Stranger Things Have Happened

[CN: Childhood trauma, systematic abuse (healthcare), odd/uncanny events]

As most of you, if not all, already know – I studied physics. As such, I tend to like the things occurring around me – or within me – to have a rational explanation grounded in either the things that I know to be true of the material world or “experience” (as some would say… ‘common sense’). I prefer the emotional component to be detached and the larger portrait to be painted with its finest spectrographic hues. In other words, I do not tend to like dawdling into matters of faith or religion too much. I’m sure not everyone that studies physics is that way, but that was my way of critically examining things.

I’ve always been trying to shake my past faith, in actuality. When I was growing up, the Bible was to be taken literally. We did not go to church – the Bible and its symbology was studied at home. The family was expected to conduct itself accordingly, but I always wondered what made that book more special than anything else I read. Of course, that was explained to me as well, but if divine intervention can occur for one book, why not another? Why would War and Peace be any less inspired by divinity than “The Holy Bible.” So, I liked to wonder – I liked to get my awe from what I read about the universe in my toddler years. My mother was a follower of the Bible, but she also knew there was something far greater written in the stars. She encouraged my love of science, and during that time I couldn’t help but come up with my own reconciliations between the Divine Physics I read and The Bible™. I weighed whether it would be possible for our cosmos to be but a single cell in the entire mind of “God” or whatever Deity created the cosmos by shaping the Big Expansion into the present.

I eventually dropped this habit as I grew older. I was baptized in my teen years, attended a Southern Baptist Church™ regularly, and kept my previous four readings of the holy text in my mind at all times. Yet, my passions continued to drag me down the evil road of learning mathematics, pharmacology, anatomy & physiology, history (from Creation to Present Day), chemistry, physics, and more. I grew in ways that I could not imagine, and I began to desire to write a book on how to reconcile The Bible with Physics. I wanted to understand both subjects in a way where they could be integrated, if it were possible to do so. I knew one solidly, but the other took many years to make a dent in. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered understanding physics, but I have a fairly fluid working understanding. At least insofar as I have integrated all the concepts but can only roughly replicate the mathematics, learning the Bible is comparatively simple. I have never worked harder at anything in my life than trying to reconcile physics and mathematics is the point. During that time spent developing a deeper understanding of the universe and how it works, I began to realize that the laws and their mathematical models were all that the cosmos required to create life. No creator was necessary. To me, that still begged the philosophical question: “Is it possible that the Universe, however grand it might be, knows itself? Does that make it a deity?” I lost my religion; this gave way to a greater appreciation for the intricacies of Nature, and I began to reject the notion altogether that there could be a Creator or the Abrahamic “God.”

However, I wouldn’t say I was an atheist. I still believed that it was a possibility for there to be some figure which gave Life to this universe, but I also thought that it was more likely the Universe itself was non-sentient. As the razor would require, I simply “knew” that the quantum foam which housed our tiny universe among others was there, that it was not alive by any means, and once we died we experienced nothingness just as we “remember” before our birth. That was the most simple and logical explanation, because mathematics was simply code which existed. I posited that the code existed because Time itself is symmetric on the smallest of scales even up to the macroscopic world, despite our “psychological perception” of time only flowing in the forward direction. The only thing that is required to create a universe is Life – the Observer of a quantum system fundamentally alters its state via the Observer Effect. Therefore, Life itself would not be terribly unique, it would be necessary for us to “experience” the Universe itself in the way we do. It would be a fundamental property of this system which we exist within – the quantum foam containing the multiverse. This means that life is what we make of it, and the guiding principles we choose should be what preserves it the most in the most comfortable way possible (e.g. through the alleviation of suffering by other creatures just living to experience existence). Perhaps that sounds like a religion in and of itself, but I was completely indifferent to it. We’re simply riding a wave of “typical,” and that wasn’t something I felt needed to be worshiped. I put superstition back into the Jar, left Religion in there as a friend, and cast away Faith as a bygone era.

This was no different than figures in the Enlightenment Period had done before me, but of course, I was also on my own journey. I have not had a typical life, and some things I have experienced while inhabiting this universe have little explanation to me despite knowing vast amounts of things. I wish I could explain the things I have seen as either mass hysteria, schizophrenia, psychosis, or some other psychological explanation. Yet, that does little justice to what I know I have seen in the presence of others.

