spider_ webs by dkkauwe


									Warning: The following is not a true story; it is in fact a fiction. This means that there may be some elements of truth, or nearly all of it may be true or none of it may be true. This story is mostly about women and their interconnecting relationships, plus one boy or man who is caught up in the middle. Therefore, if you‟re not a woman or at least female, the following might occur: you‟ll be bored, you‟ll not understand the story; you‟ll be very confused, sit around, and then go mad from the lack of manly resolution. All women have an innate magic that mostly stems from their potential as mothers. Men lack this potential and so they tend to lack magic. They try, and usually fail, to make up for this loss through science and technology. Some men are born with a spark of magic and they tend to obtain the labels “magician” or “wizard” and now in this modern era, people like to refer to them as “fag,” or “queer.” The word choices are odd because many magicians have no inclinations to homosexuality, but they are so flamboyant and colorful that other men prefer to call them “fag” or “queer.” Some men who are desperate to wear the shaman‟s mantle deliberately try to fit these stereotypes, never realizing that all their efforts at feminizing will never give them the true creative spark. Of course, some are simply queens and those are always bad news when they wear a man‟s body. Overall, the point of this message is like the point of attaching a warning to a plump, succulent steak: “Be careful what you eat.”


Adel Scott fled her home and family to obtain fire. Some say that she went for love, but others would say she went on a mission. Adel Scott left the cold artic winters of the North East and traveled to the eternal summer of the Hawaiian Islands. She was born of an old and elemental line, forged in the icy winters of the far and sunless lands; she was a daughter of the ice and snow. Cold solitude may have been her birthright, but Adel Scott sought heat, and so she traveled to the tropics. At a party on a beach in California, she met a true Hawaiian. She knew he was a true Hawaiian because he didn‟t care. He didn‟t care if other people knew or didn‟t know what he did or didn‟t know, he still woke up early each morning and rode the waves. She knew that he was a true Hawaiian because he just walked around the party, he didn‟t bother trying to make friends, but he was friendly to everyone. So she found out his name and found out his island, and then she plotted her course and traveled to his island. She was smooth and clever – no ordinary stalker, she spun a very careful web to catch her prey. She went with purpose and not just any purpose, she went with the purpose of learning to dance the hula, and to speak Hawaiian, and to bear a Hawaiian child. So she went and sunk herself into the community. She pulled her net of intrigue deep and wide, and she accomplished her objective. She learned hula in one of the last and secret halaus. The halau, both place and people is the living storage of the hula tradition. Not just anyone is allowed into the halau. Adel Scott was beautiful and clever and graceful enough to dancer her way through the doors of the halau. Over the course of time she would dance with the halau all across the islands. They were a true halau and they imbued their traditions and knowledge into the very dancers that composed the halau. In effect, they had no specific meeting place because all creation was their dancing stage. Sometimes they would dance on a beach and make the tourists or haoles uncomfortable with their simple movements. They never danced with elaborate decoration or costume, just some simple flowers strung together or a few flowers in their hair. Once they danced down a crowded shopping boulevard to protest the fact that the shops sat on Hawaiian graves, and all the people thought they were just more hippies, for such were the times. Another time the hula halau gathered together and danced through the airport, not in a welcoming dance but in a sad and warning dance. Yet there were many times that they danced and people did not see them dance. These were the times they danced not for men or women but nature, the elements, and the watching gods. Sometimes they would dance to comfort the earth, crushed beneath the weight of her bastard human children. Sometimes they would dance to coax rain down in a dry season; sometimes they would dance to keep away a storm or pull the moon a little closer. On rare occasions they would dance for the goddess Pele, who as the elder sister to the goddess of hula, Hikiaka, never grew tired of the hula. She was difficult to please, and a bad hula might be rewarded with her wrath, just as quickly as a good hula could bring her blessings. So the hula halau danced only rarely for the goddess. Sometimes they would find the occasion to be propitious and so they would venture into the ohia forests on the volcano‟s flank, and they would pluck the scared ohia blossoms and weave them into hakus or headbands and then go dancing out across the lava fields. These were secret and mysterious times when the eyes of men never saw them, when they vanished for a moment from the world of man and danced through the domain of the goddess. Those were moments of magic.


Adel Scott did more than learn the hula, but had that been all she learned, she would have been golden. The language was another point she wanted to master and master it she did. Adel Scott made in roads into that secret language. What most people never realize is that oral languages like Hawaiian are easy to present as public and accessible. People see snippets of the language, words scattered here or there, a few that pervade to popular consciousness like aloha, and the masses are given the illusion of accessibility. Yet when one begins to learn the language, the task is suddenly burdensome and awkward or simple and easy, and which it is depends upon the student and the teacher. When a language is oral the students only get the words that the teacher gives and the teacher can give as much or as little as she wants. Adele Scott was smart; she befriended one of the last true Hawaiian teachers, a true kapuna. This kapuna taught Adele Scott the many nuances and iterations of Hawaiian. As for Adele‟s last objective to bear a Hawaiian son, she had a Hawaiian husband, so she bore her son on the large but sleepy island of Hawaii, and so began our next chapter, in fact this very book. Her son was named by the same kapuna who taught her how to speak Hawaiian (and he was brought up in the community as another son of Hawaii ?keep?). Here is where the fiction or where the terrible truth begins. This is a story that exists about a group of women who aim to produce the ultimate human being. Breeding and genealogies are their tools. What people do not realize is that every woman who bears or will bear a child believes that she will be the one. The one that finds the cure for incurable disease, the one who brings peace to the world, the one that brings home both the Nobel and the Pulitzer Prize. Every woman hopes in the most secret part of her heart that her child will excel in the world. Breeding and genealogies are also the only sure things to child bearing and even they can be unpredictable. The environment is always changing and the family like wise. The reactions of children are similarly unpredictable. Money comes and go, but an individuals is immutable in blood and bones. So a woman consciously or subconsciously considers the past of each man, measuring his ancestors against her own, because a woman always wants the man to bring to the union something lacking on her side, and so she is herself a new breeding point, the marriage of X and Y and the result is a new line on the breeding charts. Children are the living proof of women‟s efforts to better the world for no woman willingly gives birth thinking that her child will visit evil upon the world. No, every mother believes that her child will do only good. As to which it really is – well that is the resolution of life. For Adele Scott, she harbored grand and secret, even blasphemous, ambitions for her child. She though she would combine her cold and artic ancestry wit the warmth and tropics, a line of ice and water elements, mixed with fire and lava. Her ambitions did not end there. No she intended that her child would be the one with perfect balance, neither overly masculine nor overly feminine. If a son (and she wanted a son) he would have the perfect balance of masculine and feminine. If female, then she would be just as well balanced between the masculine and the feminine. Adele Scott wanted the unthinkable child, a child who would group up neither masculine nor feminine nor androgynous, but just right with the right mixture of male and female properties (insert bit about sensitive and open). Perhaps she read too many New Age books or perhaps she was obsessed wit the idea of yin and yang and she wanted a child who was exactly that perfect balance. Certainly it was the time and place to embrace the new ideas of harmony and unity, the


seventies were ending their reign over human culture and it follows that she would strive to bear a child perfectly balanced between winter and summer, between fire and ice, between masculine and feminine. Of course, my mother has not admitted to any of this and in fact I have had to conjecture all of this, all of this except my birth, for that I know as a matter of fact that I entered this world on the last day of the month of January, and just before the dawn. It was her darkest hour, my mother says, I was born into the year of the snake as an Aquarius, as would be expected I was a water bearer.


Chapter 1 I don‟t have very many memories about men from my early childhood, with the exception of my father who factors significant into my life. I think my mother, as do most mothers, resented my father‟s influence. She wanted me as her son, her apt pupil as it was. Once my mother had given birth to me, my father dropped from his place of high regard. He was no longer her ticket into the exclusive world of Hawaii; he was no just a liability that threatened to drag me down from into the muck from which she was determined to raise me. My father lived to surf, that was often all he cared about, finding the perfect sets and the perfect shorebreaks. Pipelines was his favorite place to surf and he‟d take me with him. My mother quickly saw this as a a threat. The surfers were nice and well meaning, but none of them really amounted to anything. The all lived to paddle out in the morning, ride the waves until noon, and then return to shore to rest until the cycle was repeated the next day. My dad and other dedicated surfers would surf before work, surf after work, surf on the weekends, and surf for vacation. My dad and his friends would travel around the world to places like Mexico, Bali, and Thailand – all to go surfing. My mother surveyed all of this with building alarm. She wanted me to grow up as the perfect person, not a surfer. Surfing might factor into my dad‟s world, but it didn‟t factor into my mom‟s world. So they waged secret wars against each other. My mother set upon discouraging me from surfing, my father, upon teaching me to surf. In my mother‟s mind, surfing was the downhill road upon which boys fell down away from school, away from good careers, and away from God (to whom, I should mention, she eventually returned to). My father for his part was determined that I would learn to surf. His reasoning was nowhere nearly as complicated or paranoid as my mother although it was no less absolute in conviction. In his mind he loved surfing and therefore I should love surfing as well. He wanted like all fathers to see something of himself live on in his own son. So he took me to the beach. I know my parents fought bitterly over this part. At first my mother maintained that it was too dangerous to take me to the beach without proper supervision. My father countered with assurances that he‟d be watching me and teaching me to surf, which of course got them to arguing about the very thing that my mother hated. Somehow, and I suspect it was mostly through pure perseverance that my father managed to convince my mom that it would be safe to take me. Or maybe he didn‟t convince her. Maybe he simply exercised his manly rights and dragged me from the house. I‟m really not sure they had so many arguments and conversations with me outside the room. All I know is that my father took me to the beach and tried to teach me to surf. My mother tried to fight this in any way that she could possibly imagine. In the end she could not physically prevent me from going, but she did succeed in discouraging me from surfing. Despite my father‟s enthusiasm for the sport, my mother managed to instill in me a great fear of surfing. She was clever in her efforts; she‟d point out my fathers injuries when he‟d come home bleeding from hitting the reef; she‟d ask me questions about the dangers of surfing, subtly reminding me that I could hit the reef or fall off the board or be hit by the board as a wave breaks over me. I quickly developed a


healthy terror about surfing, and despite my fathers efforts, I never really took to surfing. However my mother wasn‟t entirely successful in her efforts. I did not develop an interest in surfing, however I did develop an interest in the surf. Surfing was in essence a pastime doomed to failure for me under my mother‟s clever influence. She managed to instill a fear into me that has not failed to this day, and yet at the same time she was unable to make me fear the sea. My father fought a losing battle to get me onto the surfboard. Each time he would put me on the board, I would panic and struggle to get down. I could not stand the sensation of flying over the water with a wall of water behind me while watching the reef sliding beneath me. Falling from a moving surfboard when a wave broke behind me, I always panicked as I tumbled in the water, fearful that the sharp pointy end of the surfboard would strike me, fearful that as I tumbled in the water I would strike the reef. I never learned to be fearless like my father, I only learned to avoid surfing. However, I did not feel the same about surf as I did, surfing. Much to my mother‟s disappointment I developed a deep and abiding love for the waves themselves. However much I did not take to surfing, I did take to the very sea itself. I quickly learned to bob up and down in the swells as they surged in towards the shore, riding the ebbs of currents, I could linger in a small space between shore and breakwater and the sea and waves. It was exhilarating to be carried up the swelling waves as they traveled in towards shore, to be spun by the breaking wave and tossed and turned like a sweater in a dryer. At first I was mostly content to just tread water and drift up and down with cresting waves. Then I learned about the fun of being tossed in the breakwater. I would wait in the shallows for the breaking wave and as it broke around me the water would pick me up and spin me around and around in circles. I still remember the feeling of panic and exhilaration as the water crashed around me and I twisted about in my own pocket of frothing bubbles and whirling air. I also still remember the sensation of the sand and water and air all spinning around me, the color of the frothy white water spun dark by the grains of sand mixed into the breakers, and the sensation of breathing shallow breaths between the tumbling pockets of air. So that became my favorite pastime, riding the waves and playing in the surf. I never became comfortable on a surfboard, but I did learn to be comfortable in the highest surf. My father was greatly disappointed that I did not want to surf, but he was adaptable and continued to bring me to the beach and left me on the shore instead of taking me out with him. He continued to bring him to the beach and left me on the shore instead of taking me out with him. He continued to spirit me away from my mom and bring me to the beach and for that I am eternally grateful. Many of my happiest childhood memories are at the beach. That was my father, the man who never succeeded to teach me how to surf, but did take me to the beach. It was perhaps his only victory over my mother – that he imparted to me a love of the sea and an appreciation for waves and tides and the flow of water. Years later, now in particular, I regret that he did not succeed in teaching me to surf. I regret that my mother succeeded in discouraging me from surfing. Yet the wise and rationale aspect of my self knows that each play had to fall as it did or I would not be where I am today. I would not have traveled this distance; I would not have left Hawaii if I was addicted to wave riding; I would have stayed near the waves, near the surf. I would have stayed in Hawaii. Instead my mother succeeded partially in her schemes. I


