The story of Ricky and Lisa started well before I arrived in Summit. Lisa was a 22 year old married mother of two, in the ward for yet another suicide attempt. Ricky was your typical fat, greasy fucked up looking mama's boy: 40, living at home, no job, no chance in life.
He was discharged 3 days before I was brought in. He apparently fell in love with Lisa. I’m guessing she was the first girl who ever was nice to him, because once he was discharged, he spent literally ALL DAY calling the payphones asking for her. From the time the phones were turned on after breakfast to the time they were turned off for lights out, like clockwork almost every call would be Ricky asking for Lisa.
My first day into this stay I picked up the phone and Ricky (I had no idea who he was at this point) asked if Lisa was there. I put the phone down and went around the floor looking for someone named Lisa. Once I found her and told her she had a call, she went over and picked it up. I don't think I've ever seen someone turn ghostly pale so fast. After about 20 minutes, she hung up and came and found me. We talked for a few minutes, exchanged names and whatnot and I was soon told the story of Ricky.
"Please don't ever give me the phone for Ricky again" she said. "He's fucking scary in love with me and I don't know how to handle it"." Just tell him to fuck off and stop calling" I told her. "I can't, I'm too nice" was her rather feeble reply. "Ok, no problem" I replied. "Can I fuck with him when he calls then?" I asked. "He's not very stable, just tell him I'm in group or sleeping or in the shower whenever he calls" was her answer. Now, I'm not the type of person who follows silly instructions like that. If someone is avoiding phone calls from someone, I feel it's my duty, no, my God given right to fuck with them in anyway I see fit.
About 45 minutes or so later, one of the phones starts to ring. I had a feeling it was Ricky, and I was right. "Hi, is Lisa there?" "Is this Ricky?" I asked. He warily answered " Yeah, why?” "Well Rick" I began "The thing is this. You’re fucking creepy and scary and she doesn't really want to talk to you ever again" "Bullshit" was his response. So I hung up on him. The phone rang again. I put on a Jamaican accent.”'Ello?" “Hi, is Lisa there?" he asked. "No mon, Lisa dun wanna speak to you ever again mon. Stop calling" and I once again hung up on him.
I had a feeling he was on to my pathetic excuse for an accent, so I decided to enlist my new friend Sherry in my battle. Let me tell you a little bit about Sherry. Sherry was about a year younger than me, really cute, and really evil. She had about the worst temper I've ever seen on a girl, and an even worse mouth, much like my truck driver father, so it was almost guaranteed that we would get along.
"Sherry, you up for a little phone fun?" I asked her. " What do you have in mind?" she replied. "Do you know Ricky?" "Ricky the asshole who just got discharged and keeps calling for Lisa?" Apparently Sherry knew Ricky. "Yeah that's the one" I replied. "I fucking hate that guy" was her response. "What’s the plan?" Right then and there I knew this was not going to be a boring stay. And I was sooo right. "Well, every time he calls, let's fuck with him" I said. She agreed it was a good idea. The next time we heard a phone ring, we ran like hell to be the ones to pick it up. She beat me to it and picked it up. “Hello?" she answered. "Lisa? Let me check, is this Ben?" she asked. “Lisa’s husband? Oh Ricky, hi it's Sherry. Yeah I'm doing well. Listen, she hates you and wants you to die you stupid motherfucking asshole".
At this point I started cracking up laughing. "No, really, stop calling you fucking retard. Why don't you go slit your wrists you cocksucker?" and she hung up. Sure it was mean, but it was also funny as hell. So, the rest of the evening goes by rather uneventfully. Me, Lisa, Sherry and some dude named Fred played spades until lights out. The next day after our first group, we hear a new patient is coming in. New patients are always a big spectacle, just for the fact that we want to see if they're cool, hilariously fucked up, or total dicks. In this case, it was worse than I could have ever imagined.
"Oh my God" Lisa exclaimed as the wing doors opened. “What?" Sherry asked. Then she turned to look. “Holy fuck, that's Ricky" she yelled. She started running around the room laughing her ass off until one of the MHA's yelled at her. Ricky saw Lisa sitting next to me on the couch with her head on my shoulder and freaked out. He was taken behind the nurse's station for his check in, when we heard a lot of commotion and yelling. Ricky, in his rather desperate grab for attention, had decided he was going to kill himself in front of the staff and Lisa. He proceeded to attempt to strangle himself, right there at the desk.
Now, just about everyone knows this is impossible, as even if you were able to make your self unconscious from this, as soon as your hand fell away from your throat, you would start breathing again. But not Ricky. Ricky tried to strangle himself about 5 times during the check in alone. He was put on 1 on 1, and prohibited from even sitting in the same area as Lisa once Sherry so helpfully informed them that he was a crazed stalker who came back just to see Lisa, and that Lisa was afraid to tell them. They had known something was up, between all the phone calls we hung up on, and the look on Lisa's face when she saw Ricky. Lisa was actually discharged a day early, just because Ricky was there. Now, Ricky was stuck there with just me and Sherry. Sherry mercilessly harassed Ricky until the day I left, pretending to choke herself every time she saw him. I almost felt bad for the poor bastard. Almost. It's hard to have much sympathy for someone who fake attempts a suicide just to get back into a hospital because he's in love with another patient after a week of meeting her.
The worst part of this story comes the day before I was discharged. Ricky, now off of 1 on 1, decided he would kill himself again. With a pillowcase. In the day room. Which is directly in front of the MHA station. Of course, he was seen immediately and tranq'd and put back on 1 on 1. About 20 minutes later, I see Sherry walking past the MHA desk and they're trying extremely hard not to laugh. I get up off the couch and walk towards her. She had also taken her pillow case and wore it around her neck, but she was singing “My name is Ricky; I have a pillow case gack gack gack" After a few minutes, they made her remove the pillowcase, but it was till god damn funny to me.
The rest of the night and morning I was there, nearly every sentence we said ended in "gack gack gack" " Well, I'm going home today gack gack gack" " You lucky bastard gack gack gack" And so ends the story of Ricky...gack gack gack.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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