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I’m afraid there has been a security breach.

It distresses me awfully that, despite my standing order with the hospital staff of absolutely no visitors and zero tolerance for outside phone calls, it apparently has become common knowledge that I have been known to, on occasion, dabble in the writing of creative short fiction. While it is unclear to me how such an unfortunate nonobservance might have possibly transpired (who squealed? I know not…), I do know this: three days ago, one of the nurses approached me with the proposal that, perhaps—since it is a well known truth around here that I am not in the least bit interested in talking to anybody about my thoughts, my emotions, any plans for any future—I might try writing about what I'm feeling inside, get it down on paper so I can look at it, get what's bothering me off my chest in a literary manner, that such a stratagem could be the type of release I need to start feeling better.

It was the first time I’d cracked a smile since I got here.

Many of my lovely inmates are going to the zoo today. At noon, I believe, in about a half-hour, forty-five minutes or so. But, since I have absolutely no desire to watch a bunch of caged animals treading ennui, I didn't sign up. Besides, I think you have to have A-status to attend.

I most certainly do not have A-status. I have never had A-status.

So, in lieu of going on the outing, and in a gargantuan effort to endure the perpetual tedium of life here on fifth floor lock-up, I have decided to throw down the gauntlet, as it were, to meet our wily nurse's suggestion head-on, to...

… what the hell. It’s not like I’m busy.

Besides, the menu for today says corn dogs. Gotta stick around for that, right? Not real tasty, not without ranch or BBQ sauce on the side. I'm always very specific when I fill out my daily menus. But they are heavily breaded. With corn, they are breaded. That's something.

I love their butterscotch pudding here. It's creamy. It's vanilla today, which is really kinda sad.

So… welcome to You Bet Your Life, say the secret word and split an extra hundred dollars. It's a common word and…

… you know what? Forget it. Like that's ever gonna happen now.

However, seeing as how I’ve already committed myself (pun definitely intended), I would like to start by telling you about some of my friends here.

Friends. Here. Wow.

Did you know that you can make a turban out of a couple of dirty bath towels? It's ingenious. That guy just waltzed through our lovely courtyard of tile, and in and out of a very sloppily played game of ping-pong. And he was literally waltzing; I counted it out for myself. And technically, he sucked, because twelve, from what I understand, is a really lousy score.

I dunno, he looks very happy. He mutters—fluently, in at least two languages, or one really bad one. All day. Every day! And not exactly your Top-40 material, either. Not in this country.

And side B? Same guy, right? He washes his hands every ten minutes. Ten minutes. And way, way too vigorously, and repeat. He's an absolute clock on the subject, which is undoubtedly one of the nicest things certain to be mentioned in his file—Several times, I'm sure; these psych-docs around here, they’re no dummies, they went to college and everything. Scrubs 'em up like dirty potatoes, he does.

He used to have fingerprints.

With all due respect to our lovely state bird, this man is a loon. He's four sheets to the wind, which is impossible, of course, so that's always kinda fun to watch. He's strictly an amusement, down here so fatefully close to sanity. He's not even here most of the time, depending on which definition you're looking at, and he has absolutely no idea, no clue whatsoever…

… how good he's got it.

His mail gets forwarded here too, sometimes.

In other local news…

I narrowly eluded a nut-to-nut confrontation the other day with one of my other fellow Americans up here in Paradise Prison. I'm pretty sure it's the same gentleman that, uh... uh...

Okay, here’s the thing: he's dealing with some bona fide drooling issues, and that’s being kind, believe me. For instance, all over the piano keys during recreational therapy group. I usually spend that time coloring, but they really should change his meds.

Anyway, the guy was making some pretty speculative accusations pertaining to the pre-marital sex life of my mother—a silly premise to begin with, I assure you; I know my own mother. And a couple about my dog, many of which I didn’t even understand—in both cases—but which were all very amusing, I’m sure. He had worked himself into a serious lather. I have no idea why. I don’t think I look that odd. I swear, I never said a word to the guy.