What happens to them if they can’t diagnose me? They look like they are afraid of not just me but something beyond this austere room. They stay a few feet away, a barrier between us, and make promises. But they won’t come closer. How do you hope to inspect the things you can’t touch? I smile and move towards them, my chains jangling and biting into my ankles. They move back hurriedly. I can see it in their eyes; everything unfamiliar is dangerous.
The child stops smelling like a child. The perfumed powders and lotions do not deter the sharp burning smell that creeps into my room each time he wails. Then he gives off an intensely musky smell, like the ripe yellow mucus dripping from the nose, or the slime coming off the body of fish.