Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

Or rather, the anti-Fred Rogers.

There is a particular psych patient at work that intrigues me. He's violent and it's difficult to find a state bed, so he sometimes lives in the ER for 5+ days at a time. Who am I kidding? It's like once a month; usually when he threatens to kill his wife.

It's sweet, really. He calls her up to say hello, chats a bit, and then breaks into "I'm going to kill you, bitch!" in mid-sentence. Sometimes he calls the sheriff's department, too.

Mr. Rogers no longer has phone privileges.

He believes that he's given us all gold coins. We don't disagree b/c imagine what he'd do to YOU if you lost "money" to which he entrusted you.

Other times he pounds on the glass with his fists until you come over. Then he slams the door in your face. B/c that room is his second home and he travels there by special police "limousine."

Once he sat in the hallway yelling China Doll, China Doll..... After about an hour I realized he was speaking to me. I always know when he's back b/c I can hear him welcoming me back to work. It's great, you're walking through the ER to get your assignment and you're welcomed by the schizophrenic mumblings of Hey there, China Doll!

Sometimes he just shuffles around like a little old man. It's cute, really. Without the delusions and psychosis, he's someone's grandfather, mumbling and shuffling down the hall in his robe and socks. Until he asks you to s--- his d---.

Through all of that, I've wondered what it's like to be his neighbor. Imagine the excitement of what could be a boring, simple walk to the car! Run kids, run!

AND NOW I KNOW....

I volunteer at the Teen Center and he must live nearby. I saw him walking down the sidewalk and he didn't say a word. I figure the meds must be working. But, no. (sigh)

He follows me into the teen center, strutting like it's 1975 and he still has his jive on and casually says "Hi there Mamasita!" (now I'm Latino.)

I kick him out twice but not before he asks me if I still have his inheritance and states that all of the teens are his babies and he is Hitler.

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