He greets me, shows me how to use the pay phone and asks me for a kiss. Sammy is a schizophrenic. Completely harmless and I am envious of him. He sleeps most of the day, takes his portable boom box outside and dances during recess time, oblivious to mostly everything that is around him except for anything of importance. .
The days are structured:
Wake up at 8am, Grooming class. Grooming class was to remind everyone that they needed to shower because sometimes we forget. Little paper cups of shampoo and conditioner are placed in your hand.
Breakfast at 9am. This is the worst part for anyone with an eating disorder because you just knew that the shit storm of trying to battle your food all day was beginning.
One of the nurses shrieks at me as I attempt throw my meal tray away without showing her first how much I had eaten.
Sometimes the eating disorder clan sets up little ploys to distract the nurses like bursting into tears or picking a fight so the rest of us can go over to the garbage can and throw half our food away.
“Look how much I ate this morning!”.
We’d all take turns doing this but eventually they caught on and we had to be separated.
Music therapy is at 10am. We were all supposed to make up an interpretive dance to “let go of the kinetic energy building up inside so we can free ourselves”. In reality we all looked like a bunch of fools flopping around the common area embarrassing ourselves. Even when other crazy people are watching you it’s still mortifying.
11am was the hour when you got to meet with the psychiatrist, social worker, and therapist. You’d walk into this tiny room and just feel the judgmental eyes on you no matter how hard they tried to mask them with their fly by night questions under the guise that they really care. They “care” as long as the insurance company is paying.
Lunch at noon. Ugh food.
Art therapy is 1pm. This was my favorite part of the day because it’s the only day anyone actually speaks in non-diagnostic talk. The crackhead next to you will start telling you a story about being on Skid Row barely able to string a sentence together from all the years of drug abuse then hand you the beaded bracelet it just took him an hour to make in the most genuine way possible. You both smile.
5PM I get the news I’m being discharged because “they need the bed” (I don’t have any insurance)
Sammy looks at me as I’m being discharged and in a moment of lucidity says “You woke up this morning, you are blessed”.