After the riots, started by the great crisis, things seem now to have calmed down on the surface and people started to get back to real life, you know, the awesome regenerative power of humans, but lots of people had ugly scars, they were full of depression because they either have lost houses, businesses, jobs and worst, loved ones. You can feel it if you look around you, people are sad, they are bad with each other, there is no community, no helping, no “‘mornin’ neighbor”, “can i help you with this?”, “can i do that for you?”, that’s what i felt and that’s what made me to sell everything (not much if you’re asking), bought an old trailer and went off to help people the best i can, mentally. Some say i have some sense of humor, maybe i’m a comedian, some say i’m an harlequin, you name it, i travel from town to town, mental institutions to mental institutions, hospitals to hospitals, trying to get some smiles from people who really need it.
That’s how i got in this town, Happyville.
I drove through the huge “Thousand Oaks Hospital and Mental Institution” metal engraved gates, followed a curved road flanked with big oak trees and on both sides there was this friendly looking meadow, with trees and benches underneath and troubled or just ill people spread like poppies on a cereal field.
I went straight to Doctor Johnson’s office, the principal of the institution, and there was the good doctor, african-american guy, in his 60’s, a very strong looking man, both physically and mentally.
– You made it son, come on in, have a seat! What do you think of my kingdom?
– This place is INSANE doc!
– Hahahahahaha! Good one son, glad you’re here, go on and save some souls, how many you can……
Doc’s face went blank…
– People don’t know how to heal anymore, that’s how bad they made us…….freakin’ money, all this economic boom for what, we are lower then when we started.
– I always thought the bubble will burst doc.
– Yeah sonny, but where did we go wrong Mark?!
– It’s envy, greed, believing all the lies in the media and the biggest mistake, we tried to reshape the flow of nature…
– You think it’s us, the people, right sonny?!
– I don’t see anybody else around, doc!
– Hahahahaha, go sonny, do something good for the poor souls!
– Any “special” cases doc?
– Hmmmm, you might like Mrs.Hackelby, she came here one month ago after a neighbor found here covered in blood from a wrist wound.
– Can’t be! She is paralyzed for around 20 years with only being able to speak. I didn’t check the case very much but i heard her story might be in a dense fog. Ask Dorothy on your way out, she’ll point her to you.
I went with Dorothy on a very long and narrow yellowish stone path with dense bush walls and we were walking and walking like the path never ended, till we get to the entrance of a maze. It was so quiet, no more yelling, no more screams, just like a fairy tale, bright green foliage, birds singing, a cool breeze around me.
– FOOOOOOOOOOLLLL !!!
A scream slashed my soul, from the entrance of the maze, it was a skinny woman in a hospital robe, with long and chaotic white hair, with the face full of wrinkles and with her mouth drool, a tooth here and there, one was gold plated.
She continued with a low voice full of despair…
– You shouldn’t be here…..
Dorothy came to the rescue…
– It’s ok, she’s Lizzy, she will do no harm.
– Hello Lizzy, everything ok?!
Dorothy looked at me with that look on her face: [How the hell she should be ok]. Then she gave me an approval smile.
– Go through the maze, you won’t get lost, at the end you’ll find Mrs.Hackelby, i take her here because she’s at peace here.
At the end of the maze, in a wheel chair, set an old woman with a clean face, with perfectly brushed hair, very clean, but with all the sadness in the world in her eyes, the only part of her body moving slowly; a tear was going down on her right cheek.
– I am Mark Lecter and i would like to talk to you if you will be so kind and of course if you want me to.
– Can i get something for you?
– I’m here to help, do you need something?!
I realized i won’t have any luck with the lady and i wouldn’t wanted to push her, so i decided to leave. I turned around and headed out of the maze, but around a corner i saw in the grass, a green envelope, i reached for it and turn back to Mrs.Hackelby.
– Is this yours?
She reply with calm but i could sense she was nervous inside.
– Would you please give it back to me? I thought i lost it. Hide it in my pocket please.
– Why didn’t you ask someone to search it for you?
– I don’t want anyone to know about it.
I approached her and hide the envelope in her pocket so no one could see it.
– Did you look in the envelope sir?
– You can call me Mark.
– Can you please answer my question sir?!
– Maybe some day i will tell you what’s in here, so behave young man. Would you please leave?!
She was trying to shut me off with the envelope story and that was ok with me, she radiated respect but something was not right and i felt in my heart that i had to see what’s wrong.
– Can i come to see you again?
– No, and if you will come, i will beat you to death.
That’s the spirit, i smiled to her and went back to Dorothy.
– Did you have any luck mister?
– My home is a trailer and i live on donations, do you see any luck in this?!
– Youth these days….come along child.
– Dorothy, what do you know about her?
– Not much, her kids come in the afternoons and stay with her, she doesn’t talk much, the kids doesn’t talk much either.
On my way back I said good night to Lizzy, wipe the drool with my napkin and gave her one of the paper flowers i carry with me. She waved mechanically.
I said goodbye to Dorothy, waved at doc who was looking from his office outside through his huge window, get in the car an drove in the night, one hour back to Happyville.