One Sunday morning a few years back I decided to eat a large amount of psychedelic mushrooms.
One Sunday morning a few years back I decided to eat a large amount of psychedelic mushrooms. I started out very early, about 6 AM, my goal being to enjoy the morning, alone with God, experiencing the supernatural, Holy Spirit, Divine nature of ALL, then come home and watch the Giants play the Steelers on TV in the afternoon. I had a lot of dried mushrooms available in powdered form, as I had whizzed them trough a coffee mill. Unfortunately, this made it appear as though I had less than I really had. I wanted to get really zonked, and to really discover God’s beauty, so I wasn’t playing games with the amount I took anyway. As I discovered later it turned out to be between 60 and 70 psychedelic mushrooms of the species Psilocybe cubensis, or about fifteen times the normally heroic dose.
I went to a forest preserve I was familiar with in Medfield, Massachusetts called Rocky Woods. It is a beautiful little reserve, with many winding paths and hills through the forest, ponds with bridges, and as its name indicates, rocks. Upon arriving at the parking area for the reserve, I put every bit of powdered mushroom I had into a quart mason jar, filled the rest with V8 juice to kill the acrid taste, and guzzled its entire contents down. There was no turning back now.
I began my peregrination up one of the many paths, and instinctively chose what went up to higher ground. It was a tremendously beautiful Autumn day anyway, the sun was shining brightly, the air was crisp, and the trees were at the absolute peak of their red, yellow, and golden glory. After trudging up a steep hill I came to an area off the beaten path that was bald of trees, completely open to the sun, and easily the highest point of the reserve. I had never been there before in any of my previous strolls. There were massive rocks all around, exposing themselves to the morning sun, and I could stand on any one of them and see out over the entire valley, enjoying the spectacular Autumn foliage. There were no other humans around.
From my journal that I brought up with me, I wrote,
“At 7:30 AM, October 23rd, Sunday, 1994, I ingested a heroic dose of Psilocybin Mushrooms and entered Rocky Woods to hopefully get some good poems. I’m not tripping yet.”
And then, “It was a long, tiresome, sweaty climb to the point high up in the woods where the rocks began to breathe. The whole earth is alive and breathing. I am a part of her. We are a part of everything. We are the land calling, and the hills hollering. I am among all things ALIVE!
It wasn’t long before I was deep in Holy Reverie. My surroundings were extremely animated, especially what was normally inanimate, like the rocks, and the grass. The forest was roaring with life, and bursting with glory. Several yellow canary type birds flew out and around my head, in a grand welcoming committee to my new awareness. I sat on a rock and the grass beneath settled about my legs, swaying in a surrealistic rhythm. Then the mushroom spoke, as is its penchant, about the grass, it said, “She’s quite a cousin, her,” referring to the grass, “she screams and moans for you!” I was immediately taken aback by this oration, and the human-like awareness the plant had suddenly adopted.
I was really blasting off, like a space shuttle from Cape Canaveral. It was at this point that I said a couple of audible words. I forgot what they were. Just something off the cuff as one might say to themselves when they’re alone. I was astounded to discover that my voice now contained a commanding echo. I spoke again and it echoed throughout the entire valley! I tinkered around a few more times with this gigantic voice. It’s power was truly frightening. I began to suspect very strongly that God had given me His voice to play around with, but it was no toy. I intuitively sensed that anything I said or wished for with my voice at that point would come to be. Instead of filling me with a sense of power, this realization tended to fill be with humility and fear, and even embarrassment as my journal entry states,
“It’s like I’m God and don’t want to be. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced. I don’t want to be myself. That is my only hope. If I could only be this way forever!!!!”
