Finally, I've got a moment to sit down and write today. It's been a long but pretty decent day so far. I'm here in the lounge area with everyone else, except for Rudy. Most people are engaged in quiet conversations or just zoning out. We had a busy morning with mandatory physical fitness activities. My body is feeling a bit worn out at the moment. Of all the times for the doctors to force exercise on us, it had to be today. Just to remind you, I've been up since 7 am yesterday morning, and now it's 5:37 pm, according to this one-trick-pony of a laptop. I call it that because it only allows one function: writing. No Facebook, no Twitter, and definitely no internet. Kind of a shit situation actually.
First off, I have to say... I read what I wrote last night, and I'm a little baffled. Seriously, baffled, man. How I managed to do the things I did is beyond me right now. That's all I can really say about it at the moment because today proved to be just as crazy for me.
This morning after our dose, everyone ran laps in the courtyard. Rudy opted for a slow and sullen "I hate people" stride since he's not in the best shape, and, well, nobody likes him. It was nice, except for the figurative daggers I could feel in my back from his spiteful stare. I'm pretty sure I messed up his "Let's murder Emily" plans last night, so he totally despises me now. Whatever, bro... come at me and shit.
Thankfully, it's gotten warmer outside, and it must have been around 35 degrees or so. I jogged alongside Jeff, Lynette, and Emily, while Walter and Kyle, who are practically joined at the hip, strolled slowly behind us, just ahead of Rudy. I could hear them bickering the entire time about the 7 seals. I don’t know if that’s bible talk or if they’re planning a getaway to Sea World when this is all done. We were all a bit fixated on the weirdo Ben, who spent the whole time spinning around in the center of the courtyard, meowing at the sky. Sigh Despite my lack of sleep, it did wonders for my morale. The fresh air was invigorating, and I felt completely rejuvenated and energized afterward.
Lynette didn't have much to say, but her overall demeanor seemed better. She expressed her concerns about her kids and hoped the experiment would end soon. I tried to comfort her by mentioning the money we'd earn, and I could tell it helped ease her worries a bit. She even lit up and laughed at a few of my jokes. The observant woman also seemed to notice the growing connection between Emily and me. I guess our affections for each other are becoming a bit obvious. This morning, when Emily woke up, she found me sitting outside her room in a chair. She placed her hand on my shoulder, and I looked up, smiling. She returned the smile, and her eyes seemed to radiate warmth and affection, as if it came straight from her heart. As she walked away towards the bathroom, I felt a surge of passion coursing through my body, a sensation I hadn't felt since my middle school crush, Sarah Summers... oh, how she broke my heart. Regarding Emily, I'm not entirely sure how to interpret it, to be honest.
The Emily we see today is not the same Emily we knew just a week ago, or even two days ago. Beneath all the layers of the facade she had created, there lies a thoughtful and kind-hearted woman. Last night, somehow, we managed to break down that disguise and reveal Emily's true self to the world. Today, we talked about Randy, whom she liked because, initially, he was the only one who treated her kindly. They had that "bitch harmony" thing going on. Emily confessed to me that she's feeling much better since our experience last night. In turn, I promised her that, no matter what, I'll be there to protect and support her in any way I can. When I made that pledge, I could see the hope welling up in her eyes. How did this happen? It's surreal to think that I, Jack McCoy, rescued another human being from their personal hell. I'm not exactly sure how I did it, but it's done, and things are looking up.
All in all, it was a great time in the courtyard today.
After returning from the courtyard, we all took showers, except for Mr. Rudy, who went straight to his room, and it looked like he was trembling from the exertion. Which is weird because all he did was walk for fucks sake. Lunch today held a nice surprise – tuna wraps, potato chips, and chocolate cake. Randy would have been ecstatic about the cake. God, I miss that guy. It seemed like the doctors felt bad for all the hardships we've endured and decided to lift our spirits a bit. There wasn't a single face without a smile as we enjoyed our meal.
The best part was the absence of Rudy's stench since he stayed holed up in his room. Emily and I sat together, discussing the events of last night and what our future holds once we're out of this experiment. I can't stop thinking about her, man... Jeff just gave me this big grin as if to say, "Nice going, dude," the entire time we were eating. He even mentioned that she seemed different now, and he liked the new her.
