Revamped; A Featured Post

Eyes Cast Downward- Memoir Excerpt

Originally hand written in July 2015 Late Spring of 2014.  Just Months before liver failure Our eyes are nearly always cast dow...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Many Roles- Memoir Excerpt

After having been gallivanting the street's and beaches of south east Florida under the ridiculous alias "Mary Jane" (made sense to me at the time) for a month or two, I felt I owed myself a well deserved break. I phoned mommy dearest and she tells me that my Grand Mary is in the hospital again and she was about to leave to go and see her. She asks me if I would come along. Of course I said yes, and she says she will stop to pick me up from wherever the hell I was on the way. No amount of rebellion, hate, nor pain was ever aimed in the direction of My Grand Mary. I loved her deeply, she was the only one in my bloodline that ever showed me anything like love. Total acceptance of my individuality, even discreetly encouraging it. Almost never disagreeing with me, only occasionally I might receive a stern look from her when I would allow my mother to get the best of me.  If I was loud and disrespectful. The look seemed to read "It's not even worth it Mary Catherine." She coddled me, loved me, played with my hair when I would lie down next to her in her room and we would share ice cream with our dog that she christened Pogs (which is Gaelic for kisses and pronounced more like pugs). Her love was genuine, wise and never conditional. She proved that every day until the end. When I was told this I was genuinely concerned and worried for her.

 So I waited.

My mother picks me up  and we drive towards our neighborhood hospital, the Joe DiMaggio Hospital in Hollywood Florida. As we pulled into the parking lot I noticed immediately that she was not driving towards the entrance for visitors, she had made an entirely different abrupt turn heading for an adjacent building I never even noticed before then. "Where are you going?" I asked with only mild tension. She didn't reply at first Then she said cold as ice "You need help Mary Catherine."
Shit, this was no mistake, no wrong turn here, my heart kick started and flew. I put my face to the window in the back seat and squinted looking for any clues as to what the hell this lunatic had in mind, what did she mean i need help... There it was "PSYCHIATRIC WARD". A grey sign with white letters carving out the name of my doom above an ominous doorway. 

"Where is Grandma?!"  
No reply. 
"What are you doing?!" 
"Grandma is Fine, but you need help."

She pulls the car over to the curb. Fight or flight is kicking in. But I am too shocked to do much of anything.She gets out of the car and walks over to the door like some pathetic fill in for the role of  'Joan of Arc' at a shitty town's local theater. She is in the dimly lit doorway and presses a button, it is late evening and even the door is a gloomy, dreadful shade of grey. The door opens and a muscular black man is standing there. I can not hear what is being said, but it is not looking too good from my point of view. All I see is her phony pleading face, his attentiveness to her and the way she keeps pointing in my direction. 
I sink back into the backseat of the car wishing to be invisible, to cease to exist at all. 
What I didn't know then was that this was only the first of many more visits to come, thirteen visits to be exact. This was to become more home to me then the four bedroom house I used to share with the woman who is supposed to be my mother, my Grand Mary, my baby brother and the intruders (stepfather and his daughter). The streets, the beach, Juvenile Detention and the Joe DiMaggio Pediatric Psychiatric Unit will be where I spend ninety percent of my 15th year of life. I was to become the Queen of that ward and known on a first name basis by both the other teen patients and  staff alike, within a couple more stays.
She opens the door of the rear seat and says at me ;

"All right, we are going to get you some help come out of the car." 

I didn't see any options I was to run down to make a run for it, I could have, but I had been living pretty hard and I was damn tired, so I got out of the car. I crossed my arms in front of my chest and cast my gaze down to my beat up Vans. I hear the mans voice, I don't look up he says "Alright, right through here". I hear the car door shut behind me ,the engine turns back on, I slowly shuffle and follow his lead, inside the building. I hear my mother in the background

"They are going to help you, you'll be alright, I'll see you soon." 
I started walking much faster when I heard her repulsive voice, I think 
"How could she make this about Grandma, that's so fucked up..."

Now I was practically on his heels and was relieved when I heard the door shut behind us. I let out a long breath, I guess I was holding it a while. As we walked deeper into the evaluation waiting room I raised my eyes. She was gone, I was no longer afraid, though I had no definite reason not to be. Perhaps clairvoyance, perhaps madness. The apple doesn't fall that damn far from the tree. 

I did feel at home. There might as well have been a welcome mat.  I was to meet a new family, comrades in one of many battles to come. It was only the beginning. 
I could play this role.

Mary Catherine, Cowardice Queen

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anything to say on the subject?