me and september 28 – sleep needed (part 03)

we stepped inside of the building that was marked ‘neuro-psych clinic.’

the waiting room was full of people. we went through a metal detector, and the security guard took my cigarette lighter.

‘it’ll be up here at the desk if you need it,’ he told me.

and then the waiting game begins. hours pass. i was sick. i was exhausted but fucking wired. i thought about the fact that at that point i had been awake for nearly thirty hours and in that time i had put nothing in my stomach except for my medication, some beer, and some potato chips. i felt like i could vomit. every twenty minutes or so it would hit me so hard that i had to sit near the bathroom, just in case. i wasn’t sure anything would come up. i had that awful acid burn in my throat and every time i would burp or cough i would just get sicker. i was so tired. i needed to pass out. i at least needed to lie down.

but no fucking way. not in that filthy waiting room.

hours.

every now and then i would get up and go outside to smoke what might have been my final cigarette for days or weeks. i had no clue.

hours.

it must have been around four in the afternoon or so when they called me back.

the lady was asking me all the typical questions that come with a being admitted into a psych unit. and i answered them all the best that i could. i was so fucking sleepy and medicated and at times i swear she was standing next to me, and her eyes and teeth were enormous and frightening and she was screaming the questions directly into my ear so that i didn’t miss a fucking word.

‘areyousuicidalrightnow!? whatmedicationsareyoucurrentlytaking!? canyousignthesefourthousandformsforme!? amibeingtooloudrightnow!?’

at some point, she seemed satisfied, and sent me back out. this time to a smaller waiting room where i only sat for about an hour before she called me into what looked like a large holding cell for the patients. these were people who were waiting to be transferred elsewhere. one was going somewhere upstairs. one was being sent to west oaks.

i am in front of a nurse, and a tech.

and they lead me into the bathroom.

they take my belt and my shoelaces, which i expected.

i had to lift my shirt to my neck and turn around in a circle. then i had to drop my pants to my ankles and turn around in a circle. then i had to remove my shoes and socks and show them my feet, which was kind of weird.

they seemed satisfied.

i asked if i could lie down.

they pointed to a couch in the corner. it was hard plastic and maybe three feet long. i didn’t care. i couldn’t even think about who might have sat on there before, who might have shit their pants there before, who might have passed out drooling there before. i didn’t care. i curled up on it and slept for maybe an hour or so before they were waking me up to see a doctor who asked me what my diagnosis was and then repeated the million plus questions that the lady before had asked me. i was so groggy. i just wanted to get back to that couch. finally she let me and i slept for maybe forty-five minutes before i was being woken up so i could eat something before i went upstairs. i told the tech that i didn’t eat meat, and she rolled her eyes at me. they gave me a tray that had a fruit cup, a cardboard milk, and a few pieces of lettuce with some shaved carrots. this was called a salad.

‘do you need more?’ she asked me.

i was afraid of what ‘more’ might be.

‘um. what else do you have?’

she tossed a plastic bag on the table. ‘cheese sandwich,’ she said.

and damn right she was. two pieces of gummy white bread with a single piece of cheese between them. and a packet of mustard.

i almost threw up looking at it.

a guy wandered up to me. he walked like a hunchback and he had a giant smile on his face.

‘canihaveyourcheesesandwich?’

‘what?’

he repeated himself.

‘um…please.’ i gave it to him. his huge smile grew bigger.

‘mustardtoo.’

definitely.

i ate my fruit cup. it was delicious.

and then they took me upstairs.

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~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2012/09/28.

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