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I went to the beach last Saturday night with my friend and her 12 year old daughte and we really had a blast. I got ice cream and my friend got a coke float. We walked on the very crowded Santa Monica pier and saw some performers doing goofy tricks for applause and tips. There was a man who could twirl three basketballs on one finger tip. On the way down to the beach we passed a Belgian Chocolate store and I noticed that they were passing out free samples of candy and my friend told me to get out and ask for some for us. She pulled over, I got out and then by the time I reached the guy; all the samples were gone. Darned the luck.
Anyway I finally gave notice that I am moving on August third. I will not get my deposit back because I have not been at my current place for six months yet. I have a lot of packing to do. The owner of my apartment is coming tonight to see if she would like to purchase my fridg and stove. I bought them; but can't take them with me. I priced movers and it costs about 70 dollars an hour with a three hour minimum. I might check one more company for comparison. I must ask a friend to drive me to buy the boxes.
I have a blind date on Friday at 3 p.m. Actually he is blind. I feel awkward about meeting him because I am afraid that there will be no chemistry. He is taking a taxi here and we are going to hang out. He lives kind of far from me and I think that that could make this a difficult relationship. He is moving soon and will be maybe a tad bit further away than he is now. We shall see. He asked me if I would go running on the beach with him and I told him that I have some weight to lose before I go running anywhere.
Last Sunday I went to The Getty Center with another friend and we ate a picnic on a hillside overlooking the garden there. Then we walked around for about three or four hours looking at everything. We had to go see this painting I love there "The Entry of Christ into Brussels" by Ensor. I find it very entertaining. It has a lot of detail and you have to pay very close attention. It has a lot of color and is almost painted like a cartoon. We went to another exhibit with a lighbulb hanging down on a wire and the lightbulb kept flickering off and on again. While we were down the hall a ways viewing the other areas of the exhibit I kept hearing some whispering very loudly. But once we were in front of the light bulb I realized that it was talking. It was whispering words and would react to the sound of whatever you would say. We were cracking up. I thought this is what mentally ill people feel like sometimes with a light bulb that talks back in a freaky little whisper.
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.?"
"We're going to take you to another ward where you will feel safer. Come with me."
Billy follows "Sandy Duncan through a door she has unlocked. She introduces him to Stella, Luigi, and a bunch of other old people. Billy sits down in a chair next to Estelle.
She says;"Can you pick up that peice of paper, honey?"? My sone wrote that phone number down for me. It is very important."
Billy bends over an dpicks it up. He hands it to her. Luigi is speaking but it is pretty much gibberish.
"Do you want to follow me?" is all Billy can make out.
"Where are you going?"
Billy gets up and follows Luigi out into the hall. Luigi disappears into his room and Billy stops. Then Billy hears Luigi take a piss with the door wide open. Billy goes back into the day room.
"Can you pick up that piece of paper honey, it's very important." Billy picks it up again.
"Just ignore her. All these people have Alzheimers or Dementia," a nurse tells him. "Sign here." Billy signs.
"What was that?
"That was a 72 hour hold. You jsut signed yourself in."
Billy feels duped. "Sandy Duncan" walks in and asks if he wants to do rounds with her. Billy agrees. They walk up to a room with an open door.
"She's not in there,"Billy tells her.
"How do you know? You are starting to scare me."
to be continued....
A Trip To Hell
He leaps off the curb into an ocean of headights, across a wide
boulevard, in time to see an old man jamming on his brakes, barely missing him. Hi sadrenaline pushes him in front of one more car and across a bridge, across the L.A. River. He continues to sprint behind a stadium and stands amid a crowd exiting a football game. He sees his wife driving by in a van looking for him. "I know she is poisoning the lemonade. She was going to kill me with the iron." He sits on a curb for an hour and then a car drives up. "Mike I'm scared Renee is trying to kill me! She hates me." he says in a slow baritone.
"She wouldn't try to do that to you Billy. You're sick and you need to go to the hospital."
"But I have a party to go to. Robert is having a party up by Cal Arts."
"O.k. I'll take you to the party."
An E.R. nurse walks in. "Billy here's a Benadryl. This might help you sleep."
Billy is 6'5 and 200 pounds. He has black hair cropped short and peircing blue eyes against light brown skin. You can see his muscles through his black t-shirt. He is wearing Levis and Doc Martin shoes. He goes to the bathroom and tries to vomit up the poison.
Billy lies down in a bed next to a woman who has had a heart attack. He can't sleep and two hours later he is finally seen by a blonde, curvy psychiatrist. She has a walkie-talkie and is on a cell phone. "Are you a cop? " Billy asks, smiling.
She smiles and says " We need to send you to another hospital."
He is smitten and walks compliantly to the ambulance.
"Are we going to Roberts' party?"
"Are you gonna get in or do I have to tie you to the stretcher?"
In the ambulance Billy thinks that the oxygen tank is a gun aimed at him. He leans over in case it goes off. "Is that the map to Robert's place?"
The E.M.T. looks annoyed with him. Billy has no clue where they are taking him. They go around a lot of curves. He starts to hyperventilate because he thinks they might take him somewhere remote to kill him.
The hospital is large and terraced. At Kaiser China Town a nurse greets him.
"Is this Robert's party?"
"Yes, come on in."
He is admitte to the hospital where people play games, do activities, and eat. It is the middle of the night and everyone is asleep.
"Are you taking any street drugs?"
"No, are you?"
"Are you hearing any voices?"
"Are you having visual hallucinations?"
"No, is there a camera behind that window?"