It wasn’t long however before my supreme enjoyment was interrupted by waves of nausea. I oscillated between having this monumental voice with the power to change destiny, to an upset stomach that infringed on my new and unique relationship with God. I began to nervously walk around the rocks as a reflection of my agitation. The nausea seemed to inspire fresh inward purges. An intense bout with powerful regrets for being useless in life, screwing-up at everything I attempted, and most of all in disappointing my mother whom I had failed in every way imaginable began to infiltrate my being. I felt deeply and sincerely sorry to her as the tears burst from me. Just as immediately I switched to a lost love, who had hurt me deeply. Her voice came through as clearly and precisely as if she were standing right next to me, “I mean to say that I didn’t intend you to be so lonely, and I’m sorry it worked out this way. I’ll always love you. You know that.” I was impressed by all of this, but couldn’t seem to shake the nausea that became increasingly prevalent. My urge was to leave the high, rocky area, but I was so intoxicated I had no idea where I would go, or really wanted to go. I simply knew I needed to go somewhere, so I left. Although my car was only 400 yards away, and in normal consciousness it wouldn’t even be a question as to where it was, it all of a sudden became impossible to try to even get to it. I found myself in the deep woods, with the ground beneath my feet alternating between being shimmering jewels and swarms of worms and insects. Needless to say I was not a happy camper, as I staggered around hopelessly, and the sickness in the pit of my stomach creeped up and overwhelmed me. Immediately I fell to my knees and began regurgitating the entire cosmos in what felt like an endless convulsion. So long in fact that I had time to open my eyes and watch a waterfall of diamonds gush from my mouth and fill the ground below. After this I stood up, and thought I saw some people watching me from about 75 feet away. If they were in fact there, they must have thought that I had been drunk from the Saturday night before. It was still early, but not too early now that people wouldn’t have begun to stroll through the park. I just began walking in the opposite direction from where they appeared to be, so sick and intoxicated that I didn’t much care that they were there anyway.
It was then that I began phasing out. Everything in my brain was reduced in function, except my imagination, which became lucid, enhanced, even tactile. Reality was no longer an issue, because I couldn’t tell the difference between what was real, and what wasn’t. I think perhaps the only thing that kept me from the dimensions I was visiting, which were just as real as regular reality, was the lurching nausea that visited me like clockwork. I would go from being at work, to being a child at home again, to arguing with my former wife, to travelling through the galaxy, to practicing yoga, without a question as to whether it was really happening or not. As far as I was concerned it was just as real as day.
I wandered around like a drunk, not having any idea where I was. I remember at one point thinking there were lots of people around, as a morning runner jogged past me. I tried looking as “un-screwed -up” as possible as he passed. I wonder how well I did? I recall that when he passed I was thinking that maybe I was heading in the direction of my car. Fat chance. Before I knew it I was in a completely uninhabited area, a suburban community still sleeping, then I was in a town, then in a mexican bar drinking tequila with a fan slowly rotating from the ceiling overhead. Back to the suburban area I was heading endlessly downhill. I was lost and it was like what hell must be like. I kept falling on the roadside trying to deal with my nausea by just laying there, but this turned out to be so uncomfortable that I had to get up and keep going. Down, down and further down. When would this hill end? When would I start going up again? It became darker and the trees grew taller. Then some dogs started barking. As i turned around I saw them streaming down a driveway behind me. Having been a mail carrier at one time, I knew what dogs wanted to see, so I turned around and just stood there in a portrayal of fearless defiance. I said something like “get back!”, or “stay!”, as I tried to focus in on what was in front of me. It looked to be four or five dogs. They were chocolate labs and it was obvious they had no idea what to make of me. This was all I needed. Not only was I lost, extremely sick, and tripping my brains out, but now dogs were after me. I knew from experience that I should slowly back up, letting them know that I was willing to fight if I had to, but that I’d just as soon be on my way. It worked. But when I turned completely around, and it became obvious to the dogs that I was completely confused and that there was something really odd about me, it sparked a new round of barking and aggressive behavior. Eventually I got away from them, though being no less lost for the experience.
I kept looking at my watch, trying to see what time it was. I was thinking that if a certain amount of time passed, I would be out of danger of dying from an overdose, but I couldn’t even focus my eyes long enough to make out the time. I had the dry heaves, and began to worry that I might die, or worse, be in this endless hell forever. All the time I was phasing into different realms, then coming back, and wondering where I had just been because it seemed so real, yet hard to remember! Finally, I became so concerned that I dropped my watch, my pen, and my journal (a real bad sign), and decided to try to get help.
I stumbled up to a house and knocked on the door. There was no answer. I kept knocking, and thought at one point I saw a head pear around the corner from the inside, but there was still no answer, so I came away and continued my trip down the road. Then I saw some people getting out of a car in a driveway and I felt this to be my opportunity, so I went up the driveway and said to them in all seriousness, “This is the first human contact I’ve made in several days. I need help.” At first they didn’t know what to make of me. I guess I didn’t appear too out of it, because one of the young men said, “Are you Ralph’s friend?” I said no, and that I needed their help because I had taken some mushrooms and felt that I was in trouble. The owner of the house advised me to sit down on some steps and wait, and he would go into the house and call for help. I sat down while another person stayed outside and talked to me. “Mushrooms, Huh? I didn’t know anyone took them anymore. Where’d you get them?” he asked. “Out in the woods,” I replied. “I’m afraid that I’ve taken too many and that I might be poisoned.”
