Visiting hours are over early, again. You would think that a Hospital in Charleston would understand. Most of my friends are just going to work in the bar right now, and the others in the restaurants are just finishing up. An eleven o'clock curfew does not suit this crowd well.
The younger nurse is back tonight, but she is on the other side of the chicken wire window. I completely missed the changing of the guard. I guess I was asleep, and I'm probably still supposed to be.
The room hasn't changed on me, and I think of how a goldfish sees things. There is still the television by the ceiling to my left, and a smaller screen over my right shoulder. The sound on the rear device is different from the picture on the television, so its just noise to me. Underneath the psych ward window is some shelving, and I have chairs lining the wall on my left for any visitors that may arrive.
As I am staring into the emptiness of the room, I begin to feel the smallness of my bed. It seems likeall of my gear is connected on my right side, and leaning over my shoulder. I try to nudge the equipment over, but it doesn't budge, so I give up and go back to my blank stare.
I give the television another chance and notice someone sitting really close to my left shoulder. A young lanky guy is sitting on what looks like stadium seating. The bleachers are only about three-high, but they start at the same level as my bed. It seems he's here to watch the television, too.
When I start to ignore him, I catch myself getting sucked into delusional status. There is no one here. I am being ridiculous.
I quickly cut my eyes over my left shoulder, and I am correct. I knew it. I tell myself its the detox, and its playing tricks on my mind. While I'm concentrating on that, the contraptions to my right seem more like people. There is a girl and a guy on the bed with me, and they are crowding me, so I give them a good shove with my elbow.
I am beginning to get agitated. I need to get a hold of myself.
Until now, I have never noticed the back of the room has an open hallway on each side. This must be where the two new guys gained entry. The nearest is a pimply faced white kid with a camouflage hat, and his friend is a smiling middle-aged black man. Now, all three are looking at the flat screen.
Are those baseball highlights?
Ugh. They are not here. After I close my eyes, and shake this unwanted company out of my mind, I take a large breath. I'm OK, but what about the girl in the lime-green wool sweater? She has a ginger thatch of hair, and the split-ends cover her face. Nope, someone left their backpack in the green chair. Wrong again. The red-head has someone's purse in her lap.
When I yell at the irritants to get out, I realize that I am losing this battle. I know that they aren't here, but I have led them to believe they are getting to me. I crank my chin down to my chest, and the couple is crowding me off of the twin mattress again.
Now, there is an elf-sized, five piece grrll band on the bottom of the random shelving under the window. They aren't scary elvish, but like Liv Tyler elvish. Elvish? Elvish. Elvish Presley.
I don't hear any music, and the screen over my right shoulder is blaring a beeping sound through the room.
Did one of my IV's come out?
I grab my face and try to block out the noise by putting my thumbs in my ears. That's not helping, and when I slide my hands off of my face, my palms are moist with perspiration.
"Why are you in here! Do you know someone here! No, you don't", I scream.
"This is MY room", I add.
I wave my hands at my nurse, and she acts like she doesn't see me. She is supposed to be on my side. Maybe I can use that phone that's hanging on the wall. Or is it a box? Its a box with a doll in it. That will not do.
Now, the usual creepy guy is here. The little, bald carny is always pestering me when there is any kind of commotion. He's sitting on a bench by my feet, and he has his back to me. He is so nonchalant while he carries on his conversation with the girls in bikini tops. Bikini tops? They brought a hot tub into my room? I am becoming extremely angry.
"Hey, bro. Get up. Get out", I tell him.
I demand that he stops ignoring me, yet he continues on, while the redhead stares at me. I don't kick him, but I can feel his scalp stubble on the bottom of my foot when I shove him. If I can feel this guy, I am not losing my mind.
I snap his snap his head forward again, while I reach over my right shoulder for a pillow. The soft projectile whizzes into the shelving when I sling it like a major league pitcher. Plastic cups fall on the floor, and I shove the couple with my right shoulder.
I have had it when I reach over my stomach for the pillow pinned under my left ribs. I fire the new ammunition at the red-head and the foam rubber accessory falls to the floor without a sound. I quickly reach behind my back, and I sling the last cushion as hard as I can. I am begging when I scream at them.
All of the commotion halts immediately when my nurse opens the door. My last rocket hit the door window while she was turning the latch. She looks at me, and briefly scans the room. After she gathers it all in, she looks up from the pillows.
She seems concerned when she asks, "What are you doing?"
Its like she just doused me with a bucket of water when she asks this because now I am aware of what is really going on.
I quickly draw my hands to my lap.
Of course, there is no girl in the chair. The doll box on the wall is the phone. The band is strewn on the floor in the form of medical supplies. My stalker with the jacuzzi has left me with my bed side table on wheels. There is a low beep coming from the monitor over my right shoulder. Other than that, the room is silent.
"I think my saline has run out," I tell her.
"Yes sir, but you really should try to get some sleep."