Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happydale revisited Part 1

I woke up on the floor. It was a van floor, with blue shag carpet. I looked up and a lady standing, a stocky stoic looking woman there told me I tried to kill myself. I couldn’t believe it. Was that from driving the car at 80 miles an hour while stoned on weird chemicals? Could it be that game of chicken I played in the street or those knives I tried to juggle? Could it be the time I tried to stab myself with a serrated knife just for fun? It must have been something.
I soon found myself on the secret spy wing of Happydale. This time it was me—not my friends but me in the ward.  Of course Happydale is a place of hope and lively experiences. Yet it was boring at times. I was in the wing where they brought the secret spies, such as agent 86, when he was not himself. Supper secret spies were brought here for Post-traumatic Stress Disorders. This place was so secret that friends and relatives were told that their loved ones where not here when asked about.
The building looked like a fortress with grey walls and razor wire on top. The rooms were colored white, the beds looked like army cots and the place was locked tight, except for this strange courtyard where inmates were let out for a few hours upon request.
This was my first day and it was medication time. I knew from my other friends that early each morning, patience would line up to get their regular medication, along with anything new that the doctor on call would describe.  The fist thing I noticed was that my រីទអលិន was not included in my morning meds. I really wanted it. I was used to shooting it early in the morning. But that was not possible here. I could eat it if I wanted to but I wasn’t getting it at all.
I then went out into the day room, or lobby, I don’t know what they really called it. There were lots of books on a coffee table, but I quickly noticed they were all Bibles or religious Bible oriented books. They even had Thomas Jefferson’s Bible. I never realized he put his own best Bible quotes in a book. I started watching the large-modern flat-screen TV and some people were discussing the Bible and whether or not there was any real evidence of Genesis. This wasn’t a religious channel, it was the history channel. I don’t know why people kept watching it. Maybe it was just to see the war stuff.
They gave me a note book to journal in so I jotted down some notes on the other inmates I was in with while I was there.  Most were friendly and I got along well with them.
There was a girl named Isis. She was probably about 30, about as tall as I and she had long blond hair. She usually wore her flowery robe. She was depressed a lot and needed some kind of medication to allow her to sleep and function normally. She kept wanting to try different medications to help her. One night she finally had a dream.
“I had a weird dream last night and the two of you were in it,” Isis said to me and another inmate sitting beside me. “We were all getting older and aging real fast. You had gray hair and lots of wrinkles. Then we all used these leaves to get young again. We just rubbed them on.”
 As with many of us, we discussed the psycho active drugs we were prescribed and how they affect us. When a person is in the loony ward that is normal conversation.
Then there was Jay. She was a young lesbian in her mid-20s. She was a tall thin woman with short red hair. She dressed and looked butch, with a brown flannel shirt. She had a lot of cuts and bruises on her. She told me she got in here buy driving her car as fast as she could then rolled it on purpose.
“What happened after that,” I asked her.
“I got tired of bleeding and called my mom,” she answered.
I began laughing which I quickly realized was a bad thing to do. I was used to laughing at death. I had been in some dangerous situations before and that is how I learned to cope with things.
 “You think that’s funny,” another a tall heavy male inmate said.
“No,” I said quickly. “I didn’t mean that it was funny. It just seemed like a strange story. I wasn’t trying to make fun of her.”
In all honesty I could imagine the phone call—“Hey Mom! Can you come and get me? I’m in my car on this old sand road and I’d like a ride home. I rolled the car and I’m tired of bleeding.”
It did get me to wondering what makes a person as young as her want to check out of this world. In my own pits of depression, I have been suicidal. When I was in my 20s, I took part in risky behavior and dared my own fate, putting my life in danger. I guess that was a little like trying to kill myself, but I never really tried it. Then as I got older my depression got worse and I had thought about suicide, but I was in my late 40s by then.
I can remember a conversation I had last year with a young girl I knew, Carroll, who was in her 20s. She was a slim woman about as tall as I am with dark black hair. She had piercing green eyes. One night at Kerbees we discussed suicide. We probably talked for about an hour before we changed the subject. She said she had tried to do it before. We talked of all the plans we had cooked up for committing suicide. There was what I called the “God Father method.” I character in The God Father II knew he would be killed for testifying against “the family,” so he took a traditional suicide to save face. He got in a warm bathtub and slit his wrist. It is a relatively painless method. When the hit men rushed in to kill him they never fired a shot.
We talked of how people didn’t usually know the correct way to slit there wrist. We discussed using drugs and alcohol overdoses and shooting one self.
“Both of my favorite writers have said that it is not a tragedy to die after 50,” I said. “Mao said people should celebrate when a person over 50 dies and Hunter S. Thompson said 50 years was all he needed. He killed himself at the age of 67.”
 So I have adopted the belief that no one should kill themselves before they are 50. I think if you tried your best in life and everything crapped out and you just don’t enjoy anything, then go ahead and snuff yourself.”
She didn’t wait until 50. She died about one year later, at the age of 29. I had heard it was an over dose of drugs, probably heroin. My friends and I suspected suicide.
To be continued….

Christian Death - Gloomy Sunday

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