did distain the sport. I did leave Hawaii and I did pursue great things. However things turned out different from what my mother was expecting. My mother wanted me to be an artist, to take my great creative potential and apply that potential in a perfectly sensitive and intellectual way. Instead of art, I went into science, a choice that has never ceased to disappoint her. My mother cannot stand technology. She prefers the simplest of technologies, and though she has entered the 21st century that entry has not been of her own free will. She hates televisions, dishwashers, and microwaves. She distrusts digital devices, feels confused by cell phones, and tells everyone that she cannot use computers. She also tells everyone that she‟d be better of on a farm, with some chicken and a few cows. She would have understood a career in art, because my mother is an artist. She cannot understand a career in science because she cannot understand the technology, the information, and the vast deluge of data. I think her disappointment stemmed fundamentally from the realization that while I was not surfing the sea waves, I was surfing information waves. I find satisfaction in wading through ocean of information, crashing through waves of waves of research, only to emerge with a small glimmer of some realization, some concept newly pulled from the surrounding chaos. My father surfs the physical sea; I like to think that I surf the mental sea. I also like to think that my comfort with new and strange situations comes from my childhood, tumbling in the sea. I grew up in the ocean and I learned to be surrounded by something infinitely larger than me, something wild and fierce with a movement all its own. Science and research is like that. I like to think that was my father‟s gift to me, time in the sea. And change. I always forget about change, but that was his other gift to me. Comfort with change. I learned to keep myself floating in the midst of a vastly changing sea, learned to keep abreast with the waves and the surging and ebbing of the ocean waves. Eventually I would grow tired of the waves and I would crawl out from the sea and hunker down on the sand. I would dig tunnels and forts in the sand, filling the beach around me with a warrant of tunnels and holes. My father viewed all of this with detached intered. From time to time he would ask me if I wanted to go back in the water or he‟d ask me if I didn‟t want to play in the waves more. No, I would say, I want to dig in the sand. So he‟d let me. That was the beginning of my long journey here. Here is Providence, Rhode Island, which is 5,000 miles away from Hawaii. There are other places in the world that would be farther away, but as the United States go, Rhode Island I about as far as I couild go. Here is Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. A small, snotty, liberal arts, Ivy League school. Elitist and arrogant, brown has never stooped to the lower classes, instead the lower classes must climb to Brown. That would describe my journey there. I left Hawaii and gave up my spot by the sea for a spot in the Pioneer Valley of Amherst College. I don‟t know why I made the journey, maybe it wsa because my mother‟s family came from the Northeast. A part of me felt the urge to return, a need to travel the distance across the sea and the entirety of one whole continent. The call to arms or so you might say. My mother planned with great ambition that I would amount to something and so she launched me like a speat at the intellectual capitals of the Northeast. I certainly don‟t think I came with urging from my father‟s side. As a child we were regaled with fatalistic stories of nobel Hawaiians who journeyed from Hawaii to the East Coast to partake of the white man‟s education. Of course, they always died of


sickeness and dsease. I say regaled because the stories were supposed to horrify us and impress upon us the the terrible tragedy and hardship of our ancestors, but in actuality the stories mostly just fascinated us. My favorite was the story of Henry Opukahaia. That was also the name of the private school I went to, founded in the egotistical tradition of Chrisians determined to save the native peoples from themselves. Henry Opukahaia was run by religious fanatics certain of their faith and certain of their mission. They loved to gather the students together for chapel and tell us stories of Christian suffering and woe. All to illustrate, they said, the depths of God‟s love and mercy. Of course the story of the school‟s namesake, Henry Opukahaia, was of great interest to our teachers. They relished to tell of Henry Opukuhaia‟s very tragic life. A boy born on the Big Island of Hawaii, he stowed away aboard a sailing ship bound for the East Coast (this was all a hundred years before planes). Henry Opukahaia demonstrated intelligency and tenacity and industry (all qualities that good Christians should desire and posses) when he chose to study at Yale University. We were always told that Henry Opukahaia was eager to become a Christian and that he influenced those around him with his passion and dedication to the Christian message. As the final cornerstone to the story, were were always left with the horrible and tragic death of Henry Opukahaia at the tender age of twenty-eight. He literally died at Yale, or so they like us to believe. The story ends with the message that Henry Opukahaia‟s death inspired missionaries to travel to Hawaii and save the heathens from their sinful lives. I always think of his death as a double tragedy. First a smart talented Hawaiian dies far away from home. Second his death brings yet more missionaries determined to ruin the culture if it means saving the heathens. I saw his death so often in my minds eye that I still see it now. I could imagine a tall, brown skinned boy from Hawaii because he really was just a boy slowly wasting away in a cold distant land of Conniticut. I suppose that‟s why I still dislike Yale, Henry Opukahaia died there. His recent death wasn‟t all that special or unuual, most if not all of the hold Hawaiians died if there were away from home for too long. Many of the ali‟i or the nobility of Hawaii died when they were traveling the world for in those days all travel was by ship and the nobility made the mistake of taking ships to places like England, which of course took months in travel. In the usual flair of tragedies the kings and queens who made such trips would inevitably perish, most of the time from new sicknesses for which they had no natural immunity. I have kept all this in my mind, particularly now that I am at Brown. I am glad that I didn‟t go to Yale for I‟m sure the old curse would have found and killed me. As it is the darkness in this city is enough to crush me and make me think of Henry Opukahaia, but I do not want to die here. I am writing all of this to remember because I think that regardless of what I want, a part of me will die in Providence before or by the time I reach my Ph.D. because that is why I‟m here, for my Ph.D. Each day I feel a little more of myself growing cold and rigid. Soon I think I shall be one solid piece of ice. As it is, I fear my return to the city with the anxiety and so I‟ve taken to keeping this journal. So far most of this record pertains to the trauma of leaving Hawaii and my dread of returning to Rhode Island. I think the story of Henry Opukahaia sums it all up nicely. Hawaiian dies in far and frozen land. Separated from island home. That is how I feel when I‟m on the Northeast, far and frozen, separated from my island home. Part of me very much wants to succeed. Part of me is angry and indignant at the suffering of my people and so part of me wants to right the ancient wrongs succeeding at


graduate school. Part of me is angry and indignant at the suffering of my people and so part of me wants to right the ancient wrongs by succeeding at graduate school. Part of me thinks it would be poetic and fitting for me to be taught and trained in the white man‟s school, but part of me also knows it would be tragic to have all of these parts that think different about the present, past, and future. Different parts of me of different perspecitives, different view points. I haven‟t slept much in the last year or so and I feel my mind fraying. I feel as if the last year has been spent awake from beginning to end with no rest or respite on the resumption of work. Actually, I am home at the moment, I cam home for Christmas and I‟ve spend a month in Hawaii, trying to relax, but I never really did, that‟s what my parents tell me that I never relaxed and I looked like I was just constantly tense because I am constantly tense. I am constantly tense about returning to that city and to my office and to the cold and the dark and the winter. I do not want to go back, I do not want to die. I do not want to go back because back is a windowless office in the basement of the pscyohlogy building wehre I never seee day or night or the seasons or any other light except the miserable flow of fluorescent lights. I do not want to return to this place and the file cabinets full of papers and the pages and pages of research data that I have to review, experiments like black magic and the scores of rats that are offered to the gods ofscience. I am fractured because part of me wants to stop what I am doing, to stop killing the rats part of me wants to stop part of me, maybe most of me wants to continue. A part thinks that if I stop now then they win, they being the enemy the enemby being the other, the other being whoever it is that is not me. I have come too far to simply acquiesce to defeat. I will go back and I will face my fears and I will make my ancestors proud. I will spend tomorrow in the city, in Honolulu and the day after that Iwill board the plane to return to school. I will treturn to my Spartan cincerblock office that‟s full of papers and file cabinets and a singl desk with a computer in the middle. I will sleep and tomorrow will be another day.


Friday, January 15 I wake up early on my last morning at home and call my boyfriend back in Providence. I‟ve missed him greatly while I‟ve been here in Hawaii and he is probably the real reason that I‟m going back to Rhode Island, him and my struggle for a PhD. Mike is from Providence, so he‟s a local son of the city. We talk for awhile on the phone about the weather and the cold and how each of us is doing. I love him a lot and trust him with my life. I sleep a little after talking to Mike and wake up and head out with a friend of mine, Judy. Judy is a geology student here in Hawaii and we went to college together as undergrads. We can both commisurate about the trauma of Ph.D. programs. Judy‟s program is pretty difficult. She has to count grains of sand for her advisor. We go to our favorite store, the Diamond Head Grill. We both gram things to eat. Judy gets a salid with mahi mahi on it, I get somen and we head to the beach to sit in the sun and watch the airplanes taking off over the sea. We dig our feet into the sand and push ourselves back to look up at the sky. We talk about little thins like snow and the sun, and winter ,and the city of Providence. After awhile we sit back and build mounds in the sand. Judy pretends that one is a volcano and she sends lava down to the sandy shores. We talk about global warming and speculate about high the seal will rise. We both concur that the sea will probably wash into the city of Honolulul for hundreds of feedt and put everytyhing under several feet of water. Everyone will be irriated and sad and wet, but then people will adapt and the world will have another city like Venice. No, says Judy, as she shuffles more sand into a mound, “we‟ll have dozens of city like Venice, dozens of flooded cities. We sit back under the noonday sun and revel in our mutual visioin of a world in which all the major costal cites are folooded by several feedt of water and gondoliers paddled between the buildings. It's a nice vision of a world slightly wetter than now. We go back to our mounds of sand and we pretend again that they are volvancoes, but this time the volvanoes are taking out resorts tht areblimishing the land. Neither of us particularly like resorts. As another of your sand volcanoes erupts to spew sand lava, I suddenly thnk of my mother and her friends and the hula halau. I mention to Julia, “My mom used to be part of a dance group. They used to go dancing up around the volcano, maybe if you come over one day I can try to introduce you to them. I have to ask my mom if she‟s still in contact wit them. “Cool,” says Judy in excitement. Then we push around more sand and talk about what Judy will do this summer. Tehre‟s a group, she says, a group of people who are making a taro patch. Maybe she‟ll do that, she says. We stand up and head to the mall to wander around. I look around for some local snacks. The mall is full of fish ponds, koi ponds, and the the ponds are full of taro plants. “Just like a trao patch, “ I say and I point to he water running around the roots of the large taro plants and their great broad green levaes spread out ove the wter. We both lean close to the pond and adire the flowing water. You should definitely go and work in that taro patch, “ I say. “The only want people in the summer,” Judy says. “Well, tthat‟s good,” I say, “You won‟t have to worry about school.”


