I sit inside and listen as Mr. Kesey tells his tale of R. P. McMurphy and the other inmates under the care of the nurse, Miss Ratched. “Care” is a term I use lightly.
We are inside today. The rain and my own obligations have kept me indoors. Easter consisted of a few jokes on twitter and a meal. Little celebration or chocolate or anything in the way of baskets and goodies. I guess I am too old.
I should be at work, toiling away at the collections and chipping away at the stacks of materials that should be being processed... I should, but I am not. I have given myself this afternoon, this rainy afternoon to share the company of Mr. Kesey and the madmen and the authority figure that smiles and condescends and holds down the freedom.
Do I have someone in my life like that right now? No. Have I have before? Maybe. Yes. Can love create the feeling of entrapment that holds inmates? The ability but not the williness to leave that which is comfortable simply because it is your life?
I have and I am and I will again. I am human, an entrapped soul.
It is raining outside. The power has blinked once or twice, even as I have typed this. I have reset the computer and the laundry and counted between the lightning and the thunder. The storm is never as close as it feels.
The rain falls one drop after another. Mr. Kesey tells me of Billy Bibbit and his mother. Billy stutters. When I was younger, I had a stutter. Found out I did not stutter with a pen, though. Wrote it out of myself.
For me, it was confidence. I still stutter. What to know when? Group activities. Meeting people and saying my name and any word with “w” or that “wha” sound at the beginning. I know about not being confident and feeling trapped and lost.
I wrote myself out. Poor Billy did not.
The washing machine cycles over rinse and begins to shake and knock and shout. I put a book under one of the broken legs to keep the machine from rocking and shaking its way through the linoleum on the floor. The book is T. S. Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral. That is not a commentary, just a fact.
Kesey tells me about electroshock. Scares me with it. The lights go out again and I light a candle and listen a bit longer until my head begins nodding.
The rain has stopped for the moment. So has the washing machine. I wish I could put the world in a dryer as easily as I do my boxers.
I wish I could help the stuttering Billy’s to realize that they do not need to speak.