I should have stayed as a psychologist at the prison. There, I mainly counseled inmates who were depressed or struggled with anger management issues. Some of my charges had found Jesus and had began suffering from bouts of deep remorse over the crimes they had committed, and some had trouble finding a purpose in life behind bars, and I helped them through all that. The inmates at the prison liked and respected me. They were also sane and predictable. If you insulted an inmate, said inmate would get angry and threaten to murder you in your sleep.
Here, at Arkham, predictability is a mere shadow. Here, if you insult an inmate, there could be any number of responses. The inmate might physically attack you. He might start laughing hysterically, or show no reaction at all. He might regress to some safe place deep in his mind, or he might start singing children's rhymes.
I like order. I like stability and precision and for everyone to do their part without complaining. Why I went into Psychology, I'll never know. In this field, all the lines are blurred. Nothing is clear; apathy may mean schizophrenia may mean depression may mean schizoid personality disorder. Hyposexuality may indicate several things. Mental disorder could stem from genetics or substance abuse or neglect or loneliness.
Arkham...this mental hospital, it's rife with irrationality and blurred lines, alive with them. There is no reason for anything here, no justifying rationale. People do things simply because they want to, or for trivial reasons. You stab the orderly with a pen because you didn't like the way his shoes squeaked on the linoleum. You threaten the nurse with torture because her laugh was too carefree. You attempt to break out of your cell because it's too white.
Not even the line between sane and insane is clear. Look at Crane. Look at Quinzel. Brilliant young minds, ambitious young psychologists. Now, two of the most feared criminals in Gotham. I see Crane in his cell, his exceptional mind broken and far away, his pale eyes flicking emotionlessly over the pages of his psychology books. The books are worn down, with thickly creased spines and pages soft from use. He has read them innumerable times, there's so little to do here. I see Quinzel, tagging childishly along after Pamela Isley and yearning constantly for the company of the Joker. She worships that psychopathic clown, no matter how many people he brutalizes or how many times he slaps her around.
In a strange, sad way, I envy those two. A part of me wishes that I could just let go. Let go of my sanity, my goals, my morality, my reasons. I know it is not a choice to be insane, but sometimes I wish I could be. In a way, the world would so much simpler if I were mad. No justification required for anything, no rationale except I'm insane. No need to worry about anyone but myself, and no one would blame me because The poor dear isn't in her right mind.
But I'm not crazy. My brain is functioning perfectly, my morality suffers no gray areas. Here I am, a stable point in all this instability, sane among the insane, light among darkness. It's depressing. I feel I'm stuck in this rut, this sanity that keeps me bound to a moral code, bound to an ordinary life in an extraordinary world. I am static, a sun surrounded by orbiting planets. These inmates, their lives are fluid and flexible. But me, my life is a straight line, no variations. Follow the yellow brick road, move from Point A to Point B, do not take the path less traveled, do not pass Go.
My life is a straitjacket, caging me within myself. I can never break free.