The great escape
I see a teenager most likely 13 or 14 arguing with his mother. Most people would think that the kid is out of line. The kid would say his parents are to restricting. What do I say? That is a question me and my three other friends roll are talking about now, among other things.
“Straps, did you hear me?” I look over to my friend, “Sorry, I was watching those two yell at one another.” I sat with my arms folded together. The look one might call EMO, I wasn’t of course. I knew EMO kids and they do not know a think about pain or success.
“John, do you ever think about writing a book about Locked RTC?” “By that I assume you’re talking your thoughts again?” said John. “Yeah, I do. I have been thinking about it more and more. I sit more and more. I remember more and more. I was wondering if writing about it could help me deal with it a little bit better.”
John replies, “You did have it the hardest of the five of us. I know you think about Jake a lot. I see you visit his grave more and more. I’ll tell you what. How about you tell me what you would write here and now. It’s a good as place as any.” He motions the air around him.
It’s a corner coffee shop in Massachusetts. Next to the gay bar we always go to. The area is not touristy by any means. Most of the time if a tourist found his way around here, chances are he is lost. The tables are painted green metal grating. There is a summer umbrella on each of the tables. There is little traffic here which makes this place nice to chat. The air is calm and the sky has just a few clouds in it.
“Okay, but I’ll do it on the way back to that loft. Queer as a folk is on and I don’t want to miss it.” John interrupts flaring his hand, “But it’s nice out here and” “–So I don’t want to get emotional out in public” cut him off. “Okay okay, but I’m driving. I know what you’re like when your emotion.” John nods at my arm. Scars cover my arm. In fact scars cover my entire body. Every scar I have on my body I can remember exactly how I was feeling when I did it. I know why I was depressed and what made me do it.
I get into that car and start to tell my story.
I was born December 19, 1990 in New York City. I remember my parents telling me that I was almost terminated but the law at that time did not allow adoption so they kept me. My parents being raised in money never cared about me. They were too busy to see me. I was not there, dead to them if you will. I felt lost as any child would. The earliest I can remember was when I was getting in trouble at her office for spilling my mom’s coffee on her secretary. “Ahhhh, the secretary yelled in panic! You monster get away from me!” My mom ran into the room. She saw the coffee on the secretary. “Mr. Noris, are you okay! What happened?” “Your son did this. That little devil is not allowed back here again or I’ll quit.” “Steffon!”
Steffon. There is a name I haven’t heard for a long time. He was me of course; but I have so many bad memories with that name. It all started when about two to three years passed since I was born. It was just the two words my mom and dad did not want to hear, Bipolar disorder. It was not only that, I had ADHD, Tourette syndrome, OCD, explosive anger, and mood swings. I would get angry at one thing and depressed at another real fast. When my parents got the news it was evident they were not my parents. Parents do not cast you away or send you to a place you can’t function right. It was a year after I spilled that coffee that I was diagnosed. It was three months after that I was sent to another family. I could say how bad I was at that family too, but it would be like a video game that has that same boring shit on each level. To be frank, I was what they called a problem child. So when I was twelve years old I learned how to sit and think. So let me tell you what I mean by that. By that I mean:
The Great Escape
I lay on the floor with no tears left to cry. For now I was safe in my four feet by six feet padded cell. The walls were yellow and that was all I knew. It didn’t matter what it was made of. When I saw yellow I meant I was safe in my cell. After a few minutes I wiggled to my corner and curled into a ball and tried to sleep. I found it hard to because I could not remember how I got here. Seconds turned into minuets and minuets turned into what it always turns into, more time.
In hindsight can tell you how I got there; but at that time I was controlled my by emotions and my mind was just along for the ride. It all started when my fluster family takes our yearly trip to the beach.
“Warm, so warm and happy all over” I think. Then I hear it. Thump. “Strange, I don’t remember that sound. Where is it coming from?” Thump! This time a little louder. “That is so odd. Then it hit me. Oh no… I’m not here, I am…”
Whisssssss, The blinds open bright. “Auuugggggg, What the hell is that for?” I complain.
“Get up, Get up! Were in the car waiting for you! Let’s Go now!”
I blink my eyes and look at the clook:
“Dam bitch” I think to myself.
