Group Time

The way she talked had me wishing I had cotton or something of that substance that I could stuff in my ears. It was one of those loud, screeching, painful voices with a tinge of Boston. There were times that I attended our therapy group that I wished I had a harpoon or some type of pointy throwing device that would end the torture for all involved.

“What are you thinking?” asked Laurel, the headmistress of this ragtag group.

“Are you asking me?” I asked.

“Yes you. Nobody else is staring a hole in the ceiling. You look miserable.”

“No…I’m good…I…you know how sometimes you leave the house and you are one hundred percent sure you have done everything you are supposed to do but you think to yourself, what if I didn’t put all my shirts on hangars, what if that zebra eradicates my garden, what if mantipedes overtake congress…”

“Did you think these things today?”

“No. I mean you never know though. You know? Am I making any sense?” as I spoke I looked around at the three other faces in the group. The banshee from Boston was rolling her eyes and chewing a piece of something like there was no tomorrow. Chaz, our resident homosexual was playing with a pencil and kept whispering to it “Get a grip”. I would look over at him and he would smile his good lookin’ smile and make me question myself in more ways than I do now. And last but not least there was Heather. Light of my life. All my being is for her. She doesn’t know this. I’ve known her since my first semester of college and she never picked up on the little clues I’d leave her…and it’s not because she’s crazy bananas.

“Did the zebra bring you here?” Chaz asks.

“He’s not allowed on the highway,” Heather responds.

“Oh no, I take him on the highway.”

“Don’t you think it is dangerous to ride a zebra on the highway?” asks the headmistress.

“I’m sorry but how is any of this important? I am here for help please and thank you. Can we talk about me please and thank you?” the banshee screeches.

“Yes Gloria, what’s on your mind?”

“I didn’t kill him!”

“Not this again,” I say.

“Just because a hand is holding a knife doesn’t mean the soul is doing the stabbing. I was nowhere in that room…spiritually speaking. Something took me out of my body…”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes.”

“Was it…the devil?”

“It could of been any sort of demonic creature. It doesn’t have to be the devil.”

“Are you sticking up for the devil?” asks Chaz.

“No. Maybe it was the devil. The devil killed my husband. There I said it…are all of you crazies happy?”

The headmistress had told the banshee not to use the word “crazy” in any form on many occasions. For when you say that word in room of crazies, the crazy comes out. Heather stood after hearing the word and begun to grasp at her throat and screaming something in the tune of “Woop…hee hee…woop”. Chaz wrapped his arms around me and started to cry. I slipped free from his grasp and walked him over to Heather with whom he clung to immediately. The headmistress stood, walked over to Heather and stroked her hair back away from her face as she whispered reassuring words. I took this as my chance to leave. As everyone was focused on the crying Heather and the smug banshee I walked quietly to the door, looked out its frosty glass and was positive no one was on the other side. I threw it open and sprinted like I never had in my life. I ran down hallways passing suicidals and depressives, dodging them like a linebacker. (I think that’s what they do. Never a big sports guy.) I see my freedom in a distance of fifty feet and closing. I extend my arms at the ready to push the door and continue my exodus. Two more big leg movements…

I slam into the door.

For it is locked.

I have tried this ten times before.

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