“Children of the State”
The schizophrenic who loves to wear red said, “All rivers fall into the nuthouse. I can always see the places I’ve been, look I see, I see, I can see when I squint my eyes a little and fix them with my fingers.” Yes, he could, and I wished I could see them, too. What I thought was whether after completing the essential adjustments with my eyes and my fingers, if my memories could turn into electrical signals and come alive in front of my eyes like a TV screen or not. Maybe my friend who loves wearing red could do that, but before long, I noticed that that could not go further than an idea for me. As days passed and my visits increased, I started to get used to this place. I no longer felt like an outsider. The person whom I get along with the most was my friend, who loves wearing red until his medications were elevated, and he was turned into a remote-controlled toy. But our friendship, which started long before his oblivion, wasn’t over yet. He was changing the wet wipes I give to him every week, and so it was proven that we were still friends and hadn’t forgotten each other. It may sound weird, but the most significant factor that we didn’t forget about each other was that. Gelatinous and shiny wet wipes. We were swapping the one I brought the week before with a new, unopened one. Thus our friendship continued. Sometime after his medication changed, my friend who loved red was not my friend anymore because he lost his wet wipes and couldn’t remember me anymore. The longer he couldn’t remember, the more he’s gotten away from me, and while he was like that, I couldn’t help but watch him become distant and do anything about it. He was no longer the one with imagination and thoughts in a system with his own remote control, but just a puppet of the system. I remember him before his elevated medication days: he was watching outside behind the wires, and when I asked him if he’s watching outside, he answered, “I’m thinking where is inside and where is outside, here or there.” I thought about that answer until my next visit and how he’s going to answer me, but as soon as I got there, I realized that it was too late because my friend who loved wearing red lost my wet wipes and gave away his remote control. My future visitations would continue for some time but wouldn’t last long because of the suffocating situation. I knew that the system would break down, and rebellion would start once a free man steps into this slavery, and I would be the one to blame, like a persona non grata. So the system spat me out, my visitations got declined, and my friendship left unwanted. While one smile upon the state’s children was worth a thousand stories, their home became a prison while their families became the system itself. In due course, those children the State took as prisoners were released with their families permissions and took the name: ‘Children of the State.’ Children of the State are being raised by the system and continue their lives in an enclaved, small environment. And while my visitation has come to an end today, it looks like it may continue in the future. Because I missed my friend who loved wearing red already.
© Oğulcan Arslan