I was so ‘out of it’ that I didn’t really know wether this all was occurring, or if it was just another one of my fantasy excursions. Even as the police car and ambulance pulled into the driveway, I thought that this was just another realm, and that I was imagining it all. The policeman was young and short and asked to see my license. I looked deeply into his eyes, and said, “I need your help. I’m in trouble. I think I took too many mushrooms.” He said, “Don’t worry. Help is coming. Just sit down and relax for now.”
It wasn’t as though I was a drunken madman. I probably appeared normal and easy to handle. They said that I was very pale, and sat me down on what I think was a wheelchair because it had something I could lean back on. A midwife type woman in jeans kept asking me questions like, “Where’d you get the mushrooms? Do you know what kind they were? How long ago did you take them? How many did you take?”, and so on. When she questioned me she put her face right in front of mine about 10 inches away and spoke very clearly, as if that was the only way I could understand her. The policemen asked me if I’d like him to make sure my car was locked. It took me a long time to answer every question as though there were many permutations to consider. Finally, I said. “That’s probably a good idea.” They put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the ambulance.
Inside the ambulance there were two men and one woman, or maybe just one man and one woman. The woman was very pretty. They put oxygen prongs in my nose, and something intravenously into my arm. The oxygen made the ambulance sparkle with colorful stars. They asked me if I was trying to commit suicide. Tripping heavily and as out of my mind as I was, I perceived that to be a quite interesting question, even though I never once considered it previously. I asked myself, “What if I was trying to commit suicide?” When you’re tripping you’re in a highly suggestible state, so a question like that makes you consider it seriously, even if it might have been the furthest thing from your mind.
“What were you thinking of when you tried to commit suicide,” they asked. That was a tough question, since I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, but since they asked it, and I was so blitzed, I thought it appropriate that I give it a considered response. I thought of my lost love and tried to express feelings about her. They asked, “Is that why you tried to commit suicide?” I said, “In all honesty, probably not.” For some reason, they felt it necessary to think that I was trying to commit suicide. I wonder if it ever dawned on them that there are more appropriate ways to commit suicide than an overdose of magic mushrooms, to which an amount in order to do so has yet to be successfully determined?
I asked the man sitting next to me if he thought I was going to ‘make it”, since I was still concerned for my survival. He said, “Do you want to make it?” I said, “Yeah!”. He said, “Well, that’s a good sign,” which really didn’t satisfy me much. The pretty girl kept checking my vital signs (pulse, blood pressure and eyes) with what appeared to be a very concerned look on her face which made me afraid. There were all kinds of gadgets all around me, but I didn’t have the oneness of mind to focus on any of them. I still kept phasing in and out and honestly did not know whether or not what was occurring was really, truly, happening.
They rolled me into the emergency room at Leonard Morris Hospital, and that’s where I met Martha (later to be referred to by myself as Saint Martha), the emergency room nurse. No one knew quite what to make of me. I’m sure that, being well outside the psychedelic sixties, they didn’t have too many people, if any, enter their emergency room with an overdose of magic mushrooms. As Martha was checking me out, I felt a strong presence within her of of a South American Indian Curendera, or healer. Her energy was of a definite healing nature, which went way beyond her physical presence as a registered nurse. I felt comfortable with her, like she was on my side, and that some supernatural healing was going to take place by her. They asked me the questions that had been asked of me several times already. “Do you know what you took?” “Yes, psilocybin mushrooms.” “Do you know what species?” “Yes, Stropharia cubensis.” “How many did you eat?” “Oh, about 60 or 70.” “Did you take anything else, or are you on any other medication?” “No, I drank a lot of coffee this morning though.” And so on.
Saint Martha kept taking my temperature, and checking my vital signs. I felt that I was wired up to so many things that I was an experiment. I deluded myself into thinking that I was doing all this for science, and that this day would be remembered by humanity for a long time. Like Jesus, I perceived myself as a sacrifice for humanity, and all that I was going through, and had gone through, and would go through, was for the sake of the betterment of us all.