For example, when I was in 6th grade I was practicing with a friend for band, and we had to stop for a second when the phone began to ring. The landline only rang once and went dead. Puzzled, my mother went to look at the caller ID, and then frantically called to us to come look. As the three of us looked at the caller ID, I scrolled through it. “Franklin Roosevelt 555-555-5555,” one read. “Edgar Allan Poe 555-555-5555.” “Abraham Lincoln 555-555-5555.” “Thomas Edison 555-555-5555.” “George Washington 555-555-5555.” There were no smart phones, at that time. Spam calls were barely starting, and as we scrolled through the numerous calls other dead presidents, poets, and inventors came up on the screen. We couldn’t help but be a little creeped out. All of them were for that date, and all the times were for the moment the phone rang. After we scrolled through all ~247 new calls, the caller ID went dead for a few moments – turning off completely – and then “rebooted” several minutes later only to continue to function perfectly without any problems for several years thereafter.

I did not have an explanation then, nor do I now.

I would love to believe that I was imagining things – that We, the three of us, imagined that. I would love to be able to reassure you that it’s a joke, hoax, or downright fake.

I cannot now, nor could I ever. I can offer nothing but the fact that it occurred.

If there were other incidents of such things, I barely remember them now. However, the reason I feel compelled to write this is that strange things have been happening recently, once again. Honestly, I’d chalk it all up to PTSD and call it a day, but allow me to explain:

I have been increasingly haunted by memories of my childhood this year. I don’t believe I ever fully confronted the entirety of what occurred, as I was much more invested in studying to keep my mind from straying to the past. That grounding technique worked up to a point, until I became less busy as my joints continue to progress towards snapping together for their own pleasure throughout my body. I have also found I have physical trauma stressors which, if triggered, can send me into a more-or-less shocked state. I’ve talked to therapists in the past, but I’ve always tried to avoid discussing my childhood with them in order to stay focused on the “here-and-near” or “now.” I’ve seen them for multiple years at a time, accumulatively it’s probably closer to 5 years of psychotherapy for my “issues.” This has resulted in a plethora of speculation as to the present state of my mental health outside of the dysphoric feelings (like anxiety and depression) which creep around. I’ve been diagnosed with five different things, all of which conflict, contradict, or overlap in symptomology making the efforts to discern the truth of the matter nothing more than speculative suggestions coming from a place of limited understanding. I do know there is something different about my brain, but as of yet it is an unknown variable.

This is not my own fault for rejecting the labels psychiatrists and therapists wish to ascribe to me. It is difficult to trust an existing establishment (such as the mental health community) when it’s often run for-profit with little intention of accuracy just quick resolution to a presently perceived “threatening difference.” The patient is often considered wholly from a superficial perspective of quick one-off meetings to give that “insta-diagnosis” doctors seem to get off on giving out as they strive for more appointments, less face-to-face meetings to gain the bigger picture, and a larger paycheck. Competition for finding the most people to drug and distort the image of, in other words, more often than not. I’m not saying the entire field is like that for psychology. I’m not suggesting drugs from “Big Pharma” are evil, nor do I think it is reasonable to entirely shirk the mental health establishment. Criticisms are necessary, remember.

But I digress. How did I get to the point where I gained an additional two misdiagnoses on my mental health record?

During my childhood, I spent most of the day and night dissociated from myself. I did not wish to be where I was – often I wished I was dead. So, for a time, I remembered only bits and pieces – usually the worst episodes of abuse. Thus, I had my mother aid me in recollecting what I experienced in preparation for discussing what I could remember during a therapy session. I needed closure to feel like I had a chance at getting away from the newer flashback episodes I had been having.

Studies suggest memories in babies begin at about the 6-9 month mark. Significant emotional impact during the formation of memories can cause them to imprint far better and last through “childhood amnesia.” Childhood amnesia may also not exist at all, we simply may just be great at replacing neutral or good memories with better or more useful information while traumatic, stressful, bad, or dangerous memories imprint into our amygdala to warn us of future danger. I have vague recollection of things which occurred prior to age three, but after that I have above-average recall for facts, descriptions, occurrences, and more – especially feelings.

