The Notebook

I thought the pile of administrative trash was a touch too heavy…

An interesting habit of mine when I’m in the hospital is to collect magazine pages. It seems I had ripped apart an Italian Vogue magazine in this bundle before me, the bundle I’ve been avoiding since I came home March 16th.

It is not so much the content as to the constancy of these bundles. Every hospital stay, a folder with my name on it. Hoarded inside, my daily schedule. Journal entries. Poems. Rants about my roommate(s). This last bundle, though, was different.

Somebody else’s journal entries, poems, rants were tucked in with mine. As well, a purple composition book, bent vertically, with a sloppily-written title on the outside cover. The best I could make out was “The Realm of The…” in whoever-the-heck’s handwriting. To be sure, I turn the pages of the heavily written-in notebook. I see my barely-inked handwriting, a side effect of strong anti-psychotics. Whoever-the-Heck marked my entries with faces; many sad, some with a line for a mouth. Either way, Whoever-the-Heck didn’t like where my mind goes when my mind goes.

Neither do I.

When I finished reading through it, I made a mental note to try to recover the small poems I had written while psychotic. Lovely little pieces, small and neat like the tiny white fish of St Pete Beach. Then I busied with following up on past due bills, organizing them by hospital (which was tricky because hello! I was out of my mind, how would I know where I was??) and chasing down hospital administrators who owe me explanations.

Knowing that BF would be home shortly, I pick up the papers to shred and take them to their resting place. I finish labeling half my rolling file folder cart. I cast aside all old, unrecyclable folders. I stack the folders and the box the new folders came in atop each other, then walk it out to the trash.

Today, intended for a post, I find that the poems are lost to the garbage. The notebook, it seems, was in the same pile as the unrecyclable folders.  I am relieved. RELIEVED. The reason why I hold on to advertisements and scribblings is because I know I won’t remember the experience, and a part of me feels as if I have to, as much detail as possible. But why do I have to remember? Being double minded means, one mind functions in society and the other mind doesn’t. So if that mind segment isn’t conducive to social interaction, then surely, the other segment shouldn’t fight so hard to retain useless data! Perhaps that’s the keyboard key stuck in a pressed position, the piece of spinach jammed in that impossible crevice of the teeth. Treatment needs to get me there – to a place where I know nothing, I am nobody, I am serene.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

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