once we get to my room we begin the tedious and horrific process of going through every last thing i have with me. no matter how pleasant and professional and kind these people are being (and this particular staff is very professional and polite and kind) it is still a very difficult thing and there is no way for it not to feel dehumanizing and humiliating.
i was not packed for a stay in the hospital, so i had with me a lot of things that i knew they were going to take away: camera, razor, assorted stuff not really appropriate for hospital use. of course i expected to have them check all my bags and books and pockets for hidden drugs and weapons and for them to take away my meds from home and catalog them and give me hospital issue later.
what i did not expect was for them to take my pens and pencils, nor to take any clothing deemed too stretchy. these tights? no. they have a string.
ok, cut out the string,
those? i can have those.
nope, too stretchy.
what? i do not point out that they're no stretchier than the ones i'm being allowed to keep, the ones that have just had the string cut out. i know better. i cut my losses. one pair of pajamas is better than none.
ok. i have one pair of pants to wear when i get my street clothes back.
they take my bookbag. no straps. no pen, no pencil. i can have a golf pencil if i want it.
fuck you, i think.
what i say is thank you.
next project. the thirteen hour project. if you have been following this blog or if you have spent any time with me at all, you know that i take a picture every thirteen hours. it's an art project. some days it's what keeps me going. one day i was crying so hard i couldn't get up from the floor and still i managed to take a picture. it's hard to tel from the picture where i am but if you look real hard you can tell i'm under my desk.
so i try to negotiate with the nursing staff maybe a supervised picture of a blank wall at the approaching designated time. it would mean a lot to me and it would help maintain continuity of my life which supposedly is one of their stated goals, you know?
but know, they can't work that out, and omniscient narrator from the future knows that my failed negotiations with them over this only earns for me an added diagnosis of personality disorder with histrionic and narcissistic strains which kind of makes me feel sad and ashamed but doesn't make a lot of real sense if you know me.
anyway, i'm so upset to lose my photo project that i think for a while that i'll roll the dice, which is kind of mental patient slang for demanding to be discharged when you're only technically voluntary and then they have to call in the screeners to evaluate your case and if you pass, you go, but if you don't pass, you get held as an involuntary for at least eight days and then you can try again.
i make some phone calls and end up not rolling the dice. omniscient narrator from the future has some ideas about how to salvage the photo project since for the lost days i didn't leave that one place and i'm still living there and it was beyond my control and i can at least represent it photographically if not present the accurate view.
more tomorrow, eh?
it's time for dinner and then back to the house.