The Quiet Room
Doc was an adventurous kid. He was mischievous, and he liked the girls. The staff at the children’s home did not care for his midnight creeps. He was living at the children’s home because he left home at 13 because of a bad family situation. I imagine every kid has their breaking point. Doc worked down in the barn and the pasture taking care of the horses and cows. Taking care of horses and cows is not an undemanding job. To do it right requires hard work and you must like animals. His counselor assigned him that job to keep him out of trouble. On more than a few occasions, his friend Mary would sneak down to spend some time with him. Other times, he would sneak over to meet Dru under the kitchen porch. He got away with it most of the time, but he got caught once in a while.
The punishment for breaking the rules was getting thrown into the quiet room. The quiet room was just that, a dirty room with a dirty mattress on the floor. There were two rooms. None had a toilet, and only one had a window. Doc always got put in the one without windows. Somehow the staff thought being in a room with no windows would break him down. It did not affect him. He spent more time locked up there than any other kid in the two years he spent there.
Most kids walked the straight and narrow because they were afraid of i a room with nothing in it, not even a book. It was not uncommon to hear kids screaming to get out. It was not the case with Doc. locked up in a room all alone did not bother him at one bit. Doc was one of those kids who lived in his head and needed no company but his own. Time flies when one lives inside their head. In his head he visited a thousand places.
When the staff would bring his meals, they expected him to promise that he would stay out of trouble. He never said a word. They locked him up dozens of times, but he never once asked to be set free. out. It was due to him living in his head.
I think it would be fair to say that a good part of it came from the mistreatment at the hands of his family. He could never figure out why they singled him out and treated him so bad. Something puzzled him why his dad or brother did nothing to stop it. That hurt, that arrow through the heart, caused darkness in his heart. In adulthood, people would say that he was cold blooded. There may be some truth to that.
The staff thought something was wrong with Doc. They did not believe it was normal for a kid to not to have issues with being locked in a room for days and weeks at a time. They took Doc to a mental hospital for kids for an evaluation. The first thing the doctors did was to put Doc in a courtyard with other kids. They wanted to see how he got along with others. That exercise did not go well. Doc did not play well with others. He had to leave home and was a loner. So making new friends was not something he would do.
They took him to a room where they showed him photos of people and asked him to describe what he saw. It was the same thing with inkblots. His answers raised some eyebrows. The last thing he had to do was talk to a shrink. The doctor asked the usual questions. He was not expecting the answers Doc gave. They were not wrong answers. Doc just had a different perspective on things. The doctors took Doc’s counselor into a room to discuss the results of the evaluation. Then they headed back to the children’s home.
The counselor told Doc the doctors at the hospital advised him there was nothing wrong with him. But, they did mention that he was enigmatic and had a vivid imagination. Doc did not know what that meant. He did not care. He was thinking about his next midnight creep.
© 2021 Don Robbins