Sunday, April 17, 2016


Washington, D.C.
The Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial.
The Washington Monument.
And Sibley Hospital.
I was told by an accompanying psychiatrist and the Peace Corps nurse that I would be here only for observation.
That sounded ominous to me, but I smiled my acknowledgement (certainly not my approval.)
I signed some papers (I guess to give permission to everyone to do anything that they wanted or had to do to me).
I said goodbye to the nurse and Mr. Psychiatrist.
In London he had asked me to tell him what some riddles meant to me: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss; People Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones; and others I forget).
I don't know if I gave him the correct answers.
But apparently not.
I "checked in" at Sibley.
I was on the Ninth Floor, which is (I guess) the traditional floor on which psychiatric patients stay.
I sat down in a room with a jolly fellow named Sarge.
He asked:
"Why are you here."
I said that I didn't know.
Sarge said:
"You'll be out of here in no time."
I soaked in a bath, and then took a shower.
I was on one side of the ninth floor where IN/OUT patients had rooms.
On the other side were patients who were too dangerous to have permission to leave their side of the floor or to leave the hospital.
Remember the movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson?
I did the same thing that Jack did: I pretended to swallow my medication, but then threw it down the toilet.
My medication was called Thorazine and it made me feel terrible.
So I stopped taking it.
But that didn't stop the public announcements TO COME AND TAKE YOUR MEDICATION.
I met some interesting people.
I met a relative of William Faulkner (a niece I think).
Then there was a lawyer employed by the U.S. government.
He said that his insurance paid for him to come here, and he came to meet and talk to interesting people. He said it was like a vacation for him.
One of my neighbors had tried to commit suicide.
I never asked why.
I believe her name was Karen Johnson.
She told me that she had just interviewed the actor Robert Blake for Playboy magazine.
She and I went on a walk one day.
We were planning to go see the movie Coma, but we never made it.
We got lost.
We did stop for a brief visit at the national headquarters of N.O.R.M.L. (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws).
The director asked me if I wanted some herbal tea (no...not that kind), but I said no.
She walked to the back with the director.
As I looked out the big window of the office, I watched as a plainclothes policeman took out a police dog from the back of his truck.
They didn't come into the office.
Karen and I finally left, and returned to the hospital.
Another time I took a walk with a very sweet elderly woman.
I think she told me the same thing as the lawyer: she came here to relax!
It was hard to believe!
She told me that Michael Fox lived next to her.
Not Michael J. Fox.
This Michael Fox wrote books about cats.
Anyway, I went with her to a restaurant.
I remember that I ordered a Reuben sandwhich and some kind of mixed drink.
When we finished our lunch, she had to go somewhere else, and so I caught a bus to return to Sibley.
I remember that the Denver Broncos were playing in the SuperBowl (1978).
A radio on the bus had the game on.
Suddenly, I felt horribly sick, and needed to get off of the bus.
I asked the bus driver to stop because I was about to throw up.
He did, and I immediately did so in some bushes.
I was quickly released from Sibley Hospital when I started turning yellow from the Hepatitis that I had.
If you ever want to get out of a psychiatric ward quickly just get hepatitis.
I went to my mother's home to recover from my Hepatitis and to gain some weight from her home cooking.
But I liked my 32'' waist so much that I didn't want to eat too well.
One day I visited a friend in a hospital.
But she was in the hospital to have her appendix removed.
In her room the TV was on and at a low volume, but I could still hear Walter Cronkite say in his indelible voice:
"Today President Daud, president of Afghanistan, was killed..."
Mr. Cronkite also announced the suicide of Freddy Prince.
It was Afghanistan's first coup which made Russia feel it was necessary to intervene and invade.


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