D J S
3 – Well I wood, wouldn’t I? (or, how my fire got put out…)
So how did I deal with it? Well, I dug out my filthy but (mostly) piss free third set of clothes (I was wearing the other 2 sets), packed them into a carrier bag in the rucksack, alongside the sleeping bag, and rode my way back to Nmaj. With an amusing plan in mind. It was raining again, however this time it conveniently served as part of my improvised design, and I rolled up a dirty dank mess at Nmaj. Once your face is on the recognised list it’s easy enough to get thru/ough the two locked doors into the ward, you could be there for any number of plausible reasons, so the outer door from reception gets opened easily enough, on this occasion by a Doctor who knew my face but not my status. Similarly the inner door was remotely unlocked from the ward office as they saw me on the monitor muttering about meeting someone and I, who was no longer an inpatient, had once again gotten myself inside the asylum. I deliberately selected a staff member I didn’t recognise & asked for some towels & access to the laundry room. There I immodestly stripped off, emptied my rucksack & took occupation of both washer driers, putting them on a quick wash/long dry cycle. I then compounded my fraud by asking the poor staffer for some washing powder. I didn’t know them, which of course meant they had little chance of knowing me, and therefore knowing I shouldn’t by rights be there at all. That’s the thing with new staff, as you can see in their face the desperate look of ‘What the HELL is going on, who’s that? Towels? Towels is easy enough to do, what time does my shift end? Aaaaargh etc.’ I got the nod from one of the cleaners &, draped in said towels, asked the staffer to unlock the just scrubbed shower most adjacent to the laundry, locked the door behind me and gratefully sat & unwound under the high pressure near scalding water. I knew I ought to have plenty of time. Each half hour they do the observation round & tick internees off a list, so there’s sort of a system for seeing when they’re down one, tho/ough I’ve seen it take them some considerable time to actually work out they’ve had a runner and do something about it. But there’s not really a system in place to tell them they’re up one (i.e. admitted after list was printed/visiting for consultation etc.), so I was contentedly confident I pretty much had as long as I liked. It’s thru/ough these little gaps in the world that one may find a form of coping with the outcomes of unprompted incontinence, and so I got to clean me of my own soiling.
However, lets not forget that to achieve this I’d also had to re-insert myself into the staining chaos & disorder emanating from out of the wrecked souls residing there on the acute admissions ward in Nmaj. Some patients I knew, some were new, some had left while I was there but were back in, some had left. One I knew for a fact had been trans-navigating between in/ill & out/still ill for near on 20 years, and he’s still trapped in the loop the poor fuck. There was mild scale hollering coming from a variety of directions, and tho/ough this wasn’t unusual it did proffer a stark & timely reminder as to exactly why I’d not returned there and had booked out of Nmin. instead, it was unreservedly confirmed as having been the right choice even tho/ough it’d resulted in me living within the woods in my own urine, but then that wasn’t turning out to be so bad. On the ward, when one becomes acutely aware of the incongruity of ones immediate environs it’s often because one has progressed to ‘a bit better’?
One washer/drier concluded its mission before the other, so I was able to dress in toasty warm clothes and sit discretely in the visiting room opposite the laundry & wait a while. It was just outside visiting hours, and patients or staff rarely ventured up there, so no-one bothered me. I was surreptitiously inside doing what I needed to get done, could get out as simply as I got in, and was managing to avoid the full engagement with the ward proper. This was going so well I began to get nervous :-D
How do you describe the inside of an acute psych ward? Anyone that’s been in one will doubtless swiftly vouch that you’d not believe most of what goes on if you were to be told. If it were recorded here verbatim you’d unquestionably presuppose it far too far fetched & fantastical. Even accounts from staff or visitors wouldn’t encompass the experience of the internee themselves, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen or read a candid & correct representation that captures the accurate texture of the experience. If you know any Nutters* just ask them, they’ll tell you that any true description would seem utterly implausible, for sure. Also, to be fair, I ought not delve into describing authentic events because of rightful patient confidentiality. They have a right to it, and even if I herein waive mine, I’ve no right to waive theirs. It’s sort of like ‘What happens on tour, stays on tour’ you know? (Nothing ever happens on tour).
* Remember, being one then I’m allowed to use the ‘N’ word, that’s how it works isn’t it?
