Somewhere along my stay Luke was admitted. Luke was a middle aged, bald, enormous man with a hernia the size of his fist where his belly button should be. Luke loved nothing more than the bible, and to sing, preferably both at the same time.
When he was first admitted he seemed relatively normal…if a bit loud. He caught me during one of my midnight insomniac drugged up strolls around the ward. We chatted. He seemed nice. How was I to know what was to come?!
What was to come was Luke became obsessed with me. Oh how I regretted my niceties, when at every sighting he called my name. Where he referred to me as “Sweetie”, and “Princess”, and “Beautiful” where he constantly asked questions like “can I touch what I can’t afford?”
I may be sounding harsh but, really, it wasn’t you this morning who woke to the sound of “Rachael!!!” through your hospital door. I dived under the covers and he must have looked in, because I heard him then say to his nurse “she is asleep”. The nurse, clearly trying to distract him from my door asked if he was wanted to play some of his songs. His response…
“I don’t want to wake the sleeping beauty Rachael up.”
Of course, Luke is manic. He has flown higher and higher to the point where he has irritated everyone on the ward, staff included, and may be transferred to a more secure facility. I tried to stay away from him, a little cat and mouse game that begun. I tried not to make eye contact, and maintain only minimalist conversation. This was not only to preserve my sanity, but for his sake as well. With mania come regrets.
I knew I was in too deep last night when I walked to my room, he bid me farewell, then started walking towards me. Suddenly I felt a little scared. I was all on my own on this side of the ward.
“what is it Luke?!” I asked in an irritated tone.
He stepped towards me and very seriously asked if he could kiss my hand. Unfortunately I was taken by surprise and all I could manage was ” errrr I guess…”. So he took my hand and kissed it, promising me he would only do it once so he would, and I quote, “make the most of it”.
Immediately afterwards I contacted my husband with strangled “help!”. He was of little use as he found the whole situation remarkably comical, referring to Luke as my “lover boy” through sniggers.
Hubster was to chortle some more the next morning when Luke accosted me at the medication station to ask whether he could put some flowers in my room. One place I did NOT want Luke was my room, so I firmly told him no. This had gone far enough.
He disappeared then came back again, giving me something, and racing off before I could say no. He called behind him “it was the prettiest one…for you”. I looked down into my lap and saw….
A monster figurine. He gave me a monster. It is green, in a “Roooaar” pose with its arms outstretched, and a giant mouth with red lips stretched to reveal 20 or so teeth. It is one of the ugliest things I had ever seen.
I took it back to my room and sat it on my table. Then I started to laugh. Then I started to roar with laughter. A nurse asked if I was ok.
I have named the figurine “Charlie” and have decided to keep it. He will sit on my desk and remind me of the crazy shit that happens when I go crazy. It will be an omen, and represent the darkness, and thus my desire to be well. It will represent what I have been through.
But it will also remind that no matter how unwell I am, even when I am hooked up to machines and can only wear track suits. Even when my hair is dirty and I can’t remember the last time I wore makeup. And even at my very worst….there will still be a middle aged, manic, balding guy out there who thinks I am the bees knees.
Oh, and my husband too. 😉