the best of the bad places – Jonathan Hine

there were six beds in the room and the man in bed across from the alcoholic showed him the longest, thickest track scars he ever saw and explained that he used a ladle instead of a spoon and the older man to the other side of the alcoholic was a retired college professor and he would get up in the middle of the night and take off all his clothes and wander around the room mumbling to himself and sometimes he would even go out in the hallway only to be gently guided back into his bed by the night duty nurse and another man was a funeral director with a bad benzo/cocaine habit who was despondent over losing his whole family in a house fire and another resident was a delirious man right out of the hospital whose liver was failing and the way he talked you couldn’t tell if he was talking in his sleep or living a waking nightmare and he would scream SHUT THE FUCK UP OR I’LL KILL YOU! to the embalmer when he would snore and the alcoholic thought shit this isn’t good because he knew he also snored and this man clearly wasns’t in his right mind and could attack him while he slept and the last man told the alcoholic that he had been in all kinds of institutions from completing boot camp as a marine to being in and out of jail and he even spent time in a state hospital and said he was glad to be here because this was the best of the bad places