The Procedure

Dear Pops,

You came home with a tattoo today, and that only means one thing. You have been hurt so badly you wish to forget.

Tattoos hold much more weight now than when your grandmother filled her body with them as art. They are now a sentiment of the lost.

We have a rule in the shared space, what was once North America. In your youth, a great deal of research was done on mental health. The causes, the treatments, the failures but then came along a revolutionary treatment. It could take away the pain. It wasn’t a daily pill, it was a procedure of some kind.

Few people actually know what happens during the procedure just that it works. It cures all times of mental illness from addiction to schizophrenia to anxiety. All kinds of mental pain can be completely removed from the patient. However the side effect is severe, no two people react to the treatment the same way. One reported claimed a patent left without sight, another without touch, taste, hearing, balance. Notice a theme? The procedure somehow trades one of the human senses for mental illness treatment.

Along with this, the patient must choose a tattoo. A mark to make it clear who couldn’t take the pain and gave into the treatment.

At first, they marketed the tattoos as a sign of strength. They called it the wisdom, as in the wisdom to know you have no chance of fixing this with anything currently out there.

Soon it changed. People’s attitude towards mental illness reverted back to worse than it had ever been. Those who were sick and had the treatment were sent away from their communities.

Many times the citizens tried to make the procedure illegal but it was controlled by big business and they got bug money each time someone had the procedure.

Grampa you have been struggling with depression for years and with grandma’s help you were surviving.

Then just yesterday she passed away and today you came back with the tattoo and you couldn’t hear me tell you I would have been your support system.

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