The Sly fox sends Mos Def off with words of advice: “Say hello to your mother” is his joke. It is from when Mark Wahlberg said hello to a chicken and and egg on Saturday Night Live and says hey “say hello to your mother” and reminds Nos of the Paul Simon song borne of a soup from a Chinese Restaurant: The mother and child reunion. And didn’t he call her chicken and he was the weasel chasing her about the barn, or bedroom. Oh to be young and free and dumb.
On the ward they encourage you to attend daily work groups in the common room. These appear to be more for controlling the group than doing any actual real therapy, but sometimes the conversations allow patients to do some hard work with each other… And probably this group dynamic is what makes behavorial psychologist cream their pants, but it leads to a sort of resentment among some of the more adept and empathetic patients.
Jeffey is spending hours a day with Michelle ma Belle. No one knows what’s wrong with her. She is withdrawn and morbidly depressed. She cries at the drop of a dime. She is terrified of most of the patients and staff…. particularly the men. I begin to think she was molested. I think she is Hatian or West African because she speaks French with me when I am with Jeffey… when I am alone she won’t talk to me. Jeffey has become her on call therapist and alone at night in the room he is given to ranting about why isn’t he paid by the ward since he is doing the doctor’s and nurse’s work for them when It comes to Michelle Ma Belle. He uses this feeling of entitlment as a excuse to blow off the suggested… but you are clearly scored on how you participate in groups… it is probably quite hard to get off the ward without doing the gourp work. But Jeffey has had enough and who can blame him.
Todays group is about sound and healing and is done by one of those reiki types. She is about four hundred pounds – morbidly obese and the first thought in my mind is “musician heal thyself.”
She plays some new age music whose sound scapes are so clearly inspired by late betles and brian Wilson with a soupcon of Eno, but no one wanted to pay for the rights to the originals and instead we now have pale, derivative imitations and the enormous woman goes about ringing gongs and tuning forks and putting the vibrations to you. The real sounds are fairly amazing if you can get past the New Age Muzak and then she does Rieki on me and I vibrate like Linda Blair possessed.
I freak out Ronald with his Christianity and his OCD
Then we go have lunch.
I am fretting about Verner VonBraun and the rocket Nazis and Pedophiles and Nabakov. The sins of the father I mutter and think of hollywood as a crooked bank laundering bad ideas. But the movies do remind us that everything is a lie, or potentially a lie and maybe beauty is the only truth. The beauty of a great looking lie.
The two faced outer gouter smiles and cries alternatively while Mr. Delicious waits for lunch time. There is nothing to do but eat and figure out a means of escape, The Peruvian is marching the halls again sporting a face of rage. I think he’s going to flip out and kill us all. He is marching and marching like a soldier around the ward. Is he a guard for Sophie, or an assassin? Nothing better to do and growing pig gut sends Mr. Delicious marching right behind the Peruvian. He catches up and marches past and for a brief second the severe face of the Peruvian melts into a smile. Victory deosn’t smell of Napalm, but rather appears in the form of a smile.
The Peruvian speaks of the bands he played drums in and all the little rock bands that were on the scene back in his glory days. He has a list he is composing of all the bands from the Peruvian scene. I don’t know what he is talking about, but the bands have faboulous spansish names. The Incas, the Aztecs, The Bastardos, El Submarinos, etc.
And when the drugs come it like lowering the scope on a diving submarine… down down down and the voices cant get through the foggy water hidden in alps and dessert pyramids. He can see all possible moves on the chess board of his delusion. He dies, she dies, everybody dies in an elaborate auto de fe like Hamlet meats the Grand Inquisitor… or there is the so called Happy Ending in which the Ice Man Cometh… or maybe it’s just happy cause no one got hurt but that doesn’t seem real happy. Rather I like the circus tent glass house concert… the charity ball fundraiser concert with Bowie and Bob and Neil and maybe Bruce. Paid the cost to be the boss. Raise the red tent. No blood but wine, no torn body but bread and you know dancing.
I was coming home in the taxi when I called you and you were already home and getting ready for bed and so I hung up and asked the cab driver where he was from originally and he said, “Egypt” and so we spoke of pyramids, and the Old Testament, and Islam, and Israel and Palestine and terrorism and when we’d exhausted all that we spoke of dogs. He said his pit bull was having a bad allergic reaction to something in the Autumn air, or ground. His skin was all inflamed and the dog took to licking its paws to try and stop the itch. The dog’s paws were now a bloody mess and he’d scratched his belly raw in great spasms of back leg sharp claw digging. They had to put the dog’s head in a huge plastic cone.
“Space Dog,” I said
“Yes, like a space dog, exactly.”
It was nice to agree on something and we whisked through the Brooklyn night home to where I pet the dogs and checked their paws just to be on the safe side.