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She checks and indeed the patient is not there.
"Her walker is there but she is not with the walker. I used to work as a nurse's aide in a convalescent hospital. I know these things."
Diana an Occupational Therapist, comes into the activity room. "I invented this game. Who wants to play?"
Billy gets up and joins a woman at the table. "I'll play. What do you do?"
"You role the dice and move your marker on the board. The you draw a card from the stack corresponding to the color that you've landed on. Sarah, you can go first." Sarah roles and moves her game peice. Then the O.T. draws a card and reads it to her.
"What can you do to stay healthy in mind and body?"
"I can do yoga and meditate."
"Good. I like yoga too. Billy now it is your turn."
Billy rolls the dice, moves his marker and draws a card, and reads it. "What is something you can do for fun, that makes you feel good and doesn't cost any money? I can have sex. That's fun."
"Well Ok." She laughs. "I guess that that is enough of my game for today."
In the t.v. room when no one is around Billy starts talking to a young woman named Rachel whois thin and has red hair and freckles. There's a Nirvana video on.
"You know that one nurse looks like Angela Davis."
"I can't stand her! I asked her for Tampax and she asked me to pull down my panties and show her I was on my period! Of course I wouldn't so she refused to give me any kind of protection! I think she thought that I get some kind of pleasure out of using Tampax!
"Really?! What a bitch! Talk to Brandy, she'll help you out."
Thanks, I will."
"Billy you've got a phone call on line two."
"Hi Billy, it's Renee." She speaks with a high raspy asthmatic voice.
"Hi Renee, how come you haven't been to visit me? It has been three weeks."
"Yeah Billy, I wanted to wait until you were coherent. I've been talking to the nurses' station."
"I bet they don't tell you half the shit that goes on in here."
"Billy I can't go on with you not taking your medicine. I want a divorce."
"Why Renee, what have I done? I've never cheated on you."
"Billy I can't take care of you anymore, like you are my son. That's not the way it should be."
"But then why did you marry me? you don't love me anymore?"
I'm really not sure why I married you. You always fly off the handle and that antique dresser you chopped in half with you fist can't be fixed. I'm moving and I won't be here when you get home."
Ah, Renee every marriage has its ups and downs. There is never a perfect marriage. You know you really hurt me. Whatever I try it always fails."
Billy chokes up. "Bye, Renee."
Billy we're giving you full grounds privelidges. There's a party tonight in the library."
Billy goes to the library at eight. There is House music pulsating. He goes to a couch and sits with people he recognizes from a Narcotics meeting he had tried to attend earlier ou of boredom. He picks up a Judy Bloom book and sees a letter written by a seven year old boy named Billy about loneliness and starts to cry. A tall exotic woman walks up. "Come on, get up and ance." She grabs his hand and begins to House.
The next morning the patients are gathered in a large living room area with high ceilings.
"Now we're going to go around and I want everyone to tell us their goals for today."
"Hi, my name is Rachel, and my goal for today is to go to all of my groups."
"HI, my name is Tony and my goal is to take my medication today."
Billy is sitting next to this really freaky looking couple, who've admitted themselves together, as if this were a Marriot.
"Hi my name is Billy and my goal is to go home today."
"It is about time. Make sure you sign out by eleven. You have forty-five minutes. You can pick up your meds at the pharmacy."
The freaky looking man nods in agreement.
"Really? I can go now?'
"Yes. Go see Brandy and she'll discharge you."
Billy has this sadness about returning to the real world. He'll have to face those who saw him get sick.
"Brandy, I want to go home. Can you discharge me today?" Brandy is a chubby Jamaican woman with a weave.
"Sure, but you need to sign some papers. Go see Kwame and he can get your backpack out of the locker. Come back after you have been to the pharmacy."
"Here's your Prolixen and Cogentin. YOu will need to make an appointment before this runs out in two weeks", the pharmacist says.
"OK thanks." He goes back to Brandy.
"Brandy I'm all set, but I didn't bring money for the bus. I didn't expect to come here.
"Here take this. She gives him a five. Here's my phone number." You can call me and I'll come see you sometime."
"Thanks Brandy I'd like that. Where do I catch the bus around here? I'm lost."
You need to walk down Sunset to the bottom of the hill. Then you will come to Cesar Chavez. You can get a bus there."
The bus shows up. "How can I get a bus back to the valley? All I have is a five."
"Just get on. You can catch the 424 in front of the library."
Billy buys a coke at a hotdog cart to get change. As he is riding down through Hollywood an old hippie friend, The Wild Man(a.k.a. Ken gets on the bus. The WIld Man has long kinky black hair and walks with a cane. He has an incurable talking disease. Billy knows him from the Orton Dyslexia Society.
"Hey Billy, long time no see. Where you comein' from?"
"I was down at the Central Library. What about you.?"Posted by Butterfly Emerging at July 26, 2007 02:35 AM