Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Intake (Blogophilia 27.5)

The clock ticked in the silence.  The white face and black numerals in stark contrast against the padded wall. Or were they navy?   It looked like any other wall clock.  But, it wasn’t. It mocked him, laughing at his weakness.  Did it have to be so precise, detailing every second of the fucking day?  Absently, he rubbed the bruise on his head.  Who cares? There is no tolerance of error in today’s world.   He wondered if he looked at it long enough it would melt into something Picasso or Dali would have painted.

A laminated table with two chairs sat in the middle of the room.  His ankle is tethered, but his hands are free. A small bottle of water sits untouched on the table.  It could have just as well been a Nippitatum or Maderized wine.  It probably had some sedative to make him talk easier.  All there was to do was waiting.  A darkened window is set in the wall behind the empty chair.  He notices a small shadow moving on the other side of the glass.

When had come to, he was in a room with only the gurney and an IV tree in it.  The painted concrete blocks hurt his eyes. His arms ached from the bindings.  A trussed pig waiting for the fire. The face of a large black woman came through the fog humming a gospel song, her breath briefly awakening him. Looking at him as if he were an animal in a cage, she switched out the IV bottles.   The world became blurry again as she slipped of the edge of his vision. 

His thought swam back to when they brought him in.  He remembered a struggle on the gurney to try to escape and he felt a needle go into his arm.  Visions of Serj Tankian‘s face plastered with Demonseed tattoos danced a volta behind his closed eyes. A Rach barked incessantly in his ears.   Flashes of light and sound had surrounded him. And that smell of the Space Shuttle reentering the earth, it’s ablator glowing from the friction.

He awakens again and several men come in.  Loudly, they command him to stay perfectly still.  Two of them pin his arms as a third loosen the straps.  He is compliant and allows them to set him in the wheelchair.  The restraints are refastened.  A tunnel of white punctuated with brown patches flow by his side.  He floats into the hard chair and is tethered.   After a while, the door to the room opens again. 

A grey haired nurse enters. She looks her report and glances at the figures on the other side of the glass.   The feet and wings of an angel peek out from under her sleeve.   Jeremy knew the game.  What goes on behind the screen of the eyes?   Is he lying for some reason?   And what does she think of him? It is the pachyderm in the room.

The interview is recorded for posterity.  More than once, there have been attempts to subpoena them for court.  But up until this point, the client privilege has prevailed.  With a deep breath, she begins the interview.

“You are Mr.  Jeremy Allen?  Her manner is abrupt and she is in a hurry to get the interview done.   

He nods sleepily.  She makes a note and continues.

“How do you do, my name is Angela and I will be conducting a short assessment interview for our records.  We have your date of birth as November 26, 1984, is that correct?”

“Yes.” It sounds more like an ideophone  through the prescription haze than a real word.  Checking off the item, she continued.

“Do you know where you are?”

He takes a sip of the water and considers his options.  Won’t hurt to answer.

 “Some kind of hospital, I think.”

“Yes, you are at Regional Mental Health.  Do you remember how you got here?”

Jeremy grows restless and angry.  He thinks this bitch thinks she can control him.  How much cooperation with the enemy?  Anything he would say, would likely come back to haunt him.  The nurse grows impatient.

“Mr. Allen.  Do you know how you got here?”

He stares at the clock.  It shimmers and warps and its ticking becomes louder.  The window seems to be set in front of the wall.

“I … was in an altercation last night.  This girl complained that I … uh… held her against her will.”  He stopped and shrunk down in the chair.  “I remember the police coming and Sandra breaking free.  There was a …crash and then flames.”  The eyes narrowed. “The bastards burnt my house down.”

She writes this on her pad without reaction. 

“They shouldn’t have done that?”

“No.  I wasn’t hurting anyone.” He shifts impatiently in the chair.

“Did you have a weapon?”

“No.  It was just me and I wanted them to go away.”

Attempting to distance himself from the situation. Angela has seen it before.   He’s more oriented than most, but she goes through the questionnaire just to make sure.

“What is today?

A bit lost, he guesses.  “Tuesday.”

She notes he’s lost a day.  Not surprising since he’s been sedated since admission. 

“It’s actually Wednesday.  You have been asleep for about 36 hours.  What city are we in?”


“Who is the President of the United States?”

“An imposter.”  Jeremy’s eyes grew wide and inflamed at the question.  They were getting too close. 

Angela picked up on the change of expression.  She shifted her weight very slightly.
“Can you say his actual name?”

“Barack Hussein Obama.  Agent of Al-Quaeda.”   It came out as a low growl. 

She sighed and nodded towards the window.   He is pretty dangerous.   Drugs might help him in the short time.  But his level of anger can only be resolved with long term therapy.  And there wasn’t a snowballs chance of that happening.  More notes.

“When was the last time you saw a doctor for a physical exam?

Jeremy decided that was enough. 

“I’m through talking.  I want my lawyer.”

“Mr. Allen, I ‘m not the police and we need this information to properly assess your …”

Jeremy jumped across the table to try and grab the nurse.  The ankle tether caused him to sprawl out on the floor.  She jumped back and slipped out the door.  The large men came in quickly.  Jeremy screamed as they hit him twice with the taser and jabbed the syringe deep into his vein.  The Atavin only took thirty seconds and it was over. 

The men loaded him in the wheelchair and took him back to his room.   

