There’s a Crack in Everything: Bitch, Fuck & Asshole and No Place to Hide

Cooper Thornton
8 min readMay 15, 2021

CHAPTER 9

Several times a day, a Code Blue or Number Code punctuated the psych ward just as it had during intake. In one particular instance, within seconds of making the call over the loudspeaker, several large male interns rushed into our ward to diffuse what had quickly erupted into a dangerous situation.

The nurses and attendants behind the desk controlled the TVs. We’d ask to watch certain shows, and, to their credit, they would almost always work to find that particular station or show for us.

One of our inpatients, Louis, had requested a basketball or baseball game to be on, which the attendant found, but then after a short while changed the channel to watch something they wanted to see.

Sketch of an angry-looking tv and remote

Louis asked the attendant to leave it on the game. It went back to the game but after a few minutes the attendant changed the channel again.

It was too much, and Louis, a tall muscular man recently out of prison, lifted a large 30x30 inch square cube coffee table over his head and readied himself to hurl it across the counter at the attendant. Louis yelled for the attendant to leave the tv on the goddamn game and to stop changing the channel.

The attendant insisted Louis set the table down as another attendant hit the panic button, calling in the cavalry. They were there in seconds. With just a bit more yelling, the situation was resolved, with Louis setting the cube down and getting to once again watch the game, with another attendant now handling the tv remote.

And Poof, just like that, it was as though nothing had happened.

You know when there’s a saloon brawl in the old west movies with bottles breaking and men shouting and shooting and flying over tables and as soon as it’s over the piano playing and card games pick right back up? This was that — but importantly, with just shouts and threats. I wasn’t up for any violent outcome, but I was certainly on Louis’ side and found myself cheering for the cube.

And then there were the regular shouts of “Bitch, get the fuck out of my face!” or “Shut the fuck up, asshole!” Followed by “Who are you calling asshole, you fucking bitch?”

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Cooper Thornton

Parent, Actor, People Lover, Observer, Writer and Most Often Happy Depressive in NC by way of LA by way of UK by way of BC by way of TN, where it all started.