|Shades of Gray
Author: A Quiet Chaos PM
Still in an unmentioned mental facility, Holden sends a letter to Jane Gallagher telling her why he ended up there.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 1,287 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 05-21-10 - Published: 05-12-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5965098
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
December 27, 1951
It's crazy writing to you. It really is. You see, I've almost wanted to talk to you for a while now. But, almost is the same as not. I know this is coming to you after Christmas, but I hope yours was swell, honestly. Mine was alright, old Phoebe visited with my parents, and I got a letter from D.B. He's doing pretty well, if you're wondering. He sent me a photo with his new girl standing on Grace Kelly's Hollywood star. That's pretty crumby if you ask me. Standing on the girls star. But I guess it's just as bad that she got a Hollywood star in the first place. Really, what did she even do? She talked pretty to a camera. Ain't that the life? Talking into a metal and glass box, and making more dough than she can spend. I wish life was that easy for me too. That's beside the point though, really.
Anyway, when old Phoebe visited she was just as cute as she ever was. She had on a new pair of shoes, so shiny, I could see my reflection. Mom must've gotten her another coat for the holiday season, because she was wearing this little red one, the kind with little buttons at the cuffs, ya know? She came in all teary-eyed. I asked her what was wrong, but she just started to cry. Dad said that my doctor, Dr. Kaiser, said that old Phoebes present was too dangerous for patients. I asked her what the present was, and she said the smartest thing.
She said to me "Holden, I can't tell you, because that would ruin it even more. You'll have to get it when you come home, so get better faster and you'll know sooner."
She kills me sometimes, she really does. After that episode, Mom was quiet the entire time, probably thinking that she had one dead child, one crazy one, and two functional ones. That's what I would've thought of, sitting and watching me in the nut house.
Dad started to talk to me about schools, but I don't remember much about that. Dr. Kaiser says that the mind can suppress things it doesn't like. I just don't like the thought of going to another school. I mean, I am a little better, really, I am, I just don't want to chance it, ya know? I know I'm crazy, I really must be nuts, because only the nutters come to places like this. I mean, school might just not be for me. I know I've been going to counseling and all, and having these group "discussions", but I just almost don't want to go back.
Don't worry though, I'll probably be back, because really, you can't stay forever unless you're really crazy. Apparently I'm not crazy enough to qualify for a full stay at this place. Being stuck with Dr. Kaiser for the rest of my life would be awful though, I think I would just kill myself if I was stuck here forever. Dr. Kaiser is this really stout man, he's built like a brick house though, and it's the solid kind of fat where you know he'll use it to his advantage to pin down psychos. He has this rough German accent; I don't even know what he's saying half the time. The part that gets me though, is his hair. I don't know how he gets it like he does, but it's this gray color that goes everywhere. That man kills me sometimes, he really does.
Really though, the people here aren't even that phony. They're crazy, so crazy, that most of them can't be phony. There's a point you reach, when you're so crazy, that you weren't ever phony, and you were always that crazy. It doesn't make sense, I know, but really, not a lot does.
But here, in this place, I sort of understand why I went around the bend. Really, I do. You see, it probably all started with Allie. I mean, I always knew that that was probably the beginning, but still. Putting my craziness on a time line is kind of depressing. My craziness probably looked a lot like the stock market crash; it just plummeted to the point of no return.
Well, back to the craziness, really, it started with Allie dying. I mean, no normal kid breaks all the windows in reach, right? I mean, I don't remember a lot of details from then, so I can't tell you how nuts I was, but really, you wouldn't want to be there. You just wouldn't. So Allie dying really shook me, I guess it shook me so hard I didn't even know I was shaken, because for a while I was almost normal. But it was like wearing a mask, and masks always come off. I guess my mask always sort of slipped and my realness gave appearances every now and then for a while. I mean, that's probably why I ended up dropping out of so many schools. Things just started to slip, and I ran away from everything that was slipping before it got out of control. So really, I just put the mask on over and over again, at each new school, running from the mask slipping at the school before it. You see, I could tell when it was about to slip. I mean, I would start to notice everything that was wrong. And I mean everything. I would pick out everything that was phony. How one kid always wanted everyone to think he had nice suitcases, so he kept mine out. Or how some girls just pretended to like you. And how everyone tried to talk to me and help me with their fake faces of concern.
See, I'd pick out everything that was phony, and even some things that weren't phony, and I'd call them all phony and I'd end up quitting school to go to a new one, to find more phonies. You see, for a while, phony was all I saw. I guess all the phonies I saw in the world were black, and all the truth was white. When Allie left, he took all the white in my life, and I was left with just a few pinpricks of white in a sea of black. I saw black for so long, really I did. I guess now I'm living in shades of gray. I mean, I don't really know what to think now. I guess that's why I'm probably writing this letter to you, because I don't know what to do. I think they call this apathy. I think I like not caring about almost anything more than I liked picking at everything phony in the world. But really, I just can't tell. Honestly, I can't.
That's why my life must be in gray. Or maybe now my life isn't in color at all, because really, if I'm not phony, and I'm not innocent, what am I? Really, I just don't know. Maybe crazy has its own color. I really haven't figured it out yet. I hope you write back, really I do.
Have a good holiday,
P.S. I hope you don't mind the crumby stationary, it's all this place has.