Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Prijavi me trajno:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:

Registracijom prihvatate pravila foruma.
ConQUIZtador
banner
Trenutno vreme je: 17. Jul 2019, 01:19:23
nazadnapred
Korisnici koji su trenutno na forumu 0 članova i 1 gost pregledaju ovu temu.

Ovo je forum u kome se postavljaju tekstovi i pesme nasih omiljenih pisaca.
Pre nego sto postavite neki sadrzaj obavezno proverite da li postoji tema sa tim piscem.

Idi dole
Stranice:
2 3 ... 10
Počni novu temu Nova anketa Odgovor Štampaj Dodaj temu u favorite Pogledajte svoje poruke u temi
Tema: Ken Elton Kesey ~ Ken Elton Kejsi  (Pročitano 45133 puta)
01. Sep 2005, 09:01:43
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey

Part 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Part 2
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Part 3
24
25
Part 4
26
27
28
29
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Ken Kesey

   …one flew east, one flew west,
   One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.

Children’s folk rhyme
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
Part 1

1

   They’re out there.
   Black boys in white suits up before me to commit sex acts in the hall and get it mopped up before I can catch them.
   They’re mopping when I come out the dorm, all three of them sulky and hating everything, the time of day, the place they’re at here, the people they got to work around. When they hate like this, better if they don’t see me. I creep along the wall quiet as dust in my canvas shoes, but they got special sensitive equipment detects my fear and they all look up, all three at once, eyes glittering out of the black faces like the hard glitter of radio tubes out of the back of an old radio.
   “Here’s the Chief. The soo–pah Chief, fellas. Ol’ Chief Broom. Here you go, Chief Broom…”
   Stick a mop in my hand and motion to the spot they aim for me to clean today, and I go. One swats the backs of my legs with a broom handle to hurry me past.
   “Haw, you look at ‘im shag it? Big enough to eat apples off my head an’ he mine me like a baby.”
   They laugh and then I hear them mumbling behind me, heads close together. Hum of black machinery, humming hate and death and other hospital secrets. They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb. Everybody thinks so. I’m cagey enough to fool them that much. If my being half Indian ever helped me in any way in this dirty life, it helped me being cagey, helped me all these years.
   I’m mopping near the ward door when a key hits it from the other side and I know it’s the Big Nurse by the way the lockworks cleave to the key, soft and swift and familiar she been around locks so long. She slides through the door with a gust of cold and locks the door behind her and I see her fingers trail across the polished steel—tip of each finger the same color as her lips. Funny orange. Like the tip of a soldering iron. Color so hot or so cold if she touches you with it you can’t tell which.
   She’s carrying her woven wicker bag like the ones the Umpqua tribe sells out along the hot August highway, a bag shape of a tool box with a hemp handle. She’s had it all the years I been here. It’s a loose weave and I can see inside it; there’s no compact or lipstick or woman stuff, she’s got that bag full of thousand parts she aims to use in her duties today—wheels and gears, cogs polished to a hard glitter, tiny pills that gleam like porcelain, needles, forceps, watchmakers’ pliers, rolls of copper wire…
   She dips a nod at me as she goes past. I let the mop push me back to the wall and smile and try to foul her equipment’ up as much as possible by not letting her see my eyes—they can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
   In my dark I hear her rubber heels hit the tile and the stuff in her wicker bag clash with the jar of her walking as she passes me in the hall. She walks stiff. When I open my eyes she’s down the hall about to turn into the glass Nurses’ Station where she’ll spend the day sitting at her desk and looking out her window and making notes on what goes on out in front of her in the day room during the next eight hours. Her face looks pleased and peaceful with the thought.
   Then… she sights those black boys. They’re still down there together, mumbling to one another. They didn’t hear her come on the ward. They sense she’s glaring down at them now, but it’s too late. They should of knew better’n to group up and mumble together when she was due on the ward. Their faces bob apart, confused. She goes into a crouch and advances on where they’re trapped in a huddle at the end of the corridor. She knows what they been saying, and I can see she’s furious clean out of control. She’s going to tear the black bastards limb from limb, she’s so furious. She’s swelling up, swells till her back’s splitting out the white uniform and she’s let her arms section out long enough to wrap around the three of them five, six times. She looks around her with a swivel of her huge head. Nobody up to see, just old Broom Bromden the half-breed Indian back there hiding behind his mop and can’t talk to call for help. So she really lets herself go and her painted smile twists, stretches to an open snarl, and she blows up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor, so big I can smell the machinery inside the way you smell a motor pulling too big a load. I hold my breath and figure, My God this time they’re gonna do it! This time they let the hate build up too high and overloaded and they’re gonna tear one another to pieces before they realize what they’re doing!
   But just as she starts crooking those sectioned arms around the black boys and they go to ripping at her underside with the mop handles, all the patients start coming out of the dorms to check on what’s the hullabaloo, and she has to change back before she’s caught in the shape of her hideous real self. By the time the patients get their eyes rubbed to where they can halfway see what the racket’s about, all they see is the head nurse, smiling and calm and cold as usual, telling the black boys they’d best not stand in a group gossiping when it is Monday morning and there is such a lot to get done on the first morning of the week…
   “…mean old Monday morning, you know, boys…”
   “Yeah, Miz Ratched…
   “…and we have quite a number of appointments this morning, so perhaps, if your standing here in a group talking isn’t too urgent…”
   “Yeah, Miz Ratched…”
   She stops and nods at some of the patients come to stand around and stare out of eyes all red and puffy with sleep. She nods once to each. Precise, automatic gesture. Her face is smooth, calculated, and precision-made, like an expensive baby doll, skin like flesh-colored enamel, blend of white and cream and baby-blue eyes, small nose, pink little nostrils—everything working together except the color on her lips and fingernails, and the size of her bosom. A mistake was made somehow in manufacturing, putting those big, womanly breasts on what would of otherwise been a perfect work, and you can see how bitter she is about it.
   The men are still standing and waiting to see what she was onto the black boys about, so she remembers seeing me and says, “And since it is Monday, boys, why don’t we get a good head start on the week by shaving poor Mr. Bromden first this morning, before the after-breakfast rush on the shaving room, and see if we can’t avoid some of the—ah—disturbance he tends to cause, don’t you think?”
   Before anybody can turn to look for me I duck back in the mop closet, jerk the door shut dark after me, hold my breath. Shaving before you get breakfast is the worst time. When you got something under your belt you’re stronger and more wide awake, and the bastards who work for the Combine aren’t so apt to slip one of their machines in on you in place of an electric shaver. But when you shave before breakfast like she has me do some mornings—six-thirty in the morning in a room all white walls and white basins, and long-tube-lights in the ceiling making sure there aren’t any shadows, and faces all round you trapped screaming behind the mirrors—then what chance you got against one of their machines?
   I hide in the mop closet and listen, my heart beating in the dark, and I try to keep from getting scared, try to get my thoughts off someplace else—try to think back and remember things about the village and the big Columbia River, think about ah one time Papa and me were hunting birds in a stand of cedar trees near The Dalles… But like always when I try to place my thoughts in the past and hide there, the fear close at hand seeps in through the memory. I can feel that least black boy out there coming up the hall, smelling out for my fear. He opens out his nostrils like black funnels, his outsized head bobbing this way and that as he sniffs, and he sucks in fear from all over the ward. He’s smelling me now, I can hear him snort. He don’t know where I’m hid, but he’s smelling and he’s hunting around. I try to keep still…
   (Papa tells me to keep still, tells me that the dog senses a bird somewheres right close. We borrowed a pointer dog from a man in The Dalles. All the village dogs are no-‘count mongrels, Papa says, fish-gut eaters and no class a-tall; this here dog, he got insteek! I don’t say anything, but I already see the bird up in a scrub cedar, hunched in a gray knot of feathers. Dog running in circles underneath, too much smell around for him to point for sure. The bird safe as long as he keeps still. He’s holding out pretty good, but the dog keeps sniffing and circling, louder and closer. Then the bird breaks, feathers springing, jumps out of the cedar into the birdshot from Papa’s gun.)
   The least black boy and one of the bigger ones catch me before I get ten steps out of the mop closet, and drag me back to the shaving room. I don’t fight or make any noise. If you yell it’s just tougher on you. I hold back the yelling. I hold back till they get to my temples. I’m not sure it’s one of those substitute machines and not a shaver till it gets to my temples; then I can’t hold back. It’s not a will-power thing any more when they get to my temples. It’s a… button, pushed, says Air Raid Air Raid, turns me on so loud it’s like no sound, everybody yelling at me, hands over their ears from behind a glass wall, faces working around in talk circles but no sound from the mouths. My sound soaks up all other sound. They start the fog machine again and it’s snowing down cold and white all over me like skim milk, so thick I might even be able to hide in it if they didn’t have a hold on me. I can’t see six inches in front of me through the fog and the only thing I can hear over the wail I’m making is the Big Nurse whoop and charge up the hall while she crashes patients outta her way with that wicker bag. I hear her coming but I still can’t hush my hollering. I holler till she gets there. They hold me down while she jams wicker bag and all into my mouth and shoves it down with a mop handle.
   (A bluetick hound bays out there in the fog, running scared and lost because he can’t see. No tracks on the ground but the ones he’s making, and he sniffs in every direction with his cold red-rubber nose and picks up no scent but his own fear, fear burning down into him like steam.) It’s gonna burn me just that way, finally telling about all this, about the hospital, and her, and the guys—and about McMurphy. I been silent so long now it’s gonna roar out of me like floodwaters and you think the guy telling this is ranting and raving my God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It’s still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
2

   When the fog clears to where I can see, I’m sitting in the day room. They didn’t take me to the Shock Shop this time. I remember they took me out of the shaving room and locked me in Seclusion. I don’t remember if I got breakfast or not. Probably not. I can call to mind some mornings locked in Seclusion the black boys keep bringing seconds of everything—supposed to be for me, but they eat it instead—till all three of them get breakfast while I lie there on that pee-stinking mattress, watching them wipe up egg with toast. I can smell the grease and hear them chew the toast. Other mornings they bring me cold mush and force me to eat it without it even being salted.
   This morning I plain don’t remember. They got enough of those things they call pills down me so I don’t know a thing till I hear the ward door open. That ward door opening means it’s at least eight o’clock, means there’s been maybe an hour and a half I was out cold in that Seclusion Room when the technicians could of come in and installed anything the Big Nurse ordered and I wouldn’t have the slightest notion what.
   I hear noise at the ward door, off up the hall out of my sight. That ward door starts opening at eight and opens and closes a thousand times a day, kashash, click. Every morning we sit lined up on each side of the day room, mixing jigsaw puzzles after breakfast, listen for a key to hit the lock, and wait to see what’s coming in. There’s not a whole lot else to do. Sometimes, at the door, it’s a young resident in early so he can watch what we’re like Before Medication. BM, they call it. Sometimes it’s a wife visiting there on high heels with her purse held tight over her belly. Sometimes it’s a clutch of grade-school teachers being led on a tour by that fool Public Relation man who’s always clapping his wet hands together and saying how overjoyed he is that mental hospitals have eliminated all the old-fashioned cruelty. “What a cheery atmosphere, don’t you agree?” He’ll bustle around the schoolteachers, who are bunched together for safety, clapping his hands together. “Oh, when I think back on the old days, on the filth, the bad food, even, yes, brutality, oh, I realize, ladies, that we have come a long way in our campaign!” Whoever comes in the door is usually somebody disappointing, but there’s always a chance otherwise, and when a key hits the lock all the heads come up like there’s strings on them.
   This morning the lockworks rattle strange; it’s not a regular visitor at the door. An Escort Man’s voice calls down, edgy and impatient, “Admission, come sign for him,” and the black boys go.
   Admission. Everybody stops playing cards and Monopoly, turns toward the day-room door. Most days I’d be out sweeping the hall and see who they’re signing in, but this morning, like I explain to you, the Big Nurse put a thousand pounds down me and I can’t budge out of the chair. Most days I’m the first one to see the Admission, watch him creep in the door and slide along the wall and stand scared till the black boys come sign for him and take him into the shower room, where they strip him and leave him shivering with the door open while they all three run grinning up and down the halls looking for the Vaseline. “We need that Vaseline,” they’ll tell the Big Nurse, “for the thermometer.” She looks from one to the other: “I’m sure you do,” and hands them a jar holds at least a gallon, “but mind you boys don’t group up in there.” Then I see two, maybe all three of them in there, in that shower room with the Admission, running that thermometer around in the grease till it’s coated the size of your finger, crooning, “Tha’s right, mothah, that’s right,” and then shut the door and turn all the showers up to where you can’t hear anything but the vicious hiss of water on the green tile. I’m out there most days, and I see it like that.
   But this morning I have to sit in the chair and only listen to them bring him in. Still, even though I can’t see him, I know he’s no ordinary Admission. I don’t hear him slide scared along the wall, and when they tell him about the shower he don’t just submit with a weak little yes, he tells them right back in a loud, brassy voice that he’s already plenty damn clean, thank you.
   “They showered me this morning at the courthouse and last night at the jail. And I swear I believe they’d of washed my ears for me on the taxi ride over if they coulda found the vacilities. Hoo boy, seems like everytime they ship me someplace I gotta get scrubbed down before, after, and during the operation. I’m gettin’ so the sound of water makes me start gathering up my belongings. And get back away from me with that thermometer, Sam, and give me a minute to look my new home over; I never been in a Institute of Psychology before.”
   The patients look at one another’s puzzled faces, then back to the door, where his voice is still coming in. Talking louder’n you’d think he needed to if the black boys were anywhere near him. He sounds like he’s way above them, talking down, like he’s sailing fifty yards overhead, hollering at those below on the ground. He sounds big. I hear him coming down the hall, and he sounds big in the way he walks, and he sure don’t slide; he’s got iron on his heels and he rings it on the floor like horseshoes. He shows up in the door and stops and hitches his thumbs in his pockets, boots wide apart, and stands there with the guys looking at him.
   “Good mornin’, buddies.”
   There’s a paper Halloween bat hanging on a string above his head; he reaches up and flicks it so it spins around.
   “Mighty nice fall day.”
   He talks a little the way Papa used to, voice loud and full of hell, but he doesn’t look like Papa; Papa was a full-blood Columbia Indian—a chief—and hard and shiny as a gunstock. This guy is redheaded with long red sideburns and a tangle of curls out from under his cap, been needing cut a long time, and he’s broad as Papa was tall, broad across the jaw and shoulders and chest, a broad white devilish grin, and he’s hard in a different kind of way from Papa, kind of the way a baseball is hard under the scuffed leather. A seam runs across his nose and one cheekbone where somebody laid him a good one in a fight, and the stitches are still in the seam. He stands there waiting, and when nobody makes a move to say anything to him he commences to laugh. Nobody can tell exactly why he laughs; there’s nothing funny going on. But it’s not the way that Public Relation laughs, it’s free and loud and it comes out of his wide grinning mouth and spreads in rings bigger and bigger till it’s lapping against the walls all over the ward. Not like that fat Public Relation laugh. This sounds real. I realize all of a sudden it’s the first laugh I’ve heard in years.
   He stands looking at us, rocking back in his boots, and he laughs and laughs. He laces his fingers over his belly without taking his thumbs out of his pockets. I see how big and beat up his hands are. Everybody on the ward, patients, staff, and all, is stunned dumb by him and his laughing. There’s no move to stop him, no move to say anything. He laughs till he’s finished for a time, and he walks on into the day room. Even when he isn’t laughing, that laughing sound hovers around him, the way the sound hovers around a big bell just quit ringing—it’s in his eyes, in the way he smiles and swaggers, in the way he talks.
   “My name is McMurphy, buddies, R. P. McMurphy, and I’m a gambling fool.” He winks and sings a little piece of a song: “ ‘… and whenever I meet with a deck a cards I lays… my money… down,’” and laughs again.
   He walks to one of the card games, tips an Acute’s cards up with a thick, heavy finger, and squints at the hand and shakes his head.
   “Yessir, that’s what I came to this establishment for, to bring you birds fun an’ entertainment around the gamin’ table. Nobody left in that Pendleton Work Farm to make my days interesting any more, so I requested a transfer, ya see. Needed some new blood. Hooee, look at the way this bird holds his cards, showin’ to everybody in a block; man! I’ll trim you babies like little lambs.”
   Cheswick gathers his cards together. The redheaded man sticks his hand out for Cheswick to shake.
   “Hello, buddy; what’s that you’re playin’? Pinochle? Jesus, no wonder you don’t care nothin’ about showing your hand. Don’t you have a straight deck around here? Well say, here we go, I brought along my own deck, just in case, has something in it other than face cards—and check the pictures, huh? Every one different. Fifty-two positions.”
   Cheswick is pop-eyed already, and what he sees on those cards don’t help his condition.
   “Easy now, don’t smudge ‘em; we got lots of time, lots of games ahead of us. I like to use my deck here because it takes at least a week for the other players to get to where they can even see the suit…”
   He’s got on work-farm pants and shirt, sunned out till they’re the color of watered milk. His face and neck and arms are the color of oxblood leather from working long in the fields. He’s got a primer-black motorcycle cap stuck in his hair and a leather jacket over one arm, and he’s got on boots gray and dusty and heavy enough to kick a man half in two. He walks away from Cheswick and takes off the cap and goes to beating a dust storm out of his thigh. One of the black boys circles him with the thermometer, but he’s too quick for them; he slips in among the Acutes and starts moving around shaking hands before the black boy can take good aim. The way he talks, his wink, his loud talk, his swagger all remind me of a car salesman or a stock auctioneer—or one of those pitchmen you see on a sideshow stage, out in front of his flapping banners, standing there in a striped shirt with yellow buttons, drawing the faces off the sawdust like a magnet.
   “What happened, you see, was I got in a couple of hassles at the work farm, to tell the pure truth, and the court ruled that I’m a psychopath. And do you think I’m gonna argue with the court? Shoo, you can bet your bottom dollar I don’t. If it gets me outta those damned pea fields I’ll be whatever their little heart desires, be it psychopath or mad dog or werewolf, because I don’t care if I never see another weedin’ hoe to my dying day. Now they tell me a psychopath’s a guy fights too much and fucks too much, but they ain’t wholly right, do you think? I mean, whoever heard tell of a man gettin’ too much poozle? Hello, buddy, what do they call you? My name’s McMurphy and I’ll bet you two dollars here and now that you can’t tell me how many spots are in that pinochle hand you’re holding don’t look. Two dollars; what d’ya say? God damn, Sam! can’t you wait half a minute to prod me with that damn thermometer of yours?”
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
3

