THEY TELL him tests need to be done.

He makes no move to argue, his parents squirming at his side anxious to give the doctor a piece of their minds. They plead his case saying how these tests have already been done and each time his medication had been changed. He stares at the white lab coat that the new doctor smoothes out as he sits properly poised in a position of ultimate authority. He thinks to himself how fitting the doctor is in this room; pale walls, with the exception of an outdated poster Understanding Epilepsy: I will overcome slightly curling at the edges, stale stagnant air, the smell of disinfectant, bland. Before he would feel his body shutter from just being there, now nothing. Without looking he can see his fathers red face taking on darker shades.

“What do you wanna watch?”
— “Something funny.”
“Alright, well pull up a chair so you don’t have to stand.”
I reposition the desk lamp and continue drawing as we watch videos of people succeeding in stupidity, he smiles in his chair that’s a little too far away from the screen. The T.V.’s hypnotizing charm still effective.

Walking to their car no words spoken. They wear defeat, a heavy cloak upon them that not even the sun in this moment can penetrate. Not until he feels the cough of the engine vibrate through him does he realize that he’s in the car, knees smooshed against the dull red leather that creaks every time they go over a bump.

A very confident drunk woman dances clumsily on top of the wooden table and her friends cheer her on. We sit and wait for her fate to play out.

In the other room voices get louder, tense. My attention- full attention- on the voices that are now hard to ignore.

The woman laughs wildly, his eyes still set on her,

unaffected by his fathers exploding temper. I can only make out broken words: greed…devil…doctor…so tired…mental ward again…want our money…corrupt government…nobody listens…he just sits there…just too much…*cabinets slamming…silence.

The woman's laughter gets louder, mad.

I feel a chill at my feet. A heavy cloud of gas wraps around my ankles and spreads across the floor. The mist of looming anger seeps through the cracks in the door, billowing in — reaching for him.

The dancing woman stomps on the table crashing through the wood, her friends on the floor laughing like hyenas.

The clouds of gas found him, hugging his body creeping up higher and higher. Its fingers gently snaking up his neck ready to suffocate.

She lays on the floor in shock surrounded by the splinters of broken wood, she looks around with unsure eyes and scans the scene, suddenly sober.

His body sits still as his stare continues to stay locked on the screen. Smiling at nothing, unaffected…unaware of the choking fog.

They carry the small nightstand over to the middle of the poorly lit room and outstretch their arms, supporting her clumsy body as she steps on top to bear the stage once again. It wobbles under her convulsing moves that she classifies as dancing.