I recall the first time I ever felt suicidal, I was two years old. I went into the kitchen and snuck a butter knife out of the drawer while my mother wasn’t looking, and I ran off. I usually tried to get away from the kitchen, and she thought nothing of it. I went to the bathroom across the hall from my bedroom, wet the knife, and went to the electrical outlet back in my room. I remember jabbing the knife into the outlet, and then I don’t remember much else until I came-to. My mom noticed the lights dim in the house and rushed into my room where I was already looking up at her, dazed and confused. “Yeah, it bites,” she said after she saw the blackened plug. Since I “seemed fine,” I was left to my own devices. I was disappointed that I was still living in a place which felt like Hell. The screaming my father and mother did would keep me up, and the assaults were the worst. Things were constantly being thrown or he would throw a punch or slap of some sort. It was a very volatile place, and I experienced a very low level of mood at an early age.

Recently, as I was remembering my first desire to get away from the abuse I was experiencing, I felt as though I were back in the moment. It was almost as though I could feel the electricity coursing through my hand and arm, the smell of singed hair seemed to fill my nose, and I couldn’t help but look at my hand as it felt like the knife burned itself in. I was forced to relive the event as though I had performed the deed in the present. Unfortunately, as I was going through that episode, I was handily offered a reminder of my second attempt.

I was three, still facing the abuse my father could dish up and think of, and would often go behind the couch in the living room to dissociate away from others. It was a safe space, I thought, because it felt as though there were walls built up around me to keep others out. Then, one day, my father came in from working on his VW Bug to slip me a yellow and red screwdriver. He gave me a helpful hint of “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do” and his signature superfluous laugh. As it rolled against the wall, I picked it up, sat in front of another electrical outlet, and thought for a moment about the fragility of life itself. I weighed if it was reasonable to feel the way I did given the things I was experiencing, and I reckoned that any being that controlled the cosmos would understand my actions with appropriate judgment. I considered how the fact the screwdriver was covered in an insulating material, something I learned from “helping” my dad with cars, and whether it would significantly impact my attempt. I figured it didn’t really matter either way. So, all things being considered, I tried to let the electrons flow.

The screwdriver exploded in my hand which broke the circuit almost immediately. My mother was concerned, but asked no questions. She was distant, overworked, and overburdened. I was distraught that I failed again, but I tried to stay as stable and as strong as I could. It’s not easy when you often get pulled out of school for being “sick,” but you’re actually soaking belt whelps or 2×4-paddle wounds. I tried to run away at that age. Found the police were more interested in taking me back to that house than helping me, and they were far more interested in harassing the neighbors.

Being put back in a house with that man was like having to feel the second jolt of “electricity” my body could recall encountering. It only intensified the “episode” I was experiencing – which is why you should be kind to your friends (and strangers) with PTSD & when they tell you they need you to avoid a subject you integrate that knowledge.

As I was surveying my non-burning yet “burning” hands, I felt completely overwhelmed by emotion to the point I could do nothing but cover my eyes and weep deeply. Yet, I didn’t feel as though I wept for myself. I might have been victimized, but I do not consider myself a victim unless it’s of circumstance. I always try to “defend, forgive, forget, and move on.” The tears flowed freely in part because of what was done to me, but also to what has happened to countless other children in abusive households. The tears were for the numberless that were harmed in my lineage and the ancestral lines of many others. As I wept, I felt waves crashing over me. I felt my body recede, and all at once I felt words well up from deep within me. It was a prayer I cannot fully recall, because it was nothing I have learned before, but I know I prayed for those that come against so many to be turned to pillars of salt and for many misdeeds to befall them. If it was a response to trauma, it felt very healing. The tears stopped as the prayer fell silent (no “Amens” to be heard), and that’s where I knew I needed to be done speaking of my past.