   The new man stands looking a minute, to get the set-up of the day room.
   One side of the room younger patients, known as Acutes because the doctors figure them still sick enough to be fixed, practice arm wrestling and card tricks where you add and subtract and count down so many and it’s a certain card. Billy Bibbit tries to learn to roll a tailor-made cigarette, and Martini walks around, discovering things under the tables and chairs. The Acutes move around a lot. They tell jokes to each other and snicker in their fists (nobody ever dares let loose and laugh, the whole staff’d be in with notebooks and a lot of questions) and they write letters with yellow, runty, chewed pencils.
   They spy on each other. Sometimes one man says something about himself that he didn’t aim to let slip, and one of his buddies at the table where he said it yawns and gets up and sidles over to the big log book by the Nurses’ Station and writes down the piece of information he heard—of therapeutic interest to the whole ward, is what the Big Nurse says the book is for, but I know she’s just waiting to get enough evidence to have some guy reconditioned at the Main Building, overhauled in the head to straighten out the trouble.
   The guy that wrote the piece of information in the log book, he gets a star by his name on the roll and gets to sleep late the next day.
   Across the room from the Acutes are the culls of the Combine’s product, the Chronics. Not in the hospital, these, to get fixed, but just to keep them from walking around the streets giving the product a bad name. Chronics are in for good, the staff concedes. Chronics are divided into Walkers like me, can still get around if you keep them fed, and Wheelers and Vegetables. What the Chronics are—or most of us—are machines with flaws inside that can’t be repaired, flaws born in, or flaws beat in over so many years of the guy running head-on into solid things that by the time the hospital found him he was bleeding rust in some vacant lot.
   But there are some of us Chronics that the staff made a couple of mistakes on years back, some of us who were Acutes when we came in, and got changed over. Ellis is a Chronic came in an Acute and got fouled up bad when they overloaded him in that filthy brain-murdering room that the black boys call the “Shock Shop.” Now he’s nailed against the wall in the same condition they lifted him off the table for the last time, in the same shape, arms out, palms cupped, with the same horror on his face. He’s nailed like that on the wall, like a stuffed trophy. They pull the nails when it’s time to eat or time to drive him in to bed when they want him to move so’s I can mop the puddle where he stands. At the old place he stood so long in one spot the piss ate the floor and beams away under him and he kept falling through to the ward below, giving them all kinds of census headaches down there when roll check came around.
   Ruckly is another Chronic came in a few years back as an Acute, but him they overloaded in a different way: they made a mistake in one of their head installations. He was being a holy nuisance all over the place, kicking the black boys and biting the student nurses on the legs, so they took him away to be fixed. They strapped him to that table, and the last anybody saw of him for a while was just before they shut the door on him; he winked, just before the door closed, and told the black boys as they backed away from him, “You’ll pay for this, you damn tarbabies.”
   And they brought him back to the ward two weeks later, bald and the front of his face an oily purple bruise and two little button-sized plugs stitched one above each eye. You can see by his eyes how they burned him out over there; his eyes are all smoked up and gray and deserted inside like blown fuses. All day now he won’t do a thing but hold an old photograph up in front of that burned-out face, turning it over and over in his cold fingers, and the picture wore gray as his eyes on both sides with all his handling till you can’t tell any more what it used to be.
   The staff, now, they consider Ruckly one of their failures, but I’m not sure but what he’s better off than if the installation had been perfect. The installations they do nowadays are generally successful. The technicians got more skill and experience. No more of the button holes in the forehead, no cutting at all—they go in through the eye sockets. Sometimes a guy goes over for an installation, leaves the ward mean and mad and snapping at the whole world and comes back a few weeks later with black-and-blue eyes like he’d been in a fist-fight, and he’s the sweetest, nicest, best-behaved thing you ever saw. He’ll maybe even go home in a month or two, a hat pulled low over the face of a sleepwalker wandering round in a simple, happy dream. A success, they say, but I say he’s just another robot for the Combine and might be better off as a failure, like Ruckly sitting there fumbling and drooling over his picture. He never does much else. The dwarf black boy gets a rise out of him from time to time by leaning close and asking, “Say, Ruckly, what you figure your little wife is doing in town tonight?” Ruckly’s head comes up. Memory whispers someplace in that jumbled machinery. He turns red and his veins clog up at one end. This puffs him up so he can just barely make a little whistling sound in his throat. Bubbles squeeze out the corner of his mouth, he’s working his jaw so hard to say something. When he finally does get to where he can say his few words it’s a low, choking noise to make your skin crawl—“Fffffffuck da wife! Fffffffuck da wife!” and passes out on the spot from the effort.
   Ellis and Ruckly are the youngest Chronics. Colonel Matterson is the oldest, an old, petrified cavalry soldier from the First War who is given to lifting the skirts of passing nurses with his cane, or teaching some kind of history out of the text of his left hand to anybody that’ll listen. He’s the oldest on the ward, but not the one’s been here longest—his wife brought him in only a few years back, when she got to where she wasn’t up to tending him any longer.
   I’m the one been here on the ward the longest, since the Second World War. I been here on the ward longer’n anybody. Longer’n any of the other patients. The Big Nurse has been here longer’n me.
   The Chronics and the Acutes don’t generally mingle. Each stays on his own side of the day room the way the black boys want it. The black boys say it’s more orderly that way and let everybody know that’s the way they’d like it to stay. They move us in after breakfast and look at the grouping and nod. “That’s right, gennulmen, that’s the way. Now you keep it that way.”
   Actually there isn’t much need for them to say anything, because, other than me, the Chronics don’t move around much, and the Acutes say they’d just as leave stay over on their own side, give reasons like the Chronic side smells worse than a dirty diaper. But I know it isn’t the stink that keeps them away from the Chronic side so much as they don’t like to be reminded that here’s what could happen to them someday. The Big Nurse recognizes this fear and knows how to put it to use; she’ll point out to an Acute, whenever he goes into a sulk, that you boys be good boys and cooperate with the staff policy which is engineered for your cure, or you’ll end up over on that side.
   (Everybody on the ward is proud of the way the patients cooperate. We got a little brass tablet tacked to a piece of maple wood that has printed on it:


Congratulations for Getting along with the Smallest Number of Personnel of Any Ward in the Hospital

   It’s a prize for cooperation. It’s hung on the wall right above the log book, right square in the middle between the Chronics and Acutes.)
   This new redheaded Admission, McMurphy, knows right away he’s not a Chronic. After he checks the day room over a minute, he sees he’s meant for the Acute side and goes right for it, grinning and shaking hands with everybody he comes to. At first I see that he’s making everybody over there feel uneasy, with all his kidding and joking and with the brassy way he hollers at that black boy who’s still after him with a thermometer, and especially with that big wide-open laugh of his. Dials twitch in the control panel at the sound of it. The Acutes look spooked and uneasy when he laughs, the way kids look in a schoolroom when one ornery kid is raising too much hell with the teacher out of the room and they’re all scared the teacher might pop back in and take it into her head to make them all stay after. They’re fidgeting and twitching, responding to the dials in the control panel; I see McMurphy notices he’s making them uneasy, but he don’t let it slow him down.
   “Damn, what a sorry-looking outfit. You boys don’t look so crazy to me.” He’s trying to get them to loosen up, the way you see an auctioneer spinning jokes to loosen up the crowd before the bidding starts. “Which one of you claims to be the craziest? Which one is the biggest loony? Who runs these card games? It’s my first day, and what I like to do is make a good impression straight off on the right man if he can prove to me he is the right man. Who’s the bull goose loony here?”
   He’s saying this directly to Billy Bibbit. He leans down and glares so hard at Billy that Billy feels compelled to stutter out that he isn’t the buh-buh-buh-bull goose loony yet, though he’s next in luh-luh-line for the job.
   McMurphy sticks a big hand down in front of Billy, and Billy can’t do a thing but shake it. “Well, buddy,” he says to Billy, “I’m truly glad you’re next in luh-line for the job, but since I’m thinking about taking over this whole show myself, lock, stock, and barrel, maybe I better talk with the top man.” He looks round to where some of the Acutes have stopped their card-playing, covers one of his hands with the other, and cracks all his knuckles at the sight. “I figure, you see, buddy, to be sort of the gambling baron on this ward, deal a wicked game of blackjack. So you better take me to your leader and we’ll get it straightened out who’s gonna be boss around here.”
   Nobody’s sure if this barrel-chested man with the, scar and the wild grin is play-acting or if he’s crazy enough to be just like he talks, or both, but they are all beginning to get a big kick out of going along with him. They watch as he puts that big red hand on Billy’s thin arm, waiting to see what Billy will say. Billy sees how it’s up to him to break the silence, so he looks around and picks out one of the pinochle-players: “Handing,” Billy says, “I guess it would b-b-be you. You’re p-president of Pay-Pay-Patient’s Council. This m-man wants to talk to you.”
   The Acutes are grinning now, not so uneasy any more, and glad that something out of the ordinary’s going on. They all razz Harding, ask him if he’s bull goose loony. He lays down his cards.
   Harding is a flat, nervous man with a face that sometimes makes you think you seen him in the movies, like it’s a face too pretty to just be a guy on the street. He’s got wide, thin shoulders and he curves them in around his chest when he’s trying to hide inside himself. He’s got hands so long and white and dainty I think they carved each other out of soap, and sometimes they get loose and glide around in front of him free as two white birds until he notices them and traps them between his knees; it bothers him that he’s got pretty hands.
   He’s president of the Patient’s Council on account of he has a paper that says he graduated from college. The paper’s framed and sits on his nightstand next to a picture of a woman in a bathing suit who also looks like you’ve seen her in the moving pictures—she’s got very big breasts and she’s holding the top of the bathing suit up over them with her fingers and looking sideways at the camera. You can see Harding sitting on a towel behind her, looking skinny in his bathing suit, like he’s waiting for some big guy to kick sand on him. Harding brags a lot about having such a woman for a wife, says she’s the sexiest woman in the world and she can’t get enough of him nights.
   When Billy points him out Harding leans back in his chair and assumes an important look, speaks up at the ceiling without looking at Billy or McMurphy. “Does this… gentleman have an appointment, Mr. Bibbit?”
   “Do you have an appointment, Mr. McM-m-murphy? Mr. Harding is a busy man, nobody sees him without an ap-appointment.”
   “This busy man Mr. Harding, is he the bull goose loony?” He looks at Billy with one eye, and Billy nods his head up and down real fast; Billy’s tickled with all the attention he’s getting.
   “Then you tell Bull Goose Loony Harding that R. P. McMurphy is waiting to see him and that this hospital ain’t big enough for the two of us. I’m accustomed to being top man. I been a bull goose catskinner for every gyppo logging operation in the Northwest and bull goose gambler all the way from Korea, was even bull goose pea weeder on that pea farm at Pendleton—so I figure if I’m bound to be a loony, then I’m bound to be a stompdown dadgum good one. Tell this Harding that he either meets me man to man or he’s a yaller skunk and better be outta town by sunset.”
   Harding leans farther back, hooks his thumbs in his lapels. “Bibbit, you tell this young upstart McMurphy that I’ll meet him in the main hall at high noon and we’ll settle this affair once and for all, libidos a-blazin’.” Harding tries to drawl like McMurphy; it sounds funny with his high, breathy voice. “You might also warn him, just to be fair, that I have been bull goose loony on this ward for nigh onto two years, and that I’m crazier than any man alive.”
   “Mr. Bibbit, you might warn this Mr. Harding that I’m so crazy I admit to voting for Eisenhower.”
   “Bibbit! You tell Mr. McMurphy I’m so crazy I voted for Eisenhower twice!”
   “And you tell Mr. Harding right back”—he puts both hands on the table and leans down, his voice getting low—“that I’m so crazy I plan to vote for Eisenhower again this November.”
   “I take off my hat,” Harding says, bows his head, and shakes hands with McMurphy. There’s no doubt in my mind that McMurphy’s won, but I’m not sure just what.
   All the other Acutes leave what they’ve been doing and ease up close to see what new sort this fellow is. Nobody like him’s ever been on the ward before. They’re asking him where he’s from and what his business is in a way I’ve never seen them do before. He says he’s a dedicated man. He says he was just a wanderer and logging bum before the Army took him and taught him what his natural bent was; just like they taught some men to goldbrick and some men to goof off, he says, they taught him to play poker. Since then he’s settled down and devoted himself to gambling on all levels. Just play poker and stay single and live where and how he wants to, if people would let him, he says, “but you know how society persecutes a dedicated man. Ever since I found my callin’ I done time in so many small-town jails I could write a brochure. They say I’m a habitual hassler. Like I fight some. Sheeut. They didn’t mind so much when I was a dumb logger and got into a hassle; that’s excusable, they say, that’s a hard-workin’ feller blowing off steam, they say. But if you’re a gambler, if they know you to get up a back-room game now and then, all you have to do is spit slantwise and you’re a goddamned criminal. Hooee, it was breaking up the budget drivin’ me to and from the pokey for a while there.”
   He shakes his head and puffs out his cheeks.
   “But that was just for a period of time. I learned the ropes. To tell the truth, this ‘sault and battery I was doing in Pendleton was the first hitch in close to a year. That’s why I got busted. I was outa practice; this guy was able to get up off the floor and get to the cops before I left town. A very tough individual…”
   He laughs again and shakes hands and sits down to arm wrestle every time that black boy gets too near him with the thermometer, till he’s met everybody on the Acute side. And when he finishes shaking hands with the last Acute he comes right on over to the Chronics, like we aren’t no different. You can’t tell if he’s really this friendly or if he’s got some gambler’s reason for trying to get acquainted with guys so far gone a lot of them don’t even know their names.
   He’s there pulling Ellis’s hand off the wall and shaking it just like he was a politician running for something and Ellis’s vote was good as anybody’s. “Buddy,” he says to Ellis in a solemn voice, “my name is R. P. McMurphy and I don’t like to see a full-grown man sloshin’ around in his own water. Whyn’t you go get dried up?”
   Ellis looks down at the puddle around his feet in pure surprise. “Why, I thank you,” he says and even moves off a few steps toward the latrine before the nails pull his hands back to the wall.
   McMurphy comes down the line of Chronics, shakes hands with Colonel Matterson and with Ruckly and with Old Pete. He shakes the hands of Wheelers and Walkers and Vegetables, shakes hands that he has to pick up out of laps like picking up dead birds, mechanical birds, wonders of tiny bones and wires that have run down and fallen. Shakes hands with everybody he comes to except Big George the water freak, who grins and shies back from that unsanitary hand, so McMurphy just salutes him and says to his own right hand as he walks away, “Hand, how do you suppose that old fellow knew all the evil you been into?”
   Nobody can make out what he’s driving at, or why he’s making such a fuss with meeting everybody, but it’s better’n mixing jigsaw puzzles. He keeps saying it’s a necessary thing to get around and meet the men he’ll be dealing with, part of a gambler’s job. But he must know he ain’t going to be dealing with no eighty-year-old organic who couldn’t do any more with a playing card than put it in his mouth and gum it awhile. Yet he looks like he’s enjoying himself, like he’s the sort of guy that gets a laugh out of people.
   I’m the last one. Still strapped in the chair in the corner. McMurphy stops when he gets to me and hooks his thumbs in his pockets again and leans back to laugh, like he sees something funnier about me than about anybody else. All of a sudden I was scared he was laughing because he knew the way I was sitting there with my knees pulled up and my arms wrapped around them, staring straight ahead as though I couldn’t hear a thing, was all an act.
   “Hooeee,” he said, “look what we got here.”
   I remember all this part real clear. I remember the way he closed one eye and tipped his head back and looked down across that healing wine-colored scar on his nose, laughing at me. I thought at first that he was laughing because of how funny it looked, an Indian’s face and black, oily Indian’s hair on somebody like me. I thought maybe he was laughing at how weak I looked. But then’s when I remember thinking that he was laughing because he wasn’t fooled for one minute by my deaf-and-dumb act; it didn’t make any difference how cagey the act was, he was onto me and was laughing and winking to let me know it.
   “What’s your story, Big Chief? You look like Sittin’ Bull on a sitdown strike.” He looked over to the Acutes to see if they might laugh about his joke; when they just sniggered he looked back to me and winked again. “What’s your name, Chief?”
   Billy Bibbit called across the room. “His n-n-name is Bromden. Chief Bromden. Everybody calls him Chief Buh-Broom, though, because the aides have him sweeping a l-large part of the time. There’s not m-much else he can do, I guess. He’s deaf.” Billy put his chin in hands. “If I was d-d-deaf”—he sighed—“I would kill myself.”
   McMurphy kept looking at me. “He gets his growth, he’ll be pretty good-sized, won’t he? I wonder how tall he is.”
   “I think somebody m-m-measured him once at s-six feet seven; but even if he is big, he’s scared of his own sh-sh-shadow. Just a bi-big deaf Indian.”
   “When I saw him sittin’ here I thought he looked some Indian. But Bromden ain’t an Indian name. What tribe is he?”
   “I don’t know,” Billy said. “He was here wh-when I c-came.”
   “I have information from the doctor,” Harding said, “that he is only half Indian, a Columbia Indian, I believe. That’s a defunct Columbia Gorge tribe. The doctor said his father was the tribal leader, hence this fellow’s title, ‘Chief.’ As to the ‘Bromden’ part of the name, I’m afraid my knowledge in Indian lore doesn’t cover that.”
   McMurphy leaned his head down near mine where I had to look at him. “Is that right? You deef, Chief?”
   “He’s de-de-deef and dumb.”
   McMurphy puckered his lips and looked at my face a long time. Then he straightened back up and stuck his hand out. “Well, what the hell, he can shake hands can’t he? Deef or whatever. By God, Chief, you may be big, but you shake my hand or I’ll consider it an insult. And it’s not a good idea to insult the new bull goose loony of the hospital.”
   When he said that he looked back over to Harding and Billy and made a face, but he left that hand in front of me, big as a dinner plate.
   I remember real clear the way that hand looked: there was carbon under the fingernails where he’d worked once in a garage; there was an anchor tattooed back from the knuckles; there was a dirty Band-Aid on the middle knuckle, peeling up at the edge. All the rest of the knuckles were covered with scars and cuts, old and new. I remember the palm was smooth and hard as bone from hefting the wooden handles of axes and hoes, not the hand you’d think could deal cards. The palm was callused, and the calluses were cracked, and dirt was worked in the cracks. A road map of his travels up and down the West. That palm made a scuffing sound against my hand. I remember the fingers were thick and strong closing over mine, and my hand commenced to feel peculiar and went to swelling up out there on my stick of an arm, like he was transmitting his own blood into it. It rang with blood and power: It blowed up near as big as his, I remember…
   “Mr. McMurry.”
   It’s the Big Nurse.
   “Mr. McMurry, could you come here please?”
   It’s the Big Nurse. That black boy with the thermometer has gone and got her. She stands there tapping that thermometer against her wrist watch, eyes whirring while she tries to gauge this new man. Her lips are in that triangle shape, like a doll’s lips ready for a fake nipple.
   “Aide Williams tells me, Mr. McMurry, that you’ve been somewhat difficult about your admission shower. Is this true? Please understand, I appreciate the way you’ve taken it upon yourself to orient with the other patients on the ward, but everything in its own good time, Mr. McMurry. I’m sorry to interrupt you and Mr. Bromden, but you do understand: everyone… must follow the rules.”
   He tips his head back and gives that wink that she isn’t fooling him any more than I did, that he’s onto her. He looks up at her with one eye for a minute.
   “Ya know, ma’am,” he says, “ya know—that is the ex-act thing somebody always tells me about the rules…”
   He grins. They both smile back and forth at each other, sizing each other up.
   “…just when they figure I’m about to do the dead opposite.”
   Then he lets go my hand.
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
4

