I Like Tuesdays by Troy Prichard

From across the room I see her. The new nurse is bringing me my orange juice like she said she would. I like her; she is really nice to me. I don’t even mind that she touched my shoulder as she set my cup down upon the table. I like orange juice. I like Tuesdays. My left leg squirms a bit when I finally see my cup of orange juice. Nervously both my feet are sort of bracing myself in anticipation of drinking from the cup sitting calmly in front of me. I like orange juice.

Patiently I wait for my hands to stop trembling before I even try to pick the cup up. I don’t know if it is my anticipation or my medications that make my body tremble the way it does but it doesn’t matter now. Because I know now that patience is the difference between being able to drink the full cup and spilling it like I have before. I have to be patient and I will because I like orange juice. I always get orange juice on Tuesdays. I like Tuesdays.

I have to kind of hunch over the table and wrap my arms around my cup to make sure that no one knows I have orange juice, because they might try to take from me or end up spilling it. I have to be careful.

There are other people here at the table. Why? I don’t know why but they just are. Sometimes one or two sometimes even more. I don’t know why they are here. I don’t like them. Some are quiet. I like quiet but I don’t like them. I don’t like the noisy ones either. I don’t like any of them.

There was one here who said "Seven" all day. It was the only word he knew. He is gone now. I tried saying the word seven like he did for a couple of days. I said it inside so no one could hear me. I keep all my good stuff inside. Saying the word seven didn’t do anything for me but it kept me busy until I got bored and stop saying seven. I don’t like saying seven anymore. I like Tuesdays.

A smile almost escapes me as I realize I have orange juice and my hands have stopped trembling. It must be Tuesday. Orange juice always has that shiny golden color with a milky texture. If good was liquid it would look and taste just like orange juice.

I look again to make sure so one is near me and I notice the window and the cloudy gloomy weather. It doesn’t matter I have sunshine in a cup. Slowly I drink my orange juice one sip at a time. It is okay. I have all day and I like it this way. Now the golden goodness will stay inside me. I keep all of my good stuff on the inside.

Later that day the nice new nurse takes me somewhere. It is a room with a lot of stuff with a man I don’t know sitting across a desk. Everywhere I look there is more stuff. It is just too much stuff. Without saying a word the multitude of stuff screams to me. As I wince I remember I like the white room there is nothing but white walls and no one there. It is quiet and I like quiet. But I am not there right now and the man is making noise.

With a puzzled look and gruffness in his voice the man across the desk inquires "Mr. Merrill Allen Merrill. Allen can you hear me?"

From the screams of stuff that surround the room everywhere I look I strain myself to focus my attention on the man. Separating him from the rest of the room and fixing my field of vision only on him so I can start to hear him and his voice alone. "Yes I can hear you."

"Allen is your name right?"

I tell him "People seem to call me that allot."

"Do you like being called Allen or Mr. Merrill?"

After a small pause "I don’t like being called anything. I don’t like talking to people and I don’t like people talking to me. I like quiet."

"Well Allen my name is Doctor Evret. I am your new doctor now."

"Why are you talking to me? And why am I here in this room?"

Curiously the doctor ask "Allen do you know where you are at?"

"Of course I know where I am at I am right here. I am right here in this room with all of this stuff and you."

"Mr. Merrill you do know that you are in the Minnesota state institution for the criminally insane don’t you?"

For a few seconds my attention is drawn to the lamp on the desktop then I focus back on the doctor. "What does that mean to me?"

"Mr. Merrill you are here because you killed your family"

Quickly I replied "I don’t have a family anymore." I remember having a family they loved me and I love them allot. I love them to this very day. I keep that love on the inside.

But they are not here because I killed them. They will always love me now. Nothing will ever change that. I made sure of that.

When my wife Mary was talking about moving to North Carolina and taking my kids with her I slit her throat with a chef knife. After that she was quiet and not talking about moving anywhere or anymore.

Sharon my Six year old daughter was crying and making so much noise I had to shut her up. She quieted down after I threw her down the stairs. I just picked her up and tossed her off the landing. Her body bounced off the wall and tumbled down the stairs like one of her rag dolls. Yep she was really quiet then.

My son Jim was playing in the livening room when heard the noise of his sister hitting the wall at the top of the landing. By the time he turned his head he saw her roll to a stop at the base of the stairs.

I saw him bolting out the front door and you better believe Jim was a fast runner. Mary and I called him Slim Jim because he run like the wind and was really good at hide and go seek. So I beat feet down the stairs and outside the front door. As I caught up with him he was running for the next door neighbor’s house when his feet slide out from underneath him. The wetness of the still fresh morning dew had stolen Jim’s feet from him. That is when I caught up with him. The last words he said were "Daddy I love you." Using my foot I stomped down on his neck like I was putting out a cigarette.

