Cameron Vanderwerf's flash about an old asylum with a total population of just two.
My favorite part of the building was the tower, so I kept Matheson in the top room. That way, we both got some exercise on the stairs and got to enjoy the view from up there. You could see the courtyard, the perimeter walls, and the rolling green hills beyond. You also got quite a nice view of the sunset. Sometimes we watched the sunset together from there, me sipping hot tea and him strapped to his bed. I kept him restrained whenever I didn't feel like holding the stun gun.
Matheson suffered from severe paranoid delusions, so my treatment for him always focused on security. He had to see that he was safe where he was. Nothing was getting in or out of the asylum. Nothing could hurt him, and if he would only calm down and appreciate the beauty of life, he would see that the world is a good place. Unfortunately, he was quite a difficult case. He was always anxious to be up and about. He never wanted to just sit down and calmly read a book or watch a movie. He always wanted to be outside. But even when I let him out into the courtyard, all he would do is scrabble about against the perimeter walls, trying to get out. Sedatives were often a necessary measure.
One of his more disturbing habits involved shouting absurd accusations at me. He would scream things like "You're not an orderly!" Or "I'm not a patient! I'm sane! You're the insane one!" He would insist that the asylum had closed down years ago. "Look around!" he would shout. "There's no one here but you and me!" I always tried to calmly explain that there had been cutbacks, and I was all the staff that was necessary, but he just couldn't be satisfied. "Having only one staff member doesn't make sense!" he would retort. "What about the administrators, huh? Where are they?" Such is the mind of a delusional. Entirely preoccupied with maintaining the delusions. But all I can do is be steadfast in my professional duty. Matheson requires help and compassion, and I must be there to provide it for him.
Sometimes I find myself thinking about the day when Matheson will be discharged. A day when his psychoses have finally been cured, and he leaves me all alone in this asylum, waiting for another like Matheson who requires my care. But then I see what little progress he is making, and I fear that day will never come. No, I think to myself. That day will never, ever come.