Then the doctor came in. She was a young woman in her late twenties. Saint Martha said something like , “Uh oh, here comes trouble”, and seemed to indicate that I should be on my best behavior. This doctor asked me how I was feeling, and all the same types of questions I had already been asked about 4 times. Then she asked me what I was experiencing. The only way I could describe it to her was to say, “You know how your shirt is white with grey stripes? Well to me it’s sparkling with jewels and is all the colors of the rainbow.” She said, “Yeah, OK”, as if she got how gone I was. She looked very attractive to me, and believe it or not I was in a flirtin’ mood, despite the nausea, which was now coming in rushes less and less frequently since I’d entered the emergency room. She was looking into my eyes with one of those pen-like flashlights when I asked her if she was married. She was silent. I immediately inferred that since she was silent that she must not be married or else she would have said yes, and continued my communication, “You must not be then.” She still didn’t say anything but I could tell she was a little irritated as she left the scene.
Saint Martha looked very attractive too. She was in white with a raspberry turtleneck that matched the eye shadow on her eyelids. She kept talking to me. “Who’s the president?” she would say. “Clinton,” I replied. Good! she would say”, “Hilary, right? “Probably,” I’d reply. I actually got very tired of being asked who was the President. It made me think of Clinton, which was a definite downer for me. I mean, here I was, somewhere between Leonard Morris Hospital and the verge of God, and I had to answer silly questions like that. Luckily Saint Martha was also interested in my spiritual experience and tried to stay with me relative to my orations on God’s intentions for the universe and beyond.
I was also attracted to that girl that was riding with me in the ambulance. She came in to fill out some papers right next to me. She was very beautiful. Her long brown hair was laced with sparkling, star-like jewels in thousands of colors. It was so bewitching I almost asked her if I could spend some time feeling it. Thank goodness I didn’t say all the things I wanted to in the emergency room. I could have just as easily done so. As it was, I’m sure they considered me to be a nut to an accelerated degree. I burst into uncontrollable laughter when I realized that here I was, wired up to oxygen, IV’s and into many other kinds of machines and I was trying to get a date. I suppose it takes a lot to liberate the soul.
Then, yet another woman came in to take blood. She had a cold, business-like projection. I told her that I understood why she was so cold. That she was protecting herself because she knew that if she became emotionally involved with every case that came in, it would quickly be too much for her. She seemed to agree as she struck a nerve in my arm with the needle that was drawing my blood. It sent such a powerful jolt and buzz trough my entire body, I felt like I was being electrocuted. I must have jumped six or seven inches off the stretcher, and promptly wet my pants. She apologized. Saint Martha who was hovering near looked a little embarrassed.
As always, the only thing I needed to do was close my eyes and I would travel to different realms of existence. Unfortunately the only thing I could remember about them were that they were stunningly beautiful. It was like the feeling you get when you wake up at night from a dream. It seemed so real, and it was so intense, but the next day, darned if you can remember much, if any of it. What I can remember is that I would go to these realms, and feel that I was really there, and then when I’d come back and realize I was, after all, in an emergency room on a hospital bed, I’d laugh to myself and say out loud to no one in particular, “I can’t believe where I just was.”
I tried to explain to Saint Martha where I was spiritually. Trying to explain God and His overriding intricacies, even when straight is an impossible matter. That It appears possible while drunk on His ‘shrooms often doesn’t make it any easier. Poor Saint Martha tried to stay with me, she really did. But I was having rivulets of revelation. One I remember in particular was the profound goodness of God. When all is pealed away, one understands that despite all its craziness, creation, at its core is GOOD. It’s design is for good, and it is truly comforting to understand this good energy that continuously flows beneath the drama. “He is more like us in soul, than in mind,” I would say. “Yes?” she would say, as if I was to continue. But by then I would be reverberating with some other form of fractal dis-assembly of the realm of matter, and it would no longer matter. I thanked Martha several times for being so understanding. She helped me with her being rather than just overseeing me. She fussed over me, which helped my head. She was a good nurse, I must admit. She would say, “This is my job, you don’t need to thank me. This is what I get paid for”. But I knew it was more than that. It always is, when somebody does their job good. She now had me drink this large cup of ashen stuff. It was wet, but it was so chalky it seemed like I had to swallow forever to get it all down. It must have been a a lot because for the next 3 days my bowel movements were its color, and texture. Yuk!
