Locked In

BrockaArt, Health & WellnessLeave a Comment

Blazing hot summers can warp the mind. Anyone is forgiven for holing up inside all day to hide from the heat; lying down directly in line with a window unit set to 69*. But the mind can start spinning like the ceiling fan. Spinning away the doldrums. She preferred the sound of the a/c to television on in the background. Something about daytime tv made her feel depressed. Watching tv all day was wasting away, frankly. She resented the tv; she resented people who watched tv. 

This tiny, six hundred-square foot duplex could get really brutal in the summer. All of the heat would gather itself into a fireball in the kitchen. The clothes washer and dryer shared space with the oven, and there would be literal hell if both were going at the same time. The backdoor for the house accessed this kitchen/laundry, and seeing as though it was the main coming and going door, the cold air was constantly let out and the hot air let in. Cool solace was being shut in one of the bedrooms. 

One of her favorite running buddies busts through the back door unannounced. This was ok if he was riding on a long stretch of taking his meds. He was an integral part of the friend group, full of spunk and entertainment, and yet he was a severe schizophrenic. Months could go by with no issues. The lapses seemed more intense when they did occur, though. A sneaky and pernicious thing happens when a schizophrenic or bi-polar person takes their medicine with consistency and recognizes how well they feel, only to believe they can stop taking their meds now that they’re better. The plummet is real. So there was no way of knowing how serious or short and fleeting this episode would be. He had come over and gone straight to the only bathroom in this two-bedroom house and locked himself in.  

Jackson Pollock, 1948

He was being followed; the Feds were out to get him; everyone in this house worked for the government or was an FBI agent; we were strangers. There was no trust, only fear. He was out of his mind. No amount of light tapping at the door and whispering pleas of sincerity and care could coax him out. Shit out of luck if you had to pee. No, seriously. Leave, and go to the closest grocery store. Last time, he was in there an hour. This time it would be three.  

The house had to wait out the one locked within. And he had to wait out being locked inside his mind. No one can reason with a person in the throes of a mental disorder. It’s not them we tell ourselves, it’s the disease. There’s only so much care and comfort a friend can extend to one being pulled and stretched like a rubber band before they snap.  

He never got out. Late one night, a few years later, he would burrow himself into a sleeping bag on his parent’s front yard lawn, and shoot himself in the head.  


Abstract Expressionism bloomed in the era of the Cold War as well as social and cultural conservatism. After the war, the US became a global power. This means, there was a huge economic growth that citizens were enjoying. However, the climate was unsettling; power came with insanity and the constant fear of the stranger, or the enemy (communism). Abstract Expressionism symbolized the freedom of speech in a sense; artistic freedom that was not the object of judgment. This is exactly why it set its roots so quickly and so deeply. The movement gained its acceptance because of the idea of freedom it provided through the action painting. –Daily Art Magazine

BrockaLocked In

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