The patients are awoken before it is light.
They eat quickly, before lining up for a 100mg of hypnotic.
They are ushered to their work on the Asylum’s farm, in the shadow of the 3 metre wall.
A radio blasts out the daily news. It is the same news on every channel – government press releases.
The nurses walk up and down, the keys of power dangling from their belts.
They threaten those flagging with withdrawal of privileges. “No ciggies for you!”, one threatens.
The charge nurse shouts, “Medication time – back to the ward!”
The patients line up for another 100mg of hypnotic.
A young patient turns to an older one and says, “We must be insane for being here!”
“At least we’re all insane together”, came the timorous reply. “I’ve grown to love standing in this line. Just take the medication, it will help you stop thinking. Always do your work. Never, never, ask questions, and never, never, disobey an instruction”.
“But …”, the young patient tried to interject, before being stopped by the plea, “Don’t show any dissent, they REALLY ARE always listening!”
lenin nightingale 2014