Orderly

 

July 10, 1972

 

The queer thing about getting the job at the hospital is its timing

Just when I think the world will come to an end after the tooth ache and Louiseís leaving, this job comes out of nowhere.

I applied for it for no reason Ė or maybe just because the hospital is right behind the apartment Louise and I lived in.

I was desperate for work at that time, but I also wanted to stay close to home.

Anyway, I have no right to this job.

Iím a convicted criminal, and currently on probation Ė forced to take drug tests because I stupidly admitted I had taken drugs while on the run from the police.

Either the hospital didnít bother to check Ė which seems unlikely Ė or they want me there for some reason, and I think I know.

I uncovered their little tricks, and got told to hush up about it. I check in shipments of supplies, and I noticed that what the invoice says isnít what we actually get. We order a brand name and get an off brand name item.

The purchasing agent for the hospital also seems to have some deal with the trash company.

When I raised a question, he frowned, and then told me not to worry about it.

They want someone to blame later.

This only makes me more depressed than I already am.

Louiseís leaving feels as bad as the tooth the dentist wants to pull. I keep feeling around for her in my life and only come to the spot where she used to be.

I write a lot of painful poetry. I wander around the hospital lusting after pretty nurses. I slack off at my job.

Iím doomed anyway because I wanted to go to the Pocono Raceway concert with Hank Ė half hoping I would see Louise there Ė and lied about it to the purchasing agent the way I lied to teachers about why I wasnít in school. But after all, this was the first time I killed off my grandmother and I never thought one of those pretty nurses at the concert would recognize me there. They donít look at me twice here in the hospital.

Since I canít afford rent on the apartment Louise and I lived in now that Iím working part time, I decided to move in with Dave and his family.

He is my best friend since ten (until Hank came along anyway) but it took moving in with him to make me realize how much I canít stand him Ė and how much they hate me.

They simply wonít let me be alone.

I thought they were normal, and that I could live in the room they rented me and not have to deal with complications.

But they are not normal, and I suppose they never were.

They pretend to be the All American family. Dave married Linda before I left for the west Ė I suspect at the insistence of Daveís mother since Linda was pregnant at the time.

†Both women want Dave to be normal, to live a mundane life.

But nobody else in the house in normal, not even his kids, who are so wild they might well be savages.

 


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