Dr. Nelson was notably absent during lunch; I suppose he left the lab right after administering this morning's doses, leaving Dr. Waters in charge. The situation felt a bit strange because Dr. Waters and Dr. Roberts never usually engage with us. They cornered me while I was eating my tuna wrap, asking how things were going and if there was anything on my mind. Honestly, I just wanted to enjoy my meal and chat with Emily, but I humored them. I told them I was doing fine and feeling great, but I couldn't help mentioning how upset I still was about Randy's tragic fate. They both nodded somewhat apathetically. I ventured to ask them a few questions of my own, and the conversation went something like this:
"So, how much longer are we going to be here?" I inquired.
"You're eager to leave already?" Dr. Roberts replied.
"Yeah, don't you think it's been a bit too crazy? Not to mention, I need to pay my rent ASAP. When can I do that?" I pressed.
"You'll need to speak with Dr. Nelson," they responded in unison.
"Where is he?"
"He'll be back soon," Dr. Waters said, glancing around the room as if bored.
"Back from where?" I questioned irritably, knowing where this was headed.
"From where he is, Jack," Dr. Waters retorted cryptically.
"Okay... So what are you going to do about Rudy?" I shifted the topic.
"Rudy is part of the trial. Why does he concern you?" Dr. Waters asked, showing a hint of impatience.
"He's dangerous," I cautioned.
"Thank you for your input," Dr. Waters said, this time exchanging a knowing look with Dr. Roberts.
"You should enjoy the rest of your lunch. We'll inform Dr. Nelson of your rent concerns," Dr. Roberts offered.
"If he's been reading my journal, he already knows..." I muttered, suppressing my irritation.
"Enjoy your lunch, Jack," Dr. Roberts said as they both turned away.
They walked out of the common room, and I could hear their faint chuckles as they disappeared. This is the shit I have to put up with in here. We're treated like prisoners, with zero respect. It’s like grade school all over again, only on drugs.
Honestly, I could walk out of this place today, pay my past due rent, and somehow figure out how to settle things with my bookie. Ever since Randy's tragic suicide, Ben's descent into madness, and the constant threat Rudy poses to Emily, my desire to stay here has vanished. It's an incredibly suffocating feeling. If I could just get out of here now, I might have a shot at straightening out my life. Strangely enough, I don't even feel that strong urge to gamble anymore, or to smoke, for that matter. I'm seriously considering quitting smoking altogether. That's pretty damn crazy when I think about it.
I'm really curious about what could happen between Emily and me if we were out in the real world together. I wonder if we could even help her reconcile with her parents. She comes from a wealthy family, and not to sound like a greedy fuck, but that kind of money could open up a whole new life for me, for both of us.
Or perhaps money isn't my main motivator anymore. This newfound sense of optimism and determination inside me makes me believe I could achieve just about anything I set my mind to. Let's not forget, I have these abilities now that give me a unique advantage. Imagine playing poker and being able to "read" the other players' cards by scanning their surface thoughts. I could easily make it to the World Championship of Poker, right? I mean, it's not gambling when you already know everyone's hands, is it? But damn, here I go again, daydreaming about hitting it big. Something that's never quite panned out for me. Now, I'm starting to realize there's no guarantee that I'll be able to maintain these abilities once I'm off the drugs, anyway.
I can feel the effects of Formula 35C quite distinctly. My mind has become like a finely-tuned machine. Problem-solving and creative thinking require minimal effort, and I can visualize things with astonishing clarity, almost like I'm experiencing them in high-definition. What's more, I've stumbled upon what might be psychic abilities. I know it sounds crazy, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but it operates on a profound level I'm not entirely accustomed to yet.
Let me attempt to describe it, even though it might sound utterly fucking insane, and it's possible my imagination is playing tricks on me. The experience is intense and somewhat overwhelming, and I'm still trying to fully grasp it. I've mentioned the bookshelf filled with books in this place, and I've been reading them out of sheer boredom and confusion about the things I've witnessed—things I can't explain. So, I delved into some science books, particularly physics and electronics, and here's what I've come to understand.
According to these books, all matter and energy are composed of atoms, and matter is essentially solidified energy. Everything is in constant motion. Everything. Atoms are like the building blocks of reality, and within them, electrons and protons exhibit their own unique behaviors. Now, consider this: in that seemingly ordinary tuna sandwich I had for lunch, there are an astronomical number of atoms—quintillions upon sextillions, and probably even more. Each of these tiny particles has been journeying through space and time for eons. Consequently, every single thing in the universe has an almost infinite history of motion and interaction.
The physical body I inhabit right now consists of atoms that have traversed the farthest reaches of the cosmos, possibly originating from the deaths of ancient stars that lived for trillions of years. Even within that single tuna wrap, the atomic history is mind-boggling. Some atoms might have been part of meteors, mountains, and even dinosaurs. Others could have formed the weapons that pierced the hearts of Roman slaves, or the backbones of the bacteria responsible for the Black Plague.
And more recently, these atoms have journeyed through endless miles of ocean before becoming part of the tuna fish caught by a fisherman's net just a few weeks ago. Now, they find themselves in my hands, shaping the structure of this wrap, and eventually entering my body, where some will stay with me, and others will pass through.
I'm telling you that in an instant, I can vaguely comprehend the nature and history encapsulated within my lunch today through a rapid succession of mental imagery and a newfound sixth sense. Have you ever heard of those psychics who assist the police by touching objects and gaining glimpses into their past? It's somewhat like that for me now. If I concentrate on an object, I can gain insights into its history and possibly everything that came before it.
This experience is both fascinating and terrifying for me.
I can't predict how much stronger my newfound abilities will become, but I'm gradually starting to comprehend what Frank was trying to convey with his last words, "We're all blind. It's all lies." He was clearly perceiving or experiencing something that had his mind delving much deeper into reality than usual. That’s very clear to me now. Hold on a second... where is Frank? It just hit me that I haven't seen him all day. How did I not notice, and why hasn't anyone else mentioned it? After I finish here, I need to check his room to make sure he's okay. Perhaps he can shed some light on what's happening.
Doctor Nelson, I hope you'll be willing to discuss this with me. I need to determine whether what I'm experiencing is real or just my imagination running wild.
Oh, damn, I can hear Ben shouting in that adolescent-challenged voice of his, desperately vying for everyone's attention.
Hang on a sec.
He's gearing up to perform a stand-up routine for us, and to my surprise, this is the most coherent he's been in a week.
Fuck, I sense Rudy's distinct scent as he casually thuds into the chair beside me on the couch. I had hoped he might stay in his room tonight after the morning workout, but, of course, that's not my luck.
Emily just settled down beside me, her hand resting on my leg, while the rest of the room focuses on Ben. He's positioned in front of the door leading into the testing room, waiting for everyone to get comfortable. Damn, I wish my laptop camera would work so I wouldn't have to type all this out. I'll do my best; I just hope to God he doesn't turn this into another Randy or Michael incident.
Now he's staring at us, wearing an oddly amusing smile, eagerly awaiting our reactions. Seriously, he looks like he's fifteen years old. Okay, here goes; I'll try to keep up.
"Ladies and Gentlemen… and Rudy." Haha, that was a good one. Rudy's not finding it funny, though.
"I had quite the breakfast this morning, something appetizing, and something different, you know... a protein shake." People are chuckling, and it's strange how he's actually funny.
"Anyway, as I was sipping the shake, I was thinking, what should I do today? Read a book, or... just go back to sleep? Because we have so many thrilling options in here, you know?" Lol People are laughing. He's taking a pause.
"I'm glad you're all in a good mood tonight! Have you ever heard of that cat who befriended a garbage man? They had a 'purr-fect' partnership going on. The mangy little cat would sit there, watching the garbage man do his thing day in and day out.
One day, the garbage man says, 'Hey, I see you out here every morning. You must think I'm pretty cool, huh?'
The cat looks up and replies, 'Well, to be honest, I'm just waiting for you to accidentally toss away a can of tuna!'" Okay, that one was about as funny as eating stale crackers.
"Well then, not so funny, huh? What the hell am I doing here then?" he asks, now looking serious.
"I mean, what kind of person willingly becomes a lab rat? Right?" His voice quivers.
"Maybe we should ask Randy..." Uh-oh, I have no idea where this is going.
"Oh wait… Randy is dead!" I'm getting bad vibes now. This is taking an ugly turn.
"But WAIT! There's more! We're all going to be... we're all going to be—" He starts rubbing his head, somewhat like Randy did in the days before his unfortunate end. I might need to intervene here.
"We're all going to be DEAD TOO!" he screams.
Rudy is laughing. I've got to put a stop to this.
Damn it, Dr. Nelson just walked in, and he's got company. Ben looks seriously disturbed right now, and Emily just rushed to his side to support him.
Dr. Nelson is calling my name. What the fuck is happening right now? Who are the two suits walking with him? He's calling my name and telling me I need to go somewhere tonight. Hell no, I can't just up and leave.
Shit! I think Ben is having a severe seizure; I have to go help... be right back.
Aw, poor Jack had to leave :( and they didn't let him take his laptop.
Don't worry, Jack. I'll watch over Emily for you tonight. :)