Friday, November 5, 2010

Religious Icon Day Was Yesterday

We had originally planned Religious Icon Day for November 1, which is All Saints' Day, but because I was still quarantined so that I wouldn't infect my entire ward or the entire hospital with croup (which is pretty unrealistic, but the staff had to err on the side of caution), the other crazy people decided to wait until I was out of quarantine yesterday. I considered that to be a very kind gesture. Most people don't realize that crazy people are among the nicest on the planet.

I had decided upon being the Blessed Virgin, but one of the psych interns convinced me that I was more of a "Joan of Arc" (Jeanne d'Arc in French, if you're interested and happen to be among the 2% of the people on the planet who would care in the least yet don't already know that) type because I'm a constant crusader. He even went so far as to purloin red and orange cellophane out of some charity guild's closet on another floor of the hospital so that I could use it to simulate flames while I was burning at the stake. As the rope tying me to the stake, I had to use these little kid connector chain toys that one of the nurses brought for me because it would be next to impossible to either hang or strangle oneself with them because the chain will separate with the slightest resistance. The staff admitted that I wasn't suicidal, and that, for that matter, probably no one in our wing was, but if they gave one of us a piece of roving yarn and it got into the hands of anyone with homicidal or suicidal tendencies, the entire staff would be up a creek with no oar.

So, for the most part, I spent the day with a sheet draped around me (I could hang myself with a sheet if I were really determined, for that matter) and cellophane taped to me and two used-up wrapping paper rolls taped together for my stake, and construction paper signs taped to my front and back identifying myself, so there would be no excuse for anyone to identify or address me as anything but Joan of Arc. You wouldn't believe how exhausting it is to burn oneself at the stake all day and evening long. I was really getting into the martyr aspect of the whole thing. One guy was portraying Pope Benedict XVI (the current pope), but he briefly retreated to the role of Pope Benedict XV, who canonized Joan of Arc. I tried speaking French all day, but, despite my father's fluency in the language, my French is not what it should be. To make matters worse, no one on the floor understands French, so even if my French had been perfect, no one would have understood me.

The whole "Deity Day" concept sprung from a particular question asked of each patient (or "client," as they prefer to call us and would prefer that we call ourselves, although we've pretty much settled on "crazy people" as our collective descriptor). When we became sufficiently well-acquainted to learn that we all had been asked if we had ever become angry because someone refused to acknowledge or refer to us as a deity, the idea of "Deity Day" was born. The staff keeps telling each of us that we're not crazy, but that peculiar individual circumstances have placed each of us in a position to need therapy, yet persists in asking this question to each of us. (For the record, I don't think anyone was asked the same question after the initial intake session.)

The problem is that after so many days of inactivity from being sick, I thoroughly tired myself out by pretending to be Joan of Arc burning myself at the stake for about twelve hours and trying to speak a language that I don't speak all that well and that everyone else understands even more poorly than I speak it. So I slept too much in the daytime today. I knew it would cause problems with sleeping tonight, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open. The staff didn't wake me because they were worried I might have a croup relapse or something if I didn't get sufficient rest. At one point, one of my friends came in and blasted music so loudly that I couldn't sleep through it. Otherwise, I might have slept until two p.m.

The staff is giving me until 1 a.m. to try to become sleepy on my own. After that, I have to either fake sleepiness really well or take Lunesta. It's not the end of the world to take Lunesta (it's not a bona fide crazy person drug) but my doctors can't find a perfect dosage for me. It either has no effect or knocks me out for longer than is optimal. I'll probably fake sleepiness. Eventually I might get tired, anyway.

Friday (tomorrow) evening I'm flying home for nine days plus a few extra hours. I'm looking forward to it. I even sort of miss my brother. We text and even sometimes talk, but I haven't actually seen him since I came here. I don't think our twin bond is as strong as some claim theirs to be, but he's still my brother.

"Judge Alex" was great today. That Gingerbread Man guy was a trip, although some FB poster claims the same two guys sued each other on "Judge Joe Brown" for a different matter, so the whole case may have been a ruse. ("Judge Joe Brown" supposedly gets duped more than the other tV judge shows.) If so, they went to a lot of trouble with the "Judge Alex" case. That "candy" song, with the defendant moaning away in the background, was a classic. I'd actually pay money for a recording of the entire song just in case I ever need a song to overplay just to get on someone's nerves. The song was so terrible that it was almost good. Now the guy's supposedly going to sing gospel rap insead of gangsat rap. If the two are found to have pulled a fraud on the "Judge Alex" staff, they may be charged for production costs, but that would be an exercise in futility, as between the two of them, they might be able to come up with enough for a Happy Meal on a good day. To make matters worse, the plaintiff has nine children. I'm just guessing that they don't all have the same mother. He's going to perform and record Christian rap. How very fitting. Alas, I'm being too judgmental. Jesus was all about forgiveness, so I should try harder to be more like He was in that way. I'm not sure where Joan of Arc was on the forgivenesss scale. She was known more for her crusading than for passively forgiving all the goons who wronged her.

I hope everyone has a delightful weekend. Please keep me posted on the real world. I try to stay current, but things sometimes slip past me.

Bon nuit!

P.S. Wasn't the Giants' World Series victory a great reaffirmation that there is indeed a God? I'm being sarcastic here, because I hate it when sports stars attribute athletic success to Jesus, as though he doesn't have more important fish to fry. Still, I was happy. My parents have been Giants fans since each of them first moved to California, and it has basically been a second religion taught to my brother and me since birth. There have been times when wanting the Giants to win something, anything, was the only thing any of the four of us in our immediate family had in common. The win was gratifying to say the least.


  1. Hey! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

    The real world? Well, it is getting dark here in the UK. And it has been raining most of the day. This is normal. Both the darkness and the rain. Only 4.21pm and night is drawing!

    Our African Grey has decided to 'entertain' us with his ear piercing shriek. We don't know where he got that from, but we wish he hadn't.

    At present I working on my Christmas website

    There's a Nativity story on there that I wrote myself. If you have the time, Alexis, can you please read the story and let me know what you think? It's almost certainly like no other take on the nativity that you have ever seen!

    That's Christmas

    Have a good break at home.

  2. Regarding the story, Matt, even though it was presumably intended as fiction, the Nativity may very well have happened exactly that way. I think you nailed it.