Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.
“Hi, I’m Todd,” I said eyes locking with Mrs. Krockers (don’t judge me it’s all I could come up with). Expecting some sort of answer back; like in the movies, where they all turn and say “Hi Todd” in a monotone voice and expressionless faces, they just sat there utterly unimpressed. I’m surrounded by dull characters.
“Can you tell us something about yourself? Or why you’re here?” Mrs. Krocker said just sitting there staring at me, like a monkey in a zoo, fingers tapping on her clipboard per usual, but I, unlike them, wasn’t confined by bars, but by white walls and the vicinity of my chair.
“My favorite color is red.” Nice Todd, very original.
“Now why are you here? You’ve agreed to do this Todd let’s remember, ‘A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.’” An Oscar Wilde quote. I took a deep shaky breath (for the atmosphere of course).
“I started drinking almost as soon as I got into high school. I always got invited to parties. My parents never really cared too much, about where I was or how much I had to drink. As long as I continued to play basketball,” I am about six foot three inches tall. My classmates used to refer to me as “the giant” even though I wasn’t even the tallest in the school. I think it was because the guy who was, (who was at least two inches taller than me) was to the bone skinny. to where I am more stocky, and my rib cage could enclose his, “I never got along with everyone at these events, so I got into a lot of fights.”
“What kind of fighting?” More tapping, scratching of a pen against paper.
“The kind where you’re drunk, and you hit on some babe at the party, and her quarterback boyfriend punches you in the face. So you hit him back harder.” I grin at Andria, then give a small wink. She looks down at her white tennis shoes.
“That seems. . .specific.” Mrs. Krocker’s face turns down, which I assume is hard to do with the excessive botox.
“I think he’s full of shit,” Gregory said, out of turn might I add. I wasn’t finished with my masterpiece of a sob story.
“Greg, at least my blood isn’t Karo syrup,” I smirked, Mrs. Krocker shoots me a mean look, but it isn’t me who they take out in handcuffs. That’s Greg, I always know what sets him off. His weight is one of the top five things that makes him angry (the others including: Being told to be quiet, a girl turning him down, if you mention what he is wearing, and anything at all about his parents), he is three hundred and ten pounds; only distributed through his Five foot eleven body. He popped out of his chair, but good thing he isn’t fast or he may have used his bulbous body to crush me. Instead, he got pulled out of the room, after a needle was quickly inserted into his ass. Nighty night Gregory.
“That’s enough for the day,” Mrs. Krocker sighs into her clipboard. We haven’t made much progress, and I am beyond irritated because I never got to tell the end to my story, “Thank you all for coming, let’s remember next time to wait our turn, and of course our positive motive. ‘We all can smile for a while!’”
We live in Smileslock, aka smiles a lot. An intense therapy kind of old-style ward for the mentally ill. We aren’t like the others though. We don’t shit ourselves or forget our lives. . .well most of us. I like to think they call it smileslock because they want us to be happy, but I know better, that they call it smiles a lot because we are on lots of “feel-good medication”. Since last year, we also get medical marijuana (I’m having a blast for the most part).
“Thank you, Todd, for speaking first. I promise we will continue with your story soon.” That felt empty. I don’t think she understands a good story setup at all. She wanted to know our dark pasts but doesn’t want any build-up. I can only imagine how she is in bed. All serious and no passion.
“Yep Mrs. Krocker, don’t think you’re getting out of it.” I smile showing my straight teeth and doing a signature head nod that seems to piss her off; probably because it is filled with visual sarcasm. She smiles at me with no wrinkles and blonde hair, but do I spot a hint of gray?
“‘All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling’ Oscar was truly a wise man.” I never said she had to be nice to us, but damn, she called me out. Oscar Wilde: 1. Todd Lange: 0. I could hear Andria snicker from across our crazy circle. The others do their things waiting to be truly dismissed by the “welcoming party” (that’s what we call the people who usher us around). We are taken in a line back to our rooms, the hallway is mostly quiet besides one man in his thirties jumping up and down on his bed. . . naked. It wasn’t long for him to get the same treatment as big, sleepy Greg.