I went to visit my roomate in the psych assesment unit last night. It was a bad ending to a long day. A film crew had been set up at my mothers house – some sure-to-be-awful sitcom about a man taking care of his family after death. I liked the streetlamps they put up on the street, and we did get some candy, but still. Effectively locked in a hhouse from 2 in the afternoon till eight:thirty with four hyperactive, badly behaived shriek monkeys is not my idea of being worth twenty dollars and some free candy.
The hospital was empty and creepy. I suppose they always sort of are when there’s no-one in the hallways. Long off-white corridors full of closed doors. Mysterious signs full of abbreviations and odd lettter combinations.
The security gave me directions and escorted me partway there. I’m not sure if he was worried if I would be lost or if I was there to wander. Either option I find amusing, but neither terribly interesting. The nurses at the desk were surprised to see me. I assume visitora are rare at night and never enter with purple tophats.
I was slightly frisked, told to not give anyone my housekeys and led to an alcove with a couch and a TV blaring a war movie. Marshall was sitting absorbed by the men in green jeeps, he started when I spoke.
“Rots your brain you know”
He seemed overwhelmed to see me, but I couldn’t say if he was more stable than he was when he went in. Obsessed with leaving, he was indirect and refused, obliquely, to answer my questions. He could not have spent the past few days in as much ignorance as he professed.
“It was like, until I was strapped down to a bed, I couldn’t hear my voice in my head”
Hand movements accompany everything, and a nurse watches from down the hall. If I’m to find anything out, I’m going to need a medical release, and I have couched my explanation of this to Marshall in the most flattering terms possible. I have lied by omittance, but only just. I need this information, I need to know what’s happening and asking point-blank will get me nowhere.
We walk to the front desk, where his desire to leave flames stronger. Never asking directly, he sidles up to the idea, as if he can trick the nurse into giving him a release. I put on record that we will allow him back into our home and I prompt Marshall to give us confidentiality. To my relief, that is also put in the book.
A man wanders by and brushes his afro, using a wall as if it’s a mirror. Afterwards, as we sit and talk over a game of memory, the same man comes by and tries the same trick on my hat. The fact that Marshall introduces me to his, ‘friend’, does not make me feel any more comfortable. I think that I am lucky that nonchalant is one of my skills.
Today, I called the nurse, and she told me more than anyone else so far. Though they’re giving him Olanzapine, (my detectiving, not hers), they have not diagnosed him with schizophrenia. In fact, they haven’t a diagnosis at all yet. The theory cutrrently running seems to be a mental breakdown relating from malnutrition and stress, though they are uncertain, and still doing tests.
All of this has me worried. His grandmother has phoned, and his aunt. I’m to call them later today, after the doctor has seen him. He is not coming home until I say so. I don’t want this responsibility. I don’t want to be worried about who I live with. This is not my friend, this is not an important person. This is not what I want to be thinking about.