In the nut house
The ebony pearl colored, chess squared like psychiatric clinic floor, awoke to the steps of the imperative loud yells of the tall, gloomy dressed, priest, never resting nurse. The full content of the pavilion, facing the car lot that led to the mildly busy street, woke to the swarm of the loud chants.
The patients, most of them insane, exited like zombies from their rooms, luxury rooms, for this was, even though lots of chronical patients, quite expensive. Some of them alone, some with caretakers, gave life, crazy life, to the cold marble walls and floor.
I woke up that day, after 2 days of long uninterrupted sleep. ¡. I had no idea where I was and why! ¡I started, like a cassette player, rewinning to guess what had happened, why the heck I was there!.
Cries and a few yells invaded my ears, a rude arrival to the long voice stuffed corridor. It was long ivory wall colored with brown numbered doors on every side; in the middle a noisy living room, a chapel on the far west side, a stair with a marble stiff landing, and from it a first floor, much like the second one, but with a pharmacy to give out the meds.
To the back of the pavilion, opened up a magnolia, bougainvillea, laurel dressed yard with walkways, orange trees, park seats, and a small coffee shop. A house like structure held the library with fairly good literature, and a gym with enough machines for the poor chronical patients to stay both physically and mentally in shape. The yard became mottled in half an hour, after breakfast, as I had a buzzing in my ear, I yet didn’t have the idea of my stay here.
Doctor Martinez came and sent a caretaker shouting my name, ¡as if I was death, darn it I am not death, more dead than death, maybe the shrink will give me a clue!.
-Hello, said the doc,
-Who am I? , he inquired,
-The doctor, I reaffirmed,
Who are you?, Billy,
-What do you feel? , asked in short, simple questions, I don’t know why I am here.
-What do you remember? , he asked frowning,
- I remember my uncle yelling at me, in his kitchen, he was mad about something, but I don’t know.
-You don’t remember what happened next?, no. maybe it will come back to you.
-Are there voices in your head?, yes, they tell me to walk, read, lots of things.
- I am going to give you Risperidone in rather high dosis, you might feel sedated but the voices will begin to disappear, and you might remember why you are here, you are a violent schizophrenic, most schizophrenics are not harmful . You are lucky your family has money I´ll give you that much.
His flashy moustache guided or rather expelled me out the small cubicle and left immediately the building in his black, classy BMW.
That morning 10 minutes after the dose of the meds, which name I don’t remember, I felt a blinding light with something heavy that slowed me down, like a shut down, not letting me do almost anything but read a little Foucault, the story of madness in the classic epoque.
Slowly getting acquainted with the folks in there, not talking very much, thinking that they rather psychotically knew more than me of what I had done. Was I being archaically punished like count of monte cristo, what did I do wrong?. However I insisted in my head that soon I will be rescued, in part because I couldn’t stand the screams in the darn hall. I came from smoking 5 cigarettes a day to a pack and a half in the blink of a blind eye, they sold cigarettes at the coffee shop. My mother would bring money, to buy things, leaving it at the reception room. Yet I couldn’t receive visitors. Neither did I know why; did I do something really wrong?
I just made one friend in the hall, a system analyst who smoked even more than me; skinny, malnourished, but only because he refused to eat, dark skinned man.
As slowly as I spoke because of the meds, we would have rather long conversations, in the yard seats, about certain philosophers, Aristoteles, Nietzsche, Marx, etc. He was a tad nazi, but not a all out fanatic, he just denied that it was possible of the nazis having murdered that many Jews He loved every word Nietzsche spoke, or rather wrote, spoke to the whole Iran.
-Bill, somebody from a far yelled at me, the doctor is here!!
I entered the room and there was my mother weeping, my doctor frowning like always and the door shut.
-Bill, do you know why you are here?.
-¡You stabbed your uncle nearly to death that day you told me, he barely last week got out of the hospital, he almost bled to death in the blood stained kitchen! but don’t worry, we will take you to a better place, if your mother can pay it you can go.
- No more yelling, a good quiet place where you can read in harmony in a monk like atmosphere and spend some time, a rather long time, since you almost went to jail.
-You are schizophrenic and that’s crucial you know, you will be treated by the shrink at the new place, speaking like in a rather joyful end of the patient doctor relationship. Martinez didn’t like him very much according to the rather tone he had.
My mother more tranquil and a tad of a smile on her face took me driving smoothly to a new clinic, rather a group home. I got a single room, better food, internet, there was a computer and a warm welcome, all they told me was to behave and everything was going to be fine.
Author Notes: to all the people in the health area, risking their health to the sickened