Monthly Archives: January 2014

Reunited, the doc and I, and no, it doesn’t feel very good at all.

She asked for my name, date of birth; where I thought I was, and why I thought I was there. She was making sure their method of sedation hadn’t loosened any screws already hanging by a thread.

“Excuse me doc, you start off with that? Not even a, ‘How are you sport? It’s been a while. I hope your head feels better soon. How about a tissue to wipe the shit from your eyes?’ ”

I put an emphasis on “Shit”. She detests vulgarities. At least, that was my theory (patients too can have their own theories about the white-coats doing the majority of probing) I just looked for the tick in her face. Just in case it got to her.

She looked at me with wide eyes, giant emerald gems they were, though they looked worried. Then she glanced down at her sleek, polished desk-phone. As if she were deciding whether or not to call in security.

“Did she have security now?” I thought.

Her earlier jovial manner dropped dead. Very clinical. There’s that word again; clinical. Gives me the shakes.

“I’m sorry Francis, I should have been more…”

Queue lengthy pause. “Clinical” perhaps?

“…accommodating. You weren’t exactly taken in under the best of circumstances this time around. Do you remember anything?”

I, a little upset with the wording, fired back.

Last time, this happened in a cozy duplex where I came in semi-willingly. On this occasion, for all I know, some brute dosed me and dragged me in here like an animal.”

“Now Franc…”

“What the hell happened doc? And why exactly am I waking up in front of you covered in what looks like dirt and… is this dog crap? Is this standard procedure?!

I began breathing heavily. I could have handled that… differently.

She was uneasy, I could tell; apprehensive to continue. Her brow furrowed like a concerned parent after learning a beloved child just committed their first petty crime. I didn’t know what I had done to justify special-delivery to her new office, or someone’s office. But it had to be a doozy.
She started to explain the details… They were pretty grim.

“Okay, Francis, fair enough. We brought you here, please, allow me to explain why.”

“Your mom called 911 when you were unresponsive during a phone-call. She said you were frantic, screaming about your dog’s death. And the line went dead.”

She looked at me in a way she never had before: genuine concern, truly worried with what came next. Possibly disturbed even, though I remain the only clinically disturbed person at present. She continued.

“The paramedics found you in your back yard, digging a hole several feet deep. You put your dog next to it; and you, in the trench digging “with purpose” is how they described you. When the crew attempted to get you out after refusing a verbal request, you became cross. You wouldn’t let anyone near the dog or the hole. They told me you were swinging away with the shovel gripped like a baseball bat in your hands. You exclaimed, you insisted on having a proper burial for your dog. All the while taking swings at anyone whom came within arm’s reach. Realizing they may have had a mentally ill person at hand…”

I’m not sure what was broiling inside of me at the time, but it was getting worse.

“Excuse me, again, but, ‘Mentally-ill’ is the best you can come up with? I know I’m fucked, Sam. I woke up imprisoned.”

“You are not in prison, Francis, we are in a Psychiatric Ward….”

Suspicions confirmed.

“…And you are sitting in my new recliner. Don’t you like it?”

I nodded in agreement. It was actually nice. She cleared her throat and continued.

“Now, as I was saying, the paramedics realized they had a sensitive case on their hands…”

I smiled.

“… As fate would have it, by this time your mother had arrived and immediately suggested that I be contacted. Twenty minutes after I got the call I arrived with my new team. Full disclosure: we had to subdue you in a safe manner, Francis. For both you and my team. That meant my new colleague, Dr. Lark, and I had to order and administer a tranquilizer”

“Dr. Lark, the Chief Psychiatrist here offered me a position working along-side her. She was also responsible for your safe transport to this facility”

Safe, safe, safe. All they were worried about was me not croaking so they had something to poke at and still get paid.

As if she had been standing stage-left all this time, just waiting for her cue, Dr. Lark barged in and leaned against the desk next to Dr. Stuttgart, they smiled at each other genially, almost flirtatiously, then Dr. Lark’s focus darted towards me; studying the limp dud in the recliner. The two seemed a tad chummy for colleagues. But lark looked familiar. As if I’d seen her picture somewhere.

“Good evening Francis, it is a pleasure to finally meet you.”

She wore a knit green sweater on this day. Fair-skin, thin-rimmed specs sitting low on the tip of a slender nose. Tiny diamond ear-rings –though ethereal luminescent grains of sand they were –straight, brown hair leveling off at the mahogany desk she sat behind. One of those hand-made beauties with intricate handy-work carved into the trim. The desk was new. That much I had known.

She was trying to ask me something but I was still having trouble hearing her over the ringing in my ears so…

I knew where I was though. It was a typical shrink’s office, clearly not the doctor’s old duplex in Pasadena; house-wife in one partition, shrink in the other.

