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Twisting all the bad things into good

Mar 15, 2012


I never appreciated 'positive heroes' in literature. They are almost always cliches, copies of copies, until the model is exhausted. I prefer perplexity, doubt, uncertainty, not just because it provides a more 'productive' literary raw material, but because that is the way we humans really are.

Jose Samarago

FRIDAY. 9/10/10

            He wasn't as much stumbling as he was falling forward.
            Whether he knew it or not, he made a big entrance around 4.
            This kid was fucked up.
            He was barely conscious.
            I liked his style.

            The tech, Herb, had to help him to a couch.
           "Woah. Look at this guy," Sparky announced.           
           "Brian, stop", a female administrator said.
            The kid curls up the second he hits the couch.
           "Damn, buddy. Take Xanax much?" I say.
           "Is that what he's on?", Sparky asks.
           "If not, he's the most tired person who's ever lived."

            Takes one to know one.
            Herb stands behind the administrator, who is kneeling next to the Cuban kid, who has either just passed out or away.
           "Felip. Felip. Felip", she kept saying. "Felip? Felip? Felip."
            I lean towards Sparky and whisper, "I think his name's Felip."
           "Felip? Felip? Felip. Felip."  
           "How many times is she gonna say his name?"

            Beating a dead horse.         

            Sparky tells her,"You might want to take his pulse."
           "Brian, come on", says Herb.
           "Felip. Felip? Felip?" She turns to Herb. "He must have taken something."
            I bust out laughing.
            They both look at me. I immediately put my head on the table and cover my face with the inside of my elbow.
           "Felip. Felip. Felip?"
            Every time she says it, I laugh harder.
            "Felip! Felip! Felip?"
             I can't stop laughing.
            Then I hear The Voice.
           "Feeleep? Feeleep?"
            I stop laughing.
           "Feeleep? Feeleep?", Viviana keeps repeating.
            I look up with tears in my eyes. "Oh, hell no."
            Sparky points at Viv and says,"Herb. Come on, man."
            Herb tries not to laugh and tells Viv that they have it under control.
           "Felip. Felip".           
            Me and Brian look at each other, shaking our heads.

            Holier than thou.

            An hour later, it's almost time for dinner.          
           "Felip. Felip? Felip. It's time for dinner, Felip. Do you want to eat?"
           "Noooo", he says, with his eyes still closed.
           "I think we should just let him sleep,"she says.
            Ya think?

            When Herb told us it was time to head to dinner, Ken, Sparky, and I got up from the table, and were the first in line. Herb stood at the door waiting for everyone else to fall in behind us. He notices that I'm dressed like a white trashy skank.
           "James, what happened to your jeans, man?"
           "They made me cut 'em off."
           "Who made you cut them off, a tech?"
           "No, this guy", I nod my head at Sparky, "and the girls. The tech, that big guy. He actually did his best, but I would've never let him do it if I knew I'd have to walk around like this."
            Herb laughs and asks Sparky, "Why'd you guys tell him to cut his jeans?"
           "Did you see those things? James looked like a homeless person."
           "Yeah", I say. "Now, I look like a village person."

             Dead ringer.  

            My denim hot pants now make the gash on my left knee visible.
            Herb asks me what happened.
           "I thought I was fighting for my life on a boat, but now I have no idea." 

            Licking one's wounds.

            Friday night felt different.
            We should be doing something.
            Our only option was dominoes.
            I was so bored. After all, I was in Vegas last Friday.
            Having nothing to do made me want to smoke.
            I hate cigarettes. They're addictive.

            I just wanted to do something to break the monotony.
            When the time came for smoke breaks, each smoker would receive one from their packs kept behind the tech counter. Nobody was allowed to share their smokes. A few times, I snuck a few drags from Mikael. Otherwise, I would just go out for the break and walk around the courtyard to stretch my back.
            Being bored made me look forward to meals, snacks, groups, and meds. The only other thing we did was sit around the rec room.
            This was still better than sitting around my bedroom.


            Between games, Loretta asked,"Do you guys like me?"
           "Are you kidding?" DJ asked.
           "Of course, we do", Monica says. "We love you."
            Sparky and I stay out of this one. Ken stays quiet as usual.
            DJ asked,"Why would you even ask that?"
           "Because I don't want to be hanging out if you guys don't like me. I don't want to be annoying like Viviana, and not know it."
            They convinced her that she was just being paranoid. This must have motivated them to do some female bonding, because they went to their room to do each other's hair.
            Sparky liked to think they were diking out.

            It was late Friday night when they decided to stop calling Felip's name, and to call him an ambulance.
            8:30 is late when bedtime is 10.
            As soon as the EMT's arrived, it was clear that the female was running the show. I would have been happy to let her run my show.
           "What's his name?", she asked.
            About six people said, "Felip".
           "Felip, can you hear me? Felip?" She turns and asks the administrative assistant, "How long's he been like this?"
           "Since about four. He was okay when he arrived, but by the time he was admitted, he couldn't stay awake."
           "Do you know what he took?"
           "No. Whatever he took, it was before he got here."
            The EMT asks,"What did you take, Felip?"
           "Nothing", he says."Leave me alone."
           "Felip. We need to know what you took so we can help you."
           "I don't need help."
           "If you don't wanna tell me, the cops are outside, you can tell them."
           "Fuck the cops and fuck you."
           "You'd rather go to jail than the hospital?"
           "I'm not going anywhere."

            He was right.
           They let him sleep.

            Meds were distributed an hour before bedtime.
            Monica tried to teach us how to play a simple card game, but, within minutes, it was more than I could grasp. I was fading out too quick to even Go Fish, so I decided to go to bed a half hour early.

            I've had better Friday nights.
            Not lately though.
            Not in the last year.
            Not that I can remember.


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