I tried to forget what happened, but the pain lingered and I ached severely from the phantom pains. I already dealt with enough as it is, but despite the combination I felt little fatigue. For six days I ate nothing but a few bites of a bagel each morning and often skipped lunch and dinner. I did not feel hungry, but I did feel compelled to write out my experience into a mixture of poetry, song, and remixed songs which touched on topics that impacted my life during the first seven years of my formation. The one lunch I did have was an orange with the bitterness of the White portion scrubbed completely free – despite not being all that hungry it was the sweetest and most delightful fruit I had ever tasted.

I did try to get some sleep during that time, but the first time was for approximately 6 hours before I was startled awake by a phone call in the middle of the day from the phone number “505”.. It also did not ring through to the normal phone app, it came through on an encrypted messenger (compromised apps are fun, aren’t they?).  The next day I tried to sleep again and got three hours only to be woken up by several other phone calls, one of them from “5505.” While I recognize lack of sleep can cause delusions, hallucinations, and other disturbances, that was not the case. My eyes never reddened from the experience, nor did I feel much of an effect beyond having a more difficult time typing on my phone.

The calls were disturbing, but even more disturbing was a spare laptop decided to go on the fritz and throw up a “Yellow Screen of Death” with a frown like the BSOD on Windows 10. Slightly altered screen, different color, and the computer began to run extremely hot. It was immediately shut down, unplugged, and was left until morning where it immediately booted to “100% complete on Windows Update” and began to count down to 0% where it then immediately moved to the desktop. In all of my years building, upgrading, and working with computers I have yet to see any others that acted as that one did, even if they have viruses – which this one does not ?appear? to have.

I watched as, over a 12-hour period, water which started out tasting like sweet ambrosia coagulated into whispy white strands which tasted like.. DNA. All I could think of was “solve and coagulate” upon seeing it and having it verified that, yeah, it coagulated. I had never seen such a phenomenon, and I have yet to see it since. I never put much stock in astrology or mythology, but it’s a bit strange that I was born as an intersex assigned male at birth child on Christmas Eve, an anachronistic Capricorn with a desire to leave superstition behind yet cannot shake the figurative demons or ghosts or… aliens as the Roswell, New Mexico “505” area code would suggest ..

I tried to act normal around my friend that came over and tried to comfort me. Yet, that night I had taken a gift her girlfriend gave me and surgically removed the stuffing from its insides to extract the annoying song that it played. Inside I found a little heart which I replaced with a more rigid decorative candle so that the bear could still stand – it had a spine. The visit turned into a frenzy as I found things I wanted to trash, burn, give away, or sell. Despite severe lack of sleep, I found time to remove a great deal of clutter that came from various times in my life that are chapters now closed and left to exist in the past.

Among the things I tried to rid my space of was a Totenkopf I purchased when I was still “into WWII history.” It was a replica of a ring given to the SS for their loyalty, but I claimed to like it for the “skull aesthetic.” As we should all know, even “ironic” or “entertaining” Nazi propaganda is still fascist propaganda. I placed it under my mattress to banish it, but the next morning I awoke to it sticking to my wall. It would not fall, despite my tapping & then banging on the wall to test it. I picked it off, and flung it as far and as high away from me as I could when I got outside. I never heard it land, and I couldn’t help but wonder why “we” (former/present Republicans, Libertarians, right wingers of all sorts) trapped ourselves in such a vile cesspool of an ideology. There are far stronger forces in the universe and in history which provide inspiration for “strength,” “courage,” “loyalty,” “liberty,” “unity,” and “prosperity.” Yet, many turn directly to the very people which desire the destruction of anyone not “upgraded” to their level – Cybermen of a “traditionalist” universe. After picking my own way through that labyrinth, and continuing to do so, I find it hard to believe there are so few on the “other side” of perception regarding that historical band of loserdom.

I acted completely out of my “typical” or “normal” during that week, but all I could feel was that it was necessary. During the episode, I frightened my friend to the point where it was suggested that it might be best to hospitalize me, and I was reassured that it would be better than I had heard about/would expect. So, I reluctantly agreed and was taken to get evaluated. It took them almost no time at all to get me through intake. They took me back to a room where I conversed with a lovely person with an equally troubled past, and my heart ached for them. They gave me food, and I could only eat a little before I gave most of it away. I waved to the Singularities (the cameras situated in the interview room), and felt for a response. At that point, the feeling of being tired began to take hold, and I just wanted to sleep. I was interviewed to be processed, and I left the room only to find someone laying down with a book where I was sitting previously. My first reaction to them was, “Spooky.” They had brilliant red hair, a black night shirt, and pajamas with little skulls all over them. They looked like a reflection of myself, but different in their own way. It was eerie.

