Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Okay, so it was the Academy Awards, not the Emmy's. That's the Oscar's, right?
I'm still making my way around to the pudding...
I kinda felt like Hannibal Lechter, all strapped in, propped up at an angle on the stretcher. I was taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose and checked in. It's strange, you think you know what's going on, but you don't, exactly. I have memories of things there-- people there. But the thoughts, racing as they were, twisted everything into a more psychotic cocktail.
The stupid thing was that they told me to just "sit tight" and wait. For what, I don't know. So my mind tried to figure it all out. Like it was a big game. I was the rat in the maze, and I had to find the cheese. Or the pudding.
I was shown to a large waiting area, like a cross between a hotel lobby and an airport gate. There were couches and chairs but no magazines or television. Not that I could have kept my attention on an article or tv program for more than 15 seconds.
Once I was in this "living room" of sorts I noticed a few other "inhabitants" who were standing, sitting, or lying down. There were workers walking through quite regularly, but they had purposes that didn't involve me. There was a security guard sitting at a desk to one side of the room, over by the entry door, which was assumed to be the exit as well. All of the patients were asked to stay on the far side of the black line that was painted on the tile floor in between the guard's desk and the "living/waiting room". Anytime somebody started to wander over the line, the guard would remind that person to stay on the other side of the line.
I started to recognize my cohabitants as people I had already met in my life. The woman lying down on the couch attempting to sleep looked a lot like the woman from the chiropractor's office I had been going to. A thought as innocent as this soon morphed into some elaborate relationship that involved us sexually, criminally. I thought the reason we were both here in this holding tank was because the authorities were sorting out all of the criminal details of the horrific transgressions of the madman-- as if I were Charles Manson and she was one of the minions. But as soon as these thoughts would develop, I was distracted by new thoughts. Nonetheless, all thoughts set up the possibilities to build upon later. And so it would happen.
There was another male that reminded me of a friend from grade school. My mind rapidly concocted that he was about the same age as me and could well be my old friend. I determined that he must be a detective-- he wore a badge, I think, but was in plain clothes. I tried speaking with him several times, but he was working on something that didn't involve me. I was overzealous though, and got too close to him such that he yelled at me. "Don't touch me, Michael! You gotta stop touching me!" I apologized but still held on to the idea that we needed to communicate. What, I haven't a clue.
As time passed, there was more and more activity. At least, it seemed to me. Perhaps it was just my mind cranking up and whirring like a top. As I got more information to augment my schemes, they interwove and rippled my reality. I soon thought that I had super powers, and I revisited the criminally insane scenarios. There were several authorities-- police, nurses, attendants-- and I would speak to any of them. And I would speak out of all sides of my mouth, trying to be discreet about the information that I knew they would be impressed with... That I was providing as an informant, someone on the inside, taking great risks to talk to them.
Nobody seemed duly impressed, but this didn't deter me. My vigor for my work was endless and voracious. I was the social butterfly of the group. Flitting from ear to ear, as if collecting and allocating nuggets of pollen.
At some point I caught the eyes of another patient. She didn't speak a word, only stared at me intently. I moved towards her, and she motioned with her head toward the wall to her right. There, where she had pointed, was a phone. It was as if she were showing me the way.
I moved to pick up the phone, but she then moved closer. Now she used her words. "You can use the phone if the nurse says you can." Or something like that, I imagine. What I remember isn't specific, but I think that I was swept up in the drama of my own thoughts such that I felt she was passing me a secret token that would allow me access to another dimension in this riotous game.
I tried talking to another attendant, drawn to him because, of course, he looked familiar. He was working in the medication booth. I asked if I could have some drugs. He said no, that I needed to calm down and get real before I would get any drugs. It was from him that I first heard the talk about me detoxing from alcohol. I didn't remember being drunk when I got in there, but he said that I was admitted with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit (for driving, I guess. But I hadn't been driving. Or drinking, for that matter. I hadn't had a drink in over a day, and that had been just one beer...) So I was being treated like a detoxing alcoholic.
Now, I don't know to this day if they flubbed that; if they mixed up some of my records with somebody else's, or if they just figured that was what was wrong with me from the symptoms I was displaying. But it's an interesting piece of the puzzle that I may never figure out.
My psychosis advanced in this methodical, steady way. After some time, my active mind needed to get my body active. I began playing games, running around. I kicked off my slippers and tried to break dance. I still hadn't slept more than a few hours in the last several days, so things were coming undone. Thankfully, I kept the rest of my clothes on.
But the activity only brought more stimulation. I continued my "work" by following my mind's whim, identifying all people familiar, and imparting "knowledge" on anyone who'd listen. And even those who didn't want to listen.
I soon was acting in a way that was making other people uncomfortable. A team of attendants was called in and set forth on collecting me. They explained that I was making others uncomfortable and they assisted me to my own private room. I pretended to struggle and screamed for the audience, slipping in words for the staff at just the right volume and timing. I interpreted the whole scenario as a way to escape, or that I was actually being escorted out. All part of the game, again.
I was strapped into place on a bed and the lights were turned off. And soon, thankfully, I slept.
Next: Transferring to the Place of the Pudding