All doctors, the nurses, janitors and other
people of authority rushed through the door into the dayroom. It seemed as if
the entire staff was gathered in the dayroom to experience the chaos we left
behind with their own eyes. Acutes and chronics sat spread out in the dayroom.
Everyone was confused and I stood there, smirking like a fool.
I had never seen the value of the window in
the Nurses’ Station as clearly until now. Through the window the nurses had a
clear view of the room. However, more important was that we now had a clear
view on Nurse Ratched’s face as the black boys informed her about the damage.
Thinking back of the night before, everyone in the room was chuckling or
sharing stories of what they still remembered, followed by loud laughter. All
the laughing seemed a McMurphy laugh. It reminded me of that day when he first
arrived, rude and energetic.
“BOYS!” Nurse Ratched shouted to gain our attention. Her face was still red of
shame as she entered the room. She no longer had the impact to silence our
laughter, and we simply continued. A black boy came in screeching a terrible
sound, it was bad enough to quieten us.
This time at the calmer tone, we were addressed by Nurse Ratched: “Boys, we
have a problem. If you had not noticed yet, last night McMurphy acquired access
to the Medicine storage and broke in. Also, he ran away from the hospital
whilst leaving a path of destruction on his way out. In the open world McMurphy
is a danger to himself as well as to others, since his treatment was far from
complete. Therefore, if any of you know where he went, and if and whose help he
has had, please let me know right now.”
Of course no one said anything. “So nobody saw anything?” said Nurse Ratched
with a high voice signalling her unbelief. The huntress had now picked her
“Billy! Tell me what you remember about last night!”
“I-I-I-I didn’t see anything! I swear!”
“Oh sorry,” she replied. “I did not quite catch that. What did you want to say
“U-U-hhm..,” he murmured, avoiding any eye contact with the Nurse. “I-I really
have not seen McMurphy!”
Still visibly uncomfortable, Nurse Ratched shook her head and said, “If anyone
knows more, do come see me.” She quickly turned around and fled back into the
After many Acutes had already taken off
voluntarily, even Harding had had enough of the ward without McMurphy’s daily
entertainment. Just before Harding left, he asked me when I would be leaving.
“Someone will have to keep an eye on the Nurse,” I joked. Nurse Ratched had
slowly been recovering and building up her self-confidence again. I had to
prevent that process. I would not let Murph down. Also, I didn’t really have
anyone to go ‘home’ to anyway.
Life at the ward was incredibly boring, I did not understand how I had dragged
myself through each dreadful day before McMurphy first came in. It was the same
routine over and over again, every day. Similarly to the fog, I could feel
myself drowning in the repetition and dullness. I caught myself daydreaming of
the day McMurphy would return to the day room, and start shuffling his deck of
cards like nothing had ever happened.
It was, however, in the middle of the night
that I suddenly woke up. It had been over a month since McMurphy ran away, and
now he stood at the side of my bed. “Chief, Chief! Wake up!”
As I saw who it was that begged my attention in the middle of the night, I
asked “Why?”, “Why bother coming back?” He smirked. “After I ran away into
freedom, I realized that I had left some unfinished business behind, business
with a nurse here.” I did not quite understand his plan yet, but he seemed to
be jumping of enthusiasm. “You coming? I could really use your big hands man.”
Silently we sneaked through the sleeping
hospital when suddenly McMurphy stopped at a particular closet. “What about
it?” I asked him. Without responding McMurphy opened the doors and Nurse
Ratched, while unconscious, came rolling out. She had a mark of a hard hit on
the left side of her forehead. “Revenge!” said McMurphy. Judging from the
bruise, he must have hit her quite hard. We carried the nurse down the hall. I
had never known we were in Building 1, until I saw these doors. It was a metal
door with rivets across the width of the door. Together we carried Nurse
Ratched into the room and laid her on the table. With the clasps we tied her
limbs to the table, and the headphone construction crowned her like the
tyrannical ruler she was. With smile of success McMurphy said to me “Chief, you
have earned the honor of the first shock.”
I walked around the table and turned the dials to about 30 percent. The machine
started rattling and Nurse Ratched woke up with a deafening scream. Her entire
body was straightened as the electricity flowed through her. She opened her
eyes for only shortly, and I am sure she closed them again right after she saw
and recognized McMurphy’s grinning face. After McMurphy turned up the dial
more, she started begging for mercy and forgiveness. Soon, however, her verbal
expressions of fear and helplessness wasted away into an indistinguishable
stream of blatter. Even though she was visibly in pain, and must have been
terrified, I could not take my eyes off of the woman who had anguished me for
all these years. “I won this round,” McMurphy said softly.
We left the Nurse locked behind that metal
door for the black boys to encounter tomorrow. I asked McMurphy “What do we do
now?”. He laughed and said he would like to see if I could still get that
control panel in the air.