I felt as though I could hear the staff calling my name over an intercom overhead, but far off in the distance. No one else heard this – I have never had a problem with hearing anything other than my inner monologue prior to that moment. I was told that I could go back. I was led away from my friend down a long and winding corridor by a friendly elderly gentleman. I walked through the blazing heat to what they referred to as “Unit 6.” It was situated next to a playground, and looked bigger outside than in. There seemed to be only three rooms – I was evaluated and told I should make myself comfortable in 606. I was followed in and told I would have to strip for inspection in the bathroom. Any scars or marks were scrutinized. My clothes and body were evaluated for “self-harm” implements or evidence. While they took my clothes, I was told to shower and provide them more medical info. I gave them the info and got in the shower where I tried to wash off the feeling that something was wrong with me. I wanted to forget painting my face with iodine as though tears of blood were pouring through. I wanted to feel like I was acting as I always do and always have. I began to study the features of the shower as I turned up the heat to the hottest I could stand. I noted how the drain was at the top of the shower to prevent an attempt to overflow the shower and drown – a thoughtful but somewhat meaningless gesture. My brain’s desire for patterns was in overdrive, and pareidolia told me that the screws – both on the shower’s overflow drain & on the electrical outlets – seemed to be “faces.” They weren’t crosshead or flathead. They almost appeared to be glazed over as though to protect a lens. I thought little of it, besides the fact it was strange.

They gave me a bag with a washcloth in it which was a nice gesture; I did my best without any soap. I felt compelled to clean the shower, for some odd reason. It was a small capsule built into the corner of the wall, and I began to explore the space with the cloth. Black hairs appeared here and there which I washed down the drain. As I moved down the wall, I began cleaning a trio of white disks built into the shower – they looked like they were caps over a pipe, but one of them was stained an orange-ish or reddish color – as though someone had taken a crayon and colored over it. I tried to wash them, and I could feel the texture switch from the porcelain capsule to the rough rippled plastic; the stain could not be removed. I continued down the wall, down the floor, down the back side of the shower, and back to the disks – they were in a different pattern on the wall. Did I only strongly believe – and feel – they were there? The trio switched. Were they there or not? I looked away, back, they were there – differently once again. Away. Back. Back to normal, they were. I decided it was best to be done with that strange space in time (“there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism, not even water”).

I reminded myself that I had eaten a page from a book, War and Peace to be precise (page 666, actually, why? Compulsion, impulse, or instinct?). The bits stayed down even as I singed my hair on purpose – or did only one of those actually happen? I couldn’t recall, I was so very tired. I laid down in the clean white space – a single room with two “picture frames” built into the wall. A frosted glass window let what seemed to be light into the room, but it was still illuminating the room with its gloomy frosted presence even deep into the night. The frame made a sort of plus sign, a cross even, that seemed to be the darkest shade of black as the “faux”-light shown through the four panels of glass. The bed beside me was empty – a blue plastic mattress set in a heavy wooden frame with metal brackets to bolt (if necessary) the bed to the wooden floor. I was laying down as I heard a plethora of voices cry out at my presence being there. They were saying confusing things, but I could only think that they should be free like Ravens in the night. There were only three doors in the wing, but I felt as though I heard the march of several people as they slammed open the metal doors at the end of the hall and left the building through my urging. I couldn’t sleep with the light on. I tried to close the door, and they told me no. I asked please, and they said they had to watch me. I tried to leave the door open as little as possible, and it creaked open as wide as it could. I was tired and growing all the more so by the second. I began cleaning again – this time the sink. I tried talking to the person watching over the unit, but I spoke little. I felt as though words were not needed. I was told I was acting “spooky” as they moved through the wings and knocked on doors. I began to knock.