“But they have mosquitoes in the summer,” says Judy. We push away from the ponts and start walkig out of the mall, “still,” I say that‟s good, you should still go. Go for the summer and help with the taro patch. Then at the end, they‟ll probably ask you to come again, if they like you and if you come back then they‟ll probably think of you as a regular.” It beging to grow late and we head over to the local magic shop. Somone that we know is making a tarot deck and Judy and I want to look tat the cards. We arrived just before closing and we ask to see the deck but they don't‟ have a deck with them at the store. Judy and I are both disappointed as we had beend waiting all day to see the cards. As it is we can talk wit the makers of deck, a husband and wife pair. They‟re very fascinating the man has grey hair and he‟s more reserved and pulled together like he‟s holding an important secret. She is young and beautiful with dark hair and Asian Features. [add in the part about psychology being like magic] Judy and I wander around the store. I run into a little old lady named Micky. She has an odd hump on her back. A while ago, she gave me a trot reading just before I left for school. Judy wanters to the side and starts looking at the tarot cards. I continue talking to Micky and she offers some pointers to me about the year to come. “Good think the monkey year is ending. It‟s been a bad year for everyone. Monkey is a trickster and likes to make things hard for everyone, hoever now a yer year is coming and it will be better for everyone. This will be a rooster year, which will be much bette. Don‟t forget to celebrate the new year with some friends. You should really celebrate in style. Have some good food and celebrate the coming new year. You want to ring it in like a rooster! Year of the Rooster you see!” Judy is getting ready to leave and I start to turn around, “Your finances have been difficult,” Micky says to me, “But they‟ll change around later in the spring,” she says. I say thank you and turn to leave. My last day in Hawaii is coming to a close and Judy drives me to the airport. I feel fatalistic about going and drag myself to the gate. Before heading to the gate I turn around and hug Judy goodbye. At the gate I sit and wait and fret over the time. I feel that I am at the edge of a great storm, a huge hurricane that is about to pick up and dash me off to somewhere. My gut instinct it that I haven‟t done enough to prepare for my coming semester at Brown. But another part of me says, “Yes, I have. I‟ve spent hours reading rsearch papers and hours taking notes and hours reviewing data. I should be more ready, ready for my exams and rady for whatever may happen. I‟m under more stress and pressure than I think. I have a black laqcquerware box that I was given when I left Japan. The box is larger than a sheet of pper and very shiny like polished obsidian. It also has a smell of sap and resin and varnish. The lid of the box is covered with flour inlaid panales, ech panel displays one of the four seasons. One is for spring, another for summer and the last two: autumn and winter. I had a government job for three years in Jpan. It seemed like a dream, like some that couldn‟t possibly have happened, but it did. Now that I‟m a miserable and lowly


graduate student, but then I was at the to of world. My job was fairly ambiguous. I worked as an English language cosulatnt advising the local schools on matters of the curriculum. I liveind in the country side in a small town and over saw four elementary schools, four kinder kargents, and one middle school. I also had a nice three store house and two dogs. IT was an ideal life, but the job had term limies of three years. So when I reached m third year. It was time for me to go home. The local townspeople threw ma a going away party tand that‟s wehre I go my lanquerware box. This evening at the airport just before I get on the plane, I look at the box, which I‟m holding in my lab, and I remember something else. There‟s a Japanese story that I used to love as a child, it‟s called Urashima Taro. The sotry is about a young fisherman who rides the back of trurtle, all the way to the sea kings palace. Tehre Urashima Taro meets the sea Kings‟s daughter. The seak king entertains Urashima Tarol for a long time but eventually he wants to leave. Before he leaves, the seak Kings daughter gives him a black box with four seasons painted on it. She tells him never to open the box. Of course as any reader of airytlaes knows, the main character ineveitablly doesn‟t do what he should or does what he shouldn‟t. So as would be expected Urashima Tarol does open the box. As it turns out the box holds the contents of all the memories for the time that Urashima Taro spenter under the sea – years in fact. Thus having opened the box he instantly reexperiences ll of those memories and so, ages. The story of Urashima Taro has always ascinated me because it capures the tragicelement of human curiosity coupbled with the pathos of past memories. In my case, my box was presented and I was never told not to open it. To the contrary, I think that my box was given to me epby so that I could fill it with my own memories. Where urashima Taro‟s box was full of dangerous elements from the past, my box was empty of anything save what I chose to put inside. So I‟ve used the box to store my taro cards. I think of my taro cards as memories like archtypical memories of wisdom. I like Jungiana psychology and it‟s not really in vogue right now. I suppose it‟s just all al little too mystifcal or magical. My favorite thinkg about Jungian psychology is the idea of archetypes. I think there‟s good reason to believe in the existence of over arching ideas and dreams that are so important and fundamental that they are constantly built into the world around us. I think of the tarot as a collection of archetypes that embody the collective wisdom of humanity. I enjoy the pictures and like to medidate upon their menings. I have a small collection of tarot decks. My favorites are the Crwoley deck, the Phantasmagoria deack, and the Arthurian Legend deck. I have a few rare decks like the Rhorig deck and the Giger deck and one day I hope to have the Dali deck. At the moment I am traveling with the Phantasmagoria, Rhorig, and Crowley decks. I open the box by removing the lid and setting it beside me and then pulling out he phantasmagoria deck. I start shuffling the cards and think to myself. At that moment a man across from me notices me with the cards nd he says to me “tarot cards?” I not to him and say, “Yes,” then I ask him if he‟d like me to read for him as he seems interested. He says yes and he stnds up and then sits in the seat next to me, we make odd small talk and pleasant chatter and I continue shuffling the cards. He introduces himself


as frank and I tell him my name. Then he tells me that he onece had his cards read by a woman in New Orleans., but it wasn‟t a very good read. I don‟tinue shuffling and ask him to clarify, “How many cards did she use?” “Four, I think,” he says I grow more serious and say, “Four, are you sure?” He pauses and looks at me with laughing alarm, “Well, I can‟t remember,” “Hmm,” I say, Four is really a bad number, it‟s symbolic of death, she must really have not liked you.” “Hah,” he laughs “How did you pay her?” “With cash.” “Oh, bad,” I say, “It‟s kind of an insult to pay a real tarot reader with cash. You should always give a gift or pay by credit card. That way no physical money is involved.” He nods he head and I continue, “Well don‟t worry, I cn give you a good reading. I‟ll just use these three cards. Three is the best number, really short, simple and to the point, threee cards are what I use to read for myself. It‟s what real tarot readers use when they read for themselves. He smiles and then says, “Well, I guess I”ll have to give you something like a video camera.” I smile and say, “No thanks, the pleasure is mine. I finish shuffling the cards and give them to Frank so that he can cut them, then I start to draw. First the sun, second the 8 of Wands, third and last the 6 of Swords. I pull up the sun card and hold it in front of me. “You are the sun, you possess great energy and drive. As such,” and I point to the picture of the sun, sitting alone and above the resto f the thearth, “you are separate from mots other people beause you‟re a sun., you burn very brightly so that most others cannot stand to be around you for too long. You can be around other tarts , but they‟re rare. For the most part your life will be a life of solidtary incandescence. I loo at the sun card and Frank looks at it as well. I notie that there seem to be a pair of trees beneath the sun. The image is a trick of the light. In fact the sun, complete with a face, it resting upon a pair of brown-green hands, with arms that look like trees. I point out the imagery to Frank, “look. That looks like a tree trunk below the sun.” Frank notds and I add, see there are something that can exist close to the sun types. A tree person can handle the intensity of the sun. You‟re probably seen a tree person before. They look kind of dunll in the eyes and are very slow andseem exactly like trees. They‟re the perfect match for sun-types because they like the vibrancy of the sun type and they can remain close. If you ever meet a person like that be patient and nice as tree people are very unassuming and don‟t appear to be much of anything. Frnakd nods his head in pefect understanding. Then I add, “Since you‟re the sun, you‟ll get along with other sun types or other suns but that type of person is always rare. Bhehind us the boarding call begins and Frank stands up, “I‟m in Frst Class so I better get going.” “Okay, I say, “Maybe we can finish this up on the plane, there are two more cards.”


“Okay,” says Frank, maybe there will be an empty seat next to me and you can join me.” “Maybe,” I say. I start to get myself together and gather my carry-ons. Just before I stand up, I look at my cell-phone and remember that I need to call my mom. I pick-up my phone and dial my home number. My mother picks up and we chat aimlessly for a bit before I get on the plane. The line of passengers is slowly dwindling as more passengers enter the plane. Before long there‟s only the gaping hole of the boarding gate, the airline attendant taking tickets, and the last few passengers trickling by me. I see the future opening before me. The journey scares me and I start to cry. “I don‟t want to go, Mom.” She doen‟st say much other than “Yes…” I cry more and then say, “I know you can‟t tell me to stay or go,” Again she says , “Yes.” I start talking about something but my mind is separating from my body. I‟m drifting away and I hear myself talking to my mom about how I must go and ho difficult this will be but this is the right thing to do and as we talk I watch a man standing with his on talking to two airlin employees and I think of myself going to college for the first time and the distance that I had to go, and I realize that this father is sending his son to college and he‟s concerned, No, actually I think the father is a captin and he‟s arguing wit the other airline employees, trying to convinve them to take his son because his son is on sandby. I‟m still talking to my mother but it‟s mostly automatic and I feel like I‟ve dropped into a big ocean and a river of current is beginning to form and I‟m deep in that current being carried away. I still have a ticket and I flow past the agent onto the plane, talking to my mom and drying my eyes, trying not to cry, the flight attendant guides me back to my seat, but there‟s not room for my bag above my seat so I take out my laquerware box and ask the steweardess what to do with it. She says, “If I were you I would keep it with me.” The she takes a pillocase of one of the pillows and hands it to me and says, here – covere it with this. Her hair is read and her eyes aer percieng like a withc. I think for a moment that she‟s reading my mind because I feel like she‟s looking through my thoughs and I don‟t know if I‟m good or bad. The I turn and go back to my seat, sit down and put the laquer ware box beneath the seat before me and the flight takes off.


The Midnight Plane Flight The plane is dark, yet full of orange, ambient light. The window shads are all draan and the absence of sunlight is conspicuous. Still I feel a small amount of comfort in the faint orange light that diffuses around the seats and through the aisles. I‟m sitting patiently in my seat awaiting something to happent. The man next to me looks like a dwarf out of Tolkein: think, hairy beard, eyes shrouded in furry eyebrows and a big nose and big eas. He seems slightl threatening and yet I feel save next to him. A steweardess makes an announcement over the loudspeaker and she etells eveyron that the in flight movies is about to start. She announces the movie title to be “Vanity Fiar.” Instantly I‟m interested, I‟ve never seen this movie, but I saw the prefies and they were great and I always wanted to see this movie. However I hve one small problem, the man infront of me is too tall and I can‟t see the screen. I walk back to he end of the airplane and find a steweardess. I tller he about my situation and I mention that I can‟t see the screen because the guy in front of tme. Are there any other seats that I can seeit i? I really want to see the movie. The steweardess beings to say no, but then another steweardess interrupts and says, “there is that row of seats in the frond.” The first stewardess nods her head and defers to the scond. The second stewardess tells me to follow her and she takes me to the very front of the coach section. There are three empty seats in the middle of the planet in front of the movie screen. I thank her and then sit down. The nagle isn‟t too bad as I‟m no entirely too much inforton of the movie screen. I stand back up and walk back to my original seat. The movie is about to begin so I grap my box and leave my backpack on my seat. I sit back down in the front and happily set the laquerware box beside me. I now have three seats instead of two. I beiefly think about Frank but I think that I can talk to him later. The movie is beginning and I watch aptly. The story is fascinating and tells the store of an intelligent woman‟s rise from the lower class, at theast that‟s what I think the story is atelling. Te ruth is that I‟m interruptede and all I really know is that the main character starts as a poor girl that is taken in ba a teacher and then that girl rises to a higher social position then falls to a lowr one and the rises to aneven higher place, all on account of her intellectual charm and beauty. Therefare odd back drops in the movie, and strange subtexts. I have the sense of a struggle between men and women and there seems to be another struggle between male alchemists and their art and female witches and their art. The middle ages must have been anexciting time to be alive . I‟m interrupted by the movement of a woman standing near the edge of my seats at the other end of the row of three seats. She has blonde hair and seems loder middle aged. She continue to look around her and turns as if searching for something. Then as quickly a sI noticer her she disappears to the back of the plane. Maybe she lost something, I think and maybe I should talk to her. I stand up and walk backwards. She seems to be alking to the back of the plane but then stops in the middle near one of the rest rooms. “Did you lose something?” I ask She mumbles back a reply and I‟m not sure what she sait. I get the sense that she‟s saying no, but I‟m not sure. She seems lost and confused and I want to help. My


tarot cards often helm m when I‟m lot and confused and so I offer to her, “ I have tarot cards if you‟d like to see them.” She nods her head and says yes, so I walk back to my seat and she follows. I take my box out and set in the seat between us. I sit on the bar right seat and she sits on the far left seat. I‟m tired and confused and yet I don‟t recognize that I‟m tired and confused. I pen the box and say, I don‟t know what to do with this,” this being the lid, and the woman says, “well,, you should put it down there, “she says and points to an open space on he sex beside the box. I lay the lid next to the box wit the box parralellel to the lid. Next I tak out a silk hankerchief from the box and lay it on the lid, then I take out my taor cards and begin shuffling them. I finish shuffling and deal threecards. I loot at the first card, then lootat the woman enxt to me, and I beging to speak. Then I loo at the cared and look bacto the woman next to me. I say, I‟m sorry, how rude of me, you already know this stuff., “ and I put the cards away. The woman next to me looks memused and smiles and says, “Well….” I put all the cards back into the box and I place the lid on top. That‟s a very pretty box,” she says, “Thanks,” I say “ I used to have have a laquer ware tea set,” “Oh,” I say “Yes, someone gave it to me for my wedding.” “Oh, what happened to it?” “I think I threw it away.” “Oh, that‟s sad.” “yeah, I keep wondering where it went too.” She trails off and I ask, “Where aer you from?” “Main”> “Ooh,” I say, “That‟s where that writer, Stephen King is from. In my mind I begin to see an image of her home forming in my mind. A rustic place with no surrounding buildings and windows open wide to breezes that blow the curtains inwards. “That‟s really to bad about my laqureware.” “mmm, yeah, Maybe you could get a traveler to get you a replacement. You know, those young people that are always wandering all over the place. Maybe you coiuld aslk one of them to get one for you. Travelers are always wandering all over the place, I‟m sure that one of them would wander somethere close to a place like Jpan or somewhere they could get you youre lacquerware. You know all you‟d have to do is keep your door open and welcome passerbyers. You could even test them to know who‟d be right b ecaue you‟d want to a hero type and not anything else. Heroes are always looking for quests and you could send them out on quests. Well you‟d send them out on one quest and that would be to find your old laquer wear set. I guess for fun you could keep throwing it away. You might leave your door open and let passing travelers in but beware of the artists. They always want to come in – find some free food and a place to rest. You don‟t want them to stay for too long – the make such messes.: She nods, “Yes, they do.” “One thin you could do to deal with artists would be to have a small basket by the door, you could put some paints, and some very basic thing in, and you could tell the


