A yellow post-it note with Tony's phone number survived one of my drunken rages. The digits were tucked neatly away in the 'M' section of an old, leather-bound Day-Runner address book. For almost a year, I forget I placed it there just after my release from the Trinitas inpatient psychiatric unit. Before chewing it up to destroy all possible evidence of him, I almost made the call. The lure of his deep, straight vocal tone echoed in my head as the bitter paper with an adhesive slip was swallowed with a gulp of beer along with my last Lithium pill.

Imaginary images of a blue handkerchief brushed against my flushed cheeks... almost the only memories I had in my head at the time. My thought process was destroyed. The psychotropic medications made me feel like a used whore. When I discovered the little yellow treasure long after I had been discharged from that place, I smiled again... knowing that institutions are not for me. I though I burned his number along with the copy of my clinical chart from the hospital.

The psychiatrists' handwriting in my chart was sloppy and impossible to read anyway, nothing like the neat penmanship of Tony on the post-it note. I tried deciphering the narratives the social workers at the hospital had scribbled on their 'session notes' in my chart before I threw it away. Most of what they had scribbled down was untrue, or at least the entire story of what took place inside the brightly lit corridors of Trinitas was not documented in my chart. The incident involving my group leadership role during morning exercise was noted. I was happy when reading