They told me they were going to bring Gravedigger, and that I should just wait. When the time came, I was told to pack lightly and a younger man guided me through the darkness early in the AM. I breathed the night air deeply, and said that it was nice to be outside. He agreed, as we made our way through the hallways knocking on doors. Sometimes, I would just feel the cold walls or doors as we moved along, always admiring the various paintings they had. I was greeted by two paramedics, Regrets and the Driver (how would I remember their names?). They put on music I barely recognized, but it transitioned into Hotel California. They asked about me, we talked vaguely about politics, and then I was Arrived. At the ER, I was greeted by the stares of what felt like all the staff while they decided which room to put me in. I was taken to Room 6. It felt as though I was rushed by all the staff at once, the room was full of activity. In all my other ER visits, never have I had such a flurry or fuss. They took blood from my right arm and put another needle in my left. I felt very little of this, but I saw all they used to do it – the bottles of iodine gave me a little sense of unease. They stuck EKG stickers in multiple spots on my body, many different from where I’ve had EKG leads go before. They hooked some of them up and decided they needed an X-ray of my chest. No one explained why I was there, and I didn’t understand what was going on as no one told me. I was not given the chance to consent to the ER visit or not. The staff left the room and asked if I needed anything – I asked if they could close the door and I was told “No.” I asked if they would close the curtain instead so that I could have a little privacy, and I was also told no. I laid there with two IV leads in my arms and left. Almost immediately I began tearing at the tape they used to cover them over with – I ripped them both out of my arms and they immediately began to bleed. I placed the tape neatly before me, and I dipped my finger in my blood and ran it down my cheeks and across my forehead. What compelled me to do so, I still cannot fathom. If it is simply that I have some form of mental illness, then I do hope I find a good doctor soon. The nurses freaked out, and all I could do was apologize for aggravating her chronic back pain and having her put in another IV lead into my arm. The other cleaned off my face. I was given fluids, and as I laid there I began to hear a beeping sound in my left ear on occasion when I would have a thought. It sounded a tad like the Amazon Echo beep when Alexa doesn’t like, yet acknowledges, your question. If you’ve never heard it, perhaps that sounds odd, but ask it more about communism sometime. You’ll see what I mean if you push her far enough. As I was thinking, I could hear the sound of the staff talking amongst themselves again. Some did not have nice things to say, and I began to hear an “error” sound in my right ear as those thoughts came across. I looked up at the heartbeat monitor – was that making the sound? I looked away and continued to stare at the people looking up at me. They tried to talk more quietly, but I felt as though it did nothing. They began getting & sharing texts. They’d look up at me occasionally, and I could do nothing but lay there and think. I had no mouth, but I felt as though I were screaming. Then I heard elderly voices, as though they were in Room 5 next to me on my right side. They screamed in agony, they cursed and spat. They blamed. They were upset. Others were upset that watched them. Some rejoiced as they watched. The error noise cancelled their screams out, and I tried to think of what came next. The softer Alexa-esque sound was what remained after Some Time (later).

I saw a red laser light being played with on the wall. It spun quickly in circles and stopped. I was transported out of the ER via a second ambulance & team, the person that sat in the back with me seemed to have the laser on her. She’d distract me with it, and we talked until I arrived back at the facility. “Has she done this before?” the paramedic asked on the telephone outside the establishment while his partner continued to trace designs on the face of the building. I laughed & commented to her that I liked the green lights better, and her laugh made me feel a little better about having to get up after being nearly naked in the hospital (cut my clothes? I can take them off myself!)…I followed the young guy that came back for me down into the maze once again and back to Unit 6. I was in pain after the ER visit. I still couldn’t sleep, but I felt as though I needed it deeply, but I was hypervigilant and could not.

I began to hear snoring from the other side of the wall, and it reminded me too much of the past. I got up out of bed, immediately turned the corner, and went into the room to the right of me. There was another older man sleeping on the bed. He woke up and didn’t say a word. I went into the room and laid down in the second bed that was empty and without sheets until I was called to by the lady sitting at the nursing station and told I should go back to my room. I apologized, and I left. I tried to lay down, but then I was compelled to go and ask if I could help the desk with anything. I threw away various things they’d give me, I ripped off my patient band, and I began ripping tags out of things that seemed “off” to me. I picked at my slippers until I ripped off the front panel depicting the TARDIS. It went in the trash, and I snuck out to see who was in the room to my left. They woke up and smiled, and I asked if I could come in. They nodded and I stood by their bed and whispered “Things will be better, now.” I was told again to not go in other people’s rooms & go back to mine. Both of their doors closed completely.