We all got ready the night before for today. I couldn’t care less. I hated theses trips. Little did I know this would me my last trip with the Rikers. We wouldn’t even be going.
“Gerrrrrrrr!” I yell in the car with John. “Those fuckers put me there. Maybe the story thing was not such a good idea!”
“What? No, it’s a good idea. You just need to take it easy.”
“Your right, your right, it’s not like it’s happening now anyway. Well it did happen, I’m just telling about it.”
“Well go on, tell how you trashed your room just before you left to go to the car; which inherently burnt the building down.”
“Gladly, id do it again if I could—“
“—Just tell the story, or ill get the warden to pick you up.” Laughs
“Hey, the readers don’t know about the warden yet. That’s later on after I tell them about being strapped up in a straight jacket.”
“Fair enough, continue your story”
Well I guess I just told you that I trashed the room. What I didn’t tell you is that I will regret doing it near the end of the story. Why am I telling you this now? Let’s just say this may get very dark and I want people to know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. That being said, most of the time the tunnel did not have a light that could be seen. See my tunnel dips pretty far down below the elevation of the exit. So just because the story may end with success does not mean it will have the same happy feeling at the end. I am also saying this because some people may have flashbacks or similar conditions. If you are one of these people, I would suggest not reading this book.
“Are we there yet!” I asked
My Falster mother, father, sister, brother all said at once. It was a short car ride but I was feeling overly hyper. The car was a Toyota Prius and performed gorgeously.
The rest of the car trip was the same as it always is. That is until we took some unsal route to get there. “were are we going?” I asked
My father looked at me and said, “My office. I don’t think you have ever been there have you steffon?”
I look suspiciously at him but found no hidden motive. “I thought you worked at a Locked RTC.” I replied “I did not know you had an office.”
“It’s a big office. Lots of people that want to meet you too.” My father replied, “It is okay, don’t worry, you will be fine.”
The rest of the car ride was uneventful. We pulled up to a large complex of buildings. We pulled into a parking lot and found a space to park.
We arrived at a building I had never been before. It was strange because it reminded me of a prison. Then and there I had a session whatever we were here for, it was for me. What I didn’t know was I would be calling that place home for a long time.
We got out of the car not thinking much about anything. Right away I saw a dead mouse and started to feel depressed. I walked hunched over, hands in pockets, and started to be very quiet. I followed my gardens to the door. I didn’t know that that was the last memory of the outside world I would know for a long time. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by several doctors. A female doctor held onto my arm and looked in my eyes.
Before I continue, I believe the effect these doctors wanted to do was create an emotional bond with me right off the bat to bate me into a cell by the end of the visit. The problem is I am gay and even though I did not know it then I didn’t take to the female comfort thing. Unfortunately for me, I saw a hot guy there shortly thereafter and they picked up on that. Then they were able to do their mind twisting things. Anyway, back to the story.
“Hi steffon.” The lady said.
“Right, you are? Oh, I know, just another face. I already guessed this is the last time I’ll be seeing daylight. So why don’t you let go of my arm and let me chose the right moment to have some fun for my last days of insanity. Better yet, just take to me to my room or were ever you’re going to put me now. At least THAT place is better than these clowns. If you haven’t taken note already your charm don’t work on me. Another thing, I won’t give you the pleasure of bating me. That’s right; I check the letters before they check the mail. I knew I was coming here all along. So take your… um, you, um, uuummm.”
“You were saying steffon?” the lady said. She must have dropped her arm because I did not feel it. But it would not have mattered, he was hot and I wanted him.
There I go, staring like an idiot at the hottest guy I ever saw back then. Oh my god, I wanted him so badly I would have done anything to get it. So I just stared at him and everyone knew it.
I whisper or mutter to myself—I am not sure what I said but I am sure it was something like this—“You know, I don’t think it will be half bad here.” I lick my lips and drool a little bit. I had completely toned everything else out. I did not even realize my fake family members disappear or the orderlies walk up behind me.
I felt a tap on the shoulder, “what is it? I’m busy looking at something.”
“I can see that” the man said. “However, you said yourself you know why you’re here. So you have a choice. Come with us on your volition. If you do that we will be a little nicer on you. Or you can play your little game and we will be very mean.”
