Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Sandra Kurylonek

Schizophrenia Ride

The doors to the Newington ward swung open; the nurses pushed the hospital bed on which a middle-aged woman lay. Two security guards assisted.
The nurses were stressed and they kept saying ‘Janet, Janet, please keep still’. I glanced at this patient quickly but it wasn’t a good sight. She was kicking her legs, and she had a sort of ill-looking expression – which seemed to be yearning in hatred and malevolence. I knew there was something abnormal in her behaviour. I waited until she was moved into the side room and immediately asked about Janet’s history.
My body shivered with fear when the nurse told me that she suffered from schizophrenia. My mind could not comprehend what was being said to me. It seemed as if I had to divide this ‘word’ into syllables. I was disturbed by the alarming news. I’ve always heard horrendous rumours about people who have a mental disorder. People told me that they are ‘weird, scary’.
I wanted to shake those thoughts away and carry on with my duties. But, her screaming was piercing through my ears. She screamed ‘Let me out of here, let me go home’. The yelling was louder and louder, echoing through my head like a low voice in an empty room.
I walked along the corridor and spotted that the nurses were trying to calm her down. At this point she was screeching ‘Let me out now!’ An hour later, the noises she made died down. Her demeanour was less psychotic and I was asked to go into her room . . .
I wasn’t sure what to expect. So I took a deep breath, knocked, and pressed on the door handle. I entered the room and shifted my feet towards her bed. I was overcome by the potent smell of bleach. I was about to speak when she turned around and glared at me. She looked dreadful – her eyes were black as pitch and I could see her veins pulsating through her pale skin. Her hair clung to her sweaty skin. Her fingernails were unkempt and left little tears on her face. Her arms reflected her tormented and abused past. Each scar telling a terrible tale.
I asked Janet whether she wants a drink, but all I heard was a grunt. Then her eyes made eye contact with me, and all of a sudden she spoke to me ‘I killed him, you know. It was juicy’.
I was gutted at what I just heard. She also added that ‘he deserved it’. She was smiling and it seemed that she reminisced of the happiness of a tragic past. I wanted to get away from this woman. I took small steps towards the door while she was unaware of reality. I quickly squeezed through the gap and closed it behind me.
In desperation to find out more about this peculiar Janet and who did she murder, I hurried to the nursing station and started flicking through her notes. There I read a newspaper article entitled ‘A Paranoid Schizophrenic Smothers Own Son’. It added that the tragedy occurred because her son was asking too much. The article finished ‘But all he wanted was to be loved’.
In bewilderment, I closed the files and departed home. The next day, I walked through the ward and saw that Janet’s bedside was curtained off. I was a bit curious why. I peeked through the curtain and Janet’s eyes were open but the body was stiff. I drew the curtain and I left that cold room shutting the door, never to be opened again.

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