Sometimes I get tempted to just admit that my brain is wired wrong, and succumb to the power of the pills. I’ve definitely got some problems. Beyond lackluster decision making—I tend not to take my reality seriously enough—you could call me depressed, antisocial, or some such shit, probably. I dunno. All I know is when I do what I want I’m pretty damn happy. Every time I’ve been thrown in jail I was livin’ swell as hell, and usually it's just the law and consequent jail time that makes me feel like unfiltered doo-doo. I don’t really know if that counts as “depression”—I always look forward to the future ‘cause I’m positive it’ll be better than the past and present. Unfortunately, I’ve been wrong for the past decade or so.
My babydoll got me a book by Andrew Solomon called The Noonday Demon that’s all about depression. I immediately hated the author ‘cause he’s some rich, whiny, depressed douchebag who buggers old fat guys in parks at midnight. He really pushes the science behind pharmaceuticals, but his dad runs some big pharma company, and that seems like some suspect shit to me. He didn’t have a breakdown until his late 20s, but when he did he went batshit crazy: Motherfucker shit his pants due to anxiety, was paralyzed by fear, and got too exhausted to even pick up the phone. He remained bedridden and completely dysfunctional on and off for a long time while ingesting various medicinal cocktails. I think homeboy should have stuck to street drugs, ‘cause in my opinion those pills are ruining him, but what do I know?
One thing I do know: Even in prison, I don’t know anyone as disabled as this Solomon guy. Here we are, a bunch of outcasts with real serious problems, lots of us locked up and separated from almost all of life’s comforts for some BULLSHIT, and none of us are as far off as that pants-shitting rich boy. Well, that’s what I thought until the other day, when I met some fellows who just came from the mental ward.
There were three of them who just came to this dorm from the CRAZY cell block. All of them have a history of drug addiction, anger problems, or bipolar shit, yet they all refused meds in jail. None of them seem that crazy (OK, one of them does think he’s here for killing his parents, and I don’t think that’s true) and all claim the meds had them stumbling stupid. A couple Fridays ago, they say a few guys in the mental ward tried to “hang up” (i.e. off themselves) with their sheets. The jail has hired non-crazy inmates they call “close watch” to wander around the crazy dorm, and luckily one of those watchers caught the would-be suicides before it was too late.
People are really suffering in there according to my crazy buddies. Guys are throwing piss, shit, and cum on the walls, they don’t shower, they scream and carry on while constantly hallucinating stuff I wouldn’t wish on anyone. To make matters worse, there is no air conditioning in that block, and apparently there’s a siren right outside the windows that blares three or four times a day and terrifies the less stable inmates. Lots of the crazies in here got arrested for trespassing, drugs, or some other petty shit that isn’t worthy of hard time. I guarantee you this place is fucking them up worse. It’s a problem I have no idea what to do about, and I’m grateful it doesn’t affect me.
I kinda wonder why my girl sent that Noonday Demon book to me. I asked for really long books to kill time in here, and this brick of words definitely qualifies, but it’s not really what I had in mind. Maybe she thinks I’m depressed, or maybe she is. But actually, after reading this book and talking to those mental cases, I’m sure I’m A-OK on the depression front. I might have some mild issues that resulted in some serious life problems, but I’m not like these depressed heads. They start crying when they spill their soup, while I don’t even cry when I get locked up and lose everything I cherish and love for a couple years. So I guess that’s good. I feel like shit because I’m living like a shitball surrounded by a bunch of shitheads—but I know this is temporary. Every time they let me out I emerge a lil’ wiser and a lil’ stronger. Someday soon, this depressed mess I’m immersed in will cease to control my life.
Until then, I’ll just sit around thinking about how to get to that day without causing any more unnecessary undue pain. Not that I don’t have goals in here. Maybe I’ll eventually do enough stretching exercises in here that I’ll grow so flexible I’ll be able to blow myself and achieve the most BONERABLE act of self-love attainable ever: NUTTING IN MY OWN STINKY MOUTH WITH MY OWN MAGNIFICANT RIGIDNESS.
Bert Burykill is the pseudonym of our prison correspondent, who is currently serving time in a prison in New York.
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