Excerpt from a comic script, without panel layout. Still rough, but coming along.
My name is Alex Helms.
I am 32 years old.
I am a coroner’s assistant.
I have 3 tattoos, two piercings, four moles and fifty eight scars.
The last two scars I gave myself are the biggest.
My wrists look pretty fucked up, now, huh?
The hospital they sent me to with that suicide attempt operated differently than the ones I’d been to after the cuttings, the fights and the drug overdoses.
This one was a ‘trust’ hospital.
They let you have pens and bedsheets and private baths with safety razors to shave yourself. Because even in recovery from feeling like you should die, shaving was still a societal fucking norm.
The only thing they asked was that you strip goddamned naked and let them count your scars, your moles, your tattoos.
After twelve weeks, you get to go without showing your asshole to the nurses for an entire month. After three months, you just get looked over in your undies.
They stripped you of your dignity and gave you all the ‘trust’ in the world.
That was the worst fucking hospital I’ve ever been to. It was worse than the forced ECT they’re not supposed to do anymore, it was worse than the sexist orderlies in rehab, it was worse than the nurses who watched me shit. It was full of itself – it had confidence. It had GOALS.
Even the therapists were shit-for-brains – spouting finding God and listening to your fucking biological clock to make it with a man. Wouldn’t a baby make you feel like living, Alex?
This last hospital was my own private Hell. And I vowed it would be the LAST.
So I did what my therapist said. I finished my medical bullshit. I got a job. I reconnected with my parents.
I made a friend.
The final step was to find my own place. Being independent would help my shitty life, apparently. I was READY. I was a big girl now, or what the fuck ever.
But I wanted this bullshit on my own terms. I wasn’t going to be a stooge for ANYTHING.
My Personal Apartment Checklist,
- – Near the hospital I work at because fuck the bus
- – Not a total shithole – working plumbing, semi-working electric, no noticeable rats, no needles on the floor
- – Smells okay
- – A door somewhere other than the front door would be baller
- – Closets?
- – Neighbors must be less annoying than last ones – no meth chemists, basically
- – A private bathroom
- – Shag Carpeting can get bent
And I found the perfect apartment. A nice townhouse on a quiet street. Tree lined and shit. It had a shared basement, a bathroom off my living room, a pull-down bed, even a fucking dining room. I’d never been in a place that posh by myself unless I was trying to rob it. And the rent was cheap.
So I filled out the application (lied a little, of course – agencies hate mental patients) and threw in the down payment.
It was mine in a week.
How fucking domestic.
I bought sheets and paper plates and a big-ass candle because screw the electric company.
Everything was copacetic.
She turned up.
What my personal apartment checklist and I didn’t think to include,
- – Not haunted
- – Not going to make me crazier
- – Not going to make my ONLY friend hate me
- – Not going to be a hangout for resurrected corpses