   In the glass Station the Big Nurse has opened a package from a foreign address and is sucking into hypodermic needles the grass-and-milk liquid that came in vial in the package. One of the little nurses, a girl with one wandering eye that always keeps looking worried over her shoulder while the other one goes about its usual business, picks up the little tray of filled needles but doesn’t carry them away just yet.
   “What, Miss Ratched, is your opinion of this new patient? I mean, gee, he’s good-looking and friendly and everything, but in my humble opinion he certainly takes over.”
   The Big Nurse tests a needle against her fingertip. “I’m afraid”—she stabs the needle down in the rubber-capped vial and lifts the plunger—“that is exactly what the new patient is planning: to take over. He is what we call a ‘manipulator,’ Miss Flinn, a man who will use everyone and everything to his own ends.”
   “Oh. But. I mean, in a mental hospital? What could his ends be?”
   “Any number of things.” She’s calm, smiling, lost in the work of loading the needles. “Comfort and an easy life, for instance; the feeling of power and respect, perhaps; monetary gain—perhaps all of these things. Sometimes a manipulator’s own ends are simply the actual disruption of the ward for the sake of disruption. There are such people in our society. A manipulator can influence the other patients and disrupt them to such an extent that it may take months to get everything running smooth once more. With the present permissive philosophy in mental hospitals, it’s easy for them to get away with it. Some years back it was quite different. I recall some years back we had a man, a Mr. Taber, on the ward, and he was an intolerable Ward Manipulator. For a while.” She looks up from her work, needle half filled in front of her face like a little wand. Her eyes get far-off and pleased with the memory. “Mistur Tay-bur,” she says.
   “But, gee,” the other nurse says, “what on earth would make a man want to do something like disrupt the ward for, Miss Ratched? What possible motive…?”
   She cuts the little nurse off by jabbing the needle back into the vial’s rubber top, fills it, jerks it out, and lays it on the tray. I watch her hand reach for another empty needle, watch it dart out, hinge over it, drop.
   “You seem to forget, Miss Flinn, that this is an institution for the insane.”

   The Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine. The slightest thing messy or out of kilter or in the way ties her into a little white knot of tight-smiled fury. She walks around with that same doll smile crimped between her chin and her nose and that same calm whir coming from her eyes, but down inside of her she’s tense as steel. I know, I can feel it. And she don’t relax a hair till she gets the nuisance attended to—what she calls “adjusted to surroundings.”
   Under her rule the ward Inside is almost completely adjusted to surroundings. But the thing is she can’t be on the ward all the time. She’s got to spend some time Outside. So she works with an eye to adjusting the Outside world too. Working alongside others like her who I call the “Combine,” which is a huge organization that aims to adjust the Outside as well as she has the Inside, has made her a real veteran at adjusting things. She was already the Big Nurse in the old place when I came in from the Outside so long back, and she’d been dedicating herself to adjustment for God knows how long.
   And I’ve watched her get more and more skillful over the years. Practice has steadied and strengthened her until now she wields a sure power that extends in all directions on hairlike wires too small for anybody’s eye but mine; I see her sit in the center of this web of wires like a watchful robot, tend her network with mechanical insect skill, know every second which wire runs where and just what current to send up to get the results she wants. I was an electrician’s assistant in training camp before the Army shipped me to Germany and I had some electronics in my year in college is how I learned about the way these things can be rigged.
   What she dreams of there in the center of those wires is a world of precision efficiency and tidiness like a pocket watch with a glass back, a place where the schedule is unbreakable and all the patients who aren’t Outside, obedient under her beam, are wheelchair Chronics with catheter tubes run direct from every pantleg to the sewer under the floor. Year by year she accumulates her ideal staff: doctors, all ages and types, come and rise up in front of her with ideas of their own about the way a ward should be run, some with backbone enough to stand behind their ideas, and she fixes these doctors with dry-ice eyes day in, day out, until they retreat with unnatural chills. “I tell you I don’t know what it is,” they tell the guy in charge of personnel. “Since I started on that ward with that woman I feel like my veins are running ammonia. I shiver all the time, my kids won’t sit in my lap, my wife won’t sleep with me. I insist on a transfer—neurology bin, the alky tank, pediatrics, I just don’t care!”
   She keeps this up for years. The doctors last three weeks, three months. Until she finally settles for a little man with a big wide forehead and wide jewly cheeks and squeezed narrow across his tiny eyes like he once wore glasses that were way too small, wore them for so long they crimped his face in the middle, so now he has glasses on a string to his collar button; they teeter on the purple bridge of his little nose and they are always slipping one side or the other so he’ll tip his head when he talks just to keep his glasses level. That’s her doctor.
   Her three daytime black boys she acquires after more years of testing and rejecting thousands. They come at her in a long black row of sulky, big-nosed masks, hating her and her chalk doll whiteness from the first look they get. She appraises them and their hate for a month or so, then lets them go because they don’t hate enough. When she finally gets the three she wants—gets them one at a time over a number of years, weaving them into her plan and her network—she’s damn positive they hate enough to be capable.
   The first one she gets five years after I been on the ward, a twisted sinewy dwarf the color of cold asphalt. His mother was raped in Georgia while his papa stood by tied to the hot iron stove with plow traces, blood streaming into his shoes. The boy watched from a closet, five years old and squinting his eye to peep out the crack between the door and the jamb, and he never grew an inch after. Now his eyelids hang loose and thin from his brow like he’s got a bat perched on the bridge of his nose. Eyelids like thin gray leather, he lifts them up just a bit whenever a new white man comes on the ward, peeks out from under them and studies the man up and down and nods just once like he’s oh yes made positive certain of something he was already sure of. He wanted to carry a sock full of birdshot when he first came on the job, to work the patients into shape, but she told him they didn’t do it that way anymore, made him leave the sap at home and taught him her own technique; taught him not to show his hate and to be calm and wait, wait for a little advantage, a little slack, then twist the rope and keep the pressure steady. All the time. That’s the way you get them into shape, she taught him.
   The other two black boys come two years later, coming to work only about a month apart and both looking so much alike I think she had a replica made of the one who came first. They are tall and sharp and bony and their faces are chipped into expressions that never change, like flint arrowheads. Their eyes come to points. If you brush against their hair it rasps the hide right off you.
   All of them black as telephones. The blacker they are, she learned from that long dark row that came before them, the more time they are likely to devote to cleaning and scrubbing and keeping the ward in order. For instance, all three of these boys’ uniforms are always spotless as snow. White and cold and stiff as her own.
   All three wear starched snow-white pants and white shirts with metal snaps down one side and white shoes polished like ice, and the shoes have red rubber soles silent as mice up and down the hall. They never make any noise when they move. They materialize in different parts of the ward every time a patient figures to check himself in private or whisper some secret to another guy. A patient’ll be in a corner all by himself, when all of a sudden there’s a squeak and frost forms along his cheek, and he turns in that direction and there’s a cold stone mask floating above him against the wall. He just sees the black face. No body. The walls are white as the white suits, polished clean as a refrigerator door, and the black face and hands seem to float against it like a ghost.
   Years of training, and all three black boys tune in closer and closer with the Big Nurse’s frequency. One by one they are able to disconnect the direct wires and operate on beams. She never gives orders out loud or leaves written instructions that might be found by a visiting wife or schoolteacher. Doesn’t need to any more. They are in contact on a high-voltage wave length of hate, and the black boys are out there performing her bidding before she even thinks it.
   So after the nurse gets her staff, efficiency locks the ward like a watchman’s clock. Everything the guys think and say and do is all worked out months in advance, based on the little notes the nurse makes during the day. This is typed and fed into the machine I hear humming behind the steel door in the rear of the Nurses’ Station. A number of Order Daily Cards are returned, punched with a pattern of little square holes. At the beginning of each day the properly dated OD card is inserted in a slot in the steel door and the walls hum up: Lights flash on in the dorm at six-thirty: the Acutes up out of bed quick as the black boys can prod them out, get them to work buffing the floor, emptying ash trays, polishing the scratch marks off the wall where one old fellow shorted out a day ago, went down in an awful twist of smoke and smell of burned rubber. The Wheelers swing dead log legs out on the floor and wait like seated statues for somebody to roll chairs in to them. The Vegetables piss the bed, activating an electric shock and buzzer, rolls them off on the tile where the black boys can hose them down and get them in clean greens…
   Six-forty-five the shavers buzz and the Acutes line up in alphabetical order at the mirrors, A, B, C, D… The walking Chronics like me walk in when the Acutes are done, then the Wheelers are wheeled in. The three old guys left, a film of yellow mold on the loose hide under their chins, they get shaved in their lounge chairs in the day room, a leather strap across the forehead to keep them from flopping around under the shaver.
   Some mornings—Mondays especially—I hide and try to buck the schedule. Other mornings I figure it’s cagier to step right into place between A and C in the alphabet and move the route like everybody else, without lifting my feet—powerful magnets in the floor maneuver personnel through the ward like arcade puppets…
   Seven o’clock the mess hall opens and the order of line-up reverses: the Wheelers first, then the Walkers, then the Acutes pick up trays, corn flakes, bacon and eggs, toast—and this morning a canned peach on a piece of green, torn lettuce. Some of the Acutes bring trays to the Wheelers. Most Wheelers are just Chronics with bad legs, they feed themselves, but there’s these three of them got no action from the neck down whatsoever, not much from the neck up. These are called Vegetables. The black boys push them in after everybody else is sat down, wheel them against a wall, and bring them identical trays of muddy-looking food with little white diet cards attached to the trays. Mechanical Soft, reads the diet cards for these toothless three: eggs, ham, toast, bacon, all chewed thirty-two times apiece by the stainless-steel machine in the kitchen. I see it purse sectioned lips, like a vacuum-cleaner hose, and spurt a clot of chewed-up ham onto a plate with a barnyard sound.
   The black boys stoke the sucking pink mouths of the Vegetables a shade too fast for swallowing, and the Mechanical Soft squeezes out down their little knobs of chins onto the greens. The black boys cuss the Vegetables and ream the mouths bigger with a twisting motion of the spoon, like coring a rotten apple: “This ol’ fart Blastic, he’s comin’ to pieces befo’ my very eyes. I can’t tell no more if I’m feeding him bacon puree or chunks of his own fuckin’ tongue.”…
   Seven-thirty back to the day room. The Big Nurse looks out through her special glass, always polished till you can’t tell it’s there, and nods at what she sees, reaches up and tears a sheet off her calendar one day closer to the goal. She pushes a button for things to start. I hear the wharrup of a big sheet of tin being shook someplace. Everybody come to order. Acutes: sit on your side of the day room and wait for cards and Monopoly games to be brought out. Chronics: sit on your side and wait for puzzles from the Red Cross box. Ellis: go to your place at the wall, hands up to receive the nails and pee running down your leg. Pete: wag your head like a puppet. Scanlon: work your knobby hands on the table in front of you, constructing a make-believe bomb to blow up a make-believe world. Harding: begin talking, waving your dove hands in the air, then trap them under your armpits because grown men aren’t supposed to wave their pretty hands that way. Sefelt: begin moaning about your teeth hurting and your hair falling out. Everybody: breath in… and out… in perfect order; hearts all beating at the rate the OD cards have ordered. Sound of matched cylinders.
   Like a cartoon world, where the figures are flat and outlined in black, jerking through some kind of goofy story that might be real funny if it weren’t for the cartoon figures being real guys…
   Seven-forty-five the black boys move down the line of Chronics taping catheters on the ones that will hold still for it. Catheters are second-hand condoms the ends clipped off and rubber-banded to tubes that run down pantlegs to a plastic sack marked DISPOSABLE NOT TO BE RE-USED, which it is my job to wash out at the end of each day. The black boys anchor the condom by taping it to the hairs; old Catheter Chronics are hairless as babies from tape removal…
   Eight o’clock the walls whirr and hum into full swing. The speaker in the ceiling says, “Medications,” using the Big Nurse’s voice. We look in the glass case where she sits, but she’s nowhere near the microphone; in fact, she’s ten feet away from the microphone, tutoring one of the little nurses how to prepare a neat drug tray with pills arranged orderly. The Acutes line up at the glass door, A, B, C, D, then the Chronics, then the Wheelers (the Vegetables get theirs later, mixed in a spoon of applesauce). The guys file by and get a capsule in a paper cup—throw it to the back of the throat and get the cup filled with water by the little nurse and wash the capsule down. On rare occasions some fool might ask what he’s being required to swallow.
   “Wait just a shake, honey; what are these two little red capsules in here with my vitamin?”
   I know him. He’s a big, griping Acute, already getting the reputation of being a troublemaker.
   “It’s just medication, Mr. Taber, good for you. Down it goes, now.”
   “But I mean what kind of medication. Christ, I can see that they’re pills—”
   “Just swallow it all, shall we, Mr. Taber—just for me?” She takes a quick look at the Big Nurse to see how the little flirting technique she is using is accepted, then looks back at the Acute. He still isn’t ready to swallow something he don’t know what is, not even just for her.
   “Miss, I don’t like to create trouble. But I don’t like to swallow something without knowing what it is, neither. How do I know this isn’t one of those funny pills that makes me something I’m not?”
   “Don’t get upset, Mr. Taber—”
   “Upset? All I want to know, for the lova Jesus—”
   But the Big Nurse has come up quietly, locked her hand on his arm, paralyzes him all the way to the shoulder. “That’s all right, Miss Flinn,” she says. “If Mr. Taber chooses to act like a child, he may have to be treated as such. We’ve tried to be kind and considerate with him. Obviously, that’s not the answer. Hostility, hostility, that’s the thanks we get. You can go, Mr. Taber, if you don’t wish to take your medication orally.”
   “All I wanted to know, for the—”
   “You can go.”
   He goes off, grumbling, when she frees his arm, and spends the morning moping around the latrine, wondering about those capsules. I got away once holding one of those same red capsules under my tongue, played like I’d swallowed it, and crushed it open later in the broom closet. For a tick of time, before it all turned into white dust, I saw it was a miniature electronic element like the ones I helped the Radar Corps work with in the Army, microscopic wires and grids and transistors, this one designed to dissolve on contact with air…
   Eight-twenty the cards and puzzles go out…
   Eight-twenty-five some Acute mentions he used to watch his sister taking her bath; the three guys at the table with him fall all over each other to see who gets to write it in the log book…
   Eight-thirty the ward door opens and two technicians trot in, smelling like grape wine; technicians always move at a fast walk or a trot because they’re always leaning so far forward they have to move fast to keep standing. They always lean forward and they always smell like they sterilized their instruments in wine. They pull the lab door to behind them, and I sweep up close and can snake out voices over the vicious zzzth-zzzth-zzzth of steel on whetstone.
   “What we got already at this ungodly hour of the morning?”
   “We got to install an Indwelling Curiosity Cutout in some nosy booger. Hurry-up job, she says, and I’m not even sure we got one of the gizmos in stock.”
   “We might have to call IBM to rush one out for us; let me check back in Supply—”
   “Hey; bring out a bottle of that pure grain while you’re back there: it’s getting so I can’t install the simplest frigging component but what I need a bracer. Well, what the hell, it’s better’n garage work…”
   Their voices are forced and too quick on the comeback to be real talk—more like cartoon comedy speech. I sweep away before I’m caught eavesdropping.
   The two big black boys catch Taber in the latrine and drag him. to the mattress room. He gets one a good kick in the shins. He’s yelling bloody murder. I’m surprised how helpless he looks when they hold him, like he was wrapped with bands of black iron.
   They push him face down on the mattress. One sits on his head, and the other rips his pants open in back and peels the cloth until Taber’s peach-colored rear is framed by the ragged lettuce-green. He’s smothering curses into the mattress and the black boy sitting on his head saying, “Tha’s right, Mistuh Taber, tha’s right…” The nurse comes down the hall, smearing Vaseline on a long needle, pulls the door shut so they’re out of sight for a second, then comes right back out, wiping the needle on a shred of Taber’s pants. She’s left the Vaseline jar in the room. Before the black boy can close the door after her I see the one still sitting on Taber’s head, dabbing at him with a Kleenex. They’re in there a long time before the door opens up again and they come out, carrying him across the hall to the lab. His greens are ripped clear off now and he’s wrapped up in a damp sheet…
   Nine o’clock young residents wearing leather elbows talk to Acutes for fifty minutes about what they did when they were little boys. The Big Nurse is suspicious of the crew-cut looks of these residents, and that fifty minutes they are on the ward is a tough time for her. While they are around, the machinery goes to fumbling and she is scowling and making notes to check the records of these boys for old traffic violations and the like…
   Nine-fifty the residents leave and the machinery hums up smooth again. The nurse watches the day room from her glass case; the scene before her takes on that blue-steel clarity again, that clean orderly movement of a cartoon comedy.
   Taber is wheeled out of the lab on a Gurney bed.
   “We had to give him another shot when he started coming up during the spine tap,” the technician tells her. “What do you say we take him right on over to Building One and buzz him with EST while we’re at it—that way not waste the extra Seconal?”
   “I think it is an excellent suggestion. Maybe after that take him to the electroencephalograph and check his head—we may find evidence of a need for brain work.”
   The technicians go trotting off, pushing the man on the Gurney, like cartoon men—or like puppets, mechanical puppets in one of those Punch and Judy acts where it’s supposed to be funny to see the puppet beat up by the Devil and swallowed headfirst by a smiling alligator…
   Ten o’clock the mail comes up. Sometimes you get the torn envelope…
   Ten-thirty Public Relation comes in with a ladies’ club following him. He claps his fat hands at the day-room door. “Oh, hello guys; stiff lip, stiff lip… look around, girls; isn’t it clean, so bright? This is Miss Ratched. I chose this ward because it’s her ward. She’s, girls, just like a mother. Not that I mean age, but you girls understand…”
   Public Relation’s shirt collar is so tight it bloats his face up when he laughs, and he’s laughing most of the time I don’t ever know what at, laughing high and fast like he wishes he could stop but can’t do it. And his face bloated up red and round as a balloon with a face painted on it. He got no hair on his face and none on his head to speak of; it looks like he glued some on once but it kept slipping off and getting in his cuffs and his shirt pocket and down his collar. Maybe that’s why he keeps his collar so tight, to keep the little pieces of hair from falling down in there.
   Maybe that’s why he laughs so much, because he isn’t able to keep all the pieces out.
   He conducts these tours—serious women in blazer jackets, nodding to him as he points out how much things have improved over the years. He points out the TV, the big leather chairs, the sanitary drinking fountains; then they all go have coffee in the Nurse’s Station. Sometimes he’ll be by himself and just stand in the middle of the day room and clap his hands (you can hear they are wet), clap them two or three times till they stick, then hold them prayer-like together under one of his chins and start spinning. Spin round and around there in the middle of the floor, looking wild and frantic at the TV, the new pictures on the walls, the sanitary drinking fountain. And laughing.
   What he sees that’s so funny he don’t ever let us in on, and the only thing I can see funny is him spinning round and around out there like a rubber toy—if you push him over he’s weighted on the bottom and straightaway rocks back upright, goes to spinning again. He never, never looks at the men’s faces…
   Ten-forty, –forty-five, –fifty, patients shuttle in and out to appointments in ET or OT or PT, or in queer little rooms somewhere where the walls are never the same size and the floors aren’t level. The machinery sounds about you reach a steady cruising speed.
   The ward hums the way I heard a cotton mill hum once when the football team played a high school in California. After a good season one year the boosters in the town were so proud and carried away that they paid to fly us to California to play a championship high-school team down there. When we flew into the town we had to go visit some local industry. Our coach was one for convincing folks that athletics was educational because of the learning afforded by travel, and every trip we took he herded the team around to creameries and beet farms and canneries before the game. In California it was the cotton mill. When we went in the mill most of the team took a look and left to go sit in the bus over stud games on suitcases, but I stayed inside over in a corner out of the way of the Negro girls running up and down the aisles of machines. The mill put me in a kind of dream, all the humming and clicking and rattling of people and machinery, jerking around in a pattern. That’s why I stayed when the others left, that, and because it reminded me somehow of the men in the tribe who’d left the village in the last days to do work on the gravel crusher for the dam. The frenzied pattern, the faces hypnotized by routine… I wanted to go out in the bus with the team, but I couldn’t.
   It was morning in early winter and I still had on the jacket they’d given us when we took the championship—a red and green jacket with leather sleeves and a football-shaped emblem sewn on the back telling what we’d won—and it was making a lot of the Negro girls stare. I took it off, but they kept staring. I was a whole lot bigger in those days.
   One of the girls left her machine and looked back and forth up the aisles to see if the foreman was around, then came over to where I was standing. She asked if we was going to play the high school that night and she told me she had a brother played tailback for them. We talked a piece about football and the like and I noticed how her face looked blurred, like there was a mist between me and her. It was the cotton fluff sifting from the air.
   I told her about the fluff. She rolled her eyes and ducked her mouth to laugh in her fist when I told her how it was like looking at her face out on a misty morning duck-hunting. And she said, “Now what in the everlovin’ world would you want with me out alone in a duck blind?” I told her she could take care of my gun, and the girls all over the mill went to giggling in their fists. I laughed a little myself, seeing how clever I’d been. We were still talking and laughing when she grabbed both my wrists and dug in. The features of her face snapped into brilliant focus; I saw she was terrified of something.
   “Do,” she said to me in a whisper, “do take me, big boy. Outa this here mill, outa this town, outa this life. Take me to some ol’ duck blind someplace. Someplace else. Huh, big boy, huh?”
   Her dark, pretty face glittered there in front of me. I stood with my mouth open, trying to think of some way to answer her. We were locked together this way for maybe a couple of seconds; then the sound of the mill jumped a hitch, and something commenced to draw her back away from me. A string somewhere I didn’t see hooked on that flowered red skirt and was tugging her back. Her fingernails peeled down my hands and as soon as she broke contact with me her face switched out of focus again, became soft and runny like melting chocolate behind that blowing fog of cotton. She laughed and spun around and gave me a look of her yellow leg when the skirt billowed out. She threw me a wink over her shoulder as she ran back to her machine where a pile of fiber was spilling off the table to the floor; she grabbed it up and ran feather-footed down the aisle of machines to dump the fiber in a hopper; then she was out of sight around the corner.
   All those spindles reeling and wheeling and shuttles jumping around and bobbins wringing the air with string, whitewashed walls and steel-gray machines and girls in flowered skirts skipping back and forth, and the whole thing webbed with flowing white lines stringing the factory together—it all stuck with me and every once in a while something on the ward calls it to mind.
   Yes. This is what I know. The ward is a factory for the Combine. It’s for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and in the schools and in the churches, the hospital is. When a completed product goes back out into society, all fixed up good as new, better than new sometimes, it brings joy to the Big Nurse’s heart; something that came in all twisted different is now a functioning, adjusted component, a credit to the whole outfit and a marvel to behold. Watch him sliding across the land with a welded grin, fitting into some nice little neighborhood where they’re just now digging trenches along the street to lay pipes for city water. He’s happy with it. He’s adjusted to surroundings finally…
   “Why, I’ve never seen anything to beat the change in Maxwell Taber since he’s got back from that hospital; a little black and blue around the eyes, a little weight lost, and, you know what? he’s a new man. Gad, modern American science…”
   And the light is on in his basement window way past midnight every night as the Delayed Reaction Elements the technicians installed lend nimble skills to his fingers as he bends over the doped figure of his wife, his two little girls just four and six, the neighbor he goes bowling with Mondays; he adjusts them like he was adjusted. This is the way they spread it.
   When he finally runs down after a pre-set number of years, the town loves him dearly and the paper prints his picture helping the Boy Scouts last year on Graveyard Cleaning Day, and his wife gets a letter from the principal of the high school how Maxwell Wilson Taber was an inspirational figure to the youth of our fine community.
   Even the embalmers, usually a pair of penny-pinching tightwads, are swayed. “Yeah, look at him there: old Max Taber, he was a good sort. What do you say we use that expensive thirty-weight at no extra charge to his wife. No, what the dickens, let’s make it on the house.”
   A successful Dismissal like this is a product brings joy to the Big Nurse’s heart and speaks good of her craft and the whole industry in general. Everybody’s happy with a Dismissal.
   But an Admission is a different story. Even the best-behaved Admission is bound to need some work to swing into routine, and, also, you never can tell when just that certain one might come in who’s free enough to foul things up right and left, really make a hell of a mess and constitute a threat to the whole smoothness of the outfit. And, like I explain, the Big Nurse gets real put out if anything keeps her outfit from running smooth.
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
5

