|Cass R (deistic) wrote in repose,|
@ 2019-07-08 19:28:00
|Entry tags:||*narrative, cass reynaud|
Narrative: catch and release
Who: Cass R
What: Getting released
She thought deliberately of nothing. Nothing and her face was wax, unmolded. She sat on the edge of the narrow chair and she looked at none of them and all of them sat in a line contemplating her future. The weight of bank accounts sat at her back and Cass didn’t think of late nights and the sole computer at the nurse’s station that was left abandoned as the resident in the room on the furthest left tried to swallow his tongue. She saw it, six times in a row even through the fog. She saw the time he died, choking and the time he bit it through. But all of the times the nurse left the station entirely alone.
She didn’t think of blood and glass, of broken locks and swaying bodies. All of it she has seen before they drugged her to empty as she looked at the neat faces and quiet hands of the doctors who authorized. Possibility was contained. It was locked up, medicated, restrained within the walls of the Quiet Home for Quiet People who could be nothing but formless clay, all their abnormalities gently pummeled to nothing. Outside, she could taste electricity on her tongue, see futures that had not husked to nothing but dry leaves.
“I thought I would find a job.” Cass shrugged one shoulder under institutional cotton. It was the right thing to say in the right tone of voice, it felt right under the muzziness of chemical fog. “Find a routine. You say routine helps.” She smiled. The edge of her mouth and then the rest. She did not swing her leg although her leg wished to swing. She sat with her ankles together and the cotton crumpled at her waist and at her back. “Something low-key.”
She saw approval. It was a lie, but they were all lies. She hadn’t said anything that was truthfully true in months. Could you, if you were not yourself? She didn’t bother with the lie, Cass didn’t inflate it with importance. It was just another lie, a matchstick in a pile that could in theory set alight, but didn’t.
The one on the end leaned forward. “What kind of job?”
A glimmer. “What would you suggest?” Biddable. She wasn’t biddable, she was steel but she kept her hands soft and her eyes calm. Suggestion was easy. Suggestion was appropriate. She saw them smile and she kept her own tucked behind her mouth, where it felt like silk against her teeth.
“It would be appropriate for something part-time.” She thought of New York. Of the diners with waitresses that worked until dawn, the muted wash of color permuating the sky under cigarette smoke in an alleyway. It wasn’t romantic in the slightest. There would be little romance in what the doctors, with their imaginations carefully clipped off like a vein in need of cauterizing, suggested. Her voice was dry in her throat even without speaking. There was little of anything in what the doctors suggested.
“Whatever you suggest.” Whatever it was, it would be a lock in a door that had previously had no potential for opening. She was fond of locks; they could, at least, be picked.
“You’ll reside here.” A note of warning. The smile took no effort at all.
“As you’d like.” Obedient, not dismissive. Reside was a word you could live within, all the ways in which the word could stretch. They’d given her books and books and all the words you could elasticate into meaning half a dozen different things in permutation. “When may I go?” She saw the wave of approbation sail down the line of doctors, a ripple through the panel. She had, or she would. Cass didn’t much care for the difference.
“Wednesday. We’ll arrange the placement.” She dropped her head, she studied her thumbs. She kept a hundred lies on the flat of her tongue like silver, and she nodded briefly, before she moved, clumsy in a body heavy with drugs, the feeling of it, the promise of it like birds inside her ribs.