Another incident arose, where I needed to once again be hospitalized. This time I was taken by ambulance to Muhlenberg Regional and locked in a "crisis" room in the ER. Having heard very bad things about this place from patients who'd been there before while I was in Summit, I was determined to escape. Escaping from a crisis room and out of the ER is no small feat.
I watched and waited, until I saw an old man standing near the door. It was plain to see he was with someone else, and not actual hospital staff. I tapped at the window and pointed down to the locked knob. He was nice enough to open the door for me, not realizing I was locked in for a reason. I walked quickly over to the exit. FUCK! There was a security guard standing at a podium there. "Where do you think you're going", he asked. "I'm just going out for a smoke; I'll brb" I replied. "You can't leave, now let's go back to the crisis room and not cause a scene, ok?” was his response. I thought it over for a few seconds and tried to negotiate. "How about you take me out for a smoke, then I'll go back? I won't run off, I promise". He told me “I can't do that", so I tried to step around him and go out anyway. He blocked the way and said "Don't make things hard on yourself". At this point I knew I wouldn't be seeing a cig for a long time, so I decided I had to push my luck, and attempt to push by him. What a mistake that was. He grabbed me and slammed me to the wall. I tried to reverse out of his hold when all of a sudden 4 more security out of fucking nowhere. I was, once again, quickly subdued and taken back to the crisis room.
All that I really accomplished with that brilliant maneuver was a bump on my forehead and a faster trip upstairs to the actual ward.
Muhlenberg's ward was the total opposite of Summit. Loud, way too hot and all around rather grimy looking. I was taken and given a quick checkup and placed into a room.
My roommate was a black kid around my age named Kevin. Kevin was a pretty good guy, and we got along well. But Kevin was also a total fucking psycho. One day I woke up to the loudest screaming and cursing I had ever heard, even to this day. It seems Kevin had tried to slip out behind the orderly who was pushing the breakfast cart. He was caught, and dragged back to our room by a huge gang of security guards and MHA's. He continued to fight them, and pissed at being woken up in such a manner, I of course encouraged him. "You aren't gonna take that shit, are you Kev"? I asked. "Fuck that shit", he replied. He took a swing at one of the guards and was dragged to one of the ward's quiet rooms. I didn't know what they looked like at the time, but I would soon find out.
About 2 weeks into my stay, I was just plain miserable. Denying people with emotional problems nicotine is about the worst thing you can do. I was cranky and angry, and my girlfriend at the time was not helping matters. She was constantly yelling at me over the phone to just do what I was told by the staff, which in retrospect was the right thing, but I was bitter at being locked up yet again.
During a particularly heated argument with her, one of the nurses started giving me shit about my yelling. She was right, but between her bitching and my girlfriend still on the phone yelling "See? SEE?” I flipped. I hung up the phone and took the chair I was sitting on and fired it as hard and as far as I could down the hallway. This turned out to be a mistake, because Muhlenberg staff does NOT put up with any shit at all. She yelled down the hall for someone to call security, and yet another gang of rent-a-cops was once again dispatched to the ward. As per usual, I was grabbed and dragged down to the quiet room. This time, unlike Summit, I was stripped down to my boxers and placed in 4 point restraints and given an injection of Thorazine.
Muhlenberg is probably one of the few hospitals who still use that shit, and I can see why. Thorazine turns you into a drooling zombie. Once it kicked in, all I could do was stare at the ceiling and float in and out of reality. Needless to say, I did not fuck with Muhlenberg staff again during my stay.
After about 3 weeks, if you really don't show much improvement, you get moved to Runnells. Runnells was like taking the Muhlenberg patients and sticking them into Summit's ward.
Runnells was truly full of whacky people. There was Ernie, the rocker. Ernie used to sit and rock back and forth for hours while he talked to you. Watching Ernie was damn near the closest you could get to motion sickness without actually being the one doing the moving.
Michael was a funny ass guy, simply due to his paranoia. He would come up to you, ask for a cigarette, then look at it and think you poisoned it. We generally ignored Michael. The funniest was easily Andy. Andy was completely bonkers and decided one day that he was the mayor of Runnells. He would sit and ramble for hours to anyone in earshot about how he was the mayor, and the richest man in the world. He'd also often tell us he had a diamond as big as the entire hospital buried beneath it. Needless to say, many hours of boredom were relieved by Andy's incessant ramblings.
The worst person on the ward though was a small little guy named Rafael. Rafael demanded to be called Obie, and would randomly scream out things like “I did not take her panties off!" Rafael also had the bad habit of hiding in the women's shower room, trying to catch a peek at various butter-troll patients.
One day, Rafael was caught hiding behind the door of a patient named Cebris. Cebris was a loud and angry woman from Guyana. She would constantly rave about Wayne Brady, of all people, about how he was anti black. Cebris was also widely ignored. Anyway, she found Rafael hiding behind her door watching her through the crack. She flipped the fuck out. She ran over and grabbed the knob and began slamming the door open and shut, effectively fucking Rafael up rather well. Cebris was thrown into the quiet room, and Rafael ended up being transferred to Trenton State, which is a horrible place and I'm glad I was never sent there.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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