   Before noontime they’re at the fog machine again but they haven’t got it turned up full; it’s not so thick but what I can see if I strain real hard. One of these days I’ll quit straining and let myself go completely, lose myself in the fog the way some of the other Chronics have, but for the time being I’m interested in this new man—I want to see how he takes to the Group Meeting coming up.
   Ten minutes to one the fog dissolves completely and the black boys are telling Acutes to clear the floor for the meeting. All the tables are carried out of the day room to the tub room across the hall—leaves the floor, McMurphy says, like we was aiming to have us a little dance.
   The Big Nurse watches all this through her window. She hasn’t moved from her spot in front of that one window for three solid hours, not even for lunch. The day-room floor gets cleared of tables, and at one o’clock the doctor comes out of his office down the hall, nods once at the nurse as he goes past where she’s watching out her window, and sits in his chair just to the left of the door. The patients sit down when he does; then the little nurses and the residents straggle in. When everybody’s down, the Big Nurse gets up from behind her window and goes back to the rear of the Nurses’ Station to that steel panel with dials and buttons on it, sets some kind of automatic pilot to run things while she’s away, and comes out into the day room, carrying the log book and a basketful of notes. Her uniform, even after she’s been here half a day, is still starched so stiff it don’t exactly bend any place; it cracks sharp at the joints with a sound like a frozen canvas being folded.
   She sits just to the right of the door.
   Soon as she’s sat down, Old Pete Bancini sways to his feet and starts in wagging his head and wheezing. “I’m tired. Whew. O Lord. Oh, I’m awful tired…” the way he always does whenever there’s a new man on the ward who might listen to him.
   The Big Nurse doesn’t look over at Pete. She’s going through the papers in her basket. “Somebody go sit beside Mr. Bancini,” she says. “Quiet him down so we can start the meeting.”
   Billy Bibbit goes. Pete has turned facing McMurphy and is lolling his head from side to side like a signal light at a railroad crossing. He worked on the railroad thirty years; now he’s wore clean out but still’s functioning on the memory.
   “I’m ti-i-uhd,” he says, wagging his face at McMurphy. “Take it easy, Pete,” Billy says, lays a freckled hand on Pete’s knee.
   “…Awful tired…”
   “I know, Pete”—pats the skinny knee, and Pete pulls back his face, realizes nobody is going to heed his complaint today. The nurse takes off her wrist watch and looks at the ward clock and winds the watch and sets it face toward her in the basket. She takes a folder from the basket.
   “Now. Shall we get into the meeting?”
   She looks around to see if anybody else is about to interrupt her, smiling steady as her head turns in her collar. The guys won’t meet her look; they’re all looking for hangnails. Except McMurphy. He’s got himself an armchair in the corner, sits in it like he’s claimed it for good, and he’s watching her every move. He’s still got his cap on, jammed tight down on his red head like he’s a motorcycle racer. A deck of cards in his lap opens for a one-handed cut, then clacks shut with a sound blown up loud by the silence. The nurse’s swinging eyes hang on him for a second. She’s been watching him play poker all morning and though she hasn’t seen any money pass hands she suspects he’s not exactly the type that is going to be happy with the ward rule of gambling for matches only. The deck whispers open and clacks shut again and then disappears somewhere in one of those big palms.
   The nurse looks at her watch again and pulls a slip of paper out of the folder she’s holding, looks at it, and returns it to the folder. She puts the folder down and picks up the log book. Ellis coughs from his place on the wall; she waits until he stops.
   “Now. At the close of Friday’s meeting… we were discussing Mr. Harding’s problem… concerning his young wife. He had stated that his wife was extremely well endowed in the bosom and that this made him uneasy because she drew stares from men on the street.” She starts opening to places in the log book; little slips of paper stick out of the top of the book to mark the pages. “According to the notes listed by various patients in the log, Mr. Harding has been heard to say that she ‘damn well gives the bastards reason to stare.’ He has also been heard to say that he may give her reason to seek further sexual attention. He has been heard to say, ‘My dear sweet but illiterate wife thinks any word or gesture that does not smack of brickyard brawn and brutality is a word or gesture of weak dandyism.’ ”
   She continues reading silently from the book for a while, then closes it.
   “He has also stated that his wife’s ample bosom at times gives him a feeling of inferiority. So. Does anyone care to touch upon this subject further?”
   Harding shuts his eyes, and nobody else says anything. McMurphy looks around at the other guys, waiting to see if anybody is going to answer the nurse, then holds his hand up and snaps his fingers, like a school kid in class; the nurse nods at him.
   “Mr.—ah—McMurry?”
   “Touch upon what?”
   “What? Touch—”
   “You ask, I believe, ‘Does anyone care to touch upon—’ ”
   “Touch upon the—subject, Mr. McMurry, the subject of Mr. Harding’s problem with his wife.”
   “Oh. I thought you mean touch upon her—something else.”
   “Now what could you—”
   But she stops. She was almost flustered for a second there. Some of the Acutes hide grins, and McMurphy takes a huge stretch, yawns, winks at Harding. Then the nurse, calm as anything, puts the log book back in the basket and takes out another folder and opens it and starts reading.
   “McMurry, Randle Patrick. Committed by the state from the Pendleton Farm for Correction. For diagnosis and possible treatment. Thirty-five years old. Never married. Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, for leading an escape from a Communist prison camp. A dishonorable discharge, afterward, for insubordination. Followed by a history of street brawls and barroom fights and a series of arrests for Drunkenness, Assault and Battery, Disturbing the Peace, repeated gambling, and one arrest—for Rape.”
   “Rape?” The doctor perks up.
   “Statutory, with a girl of—”
   “Whoa. Couldn’t make that stick,” McMurphy says to the doctor. “Girl wouldn’t testify.”
   “With a child of fifteen.”
   “Said she was seventeen, Doc, and she was plenty willin’.” “A court doctor’s examination of the child proved entry, repeated entry, the record states—”
   “So willin’, in fact, I took to sewing my pants shut.”
   “The child refused to testify in spite of the doctor’s findings. There seemed to be intimidation. Defendant left town shortly after the trial.”
   “Hoo boy, I had to leave. Doc, let me tell you”—he leans forward with an elbow on a knee, lowering his voice to the doctor across the room—“that little hustler would of actually burnt me to a frazzle by the time she reached legal sixteen. She got to where she was tripping me and beating me to the floor.”
   The nurse closes up the folder and passes it across the doorway to the doctor. “Our new Admission, Doctor Spivey,” just like she’s got a man folded up inside that yellow paper and can pass him on to be looked over. “I thought I might brief you on his record later today, but as he seems to insist on asserting himself in the Group Meeting, we might as well dispense with him now.”
   The doctor fishes his glasses from his coat pocket by pulling on the string, works them on his nose in front of his eyes. They’re tipped a little to the right, but he leans his head to the left and brings them level. He’s smiling a little as he turns through the folder, just as tickled by this new man’s brassy way of talking right up as the rest of us, but, just like the rest of us, he’s careful not to let himself come right out and laugh. The doctor closes the folder when he gets to the end, and puts his glasses back in his pocket. He looks to where McMurphy is still leaned out at him from across the day room.
   “You’ve—it seems—no other psychiatric history, Mr. McMurry?”
   “McMurphy, Doc.”
   “Oh? But I thought—the nurse was saying—”
   He opens the folder again, fishes out those glasses, looks the record over for another minute before he closes it, and puts his glasses back in his pocket. “Yes. McMurphy. That is correct. I beg your pardon.”
   “It’s okay, Doc. It was the lady there that started it, made the mistake. I’ve known some people inclined to do that. I had this uncle whose name was Hallahan, and he went with a woman once who kept acting like she couldn’t remember his name right and calling him Hooligan just to get his goat. It went on for months before he stopped her. Stopped her good, too.”
   “Oh? How did he stop her?” the doctor asks.
   McMurphy grins and rubs his nose with his thumb. “Ah-ah, now, I can’t be tellin’ that. I keep Unk Hallahan’s method a strict secret, you see, in case I need to use it myself someday.”
   He says it right at the nurse. She smiles right back at him, and he looks over at the doctor. “Now; what was you asking about my record, Doc?”
   “Yes. I was wondering if you’ve any previous psychiatric history. Any analysis, any time spent in any other institution?”
   “Well, counting state and county coolers—”
   “Mental institutions.”
   “Ah. No, if that’s the case. This is my first trip. But I am crazy, Doc. I swear I am. Well here—let me show you here. I believe that other doctor at the work farm…”
   He gets up, slips the deck of cards in the pocket of his jacket, and comes across the room to lean over the doctor’s shoulder and thumb through the folder in his lap. “Believe he wrote something, back at the back here somewhere…”
   “Yes? I missed that. Just a moment.” The doctor fishes his glasses out again and puts them on and looks to where McMurphy is pointing.
   “Right here, Doc. The nurse left this part out while she was summarizing my record. Where it says, ‘Mr. McMurphy has evidenced repeated’–I just want to make sure I’m understood completely, Doc—‘repeated outbreaks of passion that suggest the possible diagnosis of psychopath.’ He told me that’psychopath’ means I fight and fuh—pardon me, ladies—means I am he put it over zealous in my sexual relations. Doctor, is that real serious?”
   He asks it with such a little-boy look of worry and concern all over his broad, tough face that the doctor can’t help bending his head to hide another little snicker in his collar, and his glasses fall from his nose dead center back in his pocket. All of the Acutes are smiling too, now, and even some of the Chronics.
   “I mean that overzealousness, Doc, have you ever been troubled by it?”
   The doctor wipes his eyes. “No, Mr. McMurphy, I’ll admit I haven’t. I am interested, however, that the doctor at the work farm added this statement: ‘Don’t overlook the possibility that this man might be feigning psychosis to escape the drudgery of the work farm.’ ” He looks up at McMurphy. “And what about that, Mr. McMurphy?”
   “Doctor”—he stands up to his full height, wrinkles his forehead, and holds out both arms, open and honest to all the wide world—”do I look like a sane man?”
   The doctor is working so hard to keep from giggling again he can’t answer. McMurphy pivots away from the doctor and asks the same thing of the Big Nurse: “Do I?” Instead of answering she stands up and takes the manila folder away from the doctor and puts it back in the basket under her watch. She sits back down.
   “Perhaps, Doctor, you should advise Mr. McMurry on the protocol of these Group Meetings.”
   “Ma’am,” McMurphy says, “have I told you about my uncle Hallahan and the woman who used to screw up his name?”
   She looks at him for a long time without her smile. She has the ability to turn her smile into whatever expression she wants to use on somebody, but the look she turns it into is no different, just a calculated and mechanical expression to serve her purpose. Finally she says, “I beg your pardon, Mack-Murph-y.” She turns back to the doctor. “Now, Doctor, if you would explain…”
   The doctor folds his hands and leans back. “Yes. I suppose What I should do is explain the complete theory of our Therapeutic Community, while we’re at it. Though I usually save it until later. Yes. A good idea, Miss Ratched, a fine idea.”
   “Certainly the theory too, doctor, but what I had in mind was the rule, that the patients remain seated during the course of the meeting,”
   “Yes. Of course. Then I will explain the theory. Mr. McMurphy, one of the first things is that the patients remain seated during the course of the meeting. It’s the only way, you see, for us to maintain order.”
   “Sure, Doctor. I just got up to show you that thing in my record book.”
   He goes over to his chair, gives another big stretch and yawn, sits down, and moves around for a while like a dog coming to rest. When he’s comfortable, he looks over at the doctor, waiting.
   “As to the theory…” The doctor takes a deep, happy breath.
   “Ffffuck da wife,” Ruckly says. McMurphy hides his mouth behind the back of his hand and calls across the ward to Ruckly in a scratchy whisper, “Whose wife?” and Martini’s head snaps up, eyes wide and staring. “Yeah,” he says, “whose wife? Oh. Her? Yeah, I see her. Yeah.”
   “I’d give a lot to have that man’s eyes,” McMurphy says of Martini and then doesn’t say anything all the rest of the meeting. Just sits and watches and doesn’t miss a thing that happens or a word that’s said. The doctor talks about his theory until the Big Nurse finally decides he’s used up time enough and asks him to hush so they can get on to Harding, and they talk the rest of the meeting about that.
   McMurphy sits forward in his chair a couple of times during the meeting like he might have something to say, but he decides better and leans back. There’s a puzzled expression coming over his face. Something strange is going on here, he’s finding out. He can’t quite put his finger on it. Like the way nobody will laugh. Now he thought sure there would be a laugh when he asked Ruckly, “Whose wife?” but there wasn’t even a sign of one. The air is pressed in by the walls, too tight for laughing. There’s something strange about a place where the men won’t let themselves loose and laugh, something strange about the way they all knuckle under to that smiling flour-faced old mother there with the too-red lipstick and the too-big boobs. And he thinks he’ll just wait a while to see what the story is in this new place before he makes any kind of play. That’s a good rule for a smart gambler: look the game over awhile before you draw yourself a hand.

