004 The Bell Has Rung

The Bell Has Rung

I hear a very loud click. A sickening sound because it came from inside of my head.

I think it was gray matter meeting the inside of my skull…can that make a sound?

Maybe it was axons shearing beyond their tinsel strength. In any event it was inside my skull, it was audible, and it marks the moment my life changed.

The corporals arrive.


I think an alarm has gone off in the unit. I cover my ears because the alarm is so loud.

Oh God! Oh God, it’s inside my head. This blaring is inside my head.

I hear nothing but that, it is so incredibly loud.

I try to gain some distance from the fight that is now four strong behind me.

I am staggering, but manage to get behind a steel pole under the stairs.

The fight is a brawl, I am aware of that, but I don’t even look in their direction.

At the moment, I am absolutely useless as I try to assess what was happening inside me.

Do I go down?

No, stand up.

Don’t drop. You’ve got this.

It’s going to be okay. Walk it off.

Keep walking.

Are the other kids okay?

The Aftermath

Two corporals take two bloodied and battered juveniles away. It breaks my heart to see what they have done to each other.

Their first stop is the nurses’ station. The second stop is lock up.

I look around at the remaining boys.

Some faces are indifferent, some are worried, but

there is one whose eyes are fixed on me.

At first, I think he is trying to determine if I would cry. That wasn’t it; his body was tense.

Sadly, I think I know why this young man knew how bad it was before I did.

I whisper, “I’m ok” and try to smile at him.

He’s not convinced.

Although he relaxes a little, he does not take his eyes off me.

Prepared For A Day Such As This

I sit down to write the report. A juvenile sitting at the table asks me if I grew up with brothers.

I smile and answer, “Yes. Does it show?” His question certainly lightened my mood and amused me. I grew up with five brothers and no sisters.

Who knew that would prepare me for a day such as this, I thought as I begin my report of the incident.

Beginning my Report

I can’t hold my pen. I can’t remember how to start the report (I, Ofc Trill... then what?) I look up at the group of eleven boys, and I’m relieved to see all blue.

Little man’s eyes are still on me.

I say screw the report. I can do this later.

I need to change the energy in this unit and be present with these boys who just witnessed a full blown brawl up close and personal.

I stand up and realize I’m still dizzy and I feel like my head is in a fish bowl.

My head hurts.

I keep turning my face to the floor for some reason. (I will later find out my eyes are no longer working together, and my injured brain cannot handle the wonky input).

To Switch Gears

A good healthy planking challenge would be fun.

My head is pounding, so I don’t participate, but I can time the challengers with the second hand on my watch.

Two boys get on the floor and assume the plank position.

I look at my watch. I can’t see the face of the watch let alone the second hand. I play it off and start counting out loud.

My counting fades out because I can’t remember what number comes next. I’m relieved the other kids continue to count.

Just then the supervising corporal comes in to get my report. I tell her that I started it, but can’t write it.

She must assume that it’s too loud in the unit for me to concentrate, and she makes me trade places with the control room officer so I can write in peace.

It’s quiet and dark in the control room.

By the light of the computer monitor, I hand write my report and turn it in to the supervising corporal.

She transfers me to the girls unit where it is calm and quiet.

My head hurts.


MARCH 2019

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