My nausea had by then been dissipated to only an occasional surge. I could even see the clock and read what time at was! 11:30 AM. The Giants would be starting in an hour and a half, and I didn’t know if I would make it home in time or not. The woman doctor came in and asked how I was. I said, “I’m better, the nausea is almost gone, but I’m still seeing in triplicate”. There was three of her. Not way apart, only slightly apart, but three nonetheless. I asked them if they had given me any medication to bring me down, and they said, “no, why”? And I said, “I was just wondering if all that I was experiencing was from the mushroom, alone.
By then I knew that the emergency room scene was actually happening. I no longer questioned its reality. I was introduced to a hospital guard who was to watch over me and make sure I wouldn’t do anything crazy. He was just a regular guy from Woburn, Mass. But I imagined him to be of Mexican descent, just fresh into America. I don’t know why the Mexican-Indian motif kept reoccurring. Perhaps there is something to Terrence McKenna’s concept of a cumulative mushroom embodiment based on the consciousnesses that have primarily experienced it thus far. I’m not sure, but I think he considered modern urban America’s experience of the sacred mushroom, such as my own, to be a contamination of the Central–South American/Indian consciousness that had accumulated over the last thousands or even tens of thousands of years in their Shamanistic tradition. It is my opinion that Western Shamanism is none other than Catholic Mysticism, which is ultimately, when perceived in true practice and depth, far superior and advanced to Central and South American Indian Shamanism, and that the embodiment of Sacred Mushroom consciousness would do good to have the incorporation of Christ’s ( who after all is the greatest Shaman in history) sanctity and truth as the Holy Word made Flesh flow through it.
Anyway, I perceived this guard to feel that he was somehow not a part of the United States, so I started singing “This land is your land, this land is my land,” by Woody Guthrie to him. I felt as though I was really making contact with him, possibly even healing him with my song. I enjoyed my singing. But since I never got a chance to talk to this guard subsequent to my experience, I can only imagine, since my voice is not that great, that maybe he didn’t care for the song. But it certainly seemed like it was effecting him at the time.
I was coming down fast; coming back to everyday consciousness. I knew that I was out of physical danger now, which was really my only reason for requesting help. I told the guard that I was ready to leave , and needed to find my wallet and coat and be on my way. He told me that he would help me find my things, but that I couldn’t leave until they said it was OK for me to leave. He went out and told the people responsible that I wanted to leave. Martha came in and said that until the doctor said I could go, I had to stay there, so just relax for awhile. I couldn’t see just laying there. I was ready to get up. So I sat up and went to put my clothes on. Before I could do that I had to pull the oxygen from my nose, and rip the IV out of my arm. This alarmed the guard, and he yelled, “He’s trying to go,” to those in charge outside. Saint Martha came in and started yelling at me. She seemed a whole lot meaner than before. My arm was bleeding from where I had ripped the IV out. She cleaned it and put a band-aid on it while saying, “if you leave without permission we will have to call the police and this will be really bad for you. You’re not well yet! You can’t do this kind of thing to yourself and get away with it! It’s against the law! Can I go now?! I have to help someone who’s having a coronary in the next room!” And so on. She didn’t really, because she didn’t even go in the next room. She went across the hall to complain to some other people about me. As if I wasn’t paying for all this. As if my insurance company didn’t cover the 4 grand worth of care it ended up costing. As if I was getting help for free. It was obvious to me that Martha now resented being called Saint Martha, and the more I called her that, the angrier she got at me. She didn’t look beautiful to me anymore either. I could now see all her wrinkles. She began to act really pissy, like she thought I needed to be punished.
The woman doctor who had attended to me before marched into the room, and yelled, “You’re not ready to go yet! You tried to commit suicide!” I said, “I wasn’t trying to commit suicide. That’s ridiculous.” She replied, “Oh, yes you were. They said you were.” “Who said I was”, I asked. “Martha”, she called, “Did he say he was trying to commit suicide?” she called. I heard Martha in the background say, “He never said that to me.” The doctor marched back out of the room without saying anything. Evidently, although I was ready to end it, my bad trip was not ready to end.
Next a young woman psychologist sauntered into the room with a clipboard and a pen. She called herself Beckett which I thought was odd, and I asked her if that was her real name. She said no, it was a nickname, and that her real name was Rebecca. I said, “That’s a good Biblical name.” She seemed to be happy with that statement.
She flashed her diamond ring like a neon sign, and spoke in a condescendingly smooth voice as if she were humoring me. “I just have a few questions I need to ask you,” she said, “if that’s OK with you?”
