porn, super porn
pages 11
2004-11-05 | 3:49 p.m.

me and holly

this friday I have bronchitis.

last friday I was standing in line at the emergency psychatric ward of mhmr, clutching my purse, trying to avoid eye contact with an enormous, plaid-clad woman sitting in the waiting room who alternated between laughing hysterically for no apparent reason and sobbing, tears squeazing sadly from her heavy-lidded eyes, toppling, plopping unceremoniously into her lap. her mouth twisted in agony, missing teeth.

the woman standing in front of me in line was short, vibrating with nervous energy, gabbering and gibbering to anyone who would listen. she was neurotically guarding three large paper bags, which, I later learned, were filled with her clothes.

"they're filled with my clothes!" she exclaimed at me, grinning, jerking her thumb in their direction. when a bulging-eyed therapist tried to pass us in the hallway, she dove to their defense as he tried to do a little shuffle-shoe dance around us. "sorry!" he called to her, laughing, and she glared at him fiercly. "those are my clothes," she grumbled.

the man at the head of the line was arguing heatedly with an extremely exhausted-looking, bald receptionist. "I can't refill the prescription," he said.

"I need this medication!" the man shouted, banging his fist on the counter.

"please sit down," the receptionist said blandly. "over there. the doctor will get to you... after awhile." the man continued to stand there as the receptionist turned his back on him and waddled over to the fax machine.

"we came over on the bus!" the bag-guardian exclaimed, jabbing the man in the ribs. "did you?!"

"I don't care," the man said sadly. "I need this prescription refilled. I'll stand here all day if I have to." she laughed spitedly at this. I hated her. I felt sorry for the man. I was all ready to tap him on the arm surreptitiously and whisper "okay, I'll distract 'em, you go get your precious prescription!" but life is unscripted, unhappy, uninspired. our undoing. so I just stood there and watched the man wander away unhappily and the woman was told to sit down ("really, we already told you, we'll call you when we're ready for you!") and I was given my form to fill out, after two receptionists argued heatedly as to whose pen I was to use -- you know they just take those pens, and then they slip them in their pockets, and then they just walk out with them! youll have to bring this back, really -- and I quickly filled it out.

"where's my pen!" the bald man snapped as I handed him my form. I quickly produced precious. "it'll be awhile," he sighed. "just sit down and wait somewhere over there." he gestured into outer space and I sat.

I waited for three hours. while I waited, reading various magazine articles about the state of so-and-so star's health, and this one is marrying or divorcing that one, and so on, the enormous, plaid woman got up out of her seat and, with her meaty fist, knocked a hole clean through the wall. she then tore a chunk and proceeded to shuffle down the hall, outside. I watched in disbelief.

"um, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, EXCUSE ME!" the clothes-bag lady screeched, launching out of her seat and scampering to the reception desk. "one of your patients just tore a hole through the wall! she just did it! I saw her!"

"well, go get her then," the receptionist said wearily.

"go... go get her?" the woman said, surprised, quiet for once. but a moment later, she turned around and scampered back down the hall. "HEY!" she yelled. "YOU GET BACK HERE!"

as the sobbing/laughing wall-puncher was retrieved, the soft-spoken, gray therapist called my name. I was relieved that it was her, and not the one with the gray shirt and the bulging eyes, the dancing one, the one that surely would have chucked me on the chin and told me to cheer up, and I would have stabbed him in the eye with a pen in turn. "follow me," she said. and I did.

"so your name is Christian Lane -----," she said. "my name is Helen." we reached her sparse office, a handful of chairs and a computer. I quickly sat, and she shuffled through my file.

"and you're 21?" she asked. I nodded. "do you smoke?"

" rarely," I said.

"do you drink?" she asked.

"sometimes... is that bad?"

"do you sometimes... drink so much to where you get... drunk?" she asked. yes.


"do you do drugs?"

" umm..." I said, uncomfortably. "sometimes?"

"do you do ecstasy?"

"sometimes..." I said.

"When was the last time that you did ecstasy?" she asked.

the last time I did ecstasy was in early October, with Holly and Aaron and Shaun and Hillary and Jonathan and Anthony. it was right after an ice cream creatures played at the creative labs heyday event, which was fun, and then we went home and hillary and I played the piano while aaron licked holly's neck and they walked to the park and talked for hours. later that night, however, after everyone went to sleep, I felt so full of despair that I took a knife and slashed at my left wrist repeatedly. I wanted to know what it felt like. it felt painful.

"early october," I said. "and I smoke marijuana. but I don't do any other drugs, really."








"No!" I exclaimed.

"so, tell me about the hallucinations that you've been having," she said, and I laughed.

"um, well..." ... I had no idea what to even say. should I tell her about the time I was in amsterdam, having tea with the owners of the hotel I was staying at, and all of a sudden god stuck his entire hand into my body, as if I were a limp puppet, and I was sure that I was going to die?

"well, last week I fell to the floor of the bathroom and vomited fistfuls and fistfuls of hair. I'm fairly sure this was a hallucination, because I don't eat hair. usually. well, not at all." I was so nervous. she nodded, her eyes glued to my file.

"mmhmm, I see," she said. "and do you ever... hear voices? "

"When I was younger, I used to think that there were always people screaming at the back of the classroom, and I would always try to talk to the teacher about it and she thought I was just... insane. but now I know that it wasn't really happening. and now, I hear screaming often, and --"

"and do these voices ever talk.... to you, or about you?" she asked. she had a very halting way of speaking, as if she wanted to ingratiate herself by allowing every sympathetic word to slip in my brain. but it made me just want to laugh, because I already knew how the sentence would usually end.