But still, you may wish to never find your wretched carcass in a mental hospital, or perhaps you find yourself unable to conceive a situation that would ever lead to this. However, should such a thing occur in your sorry facsimile of a life do not be fearful. Some of it will shock you, other parts will stretch your capacity to believe or understand the breadth of human behaviour, while some will just confirm your suspicions as to the profound depths that can be arrived at by the humanzees… Is madness exclusively found in the mental wards? Well no, for as much as you may find yourself locked in you’ll also find the outside locked out, and believe me this is, for my taste, half the point of being there. Do not let the stigma leech itself onto your experience, nor preconceptions come between you and the ‘being there’. Never allow the illness of others to project or imprint itself onto you. Just be there and embrace whatever had caused you to be there. Take it all in & know that no-one will believe you if you tell them even some of happened right in front of you. Not even if you included diagrams.
Hospitalisation is a great leveller, hitting all classes & backgrounds. It’s only the nature of the individual mental disease in question & its expression in you that will separate you from your fellow madees. They’re all there for a reason too, and tho/ough the exact nature of their brain disease may differ from yours, they are humans stripped to the core instinctual responses and subject to their ‘faulty DNA’ just as you. Yet if one were an adherent of Darwinism (I’m not, but then neither am I deity driven, or cradled by animistic totemism, nor do I even know what Humanism is?) one would accept that progress only occurs at the mutational margins, so faulty in what way? Anyway it’s generally been my experience that one quite probably meets a far better class of semi-awake humanoid in a mental hospital. I worry for the those outside who stop working on recognising the sickness in their souls & hearts. Those classified as the model norm who fall short of spectating their genuine place in the scheme of things. Do they not know that, as Lusean once delightfully quipped - We are all plankton? :-D
Getting out of Nmaj. was no harder than entering. One of the three visiting times was approaching and I took the entry of the first wide eyed relatives as my opportunity to exit, seemingly fumbling for my swipe card & not acting ‘nuts’ was enough to convince them I was allowed out. I could have worked another way out sooner, but was in no rush. I’d been happy watching the Magpies hanging around the large smoking garden as they so often did, I’d seen more of Magpies there at Nmaj. than anywhere ever…
Outside now, my right thumb pressed life into my metal mares monstrous motorissimo & rode that spartan form hard back to woods the long way round, on roads now parched & irresistibly grippy. Everything I’d left there was still there, I’d not been sure it would be, and I parked up in front of the tent, clipped the door flap to the adjacent bike and sighed to myself, slowing down, calming. My brain became made of sand, each grain dropping thru/ough the narrows of my neck to rest below. Each grain denoting steps in time, every one slower than the last. Finally I came to respite & could think, sort of.
I was immediately reminded why I was there rather than back in the hospital. That’s not to say I was no longer nuts, I always have been, always will be. I’ve gone beyond thinking this could ever be overcome. Oddly, to my mind, people have asked if I was ‘scared’ in the woods, but no. I was entirely free, completely relaxed, ah the quietness – both inside & out :-D Now, comparing these woods hereabouts to the sort of woods one might get in the former Soviet states or the US, they barely register as more than a large garden. But for Grate Britannia (or as we now know it, the Former United Commonwealth Kingdoms) they’re wood sized and that’s plenty big enough for me thank you very much. And comparing the broken brane issues I face then I could be far worse cast with any of the mental dis-eases I’d watched in the hospitalisation. I could have done with a more vast separation between me & ‘civilisation’, but I was far enough out to be able to imagine I was entirely away from the world. These woods were so called public access and so theoretically open to all, as opposed to most land in F.U.C.K. which is owned by ‘The Man’ or one of his cousins, business associates, or cousins business associates, and therefore access is rigorously restricted – Thus here we have the phrase ‘Get orfa my laaarnnn’, the ‘my’ being the result of the many & various Land Inclosure Acts and the eons long battle of ‘previous or primitive accumulation’. Tho/ough we may have been encouraged to imagine we’re in the 21st century, you know we are in fact somewhat pre Magna-Carta & they get all Baronial on our asses when it comes to who owns which land, what they can do with it, and what they can stop you doing on it. You know that all, right? Try and keep up at the back there.
