The Sad Clown (or an Ode to Pill Time)

“Pill time,” She calls, her voice dripping with monotony. Another night, another dollar, another three dozen cardboard cups of rainbow colored bliss.
Red to forget. Blue for sleep. White to quiet the waves of a stormy sea. 
Tame the clowns. It’s time to tame the clowns.
9:00 pm.
Our hour of salvation has arrived.
We line up like cattle. Our mouths dripping wet. Pavlov would be proud.
High, so high, we soar, we snore, so high, so high.
The day room has really taken it out of us. Court T.V. Paternity tests. Cheating spouses.
“Look at these fucking people, and they say I’m crazy.” My room mate mumbles while sitting beside me on an impossibly hard sofa, he speaks through a fog of Lithium and Xanax. I marvel at his ability to find such waterproof logic amid the haze. 
Overweight housewives, soggy mascara, men with short skirts and heels. 
“F-F-faggots, everyone of em’…” The man standing behind me stutters with drool rolling over his whisker plagued chin, he carries a metal dog bowl, and wears black spandex pants.
My eyes dance with the movement flashing across the old CRT. They flaunt their insanity with pride. I hate them. No, I envy them. I hate them and envy them. Clowns, the lot of them, just like me, putting on the show, their makeup just hasn’t washed clean (yet), the circus still has a role for them to play. 
High, so high.
We wait. One by one we move forward. 
“Open your mouth, lift your tongue….good…next,” 
Pills. Water. Swallow. Repeat.
Tammy is standing in front of me. She pissed herself again today, god bless her. She has big dreams when she gets out of here, big dreams. 
“Pizza chains! I’m opening pizza chains, oh you just watch, and wait. Ya’ll won’t be seeing me back here again, nope. I got it figured, I do, I do.” 
wish her the best, it’s a delusion, as fragile as sun baked Georgia clay, but it’s all she’s got. It’ll fall away soon enough, her levels will drop, her brain will give her the stiff middle finger, she’ll piss herself again, and draw her disappointment across her arms in big red crimson letters. But for now, she’s happy. She smiles. I smile. 
We are all just so damn happy!
Tammy walks away, 2 mg of happy now bouncing around in her belly. I pull back, repulsed. She leaves behind a cloud of stale piss and baby powder that a shower and a change of clothes has apparently been unable to abate. 
Forget. Sleep. Peace.
I stumble back to my room. Fighting consciousness. Trying to find two solid of hours of slumber before my roommate hits the sheets and begins doing his nightly impression of a human saw mill. 
1:00 am
I wander the halls in an ambien coma. I throw a limp wristed wave to the Nigerian nurse manning the front desk, she curls her lips at me, uninterested in my plight, I’ve become a familiar face at this point. She goes back to her tabloid, counting the days until she can find a job far away from this sideshow.
Aren’t we all.
I fall back on the faux leather sofa.
99% metal. 1% fabric. 100% misery.
I have a suspicion that the plastic booth of an interstate fast food joint would offer more comfort, but I don’t currently have that option. I close my eyes, not sleeping, but not really awake. I’ll wait out the sun. I’ll do all of it again. And ya know…I can’t help but smile…because, well, what the hell else am I gonna do? Cry? No, that’s what put me here in the first place.
Crimson tears and too many MG of happy.
High, so high. 

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