artists that they can use whatever is in the basket and when they‟ve used it all up they have to move on – and they can use it quickly or slowly – although if it‟s just a little bit of stuff, I‟m sure most artists would rather just move one, but you‟d know there might be a day when great artit would come wandering by.” “So what about my laguerware?” she asks. “Well you‟d need to send people out to find that. That‟s easy if you have travelers coming to your house, you can let them stop by, a true hero won‟t ask for anything and if you offer anything all he‟ll ask for is a grass of wather. When you give theim the glass of wather, you can tell him about your lost laquer wear and then you can as him if he can brinkg back you lost laquer wear set, and if he accepts then you can send him on the quest. Of course it might take a while for him to get the set or to find it. In fact maybe it‟ll take him years, or maybe he‟ll even give up and go home. Some of them might do that you know. It‟ll probably ger frustrating because you‟ll need to call up his home and ask his parents if their son found your laquerwaer yet. Of course, sometimes the hero will be just careless and that‟s a good way to remind him that he needs to bring the laquerware back. Of course theres time that the hero may think that he can keep the laquerware, and those are the time that you should talk to the parents an those are the time that you should remind the mthat you can do something ad to their son, whci I‟m always sure is a sad situation for you. So I assume that you always feel a little sad sending out those heroes to llok for your laquerware because you know that some of them will just end up worse for the wear. “Have you read any of Stephen King‟s books?” “No,” she shakes her head. “He‟s such a weird author.” “Mmm, yeah,” she nods her head. “He has that one book about that crazy nurse that kidnaps an author and makes him write for her. Crazy stuff.” “Yeah,” she nods again “you know,” I say, “Youcan keep track of how many times ou‟ve lost your lacquerware and how many times you‟ve had to send smone to find it. All you need to do is take a small white coup. Then you can paint it everytime the laquereware is lost, just keep around some black paint and you can paint it a little each time. Eventually the cup will become perfrectly black and you‟ll be finished. “Finished with what?” She looks at me and smiles nicelys like a predeatory grandmother cooking and offering some diabolical dish. “well,” I respond, “Finished with whatever you are doing, I‟ guess.” Then I stop and say, “Oh, but your cup is already black, and I satre at her seeing more clearly. She is Spider the Ancient and this old entity is sitting next to me on the plane. I nod my head in acquiesnce. “How nice to meet you, “ I say “How nice to meet you,” she says and we just sit there. She is the dark force that impressions Stephen king and keeps him in Main. She is the spider in his nightmares that catches and holds him. She is old and ancient and very tired. She looks at me with great saness. “Remember that soety that he wrote about the store?” Oh, Yeah,”


“Reminds me of L.L. Bean.” “Oh yea,” “That‟s another thing that you have in Maine.” “Yelp.” “They‟re pretty good, especially what with that return policy they have, you know with the life time gurantee. “Yes, but you shouldn‟t just send anything back. “No, you shouldn‟t.” “Pook Stephen king, “ Isay, “He‟s such a scared writer. I feel sorry for him.” “She nods and says nothing.” “I bet he had nightmares when he was a kid.” “Yeah,” she says, “maybe he was scared of the dark.” “Or of monsters in his closet. Suddenly in my minds eye I can see the universe comporessed in to a small marble sitting at the back of the closed of a scaredand crying kid and it gives of light that shines through the slates of s small empty room – illuminating the places ghostly. “Poor boy – there must have been something in his closet that gave him night mares.” “You know that he also has another home in Freeport?” I shake my head. “Well he does it‟s close to the store.” “hmm. I havea friend who wants to meet Stepehn King, I don‟t know what I would do if I Could meet whim.” “What do you think you woud say to him?” “I don‟t know.” I pause and thinkof sad writer sitting in a dimly li kitchen looking at the wall. There is kitchen and a cupboard full of cups. “Well, I would give him a cup of water.” “Really?” “Yes, and say, It says you are free.” “Hmm, that would be a very nice message, if you see him, you should give it to him.” “Poor thing though,” she says, “all those nightmares. “well, he made lots of stories.” “yes, he did.” “I imagine it must be very hard to be you and afraid of the dark, never knowing what‟s out there, never knowing what‟s in store. Still it would be quite exciting to have a universe in the corner of your mind.” “yes,” she smiled, “I‟m sure it woiuld be.” “This unierse is quite exciting itself, like a very good game, Yes,” I apuse, and not, “It‟s like a very good game.>‟ We talk of the nature of existence and the construction of the universe. “I really enjoyed my time here, I‟ve really enjoyed this game,” as I say that I feel a sense of forbooding like something terrible. The woman is peering closely at me her yesy are trying to penetrate my thoughts, probing, asking, “Who areyou?”


I bat her thoughts away and notice from the corner of my eye that people are moving rabipdly down and up the aisles. Tehre is a sense of activity and motion as feeling that something is going to happen. She nods her head and says.”Well, I‟m glad you liked it.” “yes,” it‟s a good game,” I pause and then add, “I imagine that it was quiate a bit of work to make this place.” “Yes, tell me about it.” She nods and smiles and challenges me to the story. I take the callenge and reply. “Well, I imagine it was very difficult to make the universe from nothing. But it was done.” A small memory of a black spider return to my mind - a memory from very long a go – a small black spider creeps across the color and at the cornger of the room a small golden-brown roach darts in and out of the room. “that reminds me of a story I knew.” I smile, and she the spider old and benevolent smiles back at me like reflective mirror and she says, “tell me about it.” So I do. “In the beinning the Twelever were kicked out of heaven or it is that God kicked the mout (I‟m really sorry for the grouble that I‟ve put you through). The Tweleve were kicked out of heaven, which was a pretty rough event for all involved because heaven was the sol sourse of light in an infinte darkness. Now spider also went wit the Twelve and she like the others made a new home for herself. The homes of the others were not that good and suffered from a fundamental problem. Spider‟s world however was different. Her world was spun from tiny iridescent orbs that she pulled from within herself and she spread the orbs around herself in a circle and then around that circle she placed another circle until she had a vaset web of tiny little lights whtat surrounded her in a every dimension and there she had her world. Eventually all the other s came to Spider‟s world because her world was the best and then finally God took notice and he fought with Spider for her world, but in the end they both agreed to shaer it so spider filled the world with her offspring, women and they are like spiders‟ cabable of spinning webs making connections and riding the unseeent lines of fate. Gof willed the world with his offspring and they are men and they can creat or desotyr things. So men have always fought against women and the battler of the sexes rages on. Of coure ther are other descendents of the other Twelve, like Tiger and Snake, and Dog. So it is tha the many descendants of the first animals continue to fight and struggle and disagree and biker with eacher other, for while everyone may appear to have the sameface they do not have the same mind and some may be of the mind of the spider and some maybe be of the mind of god, and yet others might be of the mind of dog or rooster or o x or pig or snake. Thus to this day earth is a vast and chaotic home to all tribes and nations from all sorts of places.” Spider woman old ldy time longer legs than they sky with a web encompassing everything she msiles ditred and admits, “That‟s a good story.” “I‟m glad you like it.” I sigh an then notice my tarot cards still sitting on the chair with the bon on the seat between us and the lid eschew. “hmm,” I wonder aloud, “ I should do something with this box, .” It‟s so noisy in this place I think. IT‟s getting harder and harder to hear what each of us is saying.


Spider nods her head. I stand up and pick the box lauer ware box “I can sit here but I hould probably do something with this box. I don‟t want to sit on it.” “why don‟t you put it behind you and leand back against it. That way it‟sll be safe. “ “mmm, good idea.” “So the universe is getting old this world is getting old what do you think?” “yes, it is I suppose, what do you think?” “I think that I t all must go somewghere that the great spinning mass must go somewhere.” “So what would you do?” she questions and asks and probes with finality. “I would have the universee escape out of he corner of a little boys room free from the confines of the places that it has been bound out across the darkness filing the emptiness the vacuum with water and light.” “That sounds nice.” “I wouild give the new universe a place to be and I would let it start over where the old universe was. That way the both could exist. And maybe the occupants of the old universe couild cross over from time to time and visit the occupants of the new universe. It would be just like people traveling from one place to another one country to another. It would be wonderful and exciting.” “That does sound nice, but how would people get from one place to the next?” “Well there would have to be doors or holes or gates or something but…” I pause and think. “Maybe holes through reality wouldn‟t make much sense – maybe these are bad idea…” “Yes,” she nods in a agreement, definitely concurring, “that would be a bad Idea.” “I guess,” I say puzzled,”I‟ll leave it up to someone else.” “Sometiems it‟s a good idea to leave things to someone else,” she says “You know,” I say, “ I really like the ending to that series by Stephen King. You know the dark Tower Series the one with the Dark Tower in it. I really liked the last scene. IT was so good. Thank you for such a good ending.” “Well, I‟m glad you liked it,” she smiles “yes the ending was so vivid and vibrant and I could see the Dark Tower so clearly and I knew that it was written just for me and when I read it I realized that I don‟t need to travel there because I shouldn‟t.” :No, you really shouldn‟t go there,” she notds her head in agreement.” “Yes, I fell very contenst that I‟ve seen the center of the universe and now I can continue on.” “Well that‟s good, good locuk with youre travels. “You too,” I say, “and don‟t worry at the end of your journey you‟ll find yourself with your old friends and you‟ll be somewhere nice like a beach or something similar in a tropical place and you‟ll be happy.” She stands up and starts to walk to the back of the plane, “Why thank you,” she says as she walks away and then she turns back and says to me, “Don't forget to call your mom.” Call my mom, the clock is ticking and my eyes dart around the plane. I must make contact with her and tell her that I‟m okay and that I‟m thinking about her and that I‟m alright. But where and how to call. There must be phones on the plane and they


must be somewhere. There are always phones on the plane, but I do not know. So I walk to the back of the plane looking for the stewardess and I‟m very emotional feeling and the pull of two moons spinning at the corner of my mind and there are many forces at work and there are man ytravelers on the this plane and I must find a phone to call my mom. AT the back the stewardess stants is clustered bunches like witches watching their brew, they keep guard over some secrecy. “Is there a phone that I can use, I want to call my mom.” They look at me in feigned confusion. “None of the phone are working we have no hones wthere are no phones.” How can this be there are always phone one every plane that Ifly one. It cannot be that there are no pghone there must be hpohnes I must call my mom how c an I call if ther e are now phones. What kind of nightmare must this be. The steweardess regard me and my slow forming tears with interest like snakes peering at a bird or a bird peering at a snake and they mwatch with preatorial interest, all we need to find is some way to keep this one down and then all will be fine. No phone no phones they sing in song. Are you sure I ask and cry for failure I have failed and I cannot make my way and the plane is dark mostly figures in shwadows that do not make sense and the long tunnel of light I fjust want to make contact. Things are not good the stewardess are speaking conferring the telling of secrets they whisper to each other and confirm the story the phones are gone they do not work all things are broken difrerent damaged the story is not as assumed the phones aren‟t working are you sure says one to another are you sure they ask each other,yes they discontinued them they‟re changing the carriers all things will be different they‟re making all things different. One stewardess sits down on the stead next to me and she speaks calmly, “The satellites can‟t geth through hthe signall will not make it because the moons are in the way and the isgnal is thus broken terhe is not way that these thing will come ther ou ghtye will not come through the signal will not make it the phone will tno come through there are ll these things . I am sorry.” There is such finality an confustion in ther voice. I doo not know what she means. I cannot have what Iseek and I cry and cry – just because I wanted to call my mom just because I say I wanted to tell her that I‟m okay just beause just because. The light is shifting around at the edge of the shadows and I am weeping for my loss and I have lost many things and I mourn the loss of many things and I morun the lost of everything. Thwe steweardess sees mecrying and offers me her consoluation in the form of a drink her try this o say it always helps me when I am stressed or need relaxing its „ this wonder ful drin she pulls from her paurse a packed to f red powerder pours from it to the cup a witchy drkink a witches brw and majic concotion for rest and nerves and she offer it to me with a smile and I take it and thank her and say thank you as I drink it and I feel better calmer. The label says “Emergen-C” That is what this is, and emergency and emtotional emerbcy and how do you feel are you feeling better are things better are you better now have you clamed down now. Yes, I am better now I think I shall go sit down and good she nods, I‟m glad it was helpful. I float off light down the aisles floating with the plane fast through the clouds. I travel further into the night.


