Terry Collett


As He Has Before.


The charge nurse closes
the door behind Yiska.
Can I go home? Not yet.
When? When you are

well enough. I am well
enough. We think not.
Who are we? The nurses
and the doctors and I,

think you are not well
enough. But I feel well
enough. You are on the
inside looking out, we

are on the outside of
you looking in. So? We
see things from a much
different angle. But I feel

well. Feelings can betray.
But I feel well. You think
you are well. I am. We think
not. But what do you know?

We are professionals. But
I know what I feel inside.
The charge nurse taps his
pen on the desk, Yiska coldly

stares at him. You tried to
cut your wrists. Tried yes,
but I stopped. Not soon
enough. I am here aren’t I?

The fact you decided to
cut your wrists says you
are unwell. It was how I
felt then. Feelings again.

It was a dark time. Wait
until you are better when
the dark days have gone.
You mean ECT? It helps.

Not me. Some it does.
Not me though. We saw
Improvement, we think.
You think? We professionals.

I get headaches. Side effect.
I feel sick afterwards. More
side effect. Yiska screws
her hands in her lap. The

charge nurse stares at her.
You mix well with Baruch.
He’s kind. He’s a patient.
He is unwell like you. I like

him. He has his problems.
Don’t we all? He will not
help you. You don’t help
me. He will not. I like him.

So we are informed. You
spy? We watch. Spy. We
need to watch all of our
patients. I want to go.

When you are well. Now
I want to leave here.
The hospital? Yes. No.
The room then. Here.

Yes. Ok. Yiska gets up
from the chair. The
charge nurse sits there
watching her. She draws

her nightgown tightly
about her as she leaves
the room. We are still
watching you and Baruch.

Yiska says nothing. The
door closes. She sighs.
The charge nurse folds
his fingers over his large

paunch and stares at the
door and folds away his
captured image of her
naked as he has before.

Submitted: Friday, August 30, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 03, 2013

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