Saturday, July 14, 2012
And How was Mental Hospital?
Susan was sitting in a chair when she got company. A fat man with a thick neck.
"My name is Jack."
"Nice to meet you."
"Jack the Ripper."
"Isn't he dead?"
"I'm Jack the Ripper in a new reincarnation."
"I am here because I killed my fiancée and then cooked and ate her ..." (I will not print the word he used, but this shocked Susan).
"Don't be gross!"
"But I really did that."
"Why have they not hung you yet, then?"
The fat man started shouting:
"Boohoo, she wants to hang me ..."
Guards rushed to them, and surrounded her:
"Don't speak to him like that."
"He killed and ate his fiancée."
Susan looked around and then asked:
"If that is the case, why has he not been hung?"
They looked like grownups trying to calm a child in a tantrum, but they were not adressing the fat man:
"Now calm down."
"We all have condemning and judgemental moments."
"But we must not let that get the better of us."
"You see, he is ill, very ill. That is why he killed and ate his fiancée."
"To me that seems just like being evil."
"Ah, don't use that word! We do not use it here."
"And if I do use it? Evil, evil, evil ... that man is evil."
They drew closer.
"We'll have to treat you."
"No! Not her!" said a voice she knew. It was the man who had tried to rape her on that outing in the Thames. The man whose father was Simon White. "Not her, I know her. I will talk to her."
They withdrew a few yards, the fat man who thought he was an incarnation of Jack the Ripper was gone, and there was her nearly ravisher. "Sit down, you don't need to talk to me. And you don't need to be afraid of me either."
She did sit down again.
"Jack the Ripper, as we call him, is ill. So are you. Even worse than he. He thinks he is an incarnation of Jack the Ripper. You think you ARE the heroine of a children's story, Susan Pevensie gone to Narnia with her siblings. That is worse."
She said nothing.
"However, I owe you one. This once I will help you out. If you come back, I might remember that oar on my head."
"You deserved it."
"We don't use that word."
She realised the horrible truth that psychiatry was as hard a prison as any, or worse, but dealing with people not according to their merits and demerits, but is only concerned with how bad a doctor thinks one is. She shuddered. She "thought" she was Susan Pevensie, even if she had not actually said so. That made her more "ill" than a man who thought of himself merely as a reincarnation of Jack the Ripper, even if he acted accordingly.
"Now, here is how we do it ..."
The man had knowledge of a part of nurse Cecily's life that might land her as a patient there. So he had no problem doing some extortion to get her along with his plan. She and Susan exchanged clothes, she was locked up in a padded cell, Susan sat wearing her clothes and speaking in a friendly way to the patients until the evening came. She went out in company with Mr White.
"Be careful, and soon Cecily will be free and you will be on the run. Remember."
She paid the bus ticket with money in Cecily's hand bag. When she was gone, safe distance from the hospital, she started crying. If Mr. White had not been a criminal who had wronged her and if Cecily (the sweet girl) had not had some foible unknown to others which he could use to lock her up as a patient, then she, Susan, would still have been there. And not had any idea whatsoever of how she could get out from company like the "reincarnation of Jack the Ripper" or the people who thought herself about as ill or worse than he. She was glad she had not eaten, or she would have been sick.