Greener Pastures is a place for dead people. We still walk and talk and breathe, but we are not alive, not anymore. Death has already lured away our disturbed, broken souls; even if he is yet to prise away our bodies from this earth. Like nomads, we walk the earth, searching for a place to call home, until our imminent departure steals us away. Greener Pastures is our final resting place, if you will, our final destination before the inevitable end.
I have been here for four months and twenty-eight days. I could tell you how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds, but I doubt you’d care. Very little people are interested - they’d just say I had too much time on my hands, which would be right. I have so much time to spare and nothing to do to fill it. Unless you count therapy. Art therapy, group therapy, physical-activity therapy, counseling therapy. It’s such a horrible word, therapy. The “-py” ending is like a sucker punch to what began as a deflated sigh. A nasty ending that nobody was expecting.
I am not writing this as a means of enjoyment. I am writing this as means of therapy. Cramming words onto a page in order to feel better. Stuffing emotion after emotion down the reader’s throat like there is no tomorrow. Dull, meaningless garbage, that’s probably what you’re thinking. And you’re right - that’s exactly what this is. The irrelevant ramblings of a girl who is spoon-fed pity, and deemed unfit to enter the world of reality alone.
My councilor, Judie, thinks this is a good idea. I think she is wrong: but what you should know about therapy is that it is a dictatorship. You sit, and you listen patiently, as your therapist dictates how you should live and tells you how you should feel. Like a puppet on a string, we weep when we are told to weep and smile when we are told to smile. Anyway, Old Jude says I need to release some of my thoughts and feelings onto paper, let people know how I really feel.
So I’ll tell you how I feel: numb.
Numb is a pretty horrible word too, come to think of it. Sort of nasally, like you’ve come down with the flu and can’t quite finish what you are saying. It would be better if it was “numble”, with a proper snappy ending. Like bumble or trundle or stumble. I’m telling you now: if I told you I was feeling numble, it would mean I was feeling ten times better than numb.
Numbness is pretty common around here. Seemingly it is a human survival mechanism; when we are supposed to feel pain or anger or hurt, we replace it with numbness, to try and protect ourselves emotionally. I wonder if it is the numbness that has killed the people who live here. Perhaps we have all overdosed on numbness; surpassed our daily fix of numbness; become so focused on ignoring the pain that we didn’t realize it was killing us, softly and quietly.
Here at Greener Pastures, we are all Friends. Friends with a capital F. Be glad we’re not Buddies with a capital B, because buddies is a terrible word that should only be used in sincerely sarcastic conversations or dated period dramas on the telly. There were six of us in total, until today, when our New Friend brought our numbers up to seven. Isn’t it incredible that I am yet to know or even meet the newest recruit, and I can already tell that he is my "Friend"? The magic of dictatorship, Exhibit A.