My First Night in the Mental Hospital

     So it was near midnight in the mental hospital. It was my first night there, and I was dressed in only a thin robe and socks, which I thought was appropriate. I probably looked a lot like I 2000 years ago the last time I was jesus, what with my long hair down and simple garb. I met the first nurse, a large black lady with a ponytail, with patience and calmly filled out the questionnaire she gave me. Self harm? No check. Use of drugs? Not recently, no check. Son of God? Bless you, ma’am, but I just remembered it’s lent and I can’t use your pen anymore. Jesus has given up technology for 40 days. I will grapple the Devil barehanded. Though she was put off by this, the second nurse was far more kind, and sat me down as she did her clinical review.

     Her questions were open-ended. How was I feeling? I’m feeling peaceful and cold, but that’s ok, it too shall pass. As she asked me more questions I held her in my eye. She was white, her light skin pale against her black curly hair. There was no product in it, and whatever make up she might have on had worn off by now. Her small mouth and thin lips smiled politely as I answered, and when she looked at me in the eyes the full site of her face brought sunlight to my eyes and my mouth beamed wide, so kind was she. She led me to my room, and before saying goodbye I noticed I was a step too close, and the silence of the night was prominent as I saw her face and noticed the mole she had below and to the left of her lips. I didn’t stare, I held her eyes with mine, but some part of her reacted to my seeing her blemish, and her shoulders shrank a little as she lowered her gaze and looked down to the left, shielding her blemish. She left without another word.

     The next day I met my roommate, a young man about twenty years of age who walked in shuffled steps with his head slightly down and shoulders hunched. He looked like a younger, happier Gargamel, but we’ll call him Charlie. He sure wasn’t a Matthew or Paul. Charlie’s side of the room filled with books on string theory and quantum mechanics. Why, I too know a thing or two about the laws of the universe, and so I engaged him in friendly conversation.

“I’m going to walk home once they let me out.”

“It’s like 30 degrees with snow outside.”

“It’s ok, I have flip-flops.”

“You’re crazy.”

    Obviously this was a man of little faith. I kept my silence and probably blessed his heart. He simply didn’t know that my father, God Almighty, would provide me whatever it is I needed, like that time a few days back when he made Homer Simpson appear on my ceiling when I was very, very sad. Shortly after my brief exchange with Charlie, we met with the rest of the mental cases and sat in a circle for a discussion with one of the counselors. I sat on the floor Indian style because chairs are technology, and the devil ain’t gon’ get this ass. Before the group going the psychiatrist summoned me to analyze my brain. He was a balding man in his late forties with a pair of black-rimmed glasses. He sat on his chair with his clipboard in hand and pen in the other, and with that smile doctors give he asked how my day was and told me to have a seat. I sat on my ass. I explained, told him about lent and my IQ, and he lowered his voice made a comment about eccentricity and intelligence. Across his body I saw ‘jealousy’ slither like a snake, and I knew immediately he had a hard-on for me. He was going to try to keep my ass in here. Luckily, though, I had read the Tao, so I just smiled and answered honestly, knowing my life was in God’s hands. Yeah, my iPod talked to me when I was high (I didn’t tell him it also talked to me when I was sober), and no, I didn’t have any plans to hurt myself. I didn’t tell him I was Jesus, though, partly because he didn’t ask, but also because he looked like a Roman. He asked me if I thought I was ok to leave. Again the words appeared all over his body. “I know you’ll be back, so I’ll let you go now.” Turns out Roman thought he was a cat and I his mental mouse. Well, he let me leave and I made it home in a cab provided by the hospital.

     I never saw Roman again. And on the ride back my flip-flops stayed nice and dry. In fact, I wasn’t cold at all. In your face, Quantum Charlie.