ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
BROMDEN RETURNS TO VISIT HARDING AND MARTINI
It was his first time going to a mall; it was the first time he was so thronged by; but it was not the first time he had heard others hissing with awe tremors in their voices,
“Look at him! He is huge.”
“Gee, what a giant!”
“Look at the muscle. What a MAN!”
The Chief wished that Mac could be with him at that moment, and tell everyone that “He is the MAN!”
The Chief thought his first trip to a mall would be the beginning of his normal life, and the end of five years of hard work.
These five years had been harsh for the Chief. He struggled with society, remembering everyday, every minute that he was also living for Mac. By contrast, the twenty years of ward life were comparatively short. In a way, a manipulated life was an easy life.
Five years of hard work had finally paid off. Now he had a stable job, a place to live, a normal life.
Without Mac, I would be in that EST room pretending to be deaf and dumb day after day. Mac changed me, everything everyone Sometimes I wonder about Harding and Martini. How are they doing now? Maybe I should go back and visit them.
Hesitantly, he dialed the phone.
A sexy woman’s voice melted through the phone.
“Hello, who is this?”
“Hello, may I speak to Mr. Harding?” He choked a little with nervousness.
The woman’s voice suddenly transformed with harshness.
“Who’s that?… Ah, you must be one of his buddies,” she emphasized the word “buddies” with contempt, chewing on it with relish-hatred, “You idiot, don’t you know that he died 3 years ago?”
There was a shock and a pause.
“Died? You mean Mr. Harding, Dale Harding? When? How?”
“I am a busy person. I don’t have time to talk to you. My fianc is waiting.”
The line went dead, but he held the phone for a long time, a very long time. He didn’t know what he was thinking. The only thing he knew was the fog, the blinding fog, and he saw it as clearly as he ever did. Oh, he also saw Harding. The Chief remembered Harding as a MAN who left with a smile on his triumphant face, a face was filled with confidence, courage, perhaps even brimming over with them. He was ready to face his wife and life itself.
What about Martini? He desperately wanted to go back to the ward.
It took him 3 days to drive there. He had to be careful; the police had been looking for him since he left.
When he got to the ward, he didn’t have the guts to go in by the front door. He peeked inside through a window. Listening. Silently watching. Patients afraid of their own shadows were walking like rabbits. The Nurse. No, that was not the Big Nurse. This nurse was much older with scars all over her face; yet she had the same kind of little nose, and pink lips as the Big Nurse. But one thing she was definitely missing was Miss Ratched’s bosom.
Squinting his eyes to focus better, Bromden searched for Martrini.
Suddenly he saw a vegetable sitting morbidly in the same spot where he had killed Mac five years before.
He called the ward from a booth right beside the hospital. He told them that he was an uncle of Scanlon, and wanted to talk to him.
“Hello? I don’t have an uncle, who are you?”
“Bromden Broom. How are you, Scanlon?”
“Chief!!!!!!! I I don’t know where I should start. They are looking for you.” His voice rose in a shrill spin, “They said that you are a murderer. The police have been looking for you for years. You shouldn’t come back.” He lowered his voice to a whisper as if he had just realized who he was talking to.
“They won’t find me.” He tried to sound confident, instead, his voice flattened out in desperate determination. Some of the old ward chill was catching him in its grip.
“I am perfectly fine now. I have a job, a place to live, and a normal life. But what happened to you guys? You guys should have gone with me.”
“So many things have happened, so many, so m…” Scanlon began to whimper uncontrollably.
“Take it easy. What happened to Martini?”
“He is a vegetable now,” he didn’t wait for Chief to interrupt, but raced on frantically, “Miss Ratched got back the power since her recovery. Martini couldn’t live with the way she was. We all realized that we couldn’t change things forever as long as she was here. He raped Miss Ratched, then destroyed her face by using vitriolic acid. After that he tried to kill her, but was stopped by the Black Boys. She walked away the way she walked in without a word; leaving us a shadow of clouds. The next thing we knew, Martini was sent to operating room. He was lobotomized…I just wanted to cry for him.”
“Fuck the ward, so you guys got freed from Miss Ratched. Who is that nurse now?”
“You are wrong. She came back a year later with scars all over her face; without the big breasts she used to have. We heard that she had an operation, and cut off those two feminine things. She is gone totally insane. She refused to resign. She is insane insanetotally”
“” Chief wanted to say something, anything, but it was like he had swallowed a lead weight.
“After that no one wanted to challenge her. No one I wish Mac could be with us.”
“What happened to Harding?” He finally vomited up the words, not at all what he wanted to say.
“I heard that he committed suicide.”
“His wife, I guess. Maybe he doesn’t have what it takes to adjust to the surrounding. Maybe I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Suddenly, another voice thrust itself into the conversation.
“Chief, you can’t escape me.”
“Chief, run, that’s Miss Ratched!” Scanlon screamed.
“Chief, you can’t run out on me this time; the police are everywhere, everywhere around you. Hahaha”
Bromden rushed out of the booth into the ward. The Big Nurse was at the front door. He pulled out a gun.
The bullet went right through her heart. It shattered the silence of the ward. It shattered the heart of darkness, the word “insane”, and the center of the combine.