This is my worst nightmare. I'm trapped in a semi-independent living facility. I am not allowed to go off campus because they want to make sure I'm safe. But, in one of the meetings with my case manager, she actually had the chutspa to ask me what I enjoy doing for fun and, unlike my legal guardian, I was honest. I told my case manager I'd like to go skydiving. Just imagine, me, someone with a traumatic brain injury, counting down from five, and jumping out of an airplane going 550 mph at 9 Gs. I imagine it being like going on a roller coaster when I'm going down, screaming, having a great time. A friend of mine who'd went skydiving said it was the ultimate form of quiet. Imagine, just quiet. No people with developmental disabilities screaming Good Morning a thousand times. 

           I watch the news every night and Jeopardy, one of the few intelligent shows still on TV. And to me the news and Jeopardy are my sitcoms. Have the police captured the murderer or random shooter, what's happening politically, where are the poles, etc.? I watch news without sports or weather because I don't give a shit about sports or weather. In fact, one time they interrupted Jeopardy for a “very important weather announcement” and then spent three hours telling the viewers it's raining, there's thunder, and there's lightening. Who cares? 

           I love the music of Jeopardy. The classical music in the clues, the introduction with the violin, the sound Merv Griffin composed for Final Jeopardy. But now, in the middle of watching Jeopardy, one of a few morons knock on my door for bullshit.

           “It's time for your pills.” the house parent says. For 38 years of my life I have been able to self-administer my own mediction without any need of supervision, but now that I'm paying to live in this shit hole, I have to pay a person's salary to remind me to take pills which is always when I'm working out (in the morning) or watching a TV show (at night). Then, instead of just giving me the pills, wouldn't I like to have a conversation about how I'm doing? Oh, what a great idea. By the way, could you please include some arson in my medication so I don't have to wake up here tomorrow to this same goddamn bullshit? 

           Then, there's my new next door neighbor in an apartment-like set up and we share a kitchen in the room between us and all day long this genious says a few enlightening things: “I farted. It's stinky. I up-chucked. I farted” And they won't allow us to have guns here so I could shoot myself or him. 

           Then, let me tell you about this place's engenious policy on meals. We cannot leave our house until it's meal time. So, we have to wait like idiots on a log for fifteen minutes so we can go to the fucking cafeteria where they have special pre-cooked food that's healthy for us. Not only that, but we have to wait on a goddamn line in the cafeteria so we can get this fucking food, which is so delicious. Heck, it's been approved by the state and tastes like tasteless apple sauce. If the state thinks this is good food, why doesn't the fucking state try eating these fucking meals three times a day for a few years and see what they have to say about it then. That'd be nice.

           I've thought of running away. Hell, all of us have, but there's a few problems with running away. Shit food is better than no food. The assholes in charge of this place have the right to call the police and say “a disabled citizen with special needs has escaped a rehab facility” and the police usually find the person and return the person here. Then, our families are called and we're read the riot act. But, I know something the other residents don't know. I know about AMA, which stands for Against Medical Advice. If I ask for these forms and leave this facility, there's nothing the administors can do to stop me from leaving which still leaves me with at least five problems: 1) Where to store my possessions, 2) How to afford food, 3) Personal Hygeine, 4) Where to get a job, 5) Shelter. So, for right now, I don't do it. But, maybe there are other options. 

           We get to go in a computer lab for ½ an hour every day. It's monitored to make sure we don't go to any inappropriate cites. I look up complicated things the montitor won't understand. Things like the EEOC, the FHA, the UDHR, the ADA, and look up local attorneys. Maybe if I sue these bastards I can get my rights back and everything I'm wanting. My legal guardian stole my legal rights by threatening me. Bastards. 

           The first thing I'll do when I win that case is get back in the dating scene with women who are my age and intelligent. Someone with at least a bachelor's degree. Someone who doesn't say good morning to me over and over even after I've replied. Someone who wants to form a long-term relationship. But, the problem is I'm old. I'm almost 40 years old and I'll never find the kind of person I want to settle down with in this shit hole. I've heard people with similar interests meet doing things they love together. Which brings me back to skydiving. I found a local place that does this. I got my evening meds in the middle of Jeopardy again and snuck out the window. I hitchhiked to the place where the skydiving takes place and have stolen money in my right pocket. Enough to go skydiving and hitch a ride back home. So, for tonight, I sleep on the grass. Hell, I'm treated like a dog 95% of the time I'm at the shit hole anyway. May as well sleep like a dog too. They'll discover I'm absent in the morning but I'll tell them I suffer from somnambulism and can't help it. 


           I get up the next morning and when they open, I buy my ticket. There's some instructions like when to open the parachute, the right position when jumping out of the plane, health questions, etc., but it's pretty much what I was expecting. I buy an egg and bacon sandwich at a fast food joint and at 11:00 am, I get on the plane with six other brave souls: 4 men and two women. I'm given choot and told where the emergency pull is in case the choot doesn't open. I see the woman in front of me jump and watch her breasts bounce like playdough. Then, it's my turn and the instructor says, “Now,” and I jump out. It's everything I imagined. The adreneline is running through my body, I'm screaming in joy. Other than my voice, there's no sound. It is absolute bliss. Then, after I count to ten, I pull the string and nothing happens. So, I start to sweat and pull the emergency string, but nothing happens. I feel the air coming faster onto my body. This is my worst nightmare.

September 27, 2021 15:26

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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