Then it came. The quiet. I soaked in as much quiet as I could and then I went back inside the house. After setting the knife down on the coffee table I grabbed the orange juice from out of the fridge and pour me a glass. I sat down and as I started sipping from the cup the quiet came back again. I will always love my family and now they would always love me. Still swishing the orange juice in my mouth I glanced at the calendar upon the fridge. It was Tuesday. I like Tuesdays.

"Mr. Merrill your family is dead they will never come to see you or come back, you also killed Joyce Olson do you remember that?"

As I was sitting and drinking my orange juice then it happened. Someone was stealing my quiet. It was Joyce the next door neighbor banging on the front door and screaming loud enough. With every scream I could hear her suck away my newly found sense of quiet. On the way to the front door I picked up the knife. As soon as I opened the door she took off back to her house. This time we both slipped and fell but I still had the knife. I couldn’t get a clean shot at her neck so I kept on stabbing her until she would shut up.

You would think that with as many times as I stabbed her that at least one of my stabs should have hit her in the lungs, collapsing them long enough to shut her up. Don’t bet on it. When it comes right down to it, you can never do enough.

Her husband took the knife away from me just before he beat me into a bloody pulp. After he was done with me he went over to Joyce's body and cried and screamed his brains out. I wanted to shut him up too, but he had the knife and one of my legs was broken. It would be a long time before things were quiet again.

"Can Joyce come back?"

The doctor paused then almost stammered "Mr. Merrill I do not think you fully realize the gravity of the situation. Joyce is dead just like your family is dead. Anyone who is dead cannot come back."

I calmly replied "That is too bad."

"Do you want Joyce Olson to come back?"

"It's just that I don’t have a lot to do today."

"I do not understand you Mr. Merrill"

"What you do not seem to understand is that from behind these eyes everything makes perfect sense. There are no misunderstandings or confusion of any kind. Do you want me to say I am sorry for your lack of understanding Doctor? I shouldn’t have too. If there is a lack of understanding here in this room, it is your problem, not mine. Do you want to continue making your problem my problem?"

I can feel it coming; it used to scare me, now I just tolerate it and keep it under my control. The struggle to stay in control has been a long one in the making. Right now the part of me that is still large and in charge calmly tells the doctor "I need to leave now."

"Mr. Merrill you will leave when I say it is time to leave. There are questions that have to be answered, like how are your medications treating you?" The doctor turns on the desk lamp a slides a few papers around then asks "Mr. Merrill you stated at one time you felt your medications were strangling or smothering you. Do you still feel the same way?

"Take a good look Doctor. I am not in a stupor; I am not in an agitated frame of mind. You need to understand the medications used to be in charge. But now I am in charge and I am telling you I need to leave."

So help me if he says anything even remotely stupid I will kill him. At the first sign of a stupid thing, I will let whatever happens happen. So if this is what he wants then so be it. I am still in charge but honestly I don't really care one way or another how this ends. It is all up to him.

I don’t even remember what it was he said but it was stupid and it was enough. I am however really certain about slamming that desk lamp in to his head, and I know that I also had the cord wrapped around his neck when I pulled him across the desk. But what I am not sure about is how badly the lamp was broken. There was too much stuff here and, right now I do not think they will be bringing that lamp back here. This room needed less stuff, and the doctor did not let me go. So the idea of smacking the lamp in to the Doctor made perfect sense. Although there is still a lot of stuff in this room, a lot of stuff.

The interns were pretty quick to get me tackled and pinned to the floor. They always are. When they give me a shot it is always a welcome surprise. I know the quiet will be coming soon but first I have to get through electric shock.

I do not like electric shock. But it does not last that long and afterwards things are really quiet. There is less of the world outside and more on the inside. I keep all of my good stuff on the inside. I like Tuesdays.

I am now in the white room. I like the white room. It is always quiet here. We have an understanding. Or at least it seems to me that as long as I am good they will bring orange juice. I like orange juice. In the white room there is always some much more me on the inside and less of everything else on the outside. Time spent here is precious. It is quiet. I like quiet.

For some reason they do not let me stay in the white room long enough, they never do. Even though I comply with everything they ask of me they still end up taking me from the white room to what they call “GP." I do not know what “GP” means or what I did to deserve being forced out of the white room. I like the white room.

But now I am stuck here again and they let other people be here. This tells me I will be with other people for right now. I am not too sure if I like this or not. But I do know what I do like.

The nice new nurse is here again. With a smile, a soft touch, and a soft voice she brings me my orange juice. I like the new nurse. I think I will keep her that way. It will happen fast. When I kill her I will have to be quick enough the interns can’t stop me in time. She will always be nice to me.

But for right now I am in no hurry, I have time. I am in charge. I will not kill her today. I will save her by killing her some other day.

But for today and for right now I have orange juice. I like orange juice. I like Tuesdays.

Howdy Rowdy. My name is Troy Prichard. I am 49 years old and I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I am not published, nor do I write professionally. I do have to admit I am really twisted, but I like it this way. In the long run I will write books but for the time being I am warming up with short stories. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.