   I’ve heard that theory of the Therapeutic Community enough times to repeat it forwards and backwards—how a guy has to learn to get along in a group before he’ll be able to function in a normal society; how the group can help the guy by showing him where he’s out of place; how society is what decides who’s sane and who isn’t, so you got to measure up. All that stuff. Every time we get a new patient on the ward the doctor goes into the theory with both feet; it’s pretty near the only time he takes things over and runs the meeting. He tells how the goal of the Therapeutic Community is a democratic ward, run completely by the patients and their votes, working toward making worth-while citizens to turn back Outside onto the street. Any little gripe, any grievance, anything you want changed, he says, should be brought up before the group and discussed instead of letting it fester inside of you. Also you should feel at ease in your surroundings to the extent you can freely discuss emotional problems in front of patients and staff. Talk, he says, discuss, confess. And if you hear a friend say something during the course of your everyday conversation, then list it in the log book for the staff to see. It’s not, as the movies call it, “squealing,” it’s helping your fellow. Bring these old sins into the open where they can be washed by the sight of all. And participate in Group Discussion. Help yourself and your friends probe into the secrets of the subconscious. There should be no need for secrets among friends.
   Our intention, he usually ends by saying, is to make this as much like your own democratic, free neighborhoods as possible—a little world Inside that is a made-to-scale prototype of the big world Outside that you will one day be taking your place in again.
   He’s maybe got more to say, but about this point the Big Nurse usually hushes him, and in the lull old Pete stands up and wigwags that battered copper-pot head and tells everybody how tired he is, and the nurse tells somebody to go hush him up too, so the meeting can continue, and Pete is generally hushed and the meeting goes on.
   Once, just one time that I can remember, four or five years back, did it go any different. The doctor had finished his spiel, and the nurse had opened right up with, “Now. Who will start? Let out those old secrets.” And she’d put all the Acutes in a trance by sitting there in silence for twenty minutes after the question, quiet as an electric alarm about to go off, waiting for somebody to start telling something about themselves. Her eyes swept back and forth over them as steady as a turning beacon. The day room was clamped silent for twenty long minutes, with all of the patients stunned where they sat. When twenty minutes had passed, she looked at her watch and said, “Am I to take it that there’s not a man among you that has committed some act that he has never admitted?” She reached in the basket for the log book. “Must we go over past history?”
   That triggered something, some acoustic device in the walls, rigged to turn on at just the sound of those words coming from her mouth. The Acutes stiffened. Their mouths opened in unison. Her sweeping eyes stopped on the first man along the wall.
   His mouth worked. “I robbed a cash register in a service station.”
   She moved to the next man.
   “I tried to take my little sister to bed.”
   Her eyes clicked to the next man; each one jumped like a shooting-gallery target.
   “I—one time—wanted to take my brother to bed.”
   “I killed my cat when I was six. Oh, God forgive me, I stoned her to death and said my neighbor did it.”
   “I lied about trying. I did take my sister!”
   “So did I! So did I!”
   “And me! And me!”
   It was better than she’d dreamed. They were all shouting to outdo one another, going further and further, no way of stopping, telling things that wouldn’t ever let them look one another in the eye again. The nurse nodding at each confession and saying Yes, yes, yes.
   Then old Pete was on his feet. “I’m tired!” was what he shouted, a strong, angry copper tone to his voice that no one had ever heard before.
   Everyone hushed. They were somehow ashamed. It was as if he had suddenly said something that was real and true and important and it had put all their childish hollering to shame. The Big Nurse was furious. She swiveled and glared at him, the smile dripping over her chin; she’d just had it going so good.
   “Somebody see to poor Mr. Bancini,” she said.
   Two or three got up. They tried to soothe him, pat him on his shoulder. But Pete wasn’t being hushed. “Tired! Tired!” he kept on.
   Finally the nurse sent one of the black boys to take him out of the day room by force. She forgot that the black boys didn’t hold any control over people like Pete.
   Pete’s been a Chronic all his life. Even though he didn’t come into the hospital till he was better than fifty, he’d always been a Chronic. His head has two big dents, one on each side, where the doctor who was with his mother at horning time pinched his skull trying to pull him out. Pete had looked out first and seer. all the delivery-room machinery waiting for him and somehow realized what he was being born into, and had grabbed on to everything handy in there to try to stave off being born. The doctor reached in and got him by the head with a set of dulled ice tongs and jerked him loose and figured everything was all right. But Pete’s head was still too new, and soft as clay, and when it set, those two dents left by the tongs stayed. And this made him simple to where it took all his straining effort and concentration and will power just to do the tasks that came easy to a kid of six.
   But one good thing—being simple like that put him out of the clutch of the Combine. They weren’t able to mold him into a slot. So they let him get a simple job on the railroad, where all he had to do was sit in a little clapboard house way out in the sticks on a lonely switch and wave a red lantern at the trains if the switch was one way, and a green one if it was the other, and a yellow one if there was a train someplace up ahead. And he did it, with main force and a gutpower they couldn’t mash out of his head, out by himself on that switch. And he never had any controls installed.
   That’s why the black boy didn’t have any say over him. But the black boy didn’t think of that right off any more than the nurse did when she ordered Pete removed from the day room. The black boy walked right up and gave Pete’s arm a jerk toward the door, just like you’d jerk the reins on a plow horse to turn him.
   “Tha’s right, Pete. Less go to the dorm. You disturbin’ ever’body.”
   Pete shook his arm loose. “I’m tired,” he warned.
   “C’mon, old man, you makin’ a fuss. Less us go to bed and be still like a good boy.”
   “Tired…”
   “I said you goin’ to the dorm, old man!”
   The black boy jerked at his arm again, and Pete stopped wigwagging his head. He stood up straight and steady, and his eyes snapped clear. Usually Pete’s eyes are half shut and all murked up, like there’s milk in them, but this time they came clear as blue neon. And the hand on that arm the black boy was holding commenced to swell up. The staff and most of the rest of the patients were talking among themselves, not paying any attention to this old guy and his old song about being tired, figuring he’d be quieted down as usual and the meeting would go on. They didn’t see the hand on the end of that arm pumping bigger and bigger as he clenched and unclenched it. I was the only one saw it. I saw it swell and clench shut, flow in front of my eyes, become smooth—hard. A big rusty iron ball at the end of a chain. I stared at it and waited, while the black boy gave Pete’s arm another jerk toward the dorm.
   “Ol’ man, I say you got—”
   He saw the hand. He tried to edge back away from it, saying, “You a good boy, Peter,” but he was a shade too late. Pete had that big iron ball swinging all the way from his knees. The black boy whammed flat against the wall and stuck, then slid down to the floor like the wall there was greased. I heard tubes pop and short all over inside that wall, and the plaster cracked just the shape of how he hit.
   The other two—the least one and the other big one—stood stunned. The nurse snapped her fingers, and they sprang into motion. Instant movement, sliding across the floor. The little one beside the other like an image in a reducing mirror. They were almost to Pete when it suddenly struck them what the other boy should of known, that Pete wasn’t wired under control like the rest of us, that he wasn’t about to mind just because they gave him an order or gave his arm a jerk. If they were to take him they’d have to take him like you take a wild bear or bull, and with one of their number out cold against the baseboards, the other two black boys didn’t care for the odds.
   This thought got them both at once and they froze, the big one and his tiny image, in exactly the same position, left foot forward, right hand out, halfway between Pete and the Big Nurse. That iron ball swinging in front of them and that snowwhite anger behind them, they shook and smoked and I could hear gears grinding. I could see them twitch with confusion, like machines throttled full ahead and with the brake on.
   Pete stood there in the middle of the floor, swinging that ball back and forth at his side, all leaned over to its weight. Everybody was watching him now. He looked from the big black boy to the little one, and when he saw they weren’t about to come any closer he turned to the patients.
   “You see—it’s a lotta baloney,” he told them, “it’s all a lotta baloney.”
   The Big Nurse had slid from her chair and was working toward her wicker bag leaning at the door. “Yes, yes, Mr. Bancini,” she crooned, “now if you’ll just be calm—”
   “That’s all it is, nothin’ but a lotta baloney.” His voice lost its copper strength and became strained and urgent like he didn’t have much time to finish what he had to say. “Ya see, I can’t help it, I can’t—don’t ya see. I was born dead. Not you. You wasn’t born dead. Ahhhh, it’s been hard…”
   He started to cry. He couldn’t make the words come out right anymore; he opened and closed his mouth to talk but he couldn’t sort the words into sentences any more. He shook his head to clear it and blinked at the Acutes:
   “Ahhhh, I… tell… ya… I tell you.”
   He began slumping over again, and his iron ball shrank back to a hand. He held it cupped out in front of him like he was offering something to the patients.
   “I can’t help it. I was born a miscarriage. I had so many insults I died. I was born dead. I can’t help it. I’m tired. I’m give out trying. You got chances. I had so many insults I was born dead. You got it easy. I was born dead an’ life was hard. I’m tired. I’m tired out talking and standing up. I been dead fifty-five years.”
   The Big Nurse got him clear across the room, right through his greens. She jumped back without getting the needle pulled out after the shot and it hung there from his pants like a little tail of glass and steel, old Pete slumping farther and farther forward, not from the shot but from the effort; the last couple of minutes had worn him out finally and completely, once and for all—you could just look at him and tell he was finished.
   So there wasn’t really any need for the shot; his head had already commenced to wag back and forth and his eyes were murky. By the time the nurse eased back in to get the needle he was bent so far forward he was crying directly on the floor without wetting his face, tears spotting a wide area as he swung his head back and forth, spatting, spatting, in an even pattern on the day-room floor, like he was sowing them. “Ahhhhh,” he said. He didn’t flinch when she jerked the needle out.
   He had come to life for maybe a minute to try to tell us something, something none of us cared to listen to or tried to understand, and the effort had drained him dry. That shot in his hip was as wasted as if she’d squirted it in a dead man—no heart to pump it, no vein to carry it up to his head, no brain up there for it to mortify with its poison. She’d just as well shot it in a dried-out old cadaver.
   “I’m… tired…”
   “Now. I think if you two boys are brave enough, Mr. Bancini will go to bed like a good fellow.”
   “…aw-ful tired.”
   “And Aide Williams is coming around, Doctor Spivey. See to him, won’t you. Here. His watch is broken and he’s cut his arm.”
   Pete never tried anything like that again, and he never will. Now, when he starts acting up during a meeting and they try to hush him, he always hushes. He’ll still get up from time to time and wag his head and let us know how tired he is, but it’s not a complaint or excuse or warning any more—he’s finished with that; it’s like an old clock that won’t tell time but won’t stop neither, with the hands bent out of shape and the face bare of numbers and the alarm bell rusted silent, an old, worthless clock that just keeps ticking and cuckooing without meaning nothing.

   The group is still tearing into poor Harding when two o’clock rolls around.
   At two o’clock the doctor begins to squirm around in his chair. The meetings are uncomfortable for the doctor unless he’s talking about his theory; he’d rather spend his time down in his office, drawing on graphs. He squirms around and finally clears his tbroat, and the nurse looks at her watch and tells us to bring the tables back in from the tub room and we’ll resume this discussion again at one tomorrow. The Acutes click out of their trance, look for an instant in Harding’s direction. Their faces burn with a shame like they have just woke up to the fact they been played for suckers again. Some of them go to the tub room across the hall to get the tables, some wander over to the magazine racks and show a lot of interest in the old McCall’s magazines, but what they’re all really doing is avoiding Harding. They’ve been maneuvered again into grilling one of their friends like he was a criminal and they were all prosecutors and judge and jury. For forty-five minutes they been chopping a man to pieces, almost as if they enjoyed it, shooting questions at him: What’s he think is the matter with him that he can’t please the little lady; why’s he insist she has never had anything to do with another man; how’s he expect to get well if he doesn’t answer honestly?–questions and insinuations till now they feel bad about it and they don’t want to be made more uncomfortable by being near him.
   McMurphy’s eyes follow all of this. He doesn’t get out of his chair. He looks puzzled again. He sits in his chair for a while, watching the Acutes, scuffing that deck of cards up and down the red stubble on his chin, then finally stands up from his arm chair, yawns and stretches and scratches his belly button with a corner of a card, then puts the deck in his pocket and walks over to where Harding is off by himself, sweated to his chair.
   McMurphy looks down at Harding a minute, then laps his big hand over the back of a nearby wooden chair, swings it around so the back is facing Harding, and straddles it like he’d straddle a tiny horse. Harding hasn’t noticed a thing. McMurphy slaps his pockets till he finds his cigarettes, and takes one out and lights it; he holds it out in front of him and frowns at the tip, licks his thumb and finger, and arranges the fire to suit him.
   Each man seems unaware of the other. I can’t even tell if Harding’s noticed McMurphy at all. Harding’s got his thin shoulders folded nearly together around himself, like green wings, and he’s sitting very straight near the edge of his chair, with his hands trapped between his knees. He’s staring straight ahead, humming to himself, trying to look calm—but he’s chewing at his cheeks, and this gives him a funny skull grin, not calm at all.
   McMurphy puts his cigarette back between his teeth and folds his hands over the wooden chair back and leans his chin on them, squinting one eye against the smoke. He looks at Harding with his other eye a while, then starts talking with that cigarette wagging up and down in his lips.
   “Well say, buddy, is this the way these leetle meetings usually go?”
   “Usually go?” Harding’s humming stops. He’s not chewing his cheeks any more but he still stares ahead, past McMurphy’s shoulder.
   “Is this the usual pro –cedure for these Group Ther’py shindigs? Bunch of chickens at a peckin’ party?”
   Harding’s head turns with a jerk and his eyes find McMurphy, like it’s the first time he knows that anybody’s sitting in front of him. His face creases in the middle when he bites his cheeks again, and this makes it look like he’s grinning. He pulls his shoulders back and scoots to the back of the chair and tries to look relaxed.
   “A ‘pecking party’? I fear your quaint down-home speech is wasted on me, my friend. I have not the slightest inclination what you’re talking about.”
   “Why then, I’ll just explain it to you.” McMurphy raises his voice; though he doesn’t look at the other Acutes listening behind him, it’s them he’s talking to. “The flock gets sight of a spot of blood on some chicken and they all go to peckin’ at it, see, till they rip the chicken to shreds, blood and bones and feathers. But usually a couple of the flock gets spotted in the fracas, then it’s their turn. And a few more gets spots and gets pecked to death, and more and more. Oh, a peckin’ party can wipe out the whole flock in a matter of a few hours, buddy, I seen it. A mighty awesome sight. The only way to prevent it—with chickens—is to clip blinders on them. So’s they can’t see.”
   Harding laces his long fingers around a knee and draws the knee toward him, leaning back in the chair. “A pecking party. That certainly is a pleasant analogy, my friend.”
   “And that’s just exactly what that meeting I just set through reminded me of, buddy, if you want to know the dirty truth. It reminded me of a flock of dirty chickens.”
   “So that makes me the chicken with the spot of blood, friend?”
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s

