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Mrs. T's Story

Krishna Padmasola
I felt bad today.That headache was back. Dr. Wilkins came and spent some time with me. He is very nice with all the inmates,but sometimes I think I can detect some trace of annoyance in him when Martha goes on and on with her list of complaints and does not want to let him go.

I felt bad today.That headache was back. Dr. Wilkins came and spent some time with me. He is very nice with all the inmates,but sometimes I think I can detect some trace of annoyance in him when Martha goes on and on with her list of complaints and does not want to let him go. He wanted to talk about my life and my experiences. But I remember so little. Sometimes I am able to recall certain incidents but that is as if a faint breath of mental association has turned the leaves of the book of my past to a forgotten page , offering me a momentary glimpse. Dr.Wilkins said that I should write down whatever I remember, whenever I recall some incident. I said that I would try.

Last night I had trouble falling asleep. It did not help that Martha was singing lullabies to her teddy bear.When I woke up, it was 3 a.m., and I was trembling from the nightmare. I wanted to get something to drink from the refrigerator, but then I remembered the small animals I saw in there the last time. The nurse did not believe me. But I don't care.I think she is arrogant and is not responsive to the needs of the inmates.

I remember when Roger, me and our three children were living together, and things were not going very well for Roger at work. He used to come home late and was usually frustrated. It was then that the headaches began. In the begining they lasted for short periods of time, but later on they lasted longer . I also heard the voices accusing me that I was not a good wife to Roger. I felt crushed and useless . I could not think of what I could do to help Roger. Poor Roger,with my head going thump,thump like the beats of a drum,the drummer playing on the drumhead alive to pain, like the thunder rolling,rolling and crushing all thoughts and leaving a body like a sapling drained of its life, drooping in the aftermath of a thunderstorm,oh Roger you do not know the anguish I felt when you told me that you wanted a divorce. I did not know why I was doing anything anymore. I was going on a journey with confidence but then when I consulted the map in a moment of doubt, I saw that I was travelling in a maze.

Roger left me. I had to sell the house and move to a small apartment. The kids were afraid to talk to me. They stayed with Roger.The headaches, and the voices returned with a vengeance. I heard them say that I was a bad wife and a bad mother. They said that they were punishing me for being bad. Sometimes I would stay in bed the whole day looking at our family photograph. That was the only way I could stand the pain. Sometimes I would look out of the window and see huge dinosaurs walk by.

One day I went to groceries and saw some snakes near the checkout counter. I did not want to go out through the checkout counter and as I was leaving by another exit, some policemen came and took back all my groceries. Then they took down my name and address. I did not know what I had done wrong.Finally they let me go. It was after that incident that Dr.Wilkins visited me for the first time. He said that the sergeant had told him about me. He was very kind and understanding. I felt that he was a friend.He gave me some medicine so that there was less pain and I was even able to sleep.

What were those lights? Flashing,red and blue, changing the world with each flash, dissolving it into darkness and bringing it forth once more;and what was that sound? incessantly wailing, rising and falling like the waves on a deserted and treacherous shore on a new-moon night;and who was that?was it a policeman who said, "ma'am, would you step out please?" I fainted.

The next day, I found myself here. Dr. Wilkins came to see me; I was happy to know that he works here. He said that I was driving on the highway at midnight in my nightgown and when the police found me, I had fainted.

Martha is talking in her sleep. I would really like something to drink right now. Next time I should ask the nurse to leave me some drinks on my bedside table. I have written this down and I hope this may be of use to Dr.Wilkins . The clock is striking 4 a.m. and there is the stillness of repose in the dormitory. The world has become silent, and my tumultous thoughts are being attennuated gradually as I approach the half awake half dreamy stage which is the precursor to sleep....


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