Friday, August 24, 2012


To the obvious
Red elephant
In the room

Twenty foot tall
Ignoring it
You just plug in
To your world

An opportunity missed
Because it's strange
The Ramones you 
Would rather hear

This time won't 
Come again
Learn now
To accept it all.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cheese (Blogophilia 26.5)

Who moved my cheese?
I’ve been running
Through the cubicle farm
Conquering the Labyrinth
Of office politics
Trying to find MySpace
On the network
Only to find it
It replaced by
The Andromeda Strain.
Or was it
The Small Magnetic Cloud
This is what happens
When I don’t eat
My Milky Way. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Off the Cuff (Blogophilia 25.5)

In the news
Are the wuthering lows
Of hate
And perdition.

Not coming out 
Of my shell
Once Bitten
More than once
Has made me shy.

The nurse doing intake
Asks my name
Confirms my birthdate
And asks
Why I am here.

I cracked, you see
Lashing out
At the hate and anger
With what they understand

The same.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Padraic out west (Blogophilia 24.5.2)

Troubadour and troublemaker
Shillelagh at his side
Into town he rode
Looking for a guide

He from the auld sod
Not knowing the space
Came right up
On the barrel race

Spirited contest it was
Until a sorrel found
A washout
Hard against the ground

The pony did stumble
And threw the Jock
With everyone wondering
Would he get back to the dock?

The stranger dismounted
From his steed
To address
The Jockey’s need

In a brogue he asked
“Are ye hurt?”
The Jockey blinked
“Not at all, you Jerk”

“Stand a little
Out of the sun. 
I can’t see
The lady’s bun.”

So, the Irishman
Remounted his steed
Knowing again it never pays
To do a good deed. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Musings....(Blogophilia 24.5)

I was working on a poem for this week's entry and I decided to stop.  I may finish it later and put it up, but it occurred to me that the whole point of the topic is tossing an arrogant insult to someone in power.  The whole quote "Stand a little out of my sun." is Diogenes adroitly telling Alexander the Great he wasn't so great and that he would bow to him.  How many times have you wanted to say that to your boss?  To your significant other?  That I don't have to be the subservient one? Most jobs are like a Bronc busting event anyway.  The conditions are constantly shifting while you hang on for dear life.  And there is always an audience of screaming baboons there wishing for your fall.

The best you can hope for is to be a Troubadour and a Troublemaker.  Part of you hypnotizing the crowd with your voice while the other part throws the obstacles back at the monkeys and politicians in your way. 

Off the top of my head, I remain

Another Government Employee. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Before I met my wife, I dated a girl named Julia.  Her memory had been triggered in me by the entry in my desk calendar for yesterday, which was her birthday. The calendar is Worse Case Scenarios and How to Prepare for Them., and the entry was "How to Survive If Your Car Careens Down a Mountainside". How we met and began dating is one of the greater adventures in my life. The beginning was not unlike running off a cliff blind.  

It was in the spring of 1981. I was going to college, acting in Community Theater and working at Home Depot.  It was a crazy schedule, but I was young and thrived on the lack of sleep. One weekend, I was invited by my best friend Karl to a cast party for a players group that had put on a production of Brigadoon at North Georgia College.  \It would be a big event and I would meet some neat people.  He said everything would be happening Saturday and drive on up.  

Because of scheduling conflicts at work and some car issues, I wasn't able to get out of Atlanta until after lunch. The drive up GA 400 was pretty uneventful and I arrived at Karl's trailer in Dahlonega about 3:30PM.  He met me at the door and said he had the dates of the party screwed up.  The play and cast party had taken place the night before and I had driven the 60 miles up from my office for nothing.  After I ripped Karl a new one for screwing up, he said he would make it up to me.  A friend of his from the players group was staying at his family's lake house about 15 miles out of town.  We could go there with my case of beer and party all night.  I did ask him if he had called the guy before we left.  He said it wouldn't matter if we showed up, so come on let's go.  I agreed and we drove out to the lake house.

When we arrived, we were met by Karl's friend Buck who showed us inside.  It was a nice cabin.  Open floor plan.  Two bedrooms downstairs.  Sleeping loft upstairs.  Nicely appointed.  And sleeping on the sofa was a rather large girl, Julia.  She had a far too good time partying the night before.  Prior to passing out, she had gotten sick and had messed up her clothes.  Buck gave her a T-shirt to cover up with and tucked her in so she could sleep it off.  I know better than to wake a sleeping drunk, so I walked quietly by  her and took a seat at the kitchen table.  

As Buck and I started talking, it became apparent we had a great deal in common.  He was a bit older than me, but had grown up in the area of town.  Our parents had also grown up near each other in Savannah and were well acquainted with each other.  We also shared an interest in photography and nature. One of the better sober conversations I had had in quite some time.  

We had talked for a good hour and a half, when we heard a slight moan come from the sofa. The zombie was arising from the dead.  Karl decided to go over to the sofa and start messing with Julia's hair.  Soon, his hands started drifting to the edge of the blanket.  He was about to rip the cover down when Julia began to loudly yell at him to leave her alone.  I piped up and said: "Karl, act your age and not like a dirty old man!"  Oh, boy. That turned out to be the best pick up line I had ever used before or since.  

When Julia finally regained her balance, she came over to the table and gave me a kiss.  One thing led to another, and that night began a four year, off and on roller coaster of a relationship.  We would date, get close, break up, date other people, get back together, and break up again.  I would answer her panicked calls late at night.  She would come bail me out when I was in trouble.  I learned from her that looks aren't that important.  That you could be short and stocky and still be the most lovable thing on the face of this earth.  I sometimes think we could have made the relationship last had we not been so much alike.  

So, Julia, if you stumble across this, Happy Belated Birthday. I hope you have found happiness where you are and that you will always find your path.  I will always cherish our time together.