Feverish and indecipherable mumblings tumble from the earpiece of the phone.
“Whoa, P, slow down. I can’t understand you.”
“Take a breath, Buddy. I can’t understand what you’re trying to say.”
A pause while my brain translates.
“No, Honey, you’re not in jail. You’re in Gateway at the stabilization unit.”
There follow more utterances that I cannot decode.
“Please stop talking and listen to me. You are not in jail. You’re in a safe place. I can see from caller ID that you are at Gateway.”
“No, Sweetheart, you are not.”
Wull, they’re gonna pumeinzhail for ahunnrhed days!”
“No, they’re not. I won’t let them.”
“Good. Call me tomorrow when you feel better.”
And thus my day began. Where did yesterday’s progress go? Was there really improvement or did I just want it so desperately that I made myself believe it?
I put down the phone and stared at it for a long moment. Then I picked it back up and punched in the numbers for Gateway only to be greeted by their answering device. I hung up and stared at the phone some more. What to do? The hard truth is there is nothing I can do until someone over there picks up the phone. Then I can’t really do anything. I can only inquire about his condition, which I can pretty much figure out for myself. Would another visit from his father and me help to ground him in reality?
I ache to put my arms around P and squeeze the crazy out of him, look into his precious blue eyes and will the demons out, suck them out through his ears. But I am not god. If I were, this wouldn’t be happening to him.
An hour later the phone rings again.
“Igoh aythunnrhedollus to my name. Greeksareawarahgin, been goinonfoheons. Ahnohgoinahprizion! Scztealinmaclothesahgin. Kizonnahbeaschdoinheroin. Yesch. Hishiplayzapaininmuhass.”
This is my best translation: I’ve got eight hundred dollars to my name. The Greeks are at war again, been going on for eons. I’m not going to prison. Stealing my clothes again. Kids on the beach doing heroin Yes. This place is a pain in my ass.”
He rang off with “Iluhyu.”
I immediately called the unit and actually got a person on the line. The man who answered is the intake person who processed P into the facility nearly three weeks ago.
“I’m concerned about Parrish this morning. He seems manic and disorganized and delusional. How so you think he is doing?”
“Well, Ma’am, he’s been moved to a room all by himself because he was up all night disturbing the other patients. The nurses are trying to get him to lie down and rest but he can’t. He’s wandering around talking to anyone who will listen.”
“Has the nurse given him anything to help him rest?”
“I can’t say, Ma’am.”
“I really need to talk to Paul. Is he there?”
“He’s here but not in his office. Do you want me to get him to call you?”
“Yes! I’m very concerned. Please have him call me when he has a moment.”
And thus my day continues. . .
© 2014 cj Schlottman