Burmese Mermaid

Burmese Mermaid

Friday, September 23, 2011

Delmonico 4

What do you think of when you hear the word Delmonico? A fancy steak perhaps? Or the chic restaurant?

Delmonico 4 is a place, not a steak ala Delmonico, or the 4th item on the menu at the restaurant Delmonico's. It is a place on the 4th floor of a rambling, turn of the 19th century, brick and ivy covered building on immaculate grounds covered with old deciduous trees, protective and dark.

Delmonico 4 is ethereal. That is, it doesn't seem to quite exist. Sometimes, a person in a nightmare finds themselves in Delmonico 4. They wander through endless corridors painted a putrid yellow. The air within is filled with the co-mingled scents of rubbing alcohol, cafeteria food, mildew and secret substances that are ruthlessly injected into the brains of all those who must enter.

Delmonico 4 is staffed by compassionate people from the outside to oversee suffering souls sitting blank eyed in front of screaming televisions splashed with images of death and violence. These souls are probed by cynics disguised as doctors with too much knowledge of the wrong kind. They decide that suffering souls are dangerous, to themselves and to society. They have a plan.

Delmonico 4 is permeated with constant electronic chatter. The Televisions. It is essential that the Televisions are heard and seen everywhere, at all times. The captured souls steep in the omniscient voice of the Televisions, which renders them defenselessly mute, as part of the plan to pacify, stabilize, and medicate but never to cure.

I wandered the halls of Delmonico 4, lost and fragile, but I was lucky to be able to leave through the front door, unrestrained. From the green lawn, looking back, I could see reflected in the empty windows the faces of those who had been captured there, long ago. They looked out at me, pleading for release.

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