Psych Ward Diaries. 00.

They just brought in a guy.

He is sedated. Arms hanging limply by his side as the nurses carry him along the corridor. He has very interesting-looking half-sleeve tattoos on both arms.

I am excited. I am very very excited. I cannot wait for him to wake up. I am really looking forward to chatting about his tattoos.

This Emeka guy is extremely annoying. He has been shouting since morning, banging on the door and calling out to Mister Austin at the very top of his voice.

No wonder he’s in solitary confinement. That’s what it is, isn’t it? I think so. I mean, it doesn’t look anything as dreary and gaolish and bleak and soul-crushing as I would have expected. It just looks like a locked room with an ornate metal door in a building with bright yellow walls. The environment doesn’t have the air of anything resembling solitary confinement. Emeka’s incessant shouting and banging on the door, are what give it away.

Not like I’m expected to understand his situation. I’m not the one in a locked room.

Mister Austin seems like a cool guy. He just completed his PhD at a foreign-affiliated Open University. He studied Theology. We’ve been talking about his Doctoral thesis. I’ve been learning stuff from him.


I had never heard that word before.

He says he plans to set up a Theology school. Says this Nursing gig is just to get by while things fall in place. With the PhD out of the way, he feels confident about clearing any third-party doubts on academic proficiency or experience.

I think he’s a cool guy.

His chin has some bumps on it. Shaving bumps. I don’t like those bumps. But pretty much everyone I know- every black guy I know personally, has these facial hair bumps. I hate them. I never want to have them. I haven’t begun to grow any serious facial hair yet- hopefully it’s possible to figure out a way to circumvent this dermal catastrophe.

There’s this guy though, this actor. This funny Hollywood actor. He has a full beard, yet his face is completely smooth when he shaves. I don’t know, hopefully I’ll get to meet him sometime and ask for some secret shaving tips.

I’ve been playing table tennis all day. There’s nothing else to do in this place. Just table tennis. But it’s fun though. It’s fun. I’m gradually getting better at it. Rotimi is very good. Rotimi the tall, light-skinned nurse. I don’t think I’ll ever win a game against him. I have no idea how Kelechi does it. I have absolutely no idea.

Ah oh yeah there are the medical journals in the library/art room place. That’s something to do, apart from playing table tennis.

What’s the name of the journals again, “The BMJ” or something like that. I’ve been reading those. Medicine is actually not so bad. Some of the research papers in the journals are actually really interesting. Interesting papers, and then in each journal a doctor gets featured in an interview. Getting to read about doctors in the UK and their lives is pretty fun too.

At some point I ran out of medical journals to read. I told the psychologist during a session.

The psychologist is a nonsense guy, I don’t like him. He overestimates his understanding of my situation, my life and my decisions. Trust Nigerian people to feel like Overlords over what is not so much of a big deal.

Trying to “correct” me and tell me “the right thing to do”.

Nonsense. I think he’s too pushy. The psychologists I visited in the US mostly just listened. Although to be honest I kinda wondered why sitting down in a chair and just listening should be a full-time job.

Like hey I should be capable of this too, it shouldn’t be so complicated.

The psychologist was surprised I had been reading the journals in the first place. He said they weren’t for me- weren’t for patients. Said they were for the doctors in the facility to read.

Oh. Ohhhh.

When it gets dark, the nurses call everyone in and they lock the main door. So no one leaves the building, evidently.

Like we’re in daycare.

Oh God.

Then I have to sit down in the common room and watch TV.

Oh wait. Waaaiiittttt. I think the tattoo guy is up. I think the tattoo guy is upppp!!

He just walked into the common room. I’m not even in the mood to let him properly recover from the sedative and make adequate sense of his surroundings.

I excitedly head over for a chat.

Image Credits: