I knew that my Mom was trying to stay up later than me so that she could stick the needles in my toes once I fell asleep. She thinks I don’t know that she’s been doing this, but everytime I look at her I can tell she is ready to break out the syringe and give me the meds I've stopped taking.
She looks over at me and says “What, Eldin?” like I’m going to accuse her in front of my sisters and my Dad. All that will lead to is the normal name calling “Schitzo! Schitzo!” and more needles being put into me or maybe even the serum being put into my mashed potatoes, which she knows I love.
I am sitting here writing in my journal, the “reprobate letters” I call it. That name is powerful because it makes her mad. It made her start the needles in the first place. She keeps looking at me and sighing, but I am pretending not to notice her, which of course makes her mad.
I suppose I want to chronicle how the whole thing began, this multi leveled horror show that they don’t think I know is going on. It wasn’t too long into my stint at Cornell, after I got my scholarship when I was living in the dorms that smelled like armpits and cheese. The calamity was one day, on my way to the cafeteria and I was being followed by some guys who wanted to copy my homework. They had asked to copy it earlier and I said no, but they wouldn’t stop following me. I was on my way to the dining hall and they were hot on my heels and that’s when I turned around and said “Leave me alone!” I called them a name I shouldn’t have called them and I did hold up my fork like it was a knife, which is probably why the hall monitor came over and asked me what the hell was going on. I tried to tell him what was happening but those guys were so freaked out and almost crying that he was listening to them. It turned out they were all from India or Bangla Desh or some country everyone feels sorry for but doesn’t know anything about.
I got put in the hospital.
My roommate, Peter Iscariot (at least that’s what I call him now), told the Dean that I never slept and had a bunch equations that wouldn’t stop in my journal and I talked to myself all the time. I never told them how that jerk was addicted to pornography and talked to his mom like she was his girlfriend, but if I did, I bet he would have been in the bed right next to mine.
First they drugged me. Then they asked me a bunch of dumb questions, like if I knew what year it was and who was president and if I knew the square root of three. Shit like that. They all watched me like I was a two-headed cat, making notes that they never again referred to again. Then they drugged me some more. The next thing I know my Mom and Dad are there and Mom won’t stop crying. She tried to hug me, but I was wearing a jacket that they put lead in or something because I couldn’t raise my arms.
When I came home, I kept saying “What about school? I have a test.” But everyone would say “Don’t worry about school right now.” Which now I know meant that I was never going back.
My bed felt like it was stuffed with socks and I told Mom that I thought the doctors were asses who didn’t know anything about the medication they put me on. It made me feel like a moth with powdery wings. It was soft and chewy like licorice once it was in my stomach and my stomach chewed it all day long. So I felt drugged like a giant moth and my stomach was chewing all day and I couldn’t sit or lie down or write without feeling drugged like a horse. So that’s when I started skipping my medicine. I knew this was a risk because I chased people with forks if I didn’t take it, but I couldn’t get them to take me to a better doctor. One that might know what he was doing.
Instead she watches me and waits for me to fall asleep so she can give me the serum. She melts down the pills and puts them in needles and gives them to me in my toes. I found the holes there when I was taking a bath and I asked her about it. She acted like I was the crazy one and when I started writing about it in my reprobate letters, she accused me of cuneiforming.
She said, “Why are you writing in that book in cuneiform? Are you Tutankhamen now?” Like I didn’t know what she means. If you scramble the letters in Tutankhamen's name, you get Tukuman - the devil of the Nordic underworld who carries needles and writes in blood. For all she knows, the equations of my script are cuneiform and she can be confused herself for a change and see how she likes it.
Dad says to take my medicine if I want to live here and I guess at some point they have to take me to a doctor. I don’t want to be in the hospital again because there I am an elephant, not a moth. I wish everyone would stop asking to copy the reprobate letters, especially when I’m trying to get breakthrough. One day I’ll take it to Cornell and they’ll admit they were wrong about me and they’ll have to admit that I am a genius.
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