got momentarily harder, so the orderly rushed to hold it open. I take the chance to steal a whisper and ask as she lead, where the third person was and she- Oh, ever so gentle Miss Jodi: one palm on my back and the other, under my left elbow, ever as lovely replies:
“I did say it was unnecessary to hide”.
We reach the doors and I bend more over my stomach for head space and take the 1st step out. Then the 2nd and stretch broad and tall on the third stair. I take the time preserve the moment: I raise my face at the skies, my chin pointing upward and my eyes, closed. I feel her move away from me as I draw breath, and even in this alley I catch her smell and then her perfume, and then the far off fields.
I bring back down and lock my head over my chest as I slouch with crossed arms and shoulder in palms; I lightly push my eyes up towards my brow to focus forward, and thus, mine and her’s meet.
“Your outfit match your eyes, Mr. KoOk… Let’s be at our best today, shall we???”
I’m a man in straight jacket, and my shoes too, grey… I’m happy as you need.
And so the doors will shut behind me. And I will take my last step and be on ground. A tarred floor: no pads; no tile. And my box will drive away. My stretcher and mask, both with it. Away, and gone in the van…for now. To allow for a day KoOk saw the world.