But, in the shelter of a car park in a picnic area in the woods I am afforded a kind of general legal protection from outside interference. I’m not on private, private land, yet neither am I pitching up un-allowed to seek to actually reside in the forbidden depths of the woods, and in doing seeking to conceal presence. I checked the sign on the gate and it basically said ‘NO FUCKING’ in more proprietous parlance, but said nothing specific regarding ‘no camping’, so being there I was somewhere I wasn’t not allowed to be. As if to illustrate this, late one afternoon I heard a Landrover & trailer come rushing down the single track road adjacent to my little empire. It abruptly halted as it went past the gate, thru/ough which I could be seen, and reversed back into the car park so that the rear of his trailer was facing me, and he could observe me discretely thru/ough his drivers side mirror. I opened my tent flap & glanced out, and he sat there for a short while, and then began to pull away, presenting his flank to me as he left, complete with Cunty Cuncil logos etc. It was apparent he was a junior park keeper type as they’re responsible for such locations, and he gave me a cheery wave, so I gave him an equally cheery wave back & he was gone.
Then a couple of nights later I was predictably visited by passing Peelers, they were driving down the lane late at night and, as I’d made no attempt to conceal myself, they spotted my abode without an address, stopped and reversed back shining the lights of their pig-mobile at me. PC Gone-Mad climbed from the vehicle, leaving Sergeant Liar safely inside (Detective Inspector H.T. Leads was on leave?), and he cautiously wandered toward my little abode calling out ‘Where are you all?’ in a sort of slightly timid tremulous tone of a kind which doesn’t make one feel full confidence in the approaching officers confidence. I replied that there was only me and slowly made myself visible without any sudden moves, keeping to low status body signals, but he still shone his little light around the area looking for some gun toting comrade who’d leap out on him and make him earn his pay for once. Having satisfied himself I was indeed alone he straightened up, swaggering & all dressed up in his action-man kit, and tried to make himself grander to impress me, I wasn’t impressed. He grudgingly asked why I was here & what I was doing so I briefly explained my situation, and he wanted to see some form of ID. I had my driving license to hand and he officiously carried out a radio check to see if I was Ronnie Biggs (I’m not) & therefore wanted by the forces of law & order (I’m not) for being a very bad man (now that I am). Are they a police service or a force? There’s a big difference. I for one don’t feel protected by them, am clearly of the mind that they’re there to keep me in my place, which is below them, and I can’t say I’ve ever met one who didn’t piss me off in one way or another. His check came back negative, and, seeming somewhat saddened that he wouldn’t get to exercise his ‘powers’ and wrestle me to the floor or tazer me (either before or after I shot myself, it won’t really be clear). He bade me goodnight and drove off to hassle some other poor shit for doing absolutely nothing at all.
I can’t help but get into ‘debates’ with my old chum the venerable vegetable based life-form known as Asstrall about the nature of ‘Ye Olde Cops & Coppery’. He’s of the (half blown) mind that they’re almost all very nice fellows oh yes indeed, while I tend towards my dear friend PJCR12s view that they’re pretty much all pointy headed cnuts who are intellectually like builders but in uniform, to me they’re all playing little boys games with big boys toys. I’m thinking of having Asstrall needlessly arrested and stuck in a cell for a few hours more than it takes to find out a persons done nothing, just to wake him up a little you know? He tells me its decades since he was last cast into a cell, and that was just the once. Perhaps periodically one needs a reminder of just what ‘they’ can do if they feel like it. Would the great swing be possible where the ‘middle classes’ (as discussed elsewhere here no doubt, actually the medium working classes who’re fooled into unfounded aspirations) experienced this for themselves & came to realise they are as oppressed, repressed & befuddled by state lies as the rest of us? You’d have thought that after the pasting meted out to the ‘Cuntryside Alliance’ they’d have woken up wouldn’t you? But no.
Then, unsurprisingly, a few days after the police stopover, there was a second visit from a park keeper type, this time a boss. Not only did he look as tho/ough he were, but proto-amiably took the trouble to broadcast himself as such. He asked various innocuous questions to get the measure of me, but was really quite pleasant and said (off the record) he was quite happy for me to stay there for as long as I liked, and that I was probably helping him by driving off any undesirable types. He mentioned how I’d tidied up for them already, and implied that the locals had for sure reported a conspicuous decrease in the previously prevalent problems over the weeks I’d been there. He locked the gateway behind him in the knowledge that I could get in & out via the brief pedestrian access-way directly alongside it, as he himself indicated, and he gave the now customary cheery wave as he departed.