The Farther Journey Fast travel fast like air ether emust be call mom call mom a stewardess comes theres a phone in your hseat sirt whats this a phone in my seat. They said there were no phones. I don‟t now if it works. Phone brown plastic clear button some light up some surn green power on off ssend ower on off send a slit a list a place to slide he credit card through a slith to activate the phone but the phone doesn‟t activate. No dial town no power on no sen no phyone call. Maybe frank the sun can help. The sun is bright and luminous the sun will help. Float forward to first class to find the sun the other passengers slumber in their grey rest lit by purble light. Frnak is light and kindles from his dream returns to th speak of the other thinks light malfunction hpones and withcy women to plots the run th world and the mtysters of men. Where does the sun lives somewhere very far away and where does the sun rest on loot it is the time the sun must rease and now. Light streams into begins to enter the plane and I stand up to follow the sun but a steweard stops me with screaming and anger, “You cannot keep going between clases. You must stay in yoru place. You‟ve not slept all night. The capting has been warned about you! Return return return from where you came this place will explode and we‟ll all burst if you don‟t sit down Down Down Down The plane goes down with all it‟s sounds and the crying of the guard we have change from day to ligh the show the ride the trip is over we were just sardines in a cane Let them all in Close the doors Black out the windows Jiggle the plane and make them think Make them think That they are lifting They are lifting Now off goes the ironey The joke is one you The rides is just a ride You go nowhere They just change the set The scenery the props Today you are mexcico Tomorrow, England Travel is all the same Everything is the same A comic conspiracy Keep the lower clases down while we lift off To the moon where cities abound and we lie about Geography, flights, and maps


Where am I where are my things I am lost in a long set of people off the plane and through the ailes. We pour off into the light the sunlight of Chicago flow things move fast. Flags- people – moving Places – breath in Breath out run to The nesxt plan check the monitors My flight my flight where is my flight Run to the ticketarea Look look look wrong way Wrong way angel lady shows the way The way right way, bag lost Find back find bag – lady with phone helps Lady in the house of chairs and light Lady talks so fast, fast to the phone Bag is found fly to the gate Gate gate is hidden Where is the gate how can I Get where I‟m going to Nothing makes sense the Gate is secret like harry pottern Behind a wall a secret place the Place is a baird fling to heaven Heaven to heaven I go Along the way I sit with god and we Communion it tats just like blood No wonder it‟s called a bloddy mary Bloody mary bloody mary We sip and drink and talk of many things Of birds and trees and mountains The air flowing around wind for Windmills the water pouring down For power to drive the world Is full of secrets Our sectres we keep our own We have a member in the senate We are working at a project a secret project There is much to be done Secrets in the forst Hidden cities places of regugeed Hidden in secrets Bird watching Shall we go birdwatching The first shall be last The last shall be first The change is upon us


The changing of the guard The old meets the young Yought and age Wher are whe is there a sotrm No there is un The sun is rising The sun has returned All things reun Return There is a change A wedding is taking place Celebration No I forgot I‟ve made a mistake I never called my mom I must call her Call her Please can I call her Let me call her No?! Fuck you! Asshole Suck me I you our we cock dick codck dick bastatrd btich I am Faling Falling with the plane To blue suits and shinning uniforms To clusters of people all wondering all questioning Lost fast the movie goes Down into the rooms Deep inside the airports Questions We have questions Yes no yes no I cannot answer that I am bound mby the security Clearance to restricted information, You are asking For restricted information My program I run by Alice Sorenson Direct all question to her Thank you More questions How did you change so quickly


I don‟t know what‟s happening Who are you What is this place What are these questions We are just trying to ascertain The strangness The oddness Where are you coming from I don‟t know Where are you going I don‟t know

Falling I‟m just falling You may go Out. Stumble things change I change. I fall into the arms of love Matt has hair just like me Short and shorn like cancern victims We are victims of life Where where you I‟m sorry it took a hile I‟m sorry I took s long Are you okay Yes, of course, don‟t I look okay We go back Back to the house We can talk o Or cuddle About things And huddle Things drigt into blue blur Red action Love leaves for a meal We are separated What did I say Where am I There are dwarves in the basement Clanging at the furnaces Below the city Heat is running like fitres burning I play with the thermostat


Doing my part to bring the vocano up A flood will come as well That‟s where matt is With the other provedence meen Preparing for the flood The waters will come Wash everything awawy Wash everyone away The flood is coming I must keep what I treasure Get rit od the rest Put things in the hallway The trashman will come Take away everything I willb e free Wake me Do I know You in the night Answer Me I sing The last song The end I keep in the hallways Of this place That place Where are you Return to me Like sun The sun Enters through The door You Come Sad And smiling Will All You weariness Where Will You Take care, me I Shall Go


It Is For A Party? A Wedding? A Fun Event? A Dream These Things Are Lost do you know i am drifting between visions and showers you wash me I wander through my closet to find things that are not this is a blue suit i


will wear for the ceremony there will be my theacher there the story is thecar we drive away you ask me to eat a few waffles i try to eat and now we go where are we going a stop here we will stop stop stop


I want you to visit someone Here Why Hospital come inside sit down talk stare wait lady questions why are we here what is happening please sit on this bed I do not like this please take of your shirt i do not like this let me out of this hospital


Miriam Hospital Time 4:56 PM 1/16/05 Patient, male 27, was brought into ER by roommate. Roomate brought patient in because patient was saying strange things and not sleeping. During the processing and evaluation in the ER the patient became extremely agitated and tried to leave the hosptal. Security and staff were forced to restrain him and place him in five-point restraints. The patient bit one of the nurses in the shoulder during the process. Patient is now stabilized with IV and valium, will be in hospital over night and then tranfered to a psychiatric hospital when a space becomes open


Arbor Fuller Psychiatric Evaluation Date of Exam 1/17/05 Chief Complaint: “I was having problems with my sleep.” History of present Illness: Sleep was worse when flying back from HI. Not sleeping at all for 2-3 days. Denies auditory hallucinations. Denies symptoms Past Psychiatric History: None Developmental History: 2nd year Grad student. STudyi9ng psychology Medical History: Migraines

General Risk assessment Appearance: Alert Behaviro: Cooperative in contact Speetch: Coherent, long pauses, disorganized, abrupt, broken Orrientaiton: Fully oriented Intellectual Fuction: Good vocab. Able to carry on converstation Insight: Not clear on why he‟s here Judgement: At ristk to himself or others Diagnosis: Psychosis Preliminary Treatment Plan: Groups Meds for Disorder Dream 1 An interlude in the night with voices eaking to me frm the sky. There is first a vision of a a wedding interrupted by the screaming of angry guests. In the middle of this dream intreudes the come but insistent voice of a woman talking to me about my ehalth. She asks me about my hands and my hfeedt and my mind and my thoughts. I respond in confuction because I don‟t know what she‟s saying. She has me sit on a bed and she has me give her my shirt. The doctor will be in to examine you, she says. I lie by myself waiting expectantly and the darkness comes over me. Dream 2


I am screaming and fighting in a crowd of people, there are several people with me in a circle about me and I am screaming and yelling and punching and kicking and I am trying to break free. I hit shoulders and stomaches and try to knowck my way pst the crow of people pushying their way past me and I failing my first attempt, I drop down on the dloor and kick out at the people around me. Tan I stop and give up and the people surround me and take me away. Dream 3 I am tied on too a table being made ready for dissection and I start screaming and crying saying that I‟m sorry for the rats that I‟ve killed and I wont ever do it again but a weird woman with a face like moded plastic peers at me and says that they‟ll fix it. They beging the probing and poking and the injections and I scream and struggle against the restrainsts. Dream 4 I am sitting in a room full of slidding metal walls and I look at the floor and the ceiling and I‟m not sure what will open and close or turn into something else. There is something on a plate with red sauce and I eat some of it and then I go o the bath room that is not a room and I pee. The red food tasts meaty. This room looks false. Where am I? I am riding on a wheelchair and someone is helping me to make my way across the room. Through doors and doors and doors. Down staircases and across the parking lot. There is sunlight everywhere and the clouds are opening above me and there is the motion of old threes with dead brown elaves blowing in the wind I am in a van and I ride somewhere to a big house. They take me out and wheel me inside past doors and doors and to a large table where they ask me for my name and I ive them my hand and they give me a pen and I sign something but I‟m not sure what and I sign because that‟s what they ask me to do. A nice man comes and talks to me and we walk about the big hosue and he says things and I try to listen, but mostly I just nod. There are people milling about and it‟s not entirely clear what‟s going on and I‟m just asleep though I‟m walking. They give me a nice cup of pills to swallow. I sleep and wander down black corridors.


January 18th, 2005 I wake up in the Arbor-Fuller hospital. The rooms is empty except for the bed that I occupy, a desk, and closet. There is a a painful sparessness ot the room. I get up and walk int to the hallway. The hallway is sparse like my room and very utilitarian. The hallway stretches in two directions. One direction xtends down toward sthe end of the hallway where a set of glass windows look out to snow covered fields and threes and the other end of the hallway streches towards the center of the hospital and the center o the hospital is a a large half circle with a large half-circle desk. One end slopes towards the male halwayy and the ther end slopes wards the female hallway. I walk from my room toward the half-circle desk. The light is bright and very weird flourecsecnt lights. I hate them there are a few staff wandering around and the look up at tme. “Good morning,” says the man. “Hi,” I say, “How did you sleep?” “Fine,” I say. “Well, breakfast is here if you‟d like it,” the man points to a card ot of trays and then shouts something at another staff member, this new staff member with funny blonde hair gives me my breakfast tray and the says, “You can eat in there.” The kitchen is white and sterile with a large green fridge and two large windows that look out into a parking lot and there is sun on the snow that reminds me of rebirth and the coming of a new day. There is a sink and a large countertop that holds a bind of crackers, a bin of sugar packets, and bin of jam packets. There is also a juice machine and a coffee machine. In the middle of the room is a large table, around which sits a group ofpatients all oddly dressed som in johnnys, some in pajamas, and some in day clothes. Some of thm are old and some of them are young and some of them have their hair standing up oddly and some of them have their hair neatly combed. They are strange and diverse and I do not want to sit next to them because I feel threatened by them and I cn feel their thoughts behind their eyes boring into me and I try to ignore the tumult of voices that push at the periphery and it feels like being in a sea of voices. Eacher person is individual and uniques as a well-writtn sotyr. There is the strange fat man with whispy hair and there is the short muncking like girl with very sad eyes. There is the tiny old lady with the long hair and the jewlrey and there is the big, tall black man who looks threatening. Each of them has a story and each of them has a place. It is my role my tudy my mission should I accept to in tin to realize my role and take my place at the table I sit down and eat my breakfast. It‟s not very good. I‟m use tto eating organic, vegan food from Whiole Food. I munc on the relatively tasteless sausage and eat my eggs. It‟s not that bad. I finish eating my food and then go take my tray back to the cart. “what do I do now?” I ask the man standing next to the cart. “well, we‟ll start groups in a little while? “Groups?” confusion