   “That’s right, buddy.”
   They’re still grinning at each other, but their voices have dropped so low and taut I have to sweep over closer to them with my broom to hear. The other Acutes are moving up closer too.
   “And you want to know somethin’ else, buddy? You want to know who pecks that first peck?”
   Harding waits for him to go on.
   “It’s that old nurse, that’s who.”
   There’s a whine of fear over the silence. I hear the machinery in the walls catch and go on. Harding is having a tough time holding his hands still, but he keeps trying to act calm.
   “So,” he says, “it’s as simple as that, as stupidly simple as that. You’re on our ward six hours and have already simplified all the work of Freud, Jung, and Maxwell Jones and summed it up in one analogy: it’s a ‘peckin’ party.’ ”
   “I’m not talking about Fred Yoong and Maxwell Jones, buddy, I’m just talking about that crummy meeting and what that nurse and those other bastards did to you. Did in spades.”
   “Did to me?”
   “That’s right, did. Did you every chance they got. Did you coming and did you going. You must of done something to makes a passle of enemies here in this place, buddy, because it seems there’s sure a passle got it in for you.”
   “Why, this is incredible. You completely disregard, completely overlook and disregard the fact that what the fellows were doing today was for my own benefit? That any question or discussion raised by Miss Ratched or the rest of the staff is done solely for therapeutic reasons? You must not have heard a word of Doctor Spivey’s theory of the Therapeutic Community, or not have had the education to comprehend it if you did. I’m disappointed in you, my friend, oh, very disappointed. I had judged from our encounter this morning that you were more intelligent—an illiterate clod, perhaps, certainly a backwoods braggart with no more sensitivity than a goose, but basically intelligent nevertheless. But, observant and insightful though I usually am, I still make mistakes.”
   “The hell with you, buddy.”
   “Oh, yes; I forgot to add that I noticed your primitive brutality also this morning. Psychopath with definite sadistic tendencies, probably motivated by an unreasoning egomania. Yes. As you see, all these natural talents certainly qualify you as a competent therapist and render you quite capable of criticizing Miss Ratched’s meeting procedure, in spite of the fact that she is a highly regarded psychiatric nurse with twenty years in the field. Yes, with your talent, my friend, you could work subconscious miracles, soothe the aching id and heal the wounded superego. You could probably bring about a cure for the whole ward, Vegetables and all, in six short months, ladies and gentlemen or your money back.”
   Instead of rising to the argument, McMurphy just keeps on looking at Harding, finally asks in a level voice, “And you really think this crap that went on in the meeting today is bringing about some kinda cure, doing some kinda good?”
   “What other reason would we have for submitting ourselves to it, my friend? The staff desires our cure as much as we do. They aren’t monsters. Miss Ratched may be a strict middle-aged lady, but she’s not some kind of giant monster of the poultry clan, bent on sadistically pecking out our eyes. You can’t believe that of her, can you?”
   “No, buddy, not that. She ain’t peckin’ at your eyes. That’s not what she’s peckin’ at.”
   Harding flinches, and I see his hands begin to creep out from between his knees like white spiders from between two moss-covered tree limbs, up the limbs toward the joining at the trunk.
   “Not our eyes?” he says. “Pray, then, where is Miss Ratched pecking, my friend?”
   McMurphy grinned. “Why, don’t you know, buddy?”
   “No, of course I don’t know! I mean, if you insi—”
   “At your balls, buddy, at your everlovin’ balls.”
   The spiders reach the joining at the trunk and settle there, twitching. Harding tries to grin, but his face and lips are so white the grin is lost. He stares at McMurphy. McMurphy takes the cigarette out of his mouth and repeats what he said.
   “Right at your balls. No, that nurse ain’t some kinda monster chicken, buddy, what she is is a ball-cutter. I’ve seen a thousand of ‘em, old and young, men and women. Seen ‘em all over the country and in the homes—people who try to make you weak so they can get you to toe the line, to follow their rules, to live like they want you to. And the best way to do this, to get you to knuckle under, is to weaken you by gettin’ you where it hurts the worst. You ever been kneed in the nuts in a brawl, buddy? Stops you cold, don’t it? There’s nothing worse. It makes you sick, it saps every bit of strength you got. If you’re up against a guy who wants to win by making you weaker instead of making himself stronger, then watch for his knee, he’s gonna go for your vitals. And that’s what that old buzzard is doing, going for your vitals.”
   Harding’s face is still colorless, but he’s got control of his hands again; they flip loosely before him, trying to toss off what McMurphy has been saying:
   “Our dear Miss Ratched? Our sweet, smiling, tender angel of mercy, Mother Ratched, a ball-cutter? Why, friend, that’s most unlikely.”
   “Buddy, don’t give me that tender little mother crap. She may be a mother, but she’s big as a damn barn and tough as knife metal. She fooled me with that kindly little old mother bit for maybe three minutes when I came in this morning, but no longer. I don’t think she’s really fooled any of you guys for any six months or a year, neither. Hooowee, I’ve seen some bitches in my time, but she takes the cake.”
   “A bitch? But a moment ago she was a ball-cutter, then a buzzard—or was it a chicken? Your metaphors are bumping into each other, my friend.”
   “The hell with that; she’s a bitch and a buzzard and a ball-cutter, and don’t kid me, you know what I’m talking about.”
   Harding’s face and hands are moving faster than ever now, a speeded film of gestures, grins, grimaces, sneers. The more he tries to stop it, the faster it goes. When he lets his hands and face move like they want to and doesn’t try to hold them back, they flow and gesture in a way that’s real pretty to watch, but when he worries about them and tries to hold back he becomes a wild, jerky puppet doing a high-strung dance. Everything is moving faster and faster, and his voice is speeding up to match.
   “Why, see here, my friend Mr. McMurphy, my psychopathic sidekick, our Miss Ratched is a veritable angel of mercy and why just everyone knows it. She’s unselfish as the wind, toiling thanklessly for the good of all, day after day, five long days a week. That takes heart, my friend, heart. In fact, I have been informed by sources—I am not at liberty to disclose my sources, but I might say that Martini is in contact with the same people a good part of the time—that she even further serves mankind on her weekends off by doing generous volunteer work about town. Preparing a rich array of charity—canned goods, cheese for the binding effect, soap—and presenting it to some poor young couple having a difficult time financially.” His hands flash in the air, molding the picture he is describing. “Ah, look: There she is, our nurse. Her gentle knock on the door. The ribboned basket. The young couple overjoyed to the point of speechlessness. The husband open-mouthed, the wife weeping openly. She appraises their dwelling. Promises to send them money for—scouring powder, yes. She places the basket in the center of the floor. And when our angel leaves—throwing kisses, smiling ethereally—she is so intoxicated with the sweet milk of human kindness that her deed has generated within her large bosom, that she is beside herself with generosity. Be-side herself, do you hear? Pausing at the door, she draws the timid young bride to one side and offers her twenty dollars of her own: ‘Go, you poor unfortunate underfed child, go, and buy yourself a decent dress. I realize your husband can’t afford it, but here, take this, and go.’ And the couple is forever indebted to her benevolence.”
   He’s been talking faster and faster, the cords stretching out in his neck. When he stops talking, the ward is completely silent. I don’t hear anything but a faint reeling rhythm, what I figure is a tape recorder somewhere getting all of this.
   Harding looks around, sees everybody’s watching him, and he does his best to laugh. A sound comes out of his mouth like a nail being crowbarred out of a plank of green pine; Eee-eee-eee. He can’t stop it. He wrings his hands like a fly and clinches his eyes at the awful sound of that squeaking. But he can’t stop it. It gets higher and higher until finally, with a suck of breath, he lets his face fall into his waiting hands.
   “Oh the bitch, the bitch, the bitch,” he whispers through his teeth.
   McMurphy lights another cigarette and offers it to him; Harding takes it without a word. McMurphy is still watching Harding’s face in front of him there, with a kind of puzzled wonder, looking at it like it’s the first human face he ever laid eyes on. He watches while Harding’s twitching and jerking slows down and the face comes up from the hands.
   “You are right,” Harding says, “about all of it.” He looks up at the other patients who are watching him. “No one’s ever dared come out and say it before, but there’s not a man among us that doesn’t think it, that doesn’t feel just as you do about her and the whole business—feel it somewhere down deep in his scared little soul.”
   McMurphy frowns and asks, “What about that little fart of a doctor? He might be a little slow in the head, but not so much as not to be able to see how she’s taken over and what she’s doing.”
   Harding takes a long pull off the cigarette and lets the smoke drift out with his talk. “Doctor Spivey… is exactly like the rest of us, McMurphy, completely conscious of his inadequacy. He’s a frightened, desperate, ineffectual little rabbit, totally incapable of running this ward without our Miss Ratched’s help, and he knows it. And, worse, she knows he knows it and reminds him every chance she gets. Every time she finds he’s made a little slip in the bookwork or in, say, the charting you can just imagine her in there grinding his nose in it.”
   “That’s right,” Cheswick says, coming up beside McMurphy, “grinds our noses in our mistakes.”
   “Why don’t he fire her?”
   “In this hospital,” Harding says, “the doctor doesn’t hold the power of hiring and firing. That power goes to the supervisor, and the supervisor is a woman, a dear old friend of Miss Ratched’s; they were Army nurses together in the thirties. We are victims of a matriarchy here, my friend, and the doctor is just as helpless against it as we are. He knows that all Ratched has to do is pick up that phone you see sitting at her elbow and call the supervisor and mention, oh, say, that the doctor seems to be making a great number of requisitions for Demerol—”
   “Hold it, Harding, I’m not up on all this shop talk.”
   “Demerol, my friend, is a synthetic opiate, twice as addictive as heroin. Quite common for doctors to be addicted to it.”
   “That little fart? Is he a dope addict?”
   “I’m certain I don’t know.”
   “Then where does she get off with accusing him of—”
   “Oh, you’re not paying attention, my friend. She doesn’t accuse. She merely needs to insinuate, insinuate anything, don’t you see? Didn’t you notice today? She’ll call a man to the door of the Nurses’ Station and stand there and ask him about a Kleenex found under his bed. No more, just ask. And he’ll feel like he’s lying to her, whatever answer he gives. If he says he was cleaning a pen with it, she’ll say, ‘I see, a pen,’ or if he says he has a cold in his nose, she’ll say, ‘I see, a cold,’ and she’ll nod her neat little gray coiffure and smile her neat little smile and turn and go back into the Nurses’ Station, leave him standing there wondering just what did he use that Kleenex for.”
   He starts to tremble again, and his shoulders fold back around him.
   “No. She doesn’t need to accuse. She has a genius for insinuation. Did you ever hear her, in the course of our discussion today, ever once hear her accuse me of anything? Yet it seems I have been accused of a multitude of things, of jealousy and paranoia, of not being man enough to satisfy my wife, of having relations with male friends of mine, of holding my cigarette in an affected manner, even—it seems to me—accused of having nothing between my legs but a patch of hair—and soft and downy and blond hair at that! Ball-cutter? Oh, you underestimate her!”
   Harding hushes all of a sudden and leans forward to take McMurphy’s hand in both of his. His face is tilted oddly, edged, jagged purple and gray, a busted wine bottle.
   “This world… belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. We must face up to this. No more than right that it should be this way. We must learn to accept it as a law of the natural world. The rabbits accept their role in the ritual and recognize the wolf as the strong. In defense, the rabbit becomes sly and frightened and elusive and he digs holes and hides when the wolf is about. And he endures, he goes on. He knows his place. He most certainly doesn’t challenge the wolf to combat. Now, would that be wise? Would it?”
   He lets go McMurphy’s hand and leans back and crosses his legs, takes another long pull off the cigarette. He pulls the cigarette from his thin crack of a smile, and the laugh starts up again—eee-eee-eee, like a nail coming out of a plank.
   “Mr. McMurphy… my friend… I’m not a chicken, I’m a rabbit. The doctor is a rabbit. Cheswick there is a rabbit. Billy Bibbit is a rabbit. All of us in here are rabbits of varying ages and degrees, hippity-hopping through our Walt Disney world. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, we’re not in here because we are rabbits—we’d be rabbits wherever we were—we’re all in here because we can’t adjust to our rabbithood. We need a good strong wolf like the nurse to teach us our place.”
   “Man, you’re talkin’ like a fool. You mean to tell me that you’re gonna sit back and let some old blue-haired woman talk you into being a rabbit?”
   “Not talk me into it, no. I was born a rabbit. Just look at me. I simply need the nurse to make me happy with my role.”
   “You’re no damned rabbit!”
   “See the ears? the wiggly nose? the cute little button tail?”
   “You’re talking like a crazy ma—”
   “Like a crazy man? How astute.”
   “Damn it, Harding, I didn’t mean it like that. You ain’t crazy that way. I mean—hell, I been surprised how sane you guys all are. As near as I can tell you’re not any crazier than the average asshole on the street—”
   “Ah yes, the asshole on the street.”
   “But not, you know, crazy like the movies paint crazy people. You’re just hung up and—kind of—”
   “Kind of rabbit-like, isn’t that it?”
   “Rabbits, hell! Not a thing like rabbits, goddammit.”
   “Mr. Bibbit, hop around for Mr. McMurphy here. Mr. Cheswick, show him how furry, you are.”
   Billy Bibbit and Cheswick change into hunched-over white rabbits, right before my eyes, but they are too ashamed to do any of the things Harding told them to do.
   “Ah, they’re bashful, McMurphy. Isn’t that sweet? Or, perhaps, the fellows are ill at ease because they didn’t stick up for their friend. Perhaps they are feeling guilty for the way they once again let her victimize them into being her interrogators. Cheer up, friends, you’ve no reason to feel ashamed. It is all as it should be. It’s not the rabbit’s place to stick up for his fellow. That would have been foolish. No, you were wise, cowardly but wise.”
   “Look here, Harding,” Cheswick says.
   “No, no, Cheswick. Don’t get irate at the truth.”
   “Now look here; there’s been times when I’ve said the same things about old lady Ratched that McMurphy has been saying.”
   “Yes, but you said them very quietly and took them all back later. You are a rabbit too, don’t try to avoid the truth. That’s why I hold no grudge against you for the questions you asked me during the meeting today. You were only playing your role. If you had been on the carpet, or you Billy, or you Fredrickson, I would have attacked you just as cruelly as you attacked me. We mustn’t be ashamed of our behavior; it’s the way we little animals were meant to behave.”
   McMurphy turns in his chair and looks the other Acutes up and down. “I ain’t so sure but what they should be ashamed. Personally, I thought it was damned crummy the way they swung in on her side against you. For a minute there I thought I was back in a Red Chinese prison camp…”
   “Now by God, McMurphy,” Cheswick says, “you listen here.”
   McMurphy turns and listens, but Cheswick doesn’t go on. Cheswick never goes on; he’s one of these guys who’ll make a big fuss like he’s going to lead an attack, holler charge and stomp up and down a minute, take a couple steps, and quit. McMurphy looks at him where he’s been caught off base again after such a tough-sounding start, and says to him, “A hell of a lot like a Chinese prison camp.”
   Harding holds up his hands for peace. “Oh, no, no, that isn’t right. You mustn’t condemn us, my friend. No. In fact…”
   I see that sly fever come into Harding’s eye again; I think he’s going to start laughing, but instead he takes his cigarette out of his mouth and points it at McMurphy—in his hand it looks like one of his thin, white fingers, smoking at the end.
   “…you too, Mr. McMurphy, for all your cowboy bluster and your sideshow swagger, you too, under that crusty surface, are probably just as soft and fuzzy and rabbit-souled as we are.”
   “Yeah, you bet. I’m a little cottontail. Just what is it makes me a rabbit, Harding? My psychopathic tendencies? Is it my fightin’ tendencies, or my fuckin’ tendencies? Must be the fuckin’, mustn’t it? All that whambam-thank-you-ma’am. Yeah, that whambam, that’s probably what makes me a rabbit—”
   “Wait; I’m afraid you’ve raised a point that requires some deliberation. Rabbits are noted for that certain trait, aren’t they? Notorious, in fact, for their whambam. Yes. Um. But in any case, the. point you bring up simply indicates that you are a healthy, functioning and adequate rabbit, whereas most of us in here even lack the sexual ability to make the grade as adequate rabbits. Failures, we are—feeble, stunted, weak little creatures in a weak little race. Rabbits, sans whambam; a pathetic notion.”
   “Wait a minute; you keep twistin’ what I say—”
   “No. You were right. You remember, it was you that drew our attention to the place where the nurse was concentrating her pecking? That was true. There’s not a man here that isn’t afraid he is losing or has already lost his whambam. We comical little creatures can’t even achieve masculinity in the rabbit world, that’s how weak and inadequate we are. Hee. We are—the rabbits, one might say, of the rabbit world!”
   He leans forward again, and that strained, squeaking laugh of his that I been expecting begins to rise from his mouth, his hands flipping around, his lace twitching.
   “Harding! Shut your damned mouth!”
   It’s like a slap. Harding is hushed, chopped off cold with his mouth still open in a drawn grin, his hands dangling in a cloud of blue tobacco smoke. He freezes this way a second; then his eyes narrow into sly little holes and he lets them slip over to McMurphy, speaks so soft that I have to push my broom up right next to his chair to hear what he says.
   “Friend… you… may be a wolf.”
   “Goddammit, I’m no wolf and you’re no rabbit. Hoo, I never heard such—”
   “You have a very wolfy roar.”
   With a loud hissing o: breath McMurphy turns from Harding to the rest of the Acutes standing around. “Here; all you guys. What the hell is the matter with you? You ain’t as crazy as all this, thinking you’re some animal.”
   “No,” Cheswick says and steps in beside McMurphy. “No, by God, not me. I’m not any rabbit.”
   “That’s the boy, Cheswick. And the rest of you, let’s just knock it off. Look at you, talking yourself into running scared from some fifty-year-old woman. What is there she can do to you, anyway?”
   “Yeah, what?” Cheswick says and glares around at the others.
   “She can’t have you whipped. She can’t burn you with hot irons. She can’t tie you to the rack. They got laws about that sort of thing nowadays; this ain’t the Middle Ages. There’s not a thing in the world that she can—”
   “You s-s-saw what she c-can do to us! In the m-m-meeting today.” I see Billy Bibbit has changed back from a rabbit. He leans toward McMurphy, trying to go on, his mouth wet with spit and his face red. Then he turns and walks away. “Ah, it’s n-no use. I should just k-k-kill myself.”
   McMurphy calls after him. “Today? What did I see in the meeting today? Hell’s bells, all I saw today was her asking a couple of questions, and nice, easy questions at that. Questions ain’t bonebreakers, they ain’t sticks and stones.”
   Billy turns back. “But the wuh-wuh-way she asks them—”
   “You don’t have to answer, do you?”
   “If you d-don’t answer she just smiles and m-m-makes a note in her little book and then she—she—oh, hell!”
   Scanlon comes up beside Billy. “If you don’t answer her questions, Mack, you admit it just by keeping quiet. It’s the way those bastards in the government get you. You can’t beat it. The only thing to do is blow the whole business off the face of the whole bleeding earth—blow it all up.”
   “Well, when she asks one of those questions, why don’t you tell her to up and go to hell?”
   “Yeah,” Cheswick says, shaking his fist, “tell her to up and go to hell.”
   “So then what, Mack? She’d just come right back with ‘Why do you seem so upset by that par-tik-uler question, Patient McMurphy?’ ”
   “So, you tell her to go to hell again. Tell them all to go to hell. They still haven’t hurt you.”
   The Acutes are crowding closer around him. Fredrickson answers this time. “Okay, you tell her that and you’re listed as Potential Assaultive and shipped upstairs to the Disturbed ward. I had it happen. Three times. Those poor goofs up there don’t even get off the ward to go to the Saturday afternoon movie. They don’t even have a TV.”
   “And, my friend, if you continue to demonstrate such hostile tendencies, such as telling people to go to hell, you get lined up to go to the Shock Shop, perhaps even on to greater things, an operation, an—”
   “Damn it, Harding, I told you I’m not up on this talk.”
   “The Shock Shop, Mr. McMurphy, is jargon for the EST machine, the Electro Shock Therapy. A device that might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair, and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple, quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one ever wants another one. Ever.”
   “What’s this thing do?”
   “You are strapped to a table, shaped, ironically, like a cross, with a crown of electric sparks in place of thorns. You are touched on each side of the head with wires. Zap! Five cents’ worth of electricity through the brain and you are jointly administered therapy and a punishment for your hostile go-to-hell behavior, on top of being put out of everyone’s way for six hours to three days, depending on the individual. Even when you do regain consciousness you are in a state of disorientation for days. You are unable to think coherently. You can’t recall things. Enough of these treatments and a man could turn out like Mr. Ellis you see over there against the wall. A drooling, pants-wetting idiot at thirty-five. Or turn into a mindless organism that eats and eliminates and yells ‘fuck the wife,’ like Ruckly. Or look at Chief Broom clutching to his namesake there beside you.”
   Harding points his cigarette at me, too late for me to back off. I make like I don’t notice. Go on with my sweeping.
   “I’ve heard that the Chief, years ago, received more than two hundred shock treatments when they were really the vogue. Imagine what this could do to a mind that was already slipping. Look at him: a giant janitor. There’s your Vanishing American, a six-foot-eight sweeping machine, scared of its own shadow. That, my friend, is what we can be threatened with.”
   McMurphy looks at me a while, then turns back to Harding. “Man, I tell you, how come you stand for it? What about this democratic-ward manure that the doctor was giving me? Why don’t you take a vote?”
   Harding smiles at him and takes another slow drag on his cigarette. “Vote what, my friend? Vote that the nurse may not ask any more questions in Group Meeting? Vote that she shall not look at us in a certain way? You tell me, Mr. McMurphy, what do we vote on?”
   “Hell, I don’t care. Vote on anything. Don’t you see you have to do something to show you still got some guts? Don’t you see you can’t let her take over completely? Look at you here: you say the Chief is scared of his own shadow, but I never saw a scareder-looking bunch in my life than you guys.”
   “Not me!” Cheswick says.
   “Maybe not you, buddy, but the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know, that’s the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn’t anybody laughing. I haven’t heard a real laugh since I came through that door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing. A man go around lettin’ a woman whup him down till he can’t laugh any more, and he loses one of the biggest edges he’s got on his side. First thing you know he’ll begin to think she’s tougher than he is and—”
   “Ah. I believe my friend is catching on, fellow rabbits. Tell me, Mr. McMurphy, bow does one go about showing a woman who’s boss, I mean other than laughing at her? How does he show her who’s king of the mountain? A man like you should be able to tell us that. You don’t slap her around, do you? No, then she calls the law. You don’t lose your temper and shout at her; she’ll win by trying to placate her big ol’ angry boy: ‘Is us wittle man getting fussy? Ahhhhh?’ Have you ever tried to keep up a noble and angry front in the face of such consolation? So you see, my friend, it is somewhat as you stated: man has but one truly effective weapon against the juggernaut of modern matriarchy, but it certainly is not laughter. One weapon, and with every passing year in this hip, motivationally researched society, more and more people are discovering how to render that weapon useless and conquer those who have hitherto been the conquerors—”
   “Lord, Harding, but you do come on,” McMurphy says.
   “—and do you think, for all your acclaimed psychopathic powers, that you could effectively use your weapon against our champion? Do you think you could use it against Miss Ratched, McMurphy? Ever?”
   And sweeps one of his hands toward the glass case. Everybody’s head turns to look. She’s in there, looking out through her window, got a tape recorder hid out of sight somewhere, getting all this down—already planning how to work it into the schedule.
   The nurse sees everybody looking at her and she nods and they all turn away. McMurphy takes off his cap and runs his hands into that red hair. Now everybody is looking at him; they’re waiting for him to make an answer and he knows it. He feels he’s been trapped some way. He puts the cap back on and rubs the stitch marks on his nose.
   “Why, if you mean do I think I could get a bone up over that old buzzard, no, I don’t believe I could…”
   “She’s not all that homely, McMurphy. Her face is quite handsome and well preserved. And in spite of all her attempts to conceal them, in that sexless get-up, you can still make out the evidence of some rather extraordinary breasts. She must have been a rather beautiful young woman. Still—for the sake of argument, could you get it up over her even if she wasn’t old, even if she was young and had the beauty of Helen?”
   “I don’t know Helen, but I see what you’re drivin’ at. And you’re by God right. I couldn’t get it up over old frozen face in there even if she had the beauty of Marilyn Monroe.”
   “There you are. She’s won.”
   That’s it. Harding leans back and everybody waits for what McMurphy’s going to say next. McMurphy can see he’s backed up against the wall. He looks at the faces a minute, then shrugs and stands up from his chair.
   “Well, what the hell, it’s no skin off my nose.”
   “That’s true, it’s no skin off your nose.”
   “And I damn well don’t want to have some old fiend of a nurse after me with three thousand volts. Not when there’s nothing in it for me but the adventure.”
   “No. You’re right.”
   Harding’s won the argument, but nobody looks too happy. McMurphy hooks his thumbs in his pockets and tries a laugh.
   “No sir, I never heard of anybody offering a twenty-bone bounty for bagging a ball-cutter.”
   Everybody grins at this with him, but they’re not happy. I’m glad McMurphy is going to be cagey after all and not get sucked in on something he can’t whip, but I know how the guys feel; I’m not so happy myself. McMurphy lights another cigarette. Nobody’s moved yet. They’re all still standing there, grinning and uncomfortable. McMurphy rubs his nose again and looks away from the bunch of faces hung out there around him, looks back at the nurse and chews his lip.
   “But you say… she don’t send you up to that other ward unless she gets your goat? Unless she makes you crack in some way and you end up cussing her out or busting a window or something like that?”
   “Unless you do something like that.”
   “You’re sure of that, now? Because I’m getting just the shadiest notion of how to pick up a good purse off you birds in here. But I don’t want to be a sucker about it. I had a hell of a time getting outa that other hole; I don’t want to be jumping outa the fryin’ pan into the fire.”
   “Absolutely certain. She’s powerless unless you do something to honestly deserve the Disturbed Ward or EST. If you’re tough enough to keep her from getting to you, she can’t do a thing.”
   “So if I behave myself and don’t cuss her out—”
   “Or cuss one of the aides out.”
   “—or cuss one of the aides out or tear up jack some way around here, she can’t do nothing to me?”
   “Those are the rules we play by. Of course, she always wins, my friend, always. She’s impregnable herself, and with the element of time working for her she eventually gets inside everyone. That’s why the hospital regards her as its top nurse and grants her so much authority; she’s a master at forcing the trembling libido out into the open—”
   “The hell with that. What I want to know is am I safe to try to beat her at her own game? If I come on nice as pie to her, whatever else I in-sinuate, she ain’t gonna get in a tizzy and have me electrocuted?”
   “You’re safe as long as you keep control. As long as you don’t lose your temper and give her actual reason to request the restriction of the Disturbed Ward, or the therapeutic benefits of Electro Shock, you are safe. But that entails first and foremost keeping one’s temper. And you? With your red hair and black record? Why delude yourself?”
   “Okay. All right.” McMurphy rubs his palms together. “Here’s what I’m thinkin’. You birds seem to think you got quite the champ in there, don’t you? Quite the—what did you call her?—sure, impregnable woman. What I want to know is how many of you are dead sure enough to put a little money on her?”
   “Dead sure enough…?”
   “Just what I said: any of you sharpies here willing to take my five bucks that says that I can get the best of that woman—before the week’s up—without her getting the best of me? One week, and if I don’t have her to where she don’t know whether to shit or go blind, the bet is yours.”
   “You’re betting on this?” Cheswick is hopping from foot to foot and rubbing his hands together like McMurphy rubs his. “You’re damned right.”
   Harding and some of the others say that they don’t get it.
   “It’s simple enough. There ain’t nothing noble or complicated about it. I like to gamble. And I like to win. And I think I can win this gamble, okay? It got so at Pendleton the guys wouldn’t even lag pennies with me on account of I was such a winner. Why, one of the big reasons I got myself sent here was because I needed some new suckers. I’ll tell you something: I found out a few things about this place before I came out here. Damn near half of you guys in here pull compensation, three, four hundred a month and not a thing in the world to do with it but let it draw dust. I thought I might take advantage of this and maybe make both our lives a little more richer. I’m starting level with you. I’m a gambler and I’m not in the habit of losing. And I’ve never seen a woman I thought was more man than me, I don’t care whether I can get it up for her or not. She may have the element of time, but I got a pretty long winning streak goin’ myself.”
   He pulls off his cap, spins it on his finger, and catches it behind his back in his other band, neat as you please.
   “Another thing: I’m in this place because that’s the way I planned it, pure and simple, because it’s a better place than a work farm. As near as I can tell I’m no loony, or never knew it if I was. Your nurse don’t know this; she’s not going to be looking out for somebody coming at her with a trigger-quick mind like I obviously got. These things give me an edge I like. So I’m saying five bucks to each of you that wants it if I can’t put a betsy bug up that nurse’s butt within a week.”
   “I’m still not sure I—”
   “Just that. A bee in her butt, a burr in her bloomers. Get her goat. Bug her till she comes apart at those neat little seams, and shows, just one time, she ain’t so unbeatable as you think. One week. I’ll let you be the judge whether I win or not.”
   Harding takes out a pencil and writes something on the pinochle pad.
   “Here. A lien on ten dollars of that money they’ve got drawing dust under my name over in Funds. It’s worth twice that to me, my friend, to see this unlikely miracle brought off.”
   McMurphy looks at the paper and folds it. “Worth it to any of the rest of you birds?” Other Acutes line up now, taking turns at the pad. He takes the pieces of paper when they’re finished, stacking them on his palm, pinned under a big stiff thumb. I see the pieces of paper crowd up in his hand. He looks them over.
   “You trust me to hold the bets, buddies?”
   “I believe we can be safe in doing that,” Harding says. “You won’t be going any place for a while.”
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
6