I reluctantly walked with them to for a little while. While I saw them glance away, I made a run for it. I knew if I ran I would draw attention. I walked fast without looking back. I kept going till I noted in a reflective surface that they had noted and just started to chase me when I saw a bathroom. “Perfect” I thought to myself. I acted like I had to go, so I blew open the door slammed the stall door shut, pull down my pants and shat.
I heard the door open as a man slowly walked in and went over to the standing toilet. I finished, got up, flushed the toilet, went over to the sink and washed my hands. I then left the room and thought they must have a trap set for me, so I decided to go back to where they had me wait. I stood in the exact spot I started to run and waited for them to arrive. I stood there for about ten minutes before the man in the bathroom appeared next to me and said, “Interesting move? The fact that you were smart enough to use the bathroom to hide your failed attempt to escape is interesting to say the least.”
I knew if I said yes or no it would imply that they I did try to escape. So I said, “I use my right garneted by the fifth amendments to the right of silents.”
“I know about your trouble with the law. I see you know your rights well enough. Well guess what. Here, you don’t have them.”
“Then punish me. But I’ll let you know, I am not a screamer. I won’t give you that pleasure.”
With that I felt something sting my neck. “What the fucken son of a …..”
I passed out.
I woke up in a bed in medium security.
A strange new world
My mind awakens and I start to wake up. I start to remember the events of yesterday and I keep my eyes closed hopping that when I open them I will be at some hotel on the beach. I blink a few times and almost immediately I realize that it is not a dream. I see “A1-65864” stenciled on the wall directly ahead of me.
I sit up and find myself in a metal room that looks like it’s out a space game. The floor appeared to me bade of a rubber mat. The walls are brushed metal that is straight in the middle but when it meets the floor and ceiling it curves to make a flowing connection. The bed is mounted into the wall so there are no legs. The mattress is bolted down and there is no sheet. The pillow is sown into the bed so it cannot be removed. The room is only about four feet by six feet and seven feet high. There are places on the bed that look like mounting points for locking a person down.
I did not know if I should leave or stay; but I was feeling like I wanted to do some exploring so I opened the door and went into the unknown. What I saw was not nearly as impressive as when I left the elevator. It was a hall with doors that all looked the same. I started to walk down the hall but out of nowhere a man stopped me. He had a white jumpsuit and looked like he could kill a bear with his hands. Remembering the event when I got off the elevator I stopped short and backed up; afraid.
“Where do you think you’re going little man?” the man asked.
“Uh…was just looking around.” I said panicked. My eyes darted this way and that to try to find and escape; but all I saw was my room and new that’s where I had to stay.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you, that is, as long as you behave. Come here and let me tell you a few things that go on here.”
I reluctantly walk over to him, nervously at first, but sensing no immediate danger I relaxed a little. As I got close to him he put his hand on my shoulder and asked, “What is your name little one?”
I thought about this for a while. I had so many bad experiences with the name Steffon that I didn’t like it anymore. So I thought a name I always liked and said, “Ryan Smith.”
“Ryan?” the man said confused. “Is that the name your mother gave to you?”
“She’s dead to me.” I snapped back. “So is the rest of my family.” Later in life I regretted feeling that way. It wasn’t until much later that I found out my parents to give me up because of disease. Cancer was quickly spreading thought my mother and my father was sick from smoking as well as going though some issues of when he was in Vietnam. My new family wasn’t as bad, but unlike my real parents they found it harder love deal with a kid they did not give birth too. I just wish I realized how much they cared back then.
The man nodded sensing that I had an unbelievable amount of emotion that could turn violent at any moment. “Fair enough, but remember you always have friends. If you don’t yet, you soon will.”
I didn’t realize how true that was until around a month. Getting to the point where I had a group of friends was not easy. They found me, but getting to that point in the story may have been harder than being in that padded cell. “Okay, what are the rules?” I asked
“First rule is if you see an adult wearing an outfit like this, he is always right. I does not matter how wrong he may seem, you should always do what he says; if you do not you will be punished. The goal is to punish you every time you do something wrong. Eventually you will learn how not to get in trouble by not misbehaving in the first place. Don’t try to find a way around the rules, we are trained to deal with kids like you and we can make you feel very, very small.”