I spent most of my free time, since I felt as though I was being deprived of sleep at this point, discussing philosophy and physics. Speculation and fact, essentially. She began to ask me various questions which she’d note on paperwork in a folder dedicated to me.. She gave me an assigned seat by a dew-covered window. The other side was obscured by the water droplets which had accumulated, but a playground could faintly be made out. Sometimes I would tap on the glass, and the dew would streak down the window. As we continued our discussion, the sun began to rise. I continued to watch the sun rise while knocking on the window while the picture on the other side became more clear. The nurse retired to the room where the older man was, and an entirely different group of people came rolling into the unit. They spoke loudly, flipped through TV channels, and offered me breakfast. I graciously accepted; the dew was gone. They opened the door to a room that was filled with a long table with a bunch of small chairs as well as a white board. In the corners were extra seats. I was antsy and decided to read the words which were written on the board. There were things about positive concepts such as “community” and the like, but there were other concepts which I decided to erase. I sat back down and ate a third of the food, devoured the water which was scarce in the space they had me in, and then I ritualistically destroyed the remainder. I poured the grape juice they gave me into it all and the rest of the trash was stacked ontop. I felt like the worst type of entitled person, but I felt as though the food was wasted already, and I was not hungry.

The staff told me they were going to move me to another unit – I asked for a washable marker. They refused. I asked for a crayon, and they said they couldn’t do it. I was disappointed, because I wanted to write things on my sign & resign myself to stay in that room until I got sleep. It seemed counterintuitive that they wouldn’t let a person up for a week go to sleep, and just a tad unethical. I went back to the room – they told me the door had to stay open. I replied that I really had to sleep, and they told me I could not stay there. I told them that it was where they put me, and that’s where I intended to stay. They told me there was a change of plans. I had lost my glasses and couldn’t see too clearly at a distance at this point, but they insisted on bringing people to the door of that room, and I didn’t understand what they were saying to each other. They began to ask if I wanted a shot, and that agitated me. I began to yell about not wanting it, and I took both of the beds and forcefully moved them to the center of the room. They were heavy, but I slung them around the room until both of them met in the center and were side-by-side. There was a large amount of dust underneath, and I took the button-up gown I got while in the ER, put it in the sink to wet it down, and cleaned up the dust. I found various objects from past visitors underneath them – a yellowed and possibly water-warped journal, an orange rubbery & bendy pencil, and a toothbrush. I then realized I had stickers still on me from the hospital visit, and I ripped them off my skin. I placed the stickers over the strange screws, the toothbrush into a “vent”, and I began ranting about being “older than they think.”

They mostly closed the door, and I laid down on the bed that’d been made larger. I stared directly into the center of the even brighter panels – the cross seemed to be pure darkness. They asked why I was acting up, and I told them that they had stopped believing me, and wanted to do things their way, and that if they felt that way they should fuck off, because I didn’t care. A white dude with a buzz cut came in with blue hands with a buddy also in blue gloves announcing, “You need the 5-0?” I growled, lunged at him, and told him to get out. I could see dust particles fluttering around before my eyes when I looked at him, and it made me uneasy. They left the room mumbling, and I looked at the nurse panicked. I asked if she’d please leave and stand by the door, and once she moved I began to feel as though the plastic beds were breathing. I grabbed one and threw it against the wall, moved the sheets, and threw the second one against the wall. I crawled into one of the frames & snuggled into the sheets they had given me and immediately stripped. They objected & told me to put my clothes back on, but I told them that it wasn’t going to happen, and that I was covered by a blanket anyway. I said it would be best to close the door & stop breaking down the wall of Death. She let in Buzzcut and two of his closest allies – he moved one of the beds and I began to lash out at them again as the “angel dust fell.” He grabbed my wrists as another grabbed my ankles, and then they jabbed me hard as I was thrashing about. Considering I have joint damage from my poor genetics, being handled in such a way made me even more upset. After they released me, they asked why I did it, and I said, “I was shooting at ghosts.” It was a reference, because they seemed to be speaking in references.