“yeah,” see the board he points behind himself to a large white boad. “today we‟ll be having the morning meeting, the art group, and then the relaxation group, and then the afternoon group, andthen the meds group, and then evening group. His voice drones on and I feel myself drifting in the monotonoic houm of his long lig list. He pauses nd then askes, “Have you had your morning meds yet?” “No,” I say “Well, you should go et your meds.” “Okay, where do I go?” “The nurses station. Right downthere,” he points to a room that is just before the womens hallways but in the same wing, just past the kitchen. I walk to the nurses station and stand in foront of the door. There is a half door blocking my entry into the room and behind the door is a small table with small pitchers of water and small aper cups. A short black woman with frizzy hair is leaning over an open book and she reads to herself. “Hi,” I say. “Hellow,” she says, disinterested and barely looking up fom her book. “I was told to come take my meds.” “Yes, she says with a longer suffering air. “What‟s your name?” I tell her my name and she nods and then flips through the pages of her note book. She mutters something to herself and then pulls open some drawers in the cabinet before her. Then she walks over to the door and holds out her hands. “here take these,” she says and she hands me a small paper cup with several pills. I stare at them curiously and take them in my hand. She also gives me a paper cup with water and I use it to wash the pills down. I mumbled thanks and wander back to the nurses station. A lady with funny frizzy hair is sitting behind the counter and she looks up from her notebook to speak to me. “yes,” she says “I was wondering what I‟m supposed to do next. They said something about groups.” “Yes, there will be a group soon. We‟ll announce it.” “Okay, where will it be?” “Down at the end of the men‟s hallway.” “Thanks,” I say, and I wander down looking at the doors to all the rooms with the patients sitting inside wondering what is going on and trying to make sense of the walls and the yellop paint and why can we not walk through walls when we want to walk through walls, what could possibiply keeps us here. We are all lost and confused and we need some answers to take us home. The end of the men‟s hallways ia large glass atrim that looks out to fields full of trees and to one side of th e atrium is a nother hallway which leads off to another roo. I suppose. I like looking out at the field. IN the middle of the field right befor e the windoews of the atrium is large round tree. It looks like a perfect oak tree with the beautiful sphere of leaes and the tremendous beauty therein, but it cannot be a n oak tree ecause oak trees do not have leaves in the dead of winter. They have sticks and nubs and brances denuded but this tree has green leaves that remain despite the snow. It must be a pne teee that is shapped loddly and with so much different nothing is the same. A pinte


tree can look like an oak tree or an oak can hold it‟s leves like a pine which is which, I do not know. I remember the rats of NIMH.A rose bush a tree is a home to a civilization of rats within the roots and branches deep within the earth the twisting turns of stolen light life and intelligence blend to form a city of strangely anguished dreams. Just like her and thse odd blue walls and the strangeness of time leaking through the halls. A voice speaks over the loudspeaker, “Good morning, it‟s 9 AM and it‟s time for the morning check in. All patients are encouraged to attend. The kitchen and t.. room will be closed and the phones will be turned off. We will be meeting in the group room . Please head down the all and female patients should wait for a staff member to escort them down the male hall. “ After the announchement the hallways slowly fills with people milling about and they all look lost and confused and uncertain and upset and some thing all things nothing make sense and I think I must start over again. A staff member arrives and she opens the door at the end of the hallways and we all follow her through a glass walkway, beautiful with sunlight streaming through the glass panes and the transparency of the glass into sunlight is haungingly beautiful. We march thorugh the hallways to our next destination and file through the door into a large room full of couches and arm chairs and plastic chars and the patients all wander according to predetermined pathways and everyone takes a position to await the proclamation. A tall woman in black and with short black hair and a face that looks like a stern man with make up nad full red lips with blackened eyebrows. Her voice is strong, strigend, and commanding. She has ared book that she pulls open – a binder full of white papers. “Good morning,” she says, “My name is Katie, I‟ll be running this morning meeting. I don‟t tolerage disruptions. If you‟re being disruptive then I‟ll warn you once, adfter which I‟ll ask you to leave. Nesxt we‟ll welcome any new members to our community. If you haven‟t been properly welcomed to the communit then pelase say your name and a little about yourseld and why you are here. “ Katie‟s eyes beging to move about the room. She talks to several people and askes them to introduce themselves and there is talk of problems and disorgedrs and causes and hopes and medications and all these things run together and I wonder what Iwill say. This is not like the introductions that I am accustomed to giving this is a new set of rules and statements and I don‟t understand. It is my turn and I give my name and rank and state my time and place. “I was in a hospital but I don‟t remember what happened and now they are giving me medication to help.” Katies nods knowledgeably and she welcomes me like sh has welcomed evyerone else. Then she flips more pages and says, “No I‟ll call your names and when I cal lyour name please respond and give me a few goals or objectives that you have for the day. Let‟s start with Jane P. Jane?” Jane sayts yes and says her goals and says that she would like to have a good day and talk to her boyfriend on the phone. Then Mike J and John P and Sandra O and Eliza


G and the list goes on and on the names are going on and on and each person speaks and sometimes sullen and sometimes hopeful. A woman enters during the meeting. She has long brown hair and she sits down in a chair. She holds a clipboard and she surveys the room carefully considering the space and her mind reaches out to measure the thoughts, intentions, and presence of each patient in the room. Another woman pokers her head in and calls for Patty and Patty stands up and walks to the door. The meeting continues with Katie calling names and people making their presentations of hope, intent and goal. The people call on and on about their names and memories and the things they will or will not do. I am tired and worn and another woman puters her head in the door and she calls for Bob M. Mob stands up and shuffles to the door blankly. I leep waiting and listening to the call of names the droning of the pattern that goes on and on and on and on. They keep talking and they won‟t stop and I just wnt to leve when a fat lady with long hair and glasses puts her head through the door and calls my name. Stand and follow her “My name is Sherri and I‟ll be your social worker while you‟re here.” We walk down the hallway to the room across the nurses stations. The room is well lit with fluorescent lights. There is a door and then a large wall of windows. Behind the door and windows is a large table and a group of chairs. Another woman with splotchy black ahir and boalding spots with big glasses sits across me and watches like a predatory bird. “hi,” she says, II am Dr. Buba and I‟m your psychiatrist.” Shere also sits down and closes door behind her. Br. Poohba begins to start speaking again. “So lets start talking about you, do you know why are are here.?” Pause and then things strech on for so long – so far – so much is lost in space and time. Why am I here? “I don‟t remember. I remember not sleeping and then I was in a hospital and then I cam here.” She looks at me with her blank eyes peering behind the thick rimmed glasses and she speaks to me and she speaks to me with conviction and an odd warbling voice. “You were having delusions. You were admitted to the hosptical tow days ago and you had to sedated and restrained because you were become and threat to yourself and others. Do you not remember this. ?” “No, I don‟t really remember it.” Dr. Buba continues with her comments. “Well that‟s not uncommon, lots of patients have trouble remember after a maor episode like that.” She speakers so smugly and confidently. I nod in understanding, but not wanting to agree with the bitch. She says, “So how are you feeling?” “I don‟t know tired, a little confused and disoriented.” “ye, well that is to be expected.” Tehse kinds of things take time, you can‟t expect results immediately. We will keep you on the lithium. That should help you to feel better. It will take some days to take effect but it will help in the long run. We will also give you some other things to help you. make sure that you take your meals and go to your groups.


Yes, I nod though I have no diea what she‟s talking about. I do not like the way she peers at me like spider watching a fat fly. She means to wrap me up and put me in her web. I hate her already. I will not go. I will not go. Sherri looks at me smug lie a fat bug in a rug with her glasses peering underneath her carpet of ahir. “All you need to do is cooperate with the staffand stick o your treatment plan and everything will be fine.” “Okay,” I say numbly although I have no diea what they are talking about. These things do not make sense and I want to go home. Dr. Bub stands up and shakes my hand and then she exits the room like ahunched spider scurrying into her next victim. Sherri also waddles to her feed and she follows me out. As we leave the room sherri walks agross to the nurses station and she speaks to the staff on duty. Where going to change his levels to UR.” Then she turns to me, “Now you can go to the dinning from and on the courtyard breaks.” I nod blankly again and wander away. I go back to my room and sit on my bed and look out the windo and wnonde what is going on and why are all these things hapeping and who are all of these people. A man, tall and black and commanding nocks at my door. “You have a phone call,” he saysI follow him floating and drifting down the hallway and it‟s a strange transition from my room to the place of phone calls the nurses station. There is a lady who smiles behind the desk and she gives me the phone. “hello.” I say. “Sweetie,” it‟s my omom and she shouldns like she has been crying and thing aren‟t good but for once I don‟t care. I‟m just tired and worn down. “we heard about everything Mark called us and he told us about everything we als talked to your therapist. How are you doing? Are you okay?” “I‟m fine just tired and confused.” “well just do what they tlell you to do do and don‟t give the staff any problems.” “Okay.” “I‟ll call as much as I can. Let me talk to the nurse when we‟re dong talking.” “Okay, I say again and again to the inevitable flow of knowledge about this event and that event and my mom keeps fnding new questions and new ways to get close to all things and I think that I‟s not clear what I will be doing here but we just press on through the conversation hopeful that everything will make sense and we will all end up happily ever after. I don‟t know what I believe anymore. I hand the phone to the nurse and wander down the hall. AT some point there is a call for lunca and I walk to the main door with all the other patients. Eveyon is lining up and standing in forton of the glass windows that face into another set of hallways. As we line up the staff remind us to sign out. I go to the clipboard on the wall and sign myself out then return to the line where everyone is standing and we are all waiting for something. Then the staff call role and they check our names and we all answer and then a woman comes to the door and she puts a key in the slot and turns it and then the door is open and we all file through so quietly and dead like. We come to another door and the woman opens this one with a key and then we file through it to an outside courtyard and a covered pathway that leads to another set of doors directly across from us. We all walk in the cold with our breath catching in the cold and all things growng old and we wander to our next destination on straight line s that permit no deviation.


The doors are as would be expected, locked. We pass through when the staff open the door and we file down more hallways through more doors to a small cafeteria. There is a small line ahead of our group and we stand there wating for our turns. Watig is dull and this room is dull. Dull blue pastel walls, dull white walls, dull grey tiles. Dull people standing everyon wehre sad blank expressions. The lines inches short by slow and slog by short. Theyere is a long row of drink machines and a salad bar. The salad bar doesn‟t have much, just vegetables like carrots nd celery and bellpeppers and I chose things toeat not because I want to eat them but because I know that I need to eat green things and thing with fier. Carrying my tray of obligations I shuffle forward with the slow moving line. The first drink machine dispenses coffee. The enext machine dispenses coco and the last drink machine dispenses juice and soda. I get water and wait while the other before me fill cupts with jice and soda and coffee and other crap. My mother thirsts distainfully. It‟s not real. The coffe is thin and water and unappealing. The juice is thing and not really juice but sugar and flavor and coloring. I push my tray of vegetable and water behind the patient in front of me and we round the corner and there is small servingareawith an old lady and ladle and she asks, “Past and sausages or maccoroni and cheese?” she looks tired and bored, just like this place. I take pasta and sausages and picu up my tray and carry it to the dinning area. There are lots of tables and chairs and large glass windows that look out into a parking lot. Some of the staff sit at the the tables and some of the tables have patients from toher wards. I pick an empty table and pick through my food. It‟s not particularly appetizing nd I wait for the group to go back. Eventually a staff member makes the call and we all shuffle back dumping ourtrays along the way and then ehading in re3verse order, filing through the locked doors passing through the security, returning to the ward. I wander around aimlessly walking, pacing the men‟s hallways staring through the windows at the end. I walk into my room and sit on the bed. It‟s not terribly comfortable. It feels like plastic, the pillow is not terribly nice either. Another staff member comes to tell me that I have a phone call. I fall dutifully behind and take the proffered phone. It‟s matt. “Hi,” he says. “Hi,” I say. “How are you doing?” he ask with some hesitation on the line his voice is faint and soft. I answer briskly, “I‟m fine, a little tired though.” “I‟m glad that you‟re feeling better,” he says with a sigh and some relief and I think he‟s mostlyworried.” “Yes, it is,” I say and wonder about the weekness of a covnerstion that never touched the deep, only skirting in the shallows. “I was planning on coming to visit you. Was there anything you wanted?” I think for a moment. “My pillow would be nice, the one here is terrible. Clothes would be good. I need clothes. Could you also bring me my house shoes? Those would be nice as well, then I can wear them around the unit. I need toiltried.” “What kind?”


“You know, the things I use, jus bring what you tihink would be right. Oh, there‟s a cream that my mom gave me. It‟s in a yellow plastic container and it‟s somewhere in my room.” “Okay,” he says. “Anything else?” “Mmm, I don‟t know, maybe something to read.” “Okay,” he says, “I‟ll come to see you tonight.” “Okay,” I say and leave it at that. As I hang up there‟s a call for the afternoon groups. Arts and crafts or somethi8ng like that. We all funnel down the hallways that leads to the meeting room. Graddually the patients shuffle in to take their seats, btu there are less of them here than ta the early monrning meeting. Everyon seems restless and surly and light in the room is slightly dim. In the center of the room stands a young woman with brigh red hair. She grets everyone and gives everyone some pictures to color. “something different,” she says, and she hands out crayons and color pencils. I take a seat at one of the tables in the room as some other patients file out in frustration. Their irritation demonstrates that they are not interested in coloring. I don‟t particularly care. I‟m not going anywhere else, so I‟ll color. The shee that she hands me to color contains a cercle of lines and intricate patterns. The making of a geodistic shape of circles and curves and lines and all black, all in space waiting be be colored. The shaps is something that seems familiar to me. I should know what this is. The center is all baclk it is significant I‟m sure. “were going to be painting a Mandela today. The lady says, “ it doesn‟t really matter what color you use, just use the one that is most enjoyable to you.” I nod my head and start to draw – mandelay – exactly what I though I would be exactly what was just around the corner of my mind just on the tip of my tongue. A Mandela like jung and his theories of the collective unconciousness like the grand archetypes that bind us all. A Mandela. It awant a mandelay for my very own. I don‟t know that they do, but I bet they are grand. I color away switching colors between the lines so that my mandel looks like stained glass and I keep being drawn to the center to the little black down in the middle of the Mandela and I think about the book Dune and Paul Maudimb and his vision of a black nothingness and the end of everything and I wonder if that is what death will be like – staring in to a black nonthingness. Maybe there will be no light at the end of the tunnel, only the black emptiness. I color briskly all the wihe regarding the black circle. When I fisnigh my coloring and have completed the mandala I show it to the lady and she nods and praises my variegated usage of color. I thank her and ask to be excused and she says yes. I go back to my room and put my drawing on the desk. They are drawers but currently I don‟t have anything to but in them. I look out my window to the courtyard outside and I stare at the open space, feeling much like a prisoner and wondering what I should do, but the aer no easy answers so I flop on my bed and wiggle my toes and contemplate the painful drag of second and inutes in the mental hopspital. I get up later and walk to the kitchen for a snack. I can make myself decaff coffee, no regular available, or I could have iced tear or orange juice. I don‟t like decaff coffee and I don‟t like the fake juice that they serve here. It‟s not juice, it‟s water with juice flavor. I settle on some tea which I sip and nibble on some saltines. I wander out of the kitchen and roam the halls or hallway to be exact, as I can‟t travel down the girls hallway. As I‟m walking around the hallway, I notice the lady from the art group. She has very long hair,


reddish brown and sparkling eyes and she reminds me of one of my aunts. She notices me and walks over. “Hi,” she says, “ you just came in yesterday?” “yes,” I answer “Great, I have an interview that I need to do with you. It‟s really easy and doesn‟t take too long. Doy ou have the time now?” “Yes,” I nod. Where else would I be going to? What else would I be doing? We walk into the room with glass windows, the room infront of the nurses station and we sit and the lady pull out a blue piece of paper and begins to ask me questions about my life. “My name is Natile,” she says, “so what do you do?” “I‟m a graduate student at Brown. “ “Well, that‟s a great school, so what do you study there? “Psychology,” I say with a bitter laugh. “Oh,” she says, “Well, this must be an experience.” “Yes, you can definitely say that.” “So what are your goals or plans?” Well, I want to get my PhD., and then do research for several years and maybe work as a professor.” “So what do you study?” “Mostly behavioral neuroscience. We don‟t have a clinical program so I don‟t really have much exposure to clinical work. Maybe one day I‟ll work on dr development for psychological disorders. I don‟t know. That‟s probably the closes that I would ever get to clinical work. “That sounds really exciting this must be a really interesting experience.” “yeah, it is really interesting because I can see the other end of psychology. I guess I spend more tme in research, but I imagine that a log of the research influences the clinical treatments and drugs. So this will certainly give me a better understanding of the issues…I suppose.” “Well that‟s great that you get to have this opportunity.” “Yeah,” I suppose but that‟s a strange way to phrase things. The conversation continues and then we close with the usual exhange of pleasantries. Natilie and I exit and she walks off to the nurses station. I go back to my room and stare endlessly at the ceiling. The call for evening check in is made and I file down the hallway with everyone else. The evening check in is the sme as the morning check in. A staff member sits with the big red binder and reads peoples names, asking for goals and asking how goals have been met. The staff also ask if anyone is new. The staff I realize are different from the people from this morning. They have different faces and different hair. They all look different I did not notice the switch. They all seem to be women at least the staff here in the evening chec in. I think that they withces and they are telepathically monitoring me. I don‟t like the wayt that they stare so much. It makes me very unformfortable. My name is called and I say, “Yes?” The withc lady with black hair asks me about my goals and I say, “Yes, because I‟m confused. I just answer yes, yest to wathever the question is because I do not understand the question.


“Do you have any changes that you want to make to your goals?” “No,” I say because no is the best answer. Slowly painfully the meeting drags to a close and feel my back hurting from the pain of my seat. I do not like the way that the witches stare at me. I think theyare reading my mind. I hurry back to my room when the meeting ends and I sit on my bed and regard the wardrobe – empty with nothing in it and the yellow of the paint in the room and the teal of the wardrobe and the ugly wooden deskin in my room. I lie back on the bed and try to forget things but somewhere I am sure that he witches are watching. Eventually the dinner call is made and I troop to the line that forms in front of the locked entrance doors. The windows are like honeycombs but they are square, so I can‟t lean back ino the because they form a frame that bits into my back and I don‟t want to hurt my back. The floo is a dull color of neutral blue that swallows everthing. They open the doors and let us all out and we grimly follow the staff as they herd us from door to door and the trudge down cold stone paths is the open space between doors and then we‟re through the second set of doors and then we are in the cafeteria. There is a line again and I have the same vegetables and some water and then I get my dinner and an uninteresting piece of chicken. I sit and quietly eat my meal then wait for the return to the unit. We all file back and I think miserably that this was my second outing into the world. No I suppose my only real outing into the world is the second when we walk between buildings, stepping between the two doors and catching a breath of nonrecycled noncirulating air. I try to breath in as deep as I can and then we are through the door back into the unit. I wander back to my room and brush my teeth and wait for mark to arrive. Wating is infinitely more miserable in a place like thin and I can‟t imagine that there‟s anyway to avoid the counting of seconds. The time passes like a really really obring book and I wish that things would go quicker, but ther are no alternatives. I just have to go through the long, dul doldrums of the plot. I hope the conclusion is better. I stare at the ceiling. A staff member comes and knocks at my door to tell me that I have a visitor and he asks me if I want to let them in. of course, I think. I definitely want to see my visitor. I walk to the nurses station where the phone calls are made and the puttongs are pushed and then I walka round while I wait for mark to come upstairs when I turn back around mike is at the nurses station with my blue duffle bag and one of the nurses is looking through the things that he has brough the paw through my pants and toiliteires and thye take some things and say, “this has to be approved by your todcotr.” That‟s kind of stupid I think because those are just face creams. The lady pulls out my house shows and says, “these have streings on them, we can‟t allow them.” Now, I‟m really hating this place. “Well, then just cut them off,” I say. Matt is smiling and happy and I try to be happy as well. I do smile because he‟s here and I just want to see his face. Matt holds some of my clothes and shows me what he brought. Pants, a zip-sweater, socks, several shirts, underwear, as well as my toiletries (which they all take and put away – “You can‟t have these things in your room. When you want them you‟ll have to come to the front desk, they say). Matt also holds out


something else, it‟s my stuffed bunny. He smiles at me hesitantly as he hands it to me. I smil back, happy as well. IT will be nice to have my bunny in the hospital. “You can take these thigns to your room,” says the nurse staff-lady behind the desk. “Okay,” I say nd I tell mark to follow me. We walk back to my rom and we put the clothes that he brough me into the drawers that I have. He also gives me a book which was his and he says that he really enjoyed and the he liked it a lot. The title is Middlesex. I say thanik you and take the book. I feel suspicious about it. The book says something about it being about a girl who becomes a guy but beause he she it is a hermaphodite. Hmm, I think to myself, this might be teeribbly dully or terribly interesting. M instinct is that it‟s terribly dull. Mike and I talk about meaningless things and we chatter in the language of people who want to communicate and don‟t know what to say. Mike mostly askem how I‟m doing, am I sleeping okay, am I taking my medicine, are you eating well, listening to your doctor? Cooperatiging with the staff. I answer yes to everything and nod my head. Yes, yes, yes. The answer is yes to everything. Pacification is the game to play. I don‟t really say much of anyhhing in as much as I just answer questions and touch matt. His body is something solid to remind me that I‟m not going mad this is not a dream and yes there is an ousdie world beyond the hospital courtyard. We sit on the bed with matt asking questions nd I squeeze his arms between personal rhythms of anxiety and reassurance. Matt gives me odd looks and sometimes touches me back but he tries to be allof and business ike. The visit is overall satisfying and not. I‟m sad to see him go and yet, I know that the hospital is not a good place for us to have a real conversation. All ew can discuss are problems and more problems . the issues and the detractions the medication and the treatments. Matt leaves the room and heads to the nurses desk to talk. He whispers in closed converstations with them and I wonder what they are conferring about. I wander about the room uncomfortable with the observation and trying to occupy my mind. Eventually before he goes he hands me a note book and stpes out the door past all the locks past all the things into nothing into now here that I can reach at present. (?Amy? Notebook?) I take my note book and start to walk back to my room another patient comes up behind me and starts talking to me. He has a friendly affacfble tone and he smiles and walks with energy. I do notlike him. Shmuck schmooze, tool or player, I don‟t which and I don‟t really care. He starts blithering a greeting asking about me, asking about my history, why are you where, what are you doing? Where are you going in life, blah, blah, blah. I mutter a reply, something about having a nervous brekdown. Maybe something about bi-polar. Something about disinterest that doesn‟t quite get across. “So what were you doing before you came here?” “graduate student at Brown,” I say, tyring not to encourage him, trying not to say too much. But he‟s encouragede and he‟s asking more. “Oh, what didyou study?” “Pschology” I say, knowing instantly that that is a big mistake. Uttering those words in this place makes me satand out and seem very different to these people. “Im Doug,” he says “Oh, yes, well nice to me you,” I say back. “So, he says trying to strike up the old - so you know psychology can you give me advice – reoutine. I‟m in here for OCD how much do you know about OCD not much I


say. I don‟t do clinical so I really don‟t know that much about the field. I do research I say, trying to explain. “You should research OCD, it‟s really important Do you know how prevalent it is? It‟s very poorly understood. You should try to better understand the disease.” “hmm,” I say, I need to go back to my room for a bit, but I‟ll keep that in mind, okay?” “Okay,” he says disappointed. Clearly he wanted to keep the conversation going. “well take care he says, okay, I say and I walk back to my room and sit down on the bed. I look at the book that Mark gave me and then I get ready for bed. As I sit on the edge of my bed I notice the cool dampness of the evening air and I feel that I‟m breathing in water and breathing out my flesh. I am become tenuous and dissolving into vapor, with the night air I dissapate and I fall asleep to memories of confustion.


Day 2 The waking is unpleasant as more of my mind returns and I recognize the unpleasantess of the place that I am at . The bed is not comfortable. My pillow is my own delievered by Mark to me, at leas that was comfortable. The blankets are thin and because they‟re all knoit blankets they litteraly have holes in them. My heater isn‟t working and it just blows cold air in. there is sun light and that is good. My sinuses are stuffy. I need my allergy medication. Irritation because they won‟t let me have my allergy medication. I wake up and get my shower things from the nurses station. Other patients are beginning to line up and to get their thing as well. All the windows are black oustie it‟s early in the mrongin and I wait for the sun which I‟m sure will be beautiful. I go back to my room adfter I get my things and I wash my face and ready myself for the day. I have patches of hair missing. I wonder if they‟re missing because I scratched myself. Strange, I think, I must have scratched those patches away and I never really noticed it before. I ty to read the book that mark has given me but it is too laborious to pour thorugh the pages and I find myself giving up. Being a hemaphodite doensn‟t really sound that exciting so I close the book and step out side my room. The sun is rising and light is beginning ot break throughout the glass windows and I realize that ican see the outline ot trees and houses and the movement of cars is more apparent. The breaking morning is fascinating but only for awhile then house is house and car is car and it‟s all just another day. I start o pace the halls again. The floors and walls are unchahing and constant. The conversations is not. There is a discussion of something called “DST”,” I wonder what it is. IT sounds mysterious and important. I walk back to the nurses station. There are new nurses arriving. A flurry of activity surrounds the station and everyone seems to be writing something. One of the staff, a balck man with a clipboard spots me and ask me, “Have you had your vitals yet?” “No,” I say confused. “Well, then get them don,” and he points to another staff sitting behind the desk. The lady behind the desk takes my teperature, blood pressure and pulse. I don‟t know what‟s going on but I just nod and go along. On the board they are writing things down nd Inotce that they‟re diviind gh the board into 6 squares wth a staff membe‟s name in each swquare and below that name is the name of each patient. My name is under the name, “Tod.” “Hmm,” I think “what‟s this.” I ask the lady behind the desk and she explains. “That‟s the list of contact people for today. Whoever‟s name you‟re under, that will be your contact person for the day.” “Okay,” I say and I walk away confused. This place is very weird. I notice that there is also a schedule writin on a small white board. Next to the big white board. The schedule has the days events written down. 7:30-8:30 Breakfast 8:30-8:45 Courtyard Break 9:00 Group Meeting 10:00 Coping/DBT 11:00 Art


12:00 Lunch 2:00 Relaxation/DBT 3:00 Crafts 5:00 Group 6:00 Dinner 7:00 Lifeskills 8:00 Checkin “interesting, the days‟ schedule and there‟s that aDBT thing again.” Before I can ask anyone else the call is made for breakfast and I line up with everyone else. Breakfast is not that interesting and I morosely ingest the very bland fare while staring out at the parking lot behind. My endurance wans just as we head back and I find momentary satisfaction in trooping back across the cause way into he unit. There is a perverse pleasure in returning to the unit. At least in the unit I can move around rather than sitting and eating like a cow. With the end of breakfast we all wander about aimlessly as we wait for the next group to finish. There are patiens t that look frantic and patients that look harried and some that just look numb and all of the are just writihng about the walls of this prison. The announcement is made for the morning group meeting and everyon scurries to the group room. We all find a spot to sit in. one cousch is for men and one couch is for women andwe all respect the lawand the meeting begins. The staff a few of them take their places in the room. Once of them with short black hair announces her self, “good morning my name s Katie and I will be the leader of this meeting. If anyone is interesting leading this morning‟s meeting wwith me? There is a moment‟s pause and then one patien raises his arm. “Bill? Excellent,” Here I‟ll give you this and you can fread from it when I ask you too,” she hands him a sheet of paper and the meeting behi8ngs. Their voices drone on and one into my head with monotomous boredom. Rollcall is made at some point and they go around asking us about our goals and how we are doing. The meeting is interrupted by a short old woman.- her hair is very curly and vey long and she is very short. She is just what I would imagine babba yagi to look like. She talks to herself and laughs and then katice looks up from the red binder and ays, “Victoria, if you can‟t be quiet, then I‟m going to have to aks you to leave. The lady grows silent for atime. The dull monotonay of the roel call continues then the old lady starts to talk again. I can‟t make out what sh‟s saying as she is across me and her voice is not too loud. Katies looks up an dsays, “Victoria, I have to ask you to leave because disrupting things.” Victoria gives Katie a very dark look and glares evil at her. They both whisper veiled threat at each other in secret hostility. I am surprised that nonoe else hears it. The meeting adjourns and we walk back to your room, some patient sfile to the kkitchen and they look kind of like office staff standing around the water cooler. Some take orange juice some take tea, some of them stand around the table and mingle with strange phrashes and odd utterances, but mostly the glare. Glare as they rifle through the sugar packets look ing for sweet-n=lo hidden in the abundance of sugar. They glare as they open the fridge to pull out milk. They glare as they stand in the light and shuffle


about the room. I do not lke the kitchen beause it seems like such a threatening place. The old lady Victoria veronical Vicky whatever her name is is sitting at the table with a cup of coffeee and glaring into the cup. There is a n old man tall and very threatening with a bike jacke t and there a girl that looks sad and another mand an they all look like family sitting arooud the talbe discussing business. I think that they are all mobsters probably some corrup mob family. They must be plotting something. I don‟t want to get involed to I avoid the kitchen . best not toe get tied up with the mob I think. Mad‟s family is in the mob I bed, he‟s probably a mobster too. A call is made for medicine and we all tripse over aimlessly for the usual dispention of pills. Mine seem different. I‟m not sure why. I take the pills and then wader back down the halls. The t.v. room has people in it and I can‟t bear to watch hthe programming. It‟s just a fucking black box with pictures. It‟d rather pace the halls. I return to my room andfind my mandal sititng on my desk. I notice my notebook and decie that I will put the madala on the note book first I need sissors and then some things to attach the madal with. I decide that I need to find that lady from yetsterya. She had all the craft things . I can‟t remember her name. I head to he nurses stion and with the intention to inquire. A tall balck man sits behind the desk section near my room. The lady from the caraf section seat behind the desk in the place where the man sat previously. The desk area is like small workspace behind the maind desks wehre there is a chair and a shelf full of puzzles and games and brightly colored objects. The man looks at me an says, “yes?” “yes,” I say back, I‟m looking for the lady that sits there.” He stares at me, “lots of people sit there, you have to be more precise.” “the lady that plays games?” “Oh,” he laughs and hes eyes seem to twinle,” “You mean natilie?” “Yes, her. Ii‟m looking for her.” “well, she won‟t be in until later,” he says. “Oh, okay.” “why were you looking for her?” I hold up my mandala and the note book. I wanted to glue this on to the notebook.” “Okay,” he says, “Wait until natlie comes in. In fact she should be here soon because she‟s doing the next group.” “oh, okay, I say,” and I wait more. I go back to my room and look at the clothes that I hve and then I try to read Middlesex but the story is just too ponderous. I get back up from my bedroom out the door and waok back to he nurses station. Natlie is stading next to her little office space and she‟s fiddling with something while laughing with another saff mmember. I walk over holding my note ook and Mandela. “Natlie?” I ask and she looks over with her penetrating green eyes and suddenly I feel very vunerable, “I wanted to cut out my mandel and glue it on to my notebook. I‟m going to keep a treatment journal,” I explain. She nodes her head sympathetically. “we can do it after the next group okay?” “sure,” I say and I put the madela away and go to joing the group as the announcement is made overhead. As we wealk down the hall I notice that there are


several other patients in the t.v. room with another staff member. I‟m curous what tthey are dong. There seems to bsomething secretive and special happening. The coping meeting second meeting of the day is not that exciting. Natlie runs the meting very seriously. She gives us sheets of paper and we write down our “To 10 Coping Skills to Use When Im feeling ….” Ther are numbers one hrough ten. We are to fill them in and discover or document how we cope with problems. Natlie calmly explains the instructions and remins us that there is not wrong answer. Most of the time I hate it when the y say that, but this time I believe it. I chose “anxious” for my feeling and I start writing. It doesn‟t take me long to finish and I sit and regard everyon one else. My answer seem kind of pat, but Itink they are true to me. To be honest I ha no ide what to do when I‟m anxious. I think these make ense but who can be sure. When the group finishes writing, natlie asks us to red our papers and we all sit paietnly as the reading commences. A fie patiens get restless and they leave the meeting when I get my turn I read my list quickly and natlie n ods her hair sagaciously and soon enough the meeting is over. Lunch comes next and it‟s bcack out to the dinning hall. I‟m glad that I have my jacket bacuse I don‟t hav to feel cold. I go to sign-up again for tlunch and hurty to wait inline. In the morning when I singed up there was a crazy looing man with sad, dark keyes. I dint like the way that he held his pencil. It threaned me and I felt that he was going to stab me. The dinning hall is the same as usual. The line moves slowly through the jice machines, then the serving area. I get my food and head over to the table. The cazy man from the moning is sitting my himself. I quickly eat my food and then just sit as quickly get mored. I get up and ask the staff on duty if I can go back. “no,” she says, “we‟ll be going back in a bid. Why don‟t you go sit with John and keep him company.” I follow her potingin finger and realize that it‟s the crazy man. Ther is one empty chair opposite him. I‟m a little tentative. It seems like a bid deal to be setting opposite of john. The rest of the rooms seems to quite and the air is still. I think I feel the eyes of everyone else peering at me as I cross back to John‟s table. I take a seat and sit down. “The lady told me to sit here.” “That‟s Mary,” he says “Mary introduced me to John the sun is shinning in the thorugh the window and it lights ups up. “So what are you in here for?” he asks me “Dunno,” I went crazy, “They said I have bi-polar.” “They say that I see stuff so I have to take meds,” he says “What do you take?” “Seroquel.” “I take lithium and some other stuff. I think they gave me seroquel before.” “How do you like the hospital?” “It‟s okay, but I‟d like to get out soon.” “I‟m being discharged on Monday.” “where are you going?”


“To Northtown, there‟s a group home there that I‟m going to live at.” “I just need to get my wallet and my shoe laces and then I need a ride to the group home. What are you going to do when you get you? “Dunno. Go back to school.” “what are you studying.” “Pscyhology.” “Hmm,” he says and he nodes his head as he eats the rest of his food. “How long have you been here?” I ask him “Since Monday,” he says The call is made for the end of lunch and John stands up and heads out of the cafeteria. I follow and we talk all of the wy back to our rooms. Upon returning to the unit. I seek out a staff member to answer my question. I find someone sitting behind the desk and ask them about the group meetings. “is there a second group meeting?” “No,” says the lady. “Then why do a bunch of the patiends sit in the t.v. room during group?” “Oh,” she says,”That is the DBT meeting.” “Oh,” I nod, “What‟s DBT?” She looks at me critically, “Who‟s your contact person?” “Contact person?” “Yes, your contact person. You really should be asking these question to your contact person. That information is written on the board over there.” Baitch, I think as Iwalk away. I go to the board and look. My contact peron is John. I go back and tell this informtiaot to the lady behind the desk. “Do you know wehre he is?” I ask She answers lazily, “He‟s somewhere around here – doing checks I think. He‟s the tall black man with very not hair.” “Thanks,” I say and then I walk down the hall to look for him. I find him carrying a clipboard and walking clmly down the hall. I walk up to him and ask him. “I‟d like to know more about the DBT group.” “Okay,” he says, never really looking up from his cliboard “What did you want to know?” “Well, I‟m just interested in it,” I say, “I want to join the DBT groiup, I think” “Well,” says Tod and he speaks in a long but deliberate way, “DBT is very hard. You have to talk about it with Jim. Tell him that you‟re interested.” He gives an encouraging smile at the end. “Okay,” I say and I go back to the desk and ask the lady about Jim. “Jim, is the tall guy with glasses. He does DBT.” I nod and walk back away looking for Jim. I see that I am ina quest and I must go from person to person asking for help and picking up the clues, the clues get more difficult and the game becomes more complicated. I find Jim eventually when he returns to the desk. In the meantime I get some tea from the kitchen. I still don‟t like the kithcne. Crazy old lady Vicky is huddled at one end with a fur coat. There‟s a tall angry looing man with a bike jacket. The patients all sit around the table glaring and silent like they‟re sitting and observing things. There‟s one guy that laughs a lot and another is a


lady in a bathroom with a very haughty face. I finish my drink and then hurry back out of the room. Jim is standing next to the desk so I hurry next to him and ask him about DBT. He doesn‟t really talk to me as much as he gives m answers in aside as he does work and sorts apers he answers my questions and then says, “Heere you can have this packet. It has all the infor about DBT. Why don‟t you look it over and then we can discuss it later.” “Um…okay,” I say, and then he‟s gone in a furry of activity. I take the folder and look at it and then walk back to my room to consider the contents . It‟s mostly loose leaf pages some wwith exercises some with diagrams. Most of them are full of phrases nd slogans. I put them away and step out nto the hallway. The call is made for the relaxation group. I hhead down the hallway with the group. The light is aleready growing weak in the afternoon. It depresses me. The relxation group is simple. Ntlie puts on a tap and we listen to a voice that tells us to relax ourselves and release the tention. “Let it out of your arms.” “Let it out of your neck.” Eventually the letting out is too much for me and I get up to release myself. I stop by my room and use the toilet. I wonder around the hallways and I run into John. “hello,” I say. “Hello, he says. His eyes are red and tired seeming. “Did you just wake up from a nap?” I ask. “Yes,” he says. “Do you want to sit by the window?” He asks. “Sure,” I say We walk to the end of the hallway and sit in the chairs that point out to the outside. Tehre is faint afternoon sunlight acrss the snow. John and I look out and make small talk. “The snow is nice.” “Yeah, I like the light.” “It‟s nice just looking at it.” “I like just sitting here,”says John, “it‟s calming to just look outside. “Yeah,” I say. “we just sit there for awhile and stare.” Then John says, “So where are you going to after this?” “I dunno, back to school,” I suppose, in Providence. “Where are you going too?” “Northtown.,” he says, “They‟re sending me to a respite home.” “Oh whe are you going there?” “When I get out of here.” “When is that?” “Oh, Monday. I just need my lisence and my wallet.” “How are you getting back to school,” he asks “I dunno, I think my boyfriend will come and get me in my car, I guess, he has a key.” “You have a car?” “Yeah,” I say, “I use it just a little to get to school and stuff like that.”


“I wish I had a car, then I could get where I need to go.” “I could give you a ride, but only if we were leving on the same day. How far away is Northtown.?” “Not foar, I don‟t think,” says John, “Tht would be great,” he adds, “If I could get a ride with you. Except I‟d also hve to get some money because I owe someone some money in Northtown.” “Oh, hw much do you owe? “I think it‟s around a hungred dollars. “I could help you with that I think,” I have atleast that much to spare.” “that would be great he says, “maybe we could take a trip when we get out. Do you have anyweher that you want to go.”


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