The dayroom echoed with wild pitched wails and cries for yesteryear. The sounds melded together, creating a synergized wave of symphony. In the corner of the room, bodies rocked rhythmically, moving to and fro. The hallway was alive. Men paced the floor; the carpet beneath their feet worn thin, shabby and frayed, blazing a trail to nowhere.
In the background, adjacent to the wall, a television ran aimlessly. It crackled and hissed, periodically surrounding to the random roar of car salesman, deodorant, and maxi pad commercials. The ads queued memories, prompting voyeuristic catcalls and intermittent bouts of laughter.
The nurse’s station – placed in the center of the room – acted as the center of the universe. It was – like the rest of the decor – dated and demure. The station was a shoddy chicken-shit-yellow, upholstered in stain resistant vinyl, dotted by scribble, covered in profanity.
The dayroom – free of bars – imprisoned, keeping its inhabitants stationary, trapped by time. It wasn’t crime which kept them chained, but circumstance, faulty synaptic gaps, and chemical imbalance.
At the end of the day, a shift ended. The nurses clocked out and were buzzed through the exit. As they swayed past the threshold and into the night, the men in the dayroom just gave a good night.