They left the room & I got dressed to follow them out. I took the pencil which found me, and I carved into the sign which was now unguarded outside my door. They did not try to stop me. I changed the “0” to a “6” the best I could (“Room 666”). I wrote “Night Witches” in the space allotted for a name. An “X” was placed on the second slot. I put the pencil back, and left the room once again to confront Buzzcut. They were all watching me, I was the only entertainment. I got in his personal bubble and stared. “I see Carl Sagan’s Angel Dust in your eyes,” I had gripped his forearms above his gloves and spoke it into his face. Perhaps it could all be explained away as “on drugs,” but sobriety can be even more trippy, in my experience. They gave me a bag for all of my remaining stuff that they’d let me keep, and I was moved to the new unit. There were no open rooms, but there was a wheelchair they wanted me to sit in and wait. The people there were amazing, and I couldn’t help but get to know them since they were all gathered in a central lobby. After I met people, I started knocking on doors & going into rooms. I would be given things & give things back in return. Someone made me a cup with crayons with my name on it & rainbows & planets – how she knew to write “Gwynevere” without the staff spelling it correctly is beyond me. Charlie was beyond sweet as can be. As they said, “Charlie Brown Loves A Little Red Head,” I guess! Others did not have such kind words even still, and I wanted to crawl inside of them and break every bone within. They reminded me of people I once knew, people I regret knowing, and people that should regret seeing things as they see them. Yet, I was in their space, so maybe “All is fair in Love & War.”

We went to breakfast. I tried to skip it, but I was invited by an Angel & Charlie to giggle and gossip. They offered me some of their food & drinks, and I accepted them graciously. The coffee tasted wonderful, but the bacon was disappointing and mediocre, only the Love which provided it made it a true blessing. They asked if I was on hunger strike or if I was anorexic. I told them neither, I was just satiated. Their smile filled my heart. The bits stayed down, and the food wasn’t problematic. We went back to the unit after meandering through the garden. The sun was intense, I felt as though the whole Globe were burning as I had burned before the flames. Climate change felt as though it were set to “maximum overdrive,” and I scrambled to get inside as often as I could – especially during the smoke breaks which are a minor trauma stressor for me. I slept in the room I was given which had “////////////” over the label “B” – and my finally corrected name was label “A.” I slept for an unknown amount of time, but I woke up each time a person from the staff came into my room. I slept in different ways on the bed, each time was less restful than the last.

The plastic of the bed went from new to severely warped and damaged as I slept there – as though I were clawing into the plastic as I slept. I eventually felt more or less normal and could function on a regular time schedule again, but my things continued to disappear & reappear either elsewhere or in a different form. I decided to wear all my clothes at once to prevent this from happening too much. I lost my number journal, and gave away a few of the pieces of clothing I found that weren’t mine & a few that were mine but other people thought were cute. They looked cute in them & it made them happy, I couldn’t deny him. I kept just enough, and was taught how to call home by Her. I couldn’t help but want to leave as I felt I was taking up too much space. We watched the news and other things. I left when I felt disturbed by the news and immensely sleepy. I heard another patient cry because the nurses would not help her with seizures she was having – it seemed like they took forever or never helped her. Yet, I watched them respond immediately to Their outbursts with a shot – others jokingly saying that she wanted to get one. Yet, from my perspective, it was the same thing that happened to me. She fell asleep far faster than I expected, though..

I was finally removed from that place after roughly 2 and 1/2 days – probably far shorter than expected by those which witnessed the entirety of the episode. I never once truly believed I was communing with spirits or ghosts or divinity, but I did feel as though I were following others which might. I have continued to have things misplaced, to have things replaced, or to have things changed in ways that I cannot fully find the words to explain. Every detail is lost in the cascade of coincidences which have befallen me lately. If I could describe it all, every facet of it, completely perfectly I would sound even more suspicious than I do now.

My tarot card is the Six of Cups.
My stone is Labradorite.

I did not choose these things, they chose me.
I have no mouth, but I must scream.
I have no mouth, but I must scream.

I have no mouth, but I must scream.

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