She was so preppy and impersonal that it prompted me to be belligerent in the form of facetiousness. “Do you ever hear voices?” she asked. That turned out to be a question that ran neck and neck for first place with “Who is the President of the United States.” I said, “Well I try to, but I’m not always successful.” I can be a pretty sophisticated wise ass when I want to be, and being held against my will gave me little ambition to be otherwise.
“What do you mean by that?” she inquired, with a falsely controlled voice. I said, “Well, as a writer its advantageous to hear voices, wether it comes from the subconscious or supernatural, they usually seem to have something interesting to say.”
“So, you do hear voices,” she asked. “Not usually I replied, but as a writer I want to sometimes, and it is advantageous.
“What do they say to you?” she asked. I said, “Well, did you ever dream of someone who was far away, but who you really liked, even loved, and although the distance separated you, you felt like you were right with them, and the words gently rushed to the surface, uncontrollably, like a warm summer breeze, ‘I love you’, and you don’t know who said it, you or them, and it doesn’t much matter?”
She said, “Yes.” I said, “Like that.”
She moved on. “Who is the president of the United States?”
“Lincoln”, I replied.
“Who is your primary care physician?” she asked.
“Jesus,” I replied.
I was getting myself deeper and deeper into trouble with this young, unimaginative woman, who wasn’t in the mood for jokes that Sunday morning. And I was still quite stoned to boot, which didn’t help. I noticed a red indentation on the side of her face, like she had been beaten by someone. I knew that it wasn’t really there; that it was a psychic phenomena, if anything, but I just had to ask her, “Were you ever beaten by anyone on the side of your face?”, and I pointed to the side where it was.
She said, “No. why?”
I said, ”I see this indentation on the side of your face; a big red mark, like someone hit you there.”
Obviously agitated , she said, “No, no one’s ever hit me there.”
I couldn’t help thinking that well if no one has than someone will, when she asked,
“Have you ever hit anyone, like your former wife?”
“ No. I’m not a violent person,” I replied.
“Did you ever feel like hitting her?” she asked in an overly sweet voice.
“No,” I replied. “My father used to hit my mother a lot, and I promised myself back then that I would never, ever hit a woman.” For some reason that answer didn’t sit well with her.
They had taken away my shoes when I put my clothes back on without their permission. I didn’t like being detained like that, but I guess they felt they had to. I had been through so much that day that what normally would anger me, just depressed me instead. So I lay there, waiting for them to release me. The guard seemed to be optimistic about my leaving shortly, probably because he realized that I was OK now, since I had been talking to him in my relatively normal consciousness for the past little while. But the decision came down from Beckett (Rebecca) that I would have to be detained in a psychiatric facility for further observation as a precautionary measure. They didn’t have any room at Leonard Morris, so I was shipped by ambulance to Brookline. Although I was completely capable of walking, they insisted that I be rolled out on a stretcher. I felt simultaneously ridiculous and relieved since I was really all the way back to earth now. As I was leaving the emergency room, I noticed the woman with the beautiful hair who road with me in the ambulance on the way in. She was looking at me as though she was the one who was responsible for my being detained, and appeared somewhat self-satisfied with what was happening to me.
I was worried now about work. I didn’t want to loose my job and if they kept me in the nut house for an extended period of time there was a chance I might. I’d never been in a psychiatric ward before and as they rolled me in I have to admit I was a little frightened since the people there didn’t appear to be like your normal crop of people. They seemed to be overly agitated and in constant motion, walking to and fro as if they were doing something or going somewhere very important, but there was obviously nowhere to go! For nothing apparently happening, there was certainly an awful lot of activity. And they all looked a little buzzed out and in dream land, but at the same time quite communicative.
One of the nurses who was just leaving from her afternoon shift said, “Oh, I know you. You’ve been here before haven’t you?” I said, “No. I’ve never been here.” And she said. “Oh, yes you have,” and pinched my cheek. I began to wonder if I had been there at sometime, and forgot, as she sailed away via the locked door, but I knew that was an absolutely ridiculous concept.
I had to be interviewed by a psychiatrist as a preliminary for admittance. He was a short, oriental guy who brought me into a room that was overly congested with all kinds of chairs, tables and equipment. So much so that we had to sit facing each other at an uncomfortably close distance, our heads no more than a foot and a half apart. But I guess the room we were in was the only private place on an otherwise very active floor. He asked me many questions about myself and why I did what I did. I basically explained to him that I was a