"No, there's no camera in here. Are you taking any medication?"
"No, I stopped taking my Mellaril and Prozac a few months ago. They were making me gain weight and fall asleep in classes. I had to quit driving because my visison got so blurry."
Fo the third day in a row Billy refuses the poisonous medicine and doesn't sleep. One night in an observaiton room he is laying on a plastic padded bed, staring at a bright flourescent light and reading the etchings in the window that say "Hell," "Satan," and "I'm dying, help." The clicking window and the creaking crickets might be a code from his dead grandfather. He keeps hearing this high pitched squeeling noise that sounds like a car in a long drawn out spin out, but just won't crash. This reminds him of the time he spun out on the 405 by UCLA on the way to a club with Mike. All of a sudden a group of male nurses enters, unzips his jeans, pulls down his underwear, and gives him a shot in the ass. He doesn't struggle. This feels like a dream. They leave behind a book entilted "Neuroleptics and You" and another one called "Haldol" He finally sleeps.
The dinner trays are delivered to the locked ward. Billy sits down with a couple of guys who are also in their twenties. Billy eyes the food and asks a skinny kid if he wants his rice pudding. The kid says no. Billy laughs. "Don't you think it looks like come?" They all laugh. During the meal there is this old woamn sitting across the room and she has the msot evil expressio on her face. She is staring strsight at Billy, bug eyes like she is really angry. "She scares the shit out of me like she is going to put a hex on me."
Billy sits alone in his room reading and a fat woman across the hall cackles. "Hey Gerald, Billy wants you. Go on, he is waiting for you."
Billy waits nervously. Yhe door opens and there is Gerald, all seven feet, naked and brwon from head to toe.
"Get the fuck away from me!" Billy yells, pointing at Gerlad with his whole arm.
Gerald blinks a couple of times and turns and leaves. Billy gets up and moves tree dressers, nightstands and beds to block the door. "I want outa here!"
He takes a chair and tries to break the second story window but it is made of plastic. "Maybe I can jump down to the patio tablr and run away." He is not afraid of dying. Finally the next day a team of nurses tries to come in.
"Open up! Why'd you block the door? Your're strong!"
"I feel like I'm in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest! I was sexually abused as a child and I am not letting that happen again! Were you sexually abused too?"
The petite woman answers " Yes, how did you know?"
I jsut had a feeling. You know you look like Sandy Duncan. And you look like B.B. King. The other nurse looks like Angela Davis."
To Be Continued....
I wanted to tell you my e-mail address so that if you would like to contact me you can. I have a few people over time contact me to be penpals and I haven't been able to contact people much because of my trips to the land of make believe. So here is is:
I went to apply at a thrift store today to be a doation center attendant. Can you believe that? I thought it might be better than putting a lot of pressure on myself.
I just heard that I can move into the shared townhome on August third. Yikes! I haven't given notice where I am yet. So I must buy boxes and get some money together to hire movers. I will have to sell or donate my bed because the rooms are already furnished. I will donate my dining table to a friend. I guess I am really moving there. I haven't met my roommate yet.
Over the weekend I hung out with a friend who told me that I am too negative about myself and that that is a turn off. Also, she said that I have anger issues. I couldn't say much to her after that. I was stunned. I internalized it. She said that even in my silence I am negative. What in the world does that mean? So I was sorry I was with her. I didn't give her any criticism; but I could have. Sometimes friends sort of piss me off and I just let them breath a while. I mean I put the relationship on hold.
So I wound up meeting the guy from the chat line last Monday night and he was nice; but we aren't speaking anymore. We were attacted to one another; but somewhere something went wrong and he didn't call again.
I am trying to find something exciting to do with a friend this weekend and don't know what that could be. We are tired of movies and dinners and I would really like to go to a concert; but she doesn't like to be a crowd that large. I am wondering if she would enjoy a museum. I am going to ask her. Her twelve year old daughter might join us.
I wonder if I am the only one who has a lot of memories from periods of mania? Some of my memories are really funny and some are painful. But I miss the fearlessness I had then. Not the dangerous part; but the part about being myself and plain outgoing. Now I have lost my umph and I am quite deflated. I hope that in time that I will regain my power.
There is a story that I wrote that I would love to print up here on this blog; but I am unsure if I am allowed to print the language here that I have in the story. But you know what I think I will do that very soon.
I have been spending a lot of time alone lately for one reason or another and I am not feeling well. I went to my job interview last Thursday and discovered that this man's house was five miles away from the bus stop and all uphill. So I explained to him that there was no way I could do the job. I have another job interview for this Thursday as some sort of a caregiver or 1:1 for children. I must pass the test and interview first though.
I was invited to a friends house on Sunday to swim; but she didn't call me to confirm so I am a little upset with her. I wound up going shopping for clothes. I was supposed to have had a blind date today; but the guy flaked out. It has been a losing battle lately.
I have a mouse in my apartment and am trying to get rid of it. I got a mousetrap but the little thing is too smart to fall for it I guess.
Disgusting if you ask me. If I had a cat sleep over one night I bet it would be gone.
I want to see the movie Evening next. I considered going today; but I got too damned depressed. SO far I have no plans to go to the Hollywood Bowl. Maybe I will meet someone on this chatline to go with.
Now all I have is not enough
can't forget what I've lost
can't find enough love
to mend my torn patchwork.
This tragic flaw
left me wide open like a boxer
with one blind eye.
Love is illusive like
flowing water slipping
through my fingers.
Can an arcangel heal me?
100 pages is the suicide note
listing all the reasons why.