"yes, frequently. that is how I usually distinguish reality from hallucination... if the voices are talking about me, then I assume that it isn't real. but sometimes I will hear people address me directly, but they seem demonic, and it's usually late at night..."

"I see," she said. "and do you ever... see... people?"

"yes," I said hurridly, and I could feel my eyes brim with tears because, really, I did not want to tell these things to this stranger, even though she was nice and motherly. it just wasn't natural. "I have three figures that I see usually, that I see regularly. but there are others. like this one japanese woman, who tracks me down, and haunts me from a distance, and tries to steal my thoughts with her hand gestures to slow me down."

"aha!" she said, and I just knew that in her head the word schizophrenia popped, bright and shiny and clear, and now she saw me in a new light. "and you said that you often feel depressed?" she asked. I sighed.

"I guess so. mostly I am just tired of life. I don't feel like living anymore. there is too much suffering, and people are exhausting and overwhelming, with their ignorant opinions and self-absorbed mannerisms. I just... don't feel like doing it anymore."

I said those same words to holly, two fridays ago, when I drove to visit her for the weekend at her small liberal arts college an hour north of dallas. we were walking from her apartment to a frat house called purgatory for a party called happyhour, and holly was depressed. we walked on-and-off the curb, and she shivered, and she sighed.

"do you ever think about killing yourself?" she asked, rubbing her arms briskly.

"of course," I said. "life is too tiresome." I was sad that she felt this way, and that I felt this way. we went to the party, but neither of us could have a good time. we drank beer, and danced with sarah and alex and lyndon, and smoked with them, and this curly-haired brown boy began following us around everywhere. but, both of our brains seeped with life's gaity for the ignorant, the victories of fools, the suffering, the lack of payoff, we had no fun.

" can we please leave?" holly implored, and I quickly agreed. we hastily said our goodbyes and trudged back to her apartment, the brown-haired boy following at first, and then trailing behind, dejected, rejected.

"so..." helen said. "you feel... suicidal?"

"well, if there was a sure- fire way to kill oneself, foolproof, riskfree, if I could be sure that I wouldn't blow off some important part of my body and maim myself for life, mortified... then I would surely do it. of course I would. I mean... I know that sounds absolutely horrible to say, and I apologize. but I can't deny it. I have no will to live. I would welcome being smashed over by a bus." these are hard things to say to anyone. especially you. but I want to be an honest and accurate writer, and not hypocritical, not evasive, not self- serving.

helen winced. "that's horrible!" she exclaimed.

"I know," I said. "I'm sorry."

" don't apologize, I just... can't believe you feel ... that way. well. do you believe that this depression is... connected... to your hallucinations? for example... if your depression is particularly bad, are your hallucinations... bad as well?"

"no, I really see no correlation between the two."

"do you ever... have feelings of... euphoria? does your depression ever... waver?"

I laughed. "um, not really," I said. "it's pretty much... always there."

"Helen diagnosed you with schizophrenia," my doctor said, three days later. He was a short, wiry Indian man, with a thick accent, and an indifferent way of acting. I felt as if he was bored. "but I disagree!" he exclaimed. "I think that you have schizoaffective disorder." umm, okay. "so do you really want to die?"



"umm... it's so hard to talk to a complete stranger about this, much less anyone else. I mean... do you have a religion? do you believe in anything?" I asked.

he nodded.

"well... I don't."

he quickly nodded. "I understand your position," he said. "sometimes I wake up in the morning and don't want to do what I have to. but I keep on at it and it becomes worthwhile. and you will too. I just... want to see you brush your hair and iron your clothes and enjoy life! see?"

I nodded sadly. no, I really didn't. I like my hair the way it is and life is pointless. I want Nietzsche to be my doctor.

"I just don't want your life to be a waste," he said softly, and I started to sob. I don't either. I really don't. "and I am sorry about your parents."

"it's okay," I said. he tippety-typed at his computer for awhile, and I stared at his barren walls. I considered saying, "you should make your patients do rorschach tests as wall art." I considered saying, "do you have any children? what were they for halloween?"

" have you voted yet?" he murmured as he bent over his keyboard. I nodded.


"for who?"

"for kerry. who did you vote for?" I asked.

" definitely kerry," he smiled. "I had a patient who said that he would kill himself if George W. Bush won the election." I laughed. "I had to put him in the hospital until the election was over, so that he would not commit suicide," he said gravely. oh. that's not funny.

I had waited a few hours for this appointment, too. as I sat outside reading the Chronicle, I watched an angelic girl color with her chubby, depressed- looking sister. her mother came up occasionally, smoking a cigarette, lewdly gesturing to men that came up. "look, honey!" she shrieked at one point. "you wrote 'shit' on that paper!" everyone burst into laughter.

"I don't even know how to write," the girl said, confused, and I was confused as well. a bit later, a lanky black man wandered outside.

"now I gots them telling me to take pills! it's great, man, you know what I mean?" he said to the bag defender, who was mysteriously also present at my second appointment. she probably laughed.

"I sit back with this pack of zigzags and this bag of weed," he rapped. "it gives me the shit needed to be the most meanest MC on this earth --"

"excuse me, can you please watch your language?" a woman asked irritably. "I have my children present!" the rapper looked taken aback. "It's a free country, man, you know what I'm saying?" he said. "So I point one back at them, but not the index or pinkie or the ring or the thumb, it's the one you put up when you don't give a fuck, when --"

"really!" the woman exclaimed. "I will report you if you do not stop using such vulgar language!"

"fuck this shit, man," the black man said, leaving. exit.

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