I Am Perfect
Author: Shane Slosar
"Turn left in a quarter mile, and the destination is on your right," the GPS says as
you cruise through the wooded hills of Massachusetts. You're sitting in the back seat of
your parents' Volvo, fidgeting with your nails.
"Well, it's a pretty area," your mom offers from the front seat.
"I wouldn't want to be committed anywhere else," you chime back.
"Actually, you're pretty lucky, it's the best place in the country. We could have
saved a college tuition and sent you to a state hospital."
"Lucky... that's exactly how I'm feeling right now. 19 and committed to a luny bin."
you hug your legs into your chest. "Shit. I should have shaved before we left, I bet they
won't let me have a razor."
"No... but also I don't think you need to worry about it. This isn't summer camp,
and I doubt you'll meet anyone," your dad responds.
You think about it for a minute. "Okay, fair enough."
"You won't be there forever you know," your mom says. "It's just until you're safe
again. I can always stay at home and monitor you for safety, but then we'd need to have
you seeing the psychiatrist daily for meds, and you wouldn't be allowed to go anywhere
alone, and I'd have to see about the time off from work..."
"No, mom, it's okay. I can't ask you to do that. Besides, I mean it can't be that
bad..." you say as you pull up to the facility. The tall, Victorian buildings loom over the
campus and remind you of your college; two places you don't want to be.
"They should have a sign that says 'watch for jumpers'," your dad laughs.
You laugh. "Yeah, or like 'don't hit patients (that's what they want)'," you all laugh
as pull up to the building labeled 'Intake'.
"Okay, well you guys can get out here, and I'll park the car," your dad says, and
your mom gets out. You take a deep breath as you reach for the handle.
The inside of the hospital is shockingly pleasant, and you curl up in a small ball
while your mom talks quietly with a nurse at the window. The nurse nods and
disappears and your mom comes over.
"Okay, so they're going to call your name over and do the evaluation in a minute.
I'll have your dad give them your bags when he come in, and the nurse said she'd go
through them with you to see what you can keep. She said I can't give you the actually
bag yourself because of the strap on your backpack."
You nod, biting your lip and fighting tears.
"It will be okay," your mom says and gathers your hair, placing it on your opposite
"Andrea?" the nurse calls from an open door across the waiting room.
You stand, smile to your mom, and walk over to the nurse.
"You can come with me and wait here until they're ready to take you over to the
ward," the nurse says and shows you to a separate waiting room adjacent to the main
waiting room. You can still see your parents through a small window in the door, but
they don't seem to notice you. You're surrounded by glass windows with nurses behind
them, watching you.
Wait you want to scream then. I'm...