The room is white, scarily so, painted a bright, sterile white. The hallway smells clean, sickly, scrubbed to death, clean. The windows are thick, too thick to see through, or break. The doors are brightly, gaudily painted, and fastened tightly. The lights flicker, flare, flash, barely lighting the way. The voices, frail and thin, sound around the building in echoes
as I walk through the hall, my footsteps an echo on the cold floors. I feel the stares and see the tightly lipped nurses pass by, checking to see if my gown is white and pure like it should be; everything must be perfect and clean. I walk, slowly, shuffle even, anything to keep from showing a break— anything to get to my room, keep out of their way;
for they hate it when they find that their way is blocked and they must come over to fix the breaks and tears in the fabric of the world they want sterile, clean. I just want to hide in my room, my room bright and white and safe, my room where I can walk silent, with no echo and can be left alone, pacing, to grip my hair tightly
and cry from eyes that are squeezed too tight. Sobs and tears are not allowed to drop, to echo— to disturb the clean silence that keeps us out of the way. No one wants to know where they put the ones who break; the ones who are meant only for the white, white rooms and, to avoid spoiling others, we must be kept sterile, clean.
I hear them coming down the hall, down to my room, so clean, too clean, and I struggle to stand in my thick clothes and white shoes and they come into my room, and they hear the echo
as a tear falls, and they come, prepared, but I don’t want to go away. Yet they come, and they take my arms and legs tightly— they check my arms, they check my head, they check how broken
I am, check to see if there are any marks to show how much I broke. I don’t want to leave the room, I don’t want to do things their way; I struggle and scream and try to break their grasp, too tight, too forceful, they close the doors to keep my screams from echoing down the halls. The bed is right there, so pristine and clean, they push me down, strap me down, and the walls seem to glow white
as I feel the needle push its way into my broken, tightly bound arm, as my screams become nothing but an echo in this room of clean, sterile, harshly bright white.