I backed up a little bit but he held firm. I tried to fight his grip but he somehow restrained me and I was on the floor unable to move.
“Let me go you white suit.”
White suit is the name I used to describe the orderlies. It turned out that every other kid used that name too. Interesting how things like that happen.
“Settle down kid. You remember what I told you about not messing with security. Well your messing with security now.”
The man picked me up like a five pound ham and put me in my bed. He took a strap that appeared out of nowhere and tied my arms and legs to the bed. Next, he strapped my chest and stomach so the end result was that I could not move.
“You fucken a hole!” I yell. “Let me out! Let me out now!”
I try to escape but the straps holding me in were too strong. I screamed and yelled but to no avail. I after I calmed down I started to cry. Not because I couldn’t get out but because I was helpless. I felt the hot burning tears roll down my face. The salt in my eyes, the feel of blood warming my face, the feeling of giving up, and most important the act of crying mixed with my emotions made me tired and more sad. I started to get depressed again and I lay quiet crying myself to sleep. After about ten minutes I was dreaming both neutral and scary thoughts.
The start of the beginning
I woke up to find myself still strapped to the bed. The room was the same and the air seemed damp. My mood was better but it felt good to have cried the night before. I haven’t cried in a long time and sometimes a person just needs to cry.
I lay for what seemed like half an hour when the door open and light purred into the dark room. I could not see who it was. I assumed he was a white suit but the light behind him made his face shadowed so I had no way of telling. I watched him walk over to the bed as he crouched down beside me.
“I heard you had a fun night last night, didn’t you?” the man said rhetorically.
“What’s it to you?” I replied.
The man laughed and said, “I suppose it’s the same for all new comers; but you’re going to find out real quick how things work around here. “
“Is that a threat?” I temped, “or are you just trying to get some more of what you did to me last night?”
The man sighed and seemed to laugh inside. He spoke in a way that said don’t mess with me, “Listen, you’re new here and I understand that. You’re here because you have problems that you need help dealing with. That being said, we are not going to get a free ride. You will find that your place in this world is at the bottom of the food chain.”
The man, I now realized was a white suit, walked out and brought in some food on a tray. There was no silverware and nothing sharp to cut myself with. All there was was straws in a big container; one blue straw, one read straw, and one green straw.
The man said, “The blue one is water, the red one is your meats, and the green one is just your greens. The greens and meets are separate because some patients don’t like to eat meet. Eat what you want, there is enough food for the body to live and be alright. You will find that if you follow the rules and work at getting better it is not so bad here.
He started to leave, paused for a moment and said, “a word of advice, don’t make friends with the first bunch of kids you meet. Some kids like to pick on what they call prey. In fact we found there are three distinct groups in the social kingdom here, prey, loners, friends, and hunters. Prey let people walk all over them and are usually submissive. Loners are like prey but instead of being submissive they tend to hide and will hold their own to keep their reputation up. Friends are a collection of prey that group together to protect themselves. Usually there’s enough prey that stay by themselves so that hunters don’t go after them. Finally, there are the hunters. Hunters are natural bullies and always cause problems for us. There are times we don’t see them so watch out for them. Most hunters gain reputation by spending time in maximum security. There tuff, mean and angry all the time; I suggest staying away from them”
With that he left and closed the door. I heard heavy bolts shut from the outside which meant even it I did get out of the bed it would be unlikely I would be getting out of the room. I tested the water and found I was very thirsty. Next I tried the meats and found it disgusting so I spit it out. The green straw as not that good either so I figured I’d wait for real food. Minutes became hours and finally I had to eat something so I closed my eyes and held my breath, put my lips around the meets and drank away. The substance felt thick and had small chunks in it. It made me want to throw up but I was just glad to have something to eat. Soon the whole thing was gone and I topped it off with water. Feeling bloated I waited for the next thing to happen, nothing did. It seemed like hours on end; finally, I was tired again and I started to fall asleep. It was not five minutes that had gone by that I had passed out from the day’s events. I slept well if I remember; but I had no idea what was going to happen next. Next would be the day I meet the friends I would have for a life time.
I woke up to find myself able to move around.
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