My Entry Into the Abyss
Every day when the clock tick tocks towards two o’clock, Agnes starts to feel apprehension. She knows there is a reason why she should be afraid to go to Dr. Anderson’s office, but she does not remember why.
I have what they call a tick. My head moves involuntarily from left to right, left to right continuously. Sometimes I can control this movement of my head, this constant denial to everything around me, but not for long.
Dr. Anderson is supposed to cure me and he says every day we make progress, but let me tell you right from the start, that he is talking utter nonsense.
I am on my way to see him now, my head starts ticking more than usual. I have a deep settled fear in the pit of my stomach as we walk down long passage after long institutional passage, whilst my head moves in sync with my feet. Left, right, left. I know there is something wrong, there must be a reason why I am afraid every day when the white, round clock tick, ticks its way too fast to two o’clock.
I stop in front of the brown laminated door with the dull bronze letters, spelling out DR. ANDERSON and then the trouble starts. My head starts to shake so violently that spit spews from between my lips. My feet cannot step over the threshold. Fear pushes up from my stomach into my chest, past my lungs and into my throat. I can feel the fear sitting there with the mash potatoes I had for lunch.
The two burly attendants on either side of me lift me by cupping my elbows in their big hands and they carry me across the room towards the brown sofa along the wall, squeezed in between the grey metal filing cabinet and the window with the twelve-inch black bars welded into the concrete.
Dr. Anderson with his kind smile rushes towards me and gives me my daily fix. Amen.
I feel the familiar prick of the needle and then the warm flood of ‘mooty’ spreads slowly, but surely through my body.
Dr Anderson smiles down at me, after the attendants let me drop onto the sofa. He says kindly, “All better now, Agnes?”
I smile up at him. My lips say, “Yes.” My head moves from left to right, left to right.
He turns away from me and sits down in the chair across from me. The chair he sits in every day.
He says, “Okay, Agnes. You know how it works. Lie down, fold your hands across your chest and close your eyes.”
I lie down onto the brown sofa. It is soft and I can feel it sink in under my body. I fold my arms across my chest, I cross my legs and I close my eyes.
“No, Agnes. Uncross your legs. Every day I have to tell you the same thing.”
I uncross my legs.
He sighs. “Okay. Take a deep, deep breath.”
I take a deep, deep breath. I feel my chest rise.
He says, “You are in a big, white circular room.”
I look around and see that I am in a big circular room.
“There is only white, brilliant white all around you”
I look around me. There is only white, brilliant white around me.
“You look up and you cannot see the roof. Everything is white.”
I look up. Everything is white and I cannot see the roof. The room is so huge.
“You look down and the floor is white.”
I look down. The floor is white.
“You see across from you, a dark brown door.”
I look ahead and there is a dark, brown door.
“You walk towards this door.”
I start to walk towards the door.
“You see a large silver door handle.”
I look at the large silver door handle.
“You reach for the large silver handle and you push it down.”
I fold my fingers around the large silver handle and I push it down.
“You open the door slowly.”
Slowly I push the door open.
“You see before you the most beautiful peaceful scene, you have ever seen.”
I see a big, black, dark pit.
“You see a sky so blue and clear. The grass is bottle green and neatly mowed. You hear birds singing and you hear the faint gurgling of a river.”
I see and hear nothing.
“You step onto the green, green grass.”
I step onto the stair leading the way deeper into the dark pit.
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