   One Christmas at midnight on the button, at the old place, the ward door blows open with a crash, in comes a fat man with a beard, eyes ringed red by the cold and his nose just the color of a cherry. The black boys get him cornered in the hall with flashlights. I see he’s all tangled in the tinsel Public Relation has been stringing all over the place, and he’s stumbling around in it in the dark. He’s shading his red eyes from the flashlights and sucking on his mustache.
   “Ho ho ho,” he says. “I’d like to stay but I must be hurrying along. Very tight schedule, ya know. Ho ho. Must be going…”
   The black boys move in with the flashlights. They kept him with us six years before they discharged him, clean-shaven and skinny as a pole.

   The Big Nurse is able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants by just turning one of those dials in the steel door; she takes a notion to hurry things up, she turns the speed up, and those hands whip around that disk like spokes in a wheel. The scene in the picture-screen windows goes through rapid changes of light to show morning, noon, and night—throb off and on furiously with day and dark, and everybody is driven like mad to keep up with that passing of fake time; awful scramble of shaves and breakfasts and appointments and lunches and medications and ten minutes of night so you barely get your eyes closed before the dorm light’s screaming at you to get up and start the scramble again, go like a sonofabitch this way, going through the full schedule of a day maybe twenty times an hour, till the Big Nurse sees everybody is right up to the breaking point, and she slacks off on the throttle, eases off the pace on that clock-dial, like some kid been fooling with the moving-picture projection machine and finally got tired watching the film run at ten times its natural speed, got bored with all that silly scampering and insect squeak of talk and turned it back to normal.
   She’s given to turning up the speed this way on days like, say, when you got somebody to visit you or when the VFW brings down a smoker show from Portland—times like that, times you’d like to hold and have stretch out. That’s when she speeds things up.
   But generally it’s the other way, the slow way. She’ll turn that dial to a dead stop and freeze the sun there on the screen so it don’t move a scant hair for weeks, so not a leaf on a tree or a blade of grass in the pasture shimmers. The clock hands hang at two minutes to three and she’s liable to let them hang there till we rust. You sit solid and you can’t budge, you can’t walk or move to relieve the strain of sitting, you can’t swallow and you can’t breathe. The only thing you can move is your eyes and there’s nothing to see but petrified Acutes across the room waiting on one another to decide whose play it is. The old Chronic next to me has been dead six days, and he’s rotting to the chair. And instead of fog sometimes she’ll let a clear chemical gas in through the vents, and the whole ward is set solid when the gas changes into plastic.
   Lord knows how long we hang this way.
   Then, gradually, she’ll ease the dial up a degree, and that’s worse yet. I can take hanging dead still better’n I can take that sirup-slow hand of Scanlon across the room, taking three days to lay down a card. My lungs pull for the thick plastic air like getting it through a pinhole. I try to go to the latrine and I feel buried under a ton of sand, squeezing my bladder till green sparks flash and buzz across my forehead.
   I strain with every muscle and bone to get out of that chair and go to the latrine, work to get up till my arms and legs are all ashake and my teeth hurt. I pull and pull and all I gain is maybe a quarter-inch off the leather seat. So I fall back and give up and let the pee pour out, activating a hot salt wire down my left leg that sets off humiliating alarms, sirens, spotlights, everybody up yelling and running around and the big black boys knocking the crowd aside right and left as the both of them rush headlong at me, waving awful mops of wet copper wires cracking and spitting as they short with the water.
   About the only time we get any let-up from this time control is in the fog; then time doesn’t mean anything. It’s lost in the fog, like everything else. (They haven’t really fogged the place full force all day today, not since McMurphy came in. I bet he’d yell like a bull if they fogged it.)
   When nothing else is going on, you usually got the fog or the time control to contend with, but today something’s happened: there hasn’t been any of these things worked on us all day, not since shaving. This afternoon everything is matching up. When the swing shift comes on duty the clock says four-thirty, just like it should. The Big Nurse dismisses the black boys and takes a last look around the ward. She slides a long silver hatpin out of the iron-blue knot of hair back of her head, takes off her white cap and sets it careful in a cardboard box (there’s mothballs in that box), and drives the hatpin back in the hair with a stab of her hand.
   Behind the glass I see her tell everyone good evening. She hands the little birthmarked swing-shift nurse a note; then her hand reaches out to the control panel in the steel door, clacks on the speaker in the day room: “Good evening, boys. Behave yourselves.” And turns the music up louder than ever. She rubs the inside of her wrist across her window; a disgusted look shows the fat black boy who just reported on duty that he better get to cleaning it, and he’s at the glass with a paper towel before she’s so much as locked the ward door behind her.
   The machinery in the walls whistles, sighs, drops into a lower gear.
   Then, till night, we eat and shower and go back to sit in the day room. Old Blastic, the oldest Vegetable, is holding his stomach and moaning. George (the black boys call him Ruba-dub) is washing his hands in the drinking fountain. The Acutes sit and play cards and work at getting a picture on our TV set by carrying the set every place the cord will reach, in search of a good beam.
   The speakers in the ceiling are still making music. The music from the speakers isn’t transmitted in on a radio beam is why the machinery don’t interfere. The music comes off a long tape from the Nurses’ Station, a tape we all know so well by heart that there don’t any of us consciously hear it except new men like McMurphy. He hasn’t got used to it yet. He’s dealing blackjack for cigarettes, and the speaker’s right over the card table. He’s pulled his cap way forward till he has to lean his head back and squint from under the brim to see his cards. He holds a cigarette between his teeth and talks around it like a stock auctioneer I saw once in a cattle auction in The Dalles.
   “…hey-ya, hey-ya, come on, come on,” he says, high, fast; “I’m waitin’ on you suckers, you hit or you sit. Hit, you say? well well well and with a king up the boy wants a hit. Whaddaya know. So Comin’ at you and too bad, a little lady for the lad and he’s over the wall and down the road, up the hill and dropped his load. Comin’ at you, Scanlon, and I wish some idiot in that nurses’ hothouse would turn down that frigging music! Hooee! Does that thing play night and day, Harding? I never heard such a driving racket in my life.”
   Harding gives him a blank look. “Exactly what noise is it you’re referring to, Mr. McMurphy?”
   “That damned radio. Boy. It’s been going ever since I come in this morning. And don’t come on with some baloney that you don’t hear it.”
   Harding cocks his ear to the ceiling. “Oh, yes, the so-called music. Yes, I suppose we do hear it if we concentrate, but then one can hear one’s own heartbeat too, if he concentrates hard enough.” He grins at McMurphy. “You see, that’s a recording playing up there, my friend. We seldom hear the radio. The world news might not be therapeutic. And we’ve all heard that recording so many times now it simply slides out of our hearing, the way the sound of a waterfall soon becomes an unheard sound to those who live near it. Do you think if you lived near a waterfall you could hear i t very long?”
   (I still hear the sound of the falls on the Columbia, always will—always—hear the whoop of Charley Bear Belly stabbed himself a big chinook, hear the slap of fish in the water, laughing naked kids on the bank, the women at the racks… from a long time ago.)
   “Do they leave it on all the time, like a waterfall?” McMurphy says.
   “Not when we sleep,” Cheswick says, “but all the rest of the time, and that’s the truth.”
   “The hell with that. I’ll tell that coon over there to turn it off or get his fat little ass kicked!”
   He starts to stand up, and Harding touches his arm. “Friend, that is exactly the kind of statement that gets one branded assaultive. Are you so eager to forfeit the bet?”
   McMurphy looks at him. “That’s the way it is, huh? A pressure game? Keep the old pinch on?”
   “That’s the way it is.”
   He slowly lowers himself back into his seat, saying, “Horse muh-noo-ur.”
   Harding looks about at the other Acutes around the card table. “Gentlemen, already I seem to detect in our redheaded challenger a most unheroic decline of his TV-cowboy stoicism.”
   He looks at McMurphy across the table, smiling, McMurphy nods at him and tips his head back for the wink and licks his big thumb. “Well sir, of Professor Harding sounds like he’s getting cocky. He wins a couple of splits and he goes to comin’ on like a wise guy. Well well well; there he sits with a deuce showing and here’s a pack of Mar-boros says he backs down… Whups, he sees me, okeedokee, Perfessor, here’s a trey, he wants another, gets another deuce, try for the big five, Perfessor? Try for that big double pay, or play it safe? Another pack says you won’t. Well well well, the Perfessor sees me, this tells the tale, too bad, another lady and the Perfessor flunks his exams…”
   The next song starts up from the speaker, loud and clangy and a lot of accordion. McMurphy takes a look up at the speaker, and his spiel gets louder and louder to match it.
   “…hey-ya hey-ya, okay, next, goddammit, you hit or you sit… comin at ya…!”
   Right up to the lights out at nine-thirty.

