For those of you who don't know of him, read on. For those of you who do know of him, read on.
This is all about him. His real name will remain a mystery for his own protection. And for mine, just in case. If you really must know go ask Matt Johnson what it is. It's all up to him. Matt that is. him has another name, a nickname, and I don't know why that is. I'm guessing this is one of those childhood name things that we try so hard to escape, but really, until the rest of the family is deep under some dirt, its kind of impossible. The most recent event worth mentioning was the Winnie the Pooh flag which was installed on the front porch right after the September 11 terrorist attacks. This was not just thrown up there either. A proper flag mount was installed, so the flag would hang at the desirous 45 degree angle. Not a red, white and blue flag. A Winnie the Pooh flag. Not being a fan of the aforementioned bear and simultaneously not being a fan of blind and instantaneous patriotism, I can't decide which flag would have disturbed me more. As it turns out, I didn't have to decide. him. Step One: Dorothea Dix Hospital
Let me preface this with a disclaimer. I kind of like him. The main problem with the situation is that him has been living with us now on and off for nearly two years. Sure we get a 16.66% (infinitely repeating 6) break in the rent, but if you knew the rent to begin with, you'd see what I'm talking about. Good manners keeps me from disclosing the actual rent amount, either in a lump or per person figure. If you really need to know, I think you know who to ask. So yeah I like him. He's a decent guy who happens to have a crazy family. And this is what Step One is all about. And when I say crazy, I don't meant wacky-nutty or zaney, or even kooky. I mean more like insane. I just had to add zaney to my Microsoft Word dictionary list so that the next time I use the word, it won't get that annoying red squiggly line under it. Squiggly by the way, did not have the squiggly line under it. At the end of Step One, and later in Step Two, he joins his family in their collective craziness. Who am I to say who's crazy and who's not? Where do I get off? Forget I said that. Back to Step One. him hasn't been around in a few weeks. His sister showed up with her son, and he's maybe 10, the son who refers to himself as him's niece. Now this is just gold. You can't make that shit up. I can swear here right Rich? If not, just put a little --- or ***, I have no problem with that. I'm avoiding the popular Him at the beginning of sentences, to keep away from religious connotations. I will use 'him'. The sister and niece show up to get some of him's stuff. I asked the boy what was with him, as in where is he. He said something to the effect that him was somewhere in NC, and they didn't or he didn't know just exactly where, but that they were going to go get him. The little boy was actually a fountain of information when he was away from the unnamed sister/mother. A few days later they reappeared and I got it that him was lost,
or had gotten lost. I don't recall the details. To bring us up to date, him stayed for a long weekend at the Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, NC, which I'm pretty sure is reserved for the more mental side of illness. And then he was back. By now I find this all very entertaining. It really doesn't get any better that this, but I have hope that it does. He came back with short hair and his beard cut off and with a kind of slower approach to things. That's a good way of putting it. He told me part of the story, and with other accounts to other people living there (girls), we have a complete tale. I say girls in the non-lecherous, factly, plutonic way one would say if one were living with girls. And not in the "you're such a girl" way, said to a guy, by a guy, as in the pantywaist/pantywaste way. I hate being misunderstood. Factly is now a new word. Something about a police motorcycle. Backing into a police motorcycle. Talking with him is a lot like watching a movie and doing chores at the same time. You see some movie. You get up to put the diaper pal out, or to take a piss, whatever. You miss some of the movie, and no one is there to tell you what just happened, or what happened to so and so, and if there were someone there to tell you these things, to update you, they would get very mad after the 10th time you walk in the room and want to know why is that guy there doing that when I've never seen him before. The trick is, you wait for the tone or volume of voice to sort of peter out. It gets kind of quiet, but doesn't really stop. The voice. And then you go. But it has to be quick, because if you aren't quick, it picks back up like nothing happened, and there you are walking away from a person who is now definitely talking to YOU, and not just mumbling to himself. Which is just plain rude. The other way to do it (talk with him) is to dig in and actually talk with him, the nice thing to do. I've done both. For the latter you have to be ready to be there for a good chunk of time, say 20 minutes, which is no big deal if you have no plans, but is if you do. Eventually the whole thing degrades to the former method, the slipping out the back, exit stage left method, at the right time of course. Ask Matt about when we saw him's father walking from our back lawn to the front lawn one fine Sunday, and then he fucking runs into the house leaving me to deal with the 80+ something YO father, and ex-psychiatrist, and like 4 feet tall, and standing there trying to get to know me from scratch on a Sunday. Lets just throw in a little hangover for good measure, it may or may not be true. Yeah ask Matt that one. Its really funny, although I think enough time has passed to where not only did he not run now (which he did), but he may not have even seen this person in the yard, walking our way. You choose. You choose who to believe. It works out either way. So there is medication. I wish I knew the names. Oh well, medication. But I think we have evidence that the medication wasn't being taken. Both scenarios are leaning towards undesirable. That is, the prescribed medication being taken and the prescribed medication not being taken. For clarity. It goes like this a little longer, and now I think him is technically not working on the house, but definitely is living with us, which is strange. Ooh I nearly forgot the list of five things.
The List of Five Things:
These are five things that him confided in me about what might have possibly happened to cause him to get to Step One (the hospital). In advance, I shit you not. I can't make this stuff up, it's just not in me.
1. Someone slipped him a large dose of LSD or other mind-altering drug.
2. A voodoo spell was put upon him.
4. Maybe this is something that is going on in my head. ding ding ding.
and 5, the one which him considers to be the most likely scenario,
5. I am an angel of mercy.
And I can't say too much more on 5. It was falling apart at this point, as I have described before. The angel of mercy is very likely my word, though it did morph into this Judas discussion afterwards. Not being a highly religious person, I asked who's Judas. And just like that too, Like, Tim: "Who's Judas." Not really a question, more of a statement. Yes and so, 5 was his best bet for what really happened. Judas betrayed Jesus. Sold him out. Not a very angel of mercy thing to do. I did not point this out to him. This was more of a listening conversation. If anyone out there is actually reading this, who feels compelled to read this, knows the story of Judas, please call me and tell me. I'd really like to know, and not have to go to church for it.
I liked the fact that the first 3 items on the list were just outrageous things. Not that #5 wasn't. Sure you could start with voodoo, but where do you go from there? Hypnotism? I don't think so. My point is, I believe him thought this out enough to not only devise a list, but to arrange them in a semi-logical way. Or I could be just making that up.
John Umstead Hospital
I'm not sure if that's the real name, but its close. It lies in Butner, NC, north of Durham, NC, where all of this high drama is unfolding. Step Two was short lived. Less than 24 hrs.
We got a call from him saying he had opened his mouth a little too wide (my words) and was being escorted to the above hospital. Opened his big mouth I think were the exact words. To a doctor. He went there and somehow convinced the staff doctor to let him go, on medication, at three in the morning. So him was there maybe 9 hours. Three in the morning. A sheriff's car took him to our house, arriving at 3:30 AM, apparently medicated, and fresh from John Umstead Hospital.
For reference, and I don't know the levels and nitty gritty, but on a large scale, John Umstead is like good step up from Dorothea Dix on the staircase of mental illness. Pardon the metaphor. Someone who lived most of his life in Raleigh, NC could probably clear this right up, but where do you find that someone?
Now you know what I know. Except for all of the things that I do, that you don't. About him. Now. You see? You see.