While I was there, I lived for the quiet moments of shared space with other people, but now I mostly remember the sounds and the smells — like how the floor would go dark and quiet after lockup, and what the wooden spoons they used to give you with ice cream would taste like.

You couldn’t keep them, of course. Too many girls had driven splinters into their arms, and so the orderlies made sure they were all collected after we finished eating.

When they’d let us, we’d go to the games room to play pool and listen to music. We only had a few tapes, and we played them over and over until they were so worn and thin it sounded like we were underwater. Whenever I hear any of that music today — Fixed, Unplugged in New York — I’m always amazed at how crisp and full it sounds.

Hurry home, Spring.

7 thoughts on “4W/6E

  1. i thought we were just stoned

    why only girls? guys did too, no?

    did you see girls? i never saw guys

    fat girls eating anorexic’s food and feeling guilty when they went into cardiac arrest

  2. I don’t remember what the official segregation was like, but there were a lot of girls there when I was there – probably 60/40 girls/guys. I think they might’ve been using 4W as overflow for 6E at some point, or some other reason why it was co-ed.

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