   I could of watched McMurphy at that blackjack table all night, the way he dealt and talked and roped them in and led them smack up to the point where they were just about to quit, then backed down a hand or two to give them confidence and bring them along again. Once he took a break for a cigarette and tilted back in his chair, his hands folded behind his head, and told the guys, “The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it. I learned that when I worked a season on a skillo wheel in a carnival. You fe-e-el the sucker over with your eyes when he comes up and you say, ‘Now here’s a bird that needs to feel tough.’ So every time he snaps at you for taking him you quake in your boots, scared to death, and tell him, ‘Please, sir. No trouble. The next roll is on the house, sir.’ So the both of you are getting what you want.”
   He rocks forward, and the legs of his chair come down with a crack. He picks up the deck, zips his thumb over it, knocks the edge of it against the table top, licks his thumb and finger.
   “And what I deduce you marks need is a big fat pot to temptate you. Here’s ten packages on the next deal. Hey-yah, comin’ at you, guts ball from here on out…”
   And throws back his head and laughs out loud at the way the guys hustled to get their bets down.
   That laugh banged around the day room all evening, and all the time he was dealing he was joking and talking and trying to get the players to laugh along with him. But they were all afraid to loosen up; it’d been too long. He gave up trying and settled down to serious dealing. They won the deal off him a time or two, but he always bought it back or fought it back, and the cigarettes on each side of him grew in bigger and bigger pyramid stacks.
   Then just before nine-thirty he started letting them win, lets them win it all back so fast they don’t hardly remember losing. He pays out the last couple of cigarettes and lays down the deck and leans back with a sigh and shoves the cap out of his eyes, and the game is done.
   “Well, sir, win a few, lose the rest is what I say.” He shakes his head so forlorn. “I don’t know—I was always a pretty shrewd customer at twenty-one, but you birds may just be too tough for me. You got some kinda uncanny knack, makes a man leery of playing against such sharpies for real money tomorrow.”
   He isn’t even kidding himself into thinking they fall for that. He let them win, and every one of us watching the game knows it. So do the players. But there still isn’t a man raking his pile of cigarettes—cigarettes he didn’t really win but only won back because they were his in the first place—that doesn’t have a smirk on his face like he’s the toughest gambler on the whole Mississippi.
   The fat black boy and a black boy named Geever run us out of the day room and commence turning lights off with a little key on a chain, and as the ward gets dimmer and darker the eyes of the little birthmarked nurse in the station get bigger and brighter. She’s at the door of the glass station, issuing nighttime pills to the men that shuffle past her in a line, and she’s having a hard time keeping straight who gets poisoned with what tonight. She’s not even watching where she pours the water. What has distracted her attention this way is that big redheaded man with the dreadful cap and the horrible-looking scar, coming her way. She’s watching McMurphy walk away from the card table in the dark day room, his one horny hand twisting the red tuft of hair that sticks out of the little cup at the throat of his work-farm shirt, and I figure by the way she rears back when he reaches the door of the station that she’s probably been warned about him beforehand by the Big Nurse. (“Oh, one more thing before I leave it in your hands tonight, Miss Pilbow; that new man sitting over there, the one with the garish red sideburns and facial lacerations—I’ve reason to believe he is a sex maniac.”)
   McMurphy sees how she’s looking so scared and big-eyed at him, so he sticks his head in the station door where she’s issuing pills, and gives her a big friendly grin to get acquainted on. This flusters her so she drops the water pitcher on her foot. She gives a cry and hops on one foot, jerks her hand, and the pill she was about to give me leaps out of the little cup and right down the neck of her uniform where that birthmark stain runs like a river of wine down into a valley.
   “Let me give you a hand, ma’am.”
   And that very hand comes through the station door, scarred and tattooed and the color of raw meat.
   “Stay back! There are two aides on the ward with me!”
   She rolls her eyes for the black boys, but they are off tying Chronics in bed, nowhere close enough to help in a hurry. McMurphy grins and turns the hand over so she can see he isn’t holding a knife. All she can see is the light shining off the slick, waxy, callused palm.
   “All I mean to do, miss, is to—”
   “Stay back! Patients aren’t allowed to enter the—Oh, stay back, I’m a Catholic!” and straightaway jerks at the gold chain around her neck so a cross flies out from between her bosoms, slingshots the lost pill up in the air! McMurphy strikes at the air right in front of her face. She screams and pops the cross in her mouth and clinches her eyes shut like she’s about to get socked, stands like that, paper-white except for that stain which turns darker than ever, as though it sucked the blood from all the rest of her body. When she finally opens her eyes again there’s that callused hand right in front of her with my little red capsule sitting in it.
   “—was to pick up your waterin’ can you dropped.” He holds that out in the other hand.
   Her breath comes out in a loud hiss. She takes the can from him. “Thank you. Good night, good night,” and closes the door in the next man’s face, no more pills tonight.
   In the dorm McMurphy tosses the pill on my bed. “You want your sourball, Chief?”
   I shake my head at the pill, and he flips it off the bed like it was a bug pestering him. It hops across the floor with a cricket scrabble. He goes to getting ready for bed, pulling off his clothes. The shorts under his work pants are coal black satin covered with big white whales with red eyes. He grins when he sees I’m looking at the shorts. “From a co-ed at Oregon State, Chief, a Literary major.” He snaps the elastic with his thumb. “She gave them to me because she said I was a symbol.”
   His arms and neck and face are sunburned and bristled with curly orange hairs. He’s got tattoos on each big shoulder; one says “Fighting Leathernecks” and has a devil with a red eye and red horns and an M-1 rifle, and the other is a poker hand fanned out across his muscle—aces and eights. He puts his roll of clothes on the nightstand next to my bed and goes to punching at his pillow. He’s been assigned the bed right next to mine.
   He gets between the sheets and tells me I better hit the sack myself, that here comes one of those black boys to douse the lights on us. I look around, and the black boy named Geever is coming, and I kick off my shoes and get in bed just as he walks up to tie a sheet across me. When he’s finished with me he takes a last look around and giggles and flips the dorm lights off.
   Except for the white powder of light from the Nurses’ Station out in the hall, the dorm is dark. I can just make out McMurphy next to me, breathing deep and regular, the covers over him rising and falling. The breathing gets slower and slower, till I figure he’s been asleep for a while. Then I hear a soft, throaty sound from his bed, like the chuckle of a horse. He’s still awake and he’s laughing to himself about something.
   He stops laughing and whispers, “Why, you sure did give a jump when I told you that coon was coming, Chief. I thought somebody told me you was deef.”
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Administrator
Capo di tutti capi


Underpromise; overdeliver.

Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
7

   First time for a long, long time I’m in bed without taking that little red capsule (if I hide to keep from taking it, the night nurse with the birthmark sends the black boy named Geever out to hunt me down, hold me captive with his flashlight till she can get the needle ready), so I fake sleep when the black boy’s coming past with his light.
   When you take one of those red pills you don’t just go to sleep; you’re paralyzed with sleep, and all night long you can’t wake, no matter what goes on around you. That’s why the staff gives me the pills; at the old place I took to waking up at night and catching them performing all kinds of horrible crimes on the patients sleeping around me.
   I lie still and slow my breathing, waiting to see if something is going to happen. It is dark my lord and I hear them slipping around out there in their rubber shoes; twice they peek in the dorm and run a flashlight over everybody. I keep my eyes shut and keep awake. I hear a wailing from up on Disturbed, loo loo looo–got some guy wired to pick up code signals.
   “Oh, a beer, I think, fo’ the long night ahead,” I hear a black boy whisper to the other. Rubber shoes squeak off toward the Nurses’ Station, where the refrigerator is. “You like a beer, sweet thing with a birthmark? Fo’ the long night ahead?”
   The guy upstairs hushes. The low whine of the devices in the walls gets quieter and quieter, till it hums down to nothing. Not a sound across the hospital—except for a dull, padded rumbling somewhere deep in the guts of the building, a sound that I never noticed before—a lot like the sound you hear when you’re standing late at night on top of a big hydroelectric dam. Low, relentless, brute power.
   The fat black boy stands out there in the hall where I can see him, looking all around and giggling. He walks toward the dorm door, slow, wiping the wet gray palms in his armpits. The light from the Nurses’ Station throws his shadow on the dorm wall big as an elephant, gets smaller as he walks to the dorm door and looks in. He giggles again and unlocks the fuse box by the door and reaches in. “Tha’s right, babies, sleep tight.”
   Twists a knob, and the whole floor goes to slipping down away from him standing in the door, lowering into the building like a platform in a grain elevator!
   Not a thing but the dorm floor moves, and we’re sliding away from the walls and door and the windows of the ward at a hell of a clip—beds, bedstands, and all. The machinery—probably a cog-and-track affair at each corner of the shaft-is greased silent as death. The only sound I hear is the guys breathing, and that drumming under us getting louder the farther down we go. The light of the dorm door five hundred yards back up this hole is nothing but a speck, dusting the square sides of the shaft with a dim powder. It gets dimmer and dimmer till a faraway scream comes echoing down the sides of the shaft—“Stay back!”–and the light goes out altogether.
   The floor reaches some kind of solid bottom far down in the ground and stops with a soft jar. It’s dead black, and I can feel the sheet around me choking off my wind. Just as I get the sheet untied, the floor starts sliding forward with a little jolt. Some kind of castors under it I can’t hear. I can’t even hear the guys around me breathing, and I realize all of a sudden it’s because that drumming’s gradually got so loud I can’t hear anything else. We must be square in the middle of it. I go to clawing at that damned sheet tied across me and just about have it loose when a whole wall slides up, reveals a huge room of endless machines stretching clear out of sight, swarming with sweating, shirtless men running up and down catwalks, faces blank and dreamy in firelight thrown from a hundred blast furnaces.
   It—everything I see—looks like it sounded, like the inside of a tremendous dam. Huge brass tubes disappear upward in the dark. Wires run to transformers out of sight. Grease and cinders catch on everything, staining the couplings and motors and dynamos red and coal black.
   The workers all move at the same smooth sprint, an easy, fluid stride. No one’s in a hurry. One will hold up a second, spin a dial, push a button, throw a switch, and one side of his face flashes white like lightning from the spark of the connecting switch, and run on, up steel steps and along a corrugated iron catwalk—pass each other so smooth and close I hear the slap of wet sides like the slap of a salmon’s tail on water—stop again, throw lightning from another switch, and run on again. They twinkle in all directions clean on out of sight, these flash pictures of the dreamy doll faces of the workmen.
   A workman’s eyes snap shut while he’s going at full run, and he drops in his tracks; two of his buddies running by grab him up and lateral him into a furnace as they pass. The furnace whoops a ball of fire and I hear the popping of a million tubes like walking through a field of seed pods. This sound mixes with the whirr and clang of the rest of the machines.
   There’s a rhythm to it, like a thundering pulse.
   The dorm floor slides on out of the shaft and into the machine room. Right away I see what’s straight above us—one of those trestle affairs like you find in meat houses, rollers on tracks to move carcasses from the cooler to the butcher without much lifting. Two guys in slacks, white shirts with the sleeves turned back, and thin black ties are leaning on the catwalk above our beds, gesturing to each other as they talk, cigarettes in long holders tracing lines of red light. They’re talking but you can’t make out the words above the measured roar rising all around them. One of the guys snaps his fingers, and the nearest workman veers in a sharp turn and sprints to his side. The guy points down at one of the beds with his cigarette holder, and the worker trots off to the steel stepladder and runs down to our level, where he goes out of sight between two transformers huge as potato cellars.
   When that worker appears again he’s pulling a hook along the trestle overhead and taking giant strides as he swings along it. He passes my bed and a furnace whooping somewhere suddenly lights his face up right over mine, a face handsome and brutal and waxy like a mask, wanting nothing. I’ve seen a million faces like it.
   He goes to the bed and with one hand grabs the old Vegetable Blastic by the heel and lifts him straight up like Blastic don’t weigh more’n a few pounds; with the other hand the worker drives the hook through the tendon back of the heel, and the old guy’s hanging there upside down, his moldy face blown up big, scared, the eyes scummed with mute fear. He keeps flapping both arms and the free leg till his pajama top falls around his head. The worker grabs the top and bunches and twists it like a burlap sack and pulls the trolley clicking back over the trestle to the catwalk and looks up to where those two guys in white shirts are standing. One of the guys takes a scalpel from a holster at his belt. There’s a chain welded to the scalpel. The guy lowers it to the worker, loops the other end of the chain around the railing so the worker can’t run off with a weapon.
   The worker takes the scalpel and slices up the front of old Blastic with a clean swing and the old man stops thrashing around. I expect to be sick, but there’s no blood or innards falling out like I was looking to see—just a shower of rust and ashes, and now and again a piece of wire or glass. Worker’s standing there to his knees in what looks like clinkers.
   A furnace got its mouth open somewhere, licks up somebody.
   I think about jumping up and running around and waking up McMurphy and Harding and as many of the guys as I can, but there wouldn’t be any sense in it. If I shook somebody awake he’d say, Why you crazy idiot, what the hell’s eating you? And then probably help one of the workers lift me onto one of those hooks himself, saying, How about let’s see what the insides of an Indian are like?
   I hear the high, cold, whistling wet breath of the fog machine, see the first wisps of it come seeping out from under McMurphy’s bed. I hope he knows enough to hide in the fog.
   I hear a silly prattle reminds me of somebody familiar, and I roll enough to get a look down the other way. It’s the hairless Public Relation with the bloated face, that the patients are always arguing about why it’s bloated. “I’ll say he does,” they’ll argue. “Me, I’ll say he doesn’t; you ever hear of a guy really who wore one?” “Yeh, but you ever hear of a guy like him before?” The first patient shrugs and nods, “Interesting point.”
   Now he’s stripped except for a long undershirt with fancy monograms sewed red on front and back. And I see once and for all (the undershirt rides up his back some as he comes walking past, giving me a peek) that he definitely does wear one, laced so tight it might blow up any second.
   And dangling from the stays he’s got half a dozen withered objects, tied by the hair like scalps.
   He’s carrying a little flask of something that he sips from to keep his throat open for talking, and a camphor hanky he puts in front of his nose from time to time to stop out the stink. There’s a clutch of schoolteachers and college girls and the like hurrying after him. They wear blue aprons and their hair in pin curls. They are listening to him give a brief lecture on the tour.
   He thinks of something funny and has to stop his lecture long enough for a swig from the flask to stop the giggling. During the pause one of his pupils stargazes around and sees the gutted Chronic dangling by his heel. She gasps and jumps back. The Public Relation turns and catches sight of the corpse and rushes to take one of those limp hands and give it a spin. The student shrinks forward for a cautious look, face in a trance.
   “You see? You see?” He squeals and rolls his eyes and spews stuff from his flask he’s laughing so hard. He’s laughing till i think he’ll explode.
   When he finally drowns the laughing he starts back along the row of machines and goes into his lecture again. He stops suddenly and slaps his forehead—“Oh, scatterbrained me!”–and comes running back to the hanging Chronic to rip off another trophy and tie it to his girdle.
   Right and left there are other things happening just as bad—crazy, horrible things too goofy and outlandish to cry about and too much true to laugh about—but the fog is getting thick enough I don’t have to watch. And somebody’s tugging at my arm. I know already what will happen: somebody’ll drag me out of the fog and we’ll be back on the ward and there won’t be a sign of what went on tonight and if I was fool enough to try and tell anybody about it they’d say, Idiot, you just had a nightmare; things as crazy as a big machine room down in the bowels of a dam where people get cut up by robot workers don’t exist.
   But if they don’t exist, how can a man see them?

   It’s Mr. Turkle that pulls me out of the fog by the arm, shaking me and grinning. He says, “You havin’ a bad dream, Mistuh Bromden.” He’s the aide works the long lonely shift from 11 to 7, an old Negro man with a big sleepy grin on the end of a long wobbly neck. He smells like he’s had a little to drink. “Back to sleep now, Mistuh Bromden.”
   Some nights he’ll untie the sheet from across me if it’s so tight I squirm around. He wouldn’t do it if he thought the day crew knew it was him, because they’d probably fire him, but he figures the day crew will think it was me untied it. I think he really does it to be kind, to help—but he makes sure he’s safe first.
   This time he doesn’t untie the sheet but walks away from me to help two aides I never saw before and a young doctor lift old Blastic onto the stretcher and carry him out, covered with a sheet—handle him more careful than anybody ever handled him before in all his life.
IP sačuvana
social share
Pobednik, pre svega.

Napomena: Moje privatne poruke, icq, msn, yim, google talk i mail ne sluze za pruzanje tehnicke podrske ili odgovaranje na pitanja korisnika. Za sva pitanja postoji adekvatan deo foruma. Pronadjite ga! Takve privatne poruke cu jednostavno ignorisati!
Preporuke za clanove: Procitajte najcesce postavljana pitanja!
Pogledaj profil WWW GTalk Twitter Facebook
 
Prijava na forum:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Zelim biti prijavljen:
Trajanje:
Registruj nalog:
Ime:
Lozinka:
Ponovi Lozinku:
E-mail:
Idi gore
Stranice:
2 3 ... 10
Počni novu temu Nova anketa Odgovor Štampaj Dodaj temu u favorite Pogledajte svoje poruke u temi
Trenutno vreme je: 17. Jul 2019, 01:19:23
nazadnapred
Prebaci se na:  

Poslednji odgovor u temi napisan je pre više od 6 meseci.  

Temu ne bi trebalo "iskopavati" osim u slučaju da imate nešto važno da dodate. Ako ipak želite napisati komentar, kliknite na dugme "Odgovori" u meniju iznad ove poruke. Postoje teme kod kojih su odgovori dobrodošli bez obzira na to koliko je vremena od prošlog prošlo. Npr. teme o određenom piscu, knjizi, muzičaru, glumcu i sl. Nemojte da vas ovaj spisak ograničava, ali nemojte ni pisati na teme koje su završena priča.

web design

Forum Info: Banneri Foruma :: Burek Toolbar :: Burek Prodavnica :: Burek Quiz :: Najcesca pitanja :: Tim Foruma :: Prijava zloupotrebe

Izvori vesti: Blic :: Wikipedia :: Mondo :: Press :: 24sata :: Sportska Centrala :: Glas Javnosti :: Kurir :: Mikro :: B92 Sport :: RTS :: Danas

Prijatelji foruma: ConQUIZtador :: Domaci :: Morazzia :: TotalCar :: FTW.rs :: MojaPijaca :: Pojacalo :: Advokat Draganić :: MojaFirma

Pravne Informacije: Pravilnik Foruma :: Politika privatnosti :: Uslovi koriscenja :: O nama :: Marketing :: Kontakt :: Sitemap

All content on this website is property of "Burek.com" and, as such, they may not be used on other websites without written permission.

Copyright © 2002- "Burek.com", all rights reserved. Performance: 0.086 sec za 17 q. Powered by: SMF. © 2005, Simple Machines LLC.