the last day of my 20s I stood in a narrow room where they asked me questions about incarceration history and my sexual habits and stole blood from my right pointer finger and inspected my arms for veins and elbows for bruising. later, but not much later, I stared at the sheetrock ceiling as narrow tubes sucked fluids from my body and gaunt-eyed women with needles and tape walked slowly to their charges. My jeans are torn at the cuff and stringy at edges, as they've been since birth. This place is like a hospital, that gives you money. The ceiling is like a hospital's. The white coats are like doctor coats. The halogen lights are like, the beds are like, but they won't let you sleep. The nurses thump the side of the pillows. A man in a trucker hat and grey beard and freckled arm starts, almost pulling his needles out. This is like some other beds I've slept in, where the ceiling and lights and noises kept me from rest and I pulled blankets and arms off me before shuffling back into daylight, through tinted glass doors, in rudimentary bandages, no goodbyes. The man who unhooks me is tired but friendly, sees my novel and tells me if he could be anyone in literature he'd be in The Brothers Karimazov, and he'd be Aloyisha. The good one.
This is the first thing I've written since turning 30 on tuesday. I will probably turn it into a Haibun. Thanks to Ryan for the prompt. I am bad at spelling Russian names.