The setup was similar; calming, creamy, off-white coat of paint on the walls, warm low-lit room, a flower pot on a shelf; with the first tendril of a Violet-to-be, a plush la-z-boy recliner in which my comfortable bum sat, and the sensation my brain was being incubated gently by the warmth of the room to more easily extract breakthroughs.

That’s what the doc gets paid for anyway:  Making the patient feel comfortable while they chip away at mankind bit by bit. Still something seemed off when I sat there. This new place was more… clinical.

Then reality hit me, I was in a Ward. Shadows laced the frosted glass door in a quick step as orderlies, patients and the illustrious masters of dysfunction, the doctors, waltzed by, going through their daily routine; saving minds one poor sack at a time. My thoughts went bonkers.

“God only knows what I’m in for. Electroshock therapy?  Behavioral conditioning? A lobotomy! Do they still do those?…”  on and on and on.

Irrational questions were flooding my mind. All my life I feared Psychiatric Wards; with their mental probing, sedation, trick questions and a questionable promise to uphold your deepest, darkest secrets as “Confidential” The latter part encompasses Shrink’s in general. My past time with Dr. Stuttgart had helped ease the fear a bit. But you pay them exorbitant amounts of money to feed you pills and talk about life. I could have done that in a back-alley of Compton. But she was nice; or knew how to act it very well.

“At least”

I tried to convince myself.

“There’s a familiar face in view.”


I laugh now, that you one day claimed

Your love to resemble a house cat

In such a charming manner that

I thought it meant you aimed

To earn affection from those

You deem adequate and true

Knights preferred over fools.

Yet you, toss men as you do clothes.

With skin soft as the finest fiber

Scrutinized first by Aphrodite

Before laying over lightly

Stretched gently, caressed alluring curves.

And eyes of piercing saphire

Plunge like white-hot daggers

Bursting crimson; you prefer

Seductive slaughter over satire

You lure prey through eyes

Humanity’s great weakness;

The gaze of an enchantress.

No one the wiser, a perfect guise.

Your love is indeed that of a cat:

Trust no one, never forget

‘Lest conditions are met.

You live on, gratis, no one’s pet.

Who knows?

“No one.”

But I want it more, and more

With infinite knowledge

left to explore

Through the doors.

“Then open them”

But you said…

“no matter, break through.

The Search is Life.

A fear of life

Breeds ignorant death”

We call the battlefield a “Theater”
To hide our travesties beneath
Masques, charades, and clever dance.
We call excessive spending
Research and development;
Future planning for trivial affairs.
But Uncle Sam will claim
The critics to be mad
“It’s all propaganda
Every country’s best interest
I assure you all, we demand”
They instruct, we follow.
Blindfolded sacks who
Trust the politicians
Fallacious grins.
Inaction, we perfect.
We groan and moan,
And seem to forget
That “We the People”
Contain leverage unrivaled
By any; be it nuclear, lead or
We the People
Contain the mightiest power:
Use it!

The air at night,

Particulate ecstasy,

Drifts through

Unknowing passerby

In flurries caressing

Internal warfare,

Mental anguish,

Insecurities galore.

It hides us all.


We are equals.

When our Sun

Steals away

Our neighbor’s

Dusky estate

We sit under

The silver moon

We dream of infinity,

Of peace, divinity.

For soon we fall;

As the Sun will

Once again


Beat its piercing rays

On our derelict town.

Displaying for all

Our burial sites

As we wait,

For twilight’s kiss

Six feet underground.

I woke up feeling terrible, filthy, a little crusty around the mouth; fear crept into my skull as I laid nearly paralyzed on a recliner. An aroma hung thick in the air; of earth, sweat, dog crap, and a hint of Lilac. The former three were from me. Answers will come.

I had been out cold, indeed. Someone called my name as I was blinking the Sandman’s payload from my eyes.

“Francis? Come back to Earth, Francis.”

It was my therapist, Dr. Stuttgart; thank God. I didn’t know what to expect. A psych-ward, holding cell at the city jail, Heaven?

My mom hired Dr. Stuttgart shortly after my Grandma passed away. “just a precaution sweetie”. It was after hearing of my well-sauced performance at Sandy’s gig.

At the end of the party, already deflated and wet in the eyes from imagining my grandparents’ last day together; I thought about the last time I saw her smile. The last time I hugged her. The last time I could have paid a visit but instead I fucked around with my friends after school…

It broke me, I had a spell then, similar to what happened after Dino. But this had been more on the side of an alcoholic black-out, the party incident. No one thought much of it other than some drunken bastard who couldn’t hold his liquor.

Sandy didn’t know what to do. She tried though, I respect her for that. And I sure as hell wasn’t ready to label myself “mentally unstable”. Only my parents took notice of my supposed new attitude and asked questions. That’s when I had to start seeing the doc.