Sample My stay at the VA Hospital in Brentwood, California - Bipolar Me After I told my second wife Carole to go fuck herself, I wound up at my parents’ apartment with my brain on fire and no doctor in sight who could put out the flame. My parents weren’t exactly elated but they took me in anyway. It didn’t take them long to find out that their only son wasn’t quite right in the head. But, as loving parents do, they encouraged me to go to sleep on their plastic slipcovered couch and promised me when I wake up, everything would be fine and dandy. I would go home to Carole and live happily ever after. They’d get back to their everyday life of hugging and kissing my daughter Missy’s cheeks off and if the sky didn’t fall down and they got lucky, I would bring her over on Sundays. They didn’t get lucky. The sky fell down on their dreams. There only God given son woke up just as fahcocked (messed up in the head) as when he went to sleep. Carole never let my parents see Missy again. I didn’t live happily ever after until I was much older. I stayed with Mom And Dad for over a month hopelessly bacocked (screwed up) and drowning with no lifeguard to save me. Days and nights sped by in a blur. I remember sitting naked on the couch listening through the open kitchen window to Mom telling the entire neighborhood that her only son was mentally ill. I confronted her when she came back in, with my dangler pointing straight up in indignation. She responded with a look of complete innocence, denying everything, “Shaneallah! (pretty-one), your imagination is playing tricks on you again!” Frustrated, embarrassed, and a little paranoid around the edges, I bought an attaché case with a hidden camera in it, strapped a knife to my leg and flew to Brentwood, California to see my dearest and best friend at RCA, Don Goldfarb. The only thing on my mind at that moment in time was giving him and his wife, Ester a big hug and a kiss as soon as the plane touched down. We had become fast buddies at RCA and our friendship had blossomed into a foursome that included Ester and Carole. Don was the smartest man I knew. I asked him questions about life and stuff every time we were together. I thought of him as my mentor and soul-mate, a man who believed he knew all he had to know about life. He acted accordingly regardless of what anyone else thought. I admired and respected him and was glad he was my friend. When my plane landed, he was waiting for me in his new Volkswagen Beetle convertible. After talking to me for a few minutes, he drove me at high speed without stopping for gas directly to the Brentwood VA hospital. Of course, he took my knife and my briefcase away. He had me sign in after which he told the attendant, “Do whatever it takes. Have Sid dry cleaned, rebuilt, and made into a normal human being!” With no hugs and kisses for me, not even a wave or a smile, he drove away in a puff of white smoke. I never saw him or Ester ever again. During my month’s stay at the hospital I couldn’t sleep. Sugar plum fairies and ogres with three eyes did a jig in my head and the music they danced to was entirely too loud. I went to group therapy, acted out my fantasies and ingested drugs up to my chinny-chin-chin. My ying and my yang never made peace with each other. But oh contraire, I had lots of fun with all the other
crazies I stayed with for over a month. It was a very nice holding tank. The grounds were beautiful and lush. Our government spent oodles of money to make guys like me me feel good while they were fooling around with my head. I learned quite a few things. I found out I wasn’t as good as my mind told me I was. That almost shocked me back to reality. Let me explain. I thought I could keep up with the best in the world. My super human powers would make mincemeat out of anything requiring dexterity and skill. So I went at a punching bag stretched taut on a flexible rope from the ceiling to the floor, just waiting for me to give it a good smack in the mouth. I wound up my superhuman right arm and gave it a good smackaroo. I missed and fell flat on my face. That bag just hung there quite still in all its glory not saying a word. Instead of going, “Rat-tat-tat!” it went, “Twang!” Then it spoke to me like the wise guy it was, “ Schmuck! You can’t punch your way out of a paper bag!” To call what I felt a letdown was the greatest understatement of all time. I couldn’t believe what had happened. My brain was telling me I could conquer the world. My body was letting me fall on my face. I could no longer tell my front from my back. I never punched a punching bag again after that. My brazen attitude or what I called my, “in-your-face hello!” carried over into the patient hierarchy. Like everywhere else, a gang of guys at the VA tried to put me in my place, far down on the totem pole where all the newcomers belong. As usual my mojo worked. Nobody punched me in the mouth. From that day on I was known as “The Philly Kid”, a hell of a lot better than “Kike!” Once a week without fail, I was interviewed for an hour and a half by a Freudian doctor who took copious notes and asked me stupid questions. “Mr. Nachman, why do fluff balls fluff?” “Herr Mengele. They fluff because they itch all over. That’s why they fluff.” “Mr. Nachman, do they get rid of their itch that way?” “Herr Doctor. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t.” “What do you mean by that, Mr. Nachman?” “Well you see, they don’t have fingers or hands to scratch their ass like we do so they get rid of the itching by fluffing a lot.” “That will be all, Mr. Nachman.” I never sat down again with a Freudian doctor. However, twice a week I went to group therapy. Everybody acted out episodes in their past including me. I had such a good time being Jimmy Cagney they never asked me back to group therapy class. The only thing left for the doctors to do was to load me up with Thorazine and make me weigh three thousand pounds. It made it hard for me to walk but I managed it anyhow. So they kicked me out of their wonderful hospital and told me, “Go home and stop bothering us!” I Ieft the VA hospital in Brentwood, California and flew home on angel wings attached to my back and not a care in the world, still meshiga(crazy) and able to fly, not as high, but still able to get off the ground. Thank you, doctors, for all that you didn’t know how to do. I guess I’ll have to get better all by myself. A kitsel (a little squeeze and a kiss!) from God would be nice. When I got back in Philly to my parents’ apartment, the first thing that greeted me was a divorce decree and twelve thousand dollars which I guessed was my half of the payoff on the sale of my house. The finality of that missive made me sick as a dog and stopped me from flying off the ground for quite a long time. Yes, I was feeling depressed but my mind kept spinning around at the same time. Contrary to popular belief about depression, I didn’t want to kill myself. All I wanted to do was get as far away from this terrible feeling in my head and get back to a normal life.