SPRING RAIN, SUMMER HEAT by Josh Peterson
A5, 182 pages, Black & white printed, Perfect bound, Softcover, 2020
I'm writing this from the psychiatric ward of the county hospital. It's an odd place, with low ceilings, on the fourth floor. There are ongoing renovations in-progress, with no scheduled completion in sight. The window at the check-in station is a bursting, shattered web held in place with sheets of Plexiglas, in lieu of repair. I ask a brunette orderly about it; she says it was done by a patient, but that she feels it's a good representation of the facility, its function, and us patients.
My room nears the end of a hallway, with safety windows that cannot be opened and furniture that is too heavy to lift. There is, at least, a private toilet. The heater's metallic buzz drone substitutes my desire for music. The walls look a pallid beige in day and a medical lavender after dark. The fixtures are grey brushed steel.
Soon, my mother will visit, as my stay here wears out its use. I came here of my own accord, and am fortunate enough to have the option of leaving in the same manner tomorrow. Overworked and patronizing doctors don't want me elongating their short hours, anyhow. I've got a publisher wondering why I haven't yet replied to an email, and several assignments to finish. My nails could use a trim, and my stubble is Velcro against my mask. Most of all, I miss my dog. I'm sure the two of them understand. These – these kind souls.
In honesty, it felt good to get it off my chest. I told them (almost) everything: the history of abuse, the crimes, the shattered family, the dead friends, the drinking, the drugs. Nobody ever asks about any of the murders.
And best of all, a sexy boy smiled at me.