Fresh off life support and looking like a catfish from a dozen sun-induced canker sores, they careened up and down mountain roads. They were leaving the city during pre-dawn in a rampant hurry, Montego’s Bay tarmac was a blur. Clayton thought to himself, “was this summer camp!?” His latest suicide attempt consisted of Paxil and Bacardi rum, with a death cap of 10 Xanax's. Fran and Clayton Sr. trusted the system and the American company and their foreign labor to do what they thought they could not do.
Evening darkening into night. No signs. No lights. He was uneducated to Hailalee’s lush forests, cool mountain air, and rivers that ran into waterfalls. On the way in, they ran over two goats. There was constant horn honking in the third world traffic: beeps and toots galore. The burning smell of marijuana tells on itself and deep bass lines are heard in the distance. A few lighted shacks pepper the valley. The ocean scent fills Clayton’s nose. He’s thinking this is going to be a serene getaway. “Maybe just being in nature will cure my adolescent rage?”
All of a sudden, a well lit, secure, but intimidating compound comes into view…His thoughts of being alone hiking in nature are proven wrong. He knew in the pit of his stomach, where remnants of barbituates still soothed him, that this was it. There was no detox program here. The Xanax withdrawal booted him back into reality. Gallows!, he thought. Menacing, hungry and greedy gates open and close. This is where the institution otherwise known as Resource Realizations kicks the chair of the comfort and security right from underneath him.
Flashlights work feverishly through the night. He would just kick up his heels, splinters and broken thorns postulate from my toes and feet. Ringworms breed on the surface of his skin. A tree gave him a three month purple rash on his stomach. Minor happenings. Balmy breezes coated in humidity, wrap themselves around his skin. The soul of Hailalee is artfully and beautifully constructed. However, malicious evil does indeed exist in her past. This evil was carried out daily and broad daylight, without mercy. There were not pirates or Rastafarians. This place was not cool and was operated by cross American businessman.
In the morning at Idyllic Island, the escaped cattle were tethered and slaughtered in front of us, by barefoot Hailaleen men. A machete bounces off the cows carotid artery, instantaneously bringing the animal to its knees. This was the reality of Hopeful Haven. It wasn’t the butcher shop. It was life. They watched goats annihilated in the island heat. The animal corpse’s attracted bugs and big hearty flies. Reflective blue and green, big ole’ flies. Dreams of his crisp, new and thoughtfully sent bed sheets, brilliant white stayed as dreams as this became his new reality. Clayton was now covered in droplets of blood where mosquito’s rested and nested in their final resting place for the night. His unforgettable screams were never heard. The screams that turned into wailing were never attended to. A guy named Brick tied up Clayton’s best friend Ethan to a tree and began to beat him with tree branches. Young flesh that would later scar into tissue inside and out was scorned for trying to escape this hell.
A Haven turned into an exploitation of thousands of teenagers strategically perfected by wealthy American families. The monsters the parents of generation x created paved a path for a psychopath. Hailaleen men from hell were in alliance with another group of teenagers in Sequoia: Paradise Haven. The boys that weren’t “good” at Idyllic Island, were sent to Paradise Haven. The boys in Hailalee called it Paradise Cage Rage. The boys back home often quoted Billy Corgan, “Despite all my rage I’m still a rat in a cage” from the song entitled “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.”
After 90 days, Clayton decided he was either going to become brainwashed or broken. He was unable to produce tears. I guess he was brainwashed? His screams became branded in his brain. They horrified and stroke him. His nervous system was always jolted. His pleas to God were unanswered and his loved ones lost in a time when the adolescent brain is developing and shaping when puberty raised horny hormonal head out, testosterone builds uncontrollably, and tears turn into blood. They hadn’t watched TV or listened to the radio in months, yet they had been exposed to crimes against humanity first hand. The boys had no clue what they were going to endure, and that this hoax of a haven would change them forever. Consciously they thought, “if I get with the program,” life will be smooth sailing from here. However, they didn’t know they would be imprisoned for years and months beyond the two weeks. The passport was stamped with a two week promise that would turn into almost two years or before they turned 18, whichever came first. Twenty years later they’d still be spending nights moaning and sweating, enveloped in an unconscious panic attack. The luxury of sound sleep would be stolen from them, along with their dignity, integrity, and all their personal belongings.
Regretfully, right off the bus, he was in complete refusal or orders., communication and food. He never made it to his bunk bed. Straight into Observation Placement, a place he’d reside metaphorically for the rest of his life. Clayton was becoming one with the floor. Observation Placement. There was no towel for his chin or cheek, but he was allowed to brush his teeth. Those same flys at the slaughterhouse are now in his eyes, ears, and mouth. They’re pestering him relentlessly. The sores on his hips and chin go untreated. He’s empty: his soul, his body, his heart. He craves knowledge. The nonchalant, yet abusive staff sends him to the worksheet, a small room where he can write for hours and hours on seemingly pointless essays. He could research Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Hitler, and Einstein. For days, sometimes weeks this is all he did to make the time fly. Was it his bottomless breaking point or a new utopian like start? Studying without experiencing the real world?
Idyllic Island would only be 90 days he naively thought. He was still 16 and it only half way through the year so by law, he couldn’t reside here any longer. That’s when he noticed his bud Hutton’s parents were able to keep him there past the age of 18 because his father was a lawyer. That liberating feeling begins to fade. Like prison, he didn’t know when he would be returning to the grand old states. He was in a foreign nation, homesick and tearful. He tried to amuse himself and thought of American past times such as the Garbage Pail Kids. He’d be Clark Can’t or Dead Ted, he smirked. He was crippled and consistently in need of medical attention. He settled in homesick and tearful.