The White Room
BACK AT THE clinic, in the days that immediately followed his short-lived escape bid, they kept him submerged in a sea of pills and injections. It was almost as if they were trying to medicate the will for freedom out of him. He was so doped that he didn't even dream, merely drifted through a gray fog of nonfunctioning responses and dull frustration. Only a handful of what could be classed as clear memories came through that period. He could remember passing John West as they dragged him down a corridor bundled up in a straitjacket. West had been sitting in a wheelchair, and he had treated Gibson to a sad salute. "I told you you shouldn't have tried it."
He also remembered Kooning coming to look at him, staring down at his bed with a look of outraged betrayal.
The worst of the lasting memories was the nasty smile on the face of one of the male nurses who had recaptured him; he suspected it was the one who had used the blackjack on his kidneys while they were in the van. The man had leaned so close to him that Gibson had been able to smell the spearmint gum on his breath. "You were iucky they didn't dust off the ECT for you. Back in the old days they used to cook your brain if you broke out."
It was a constant reminder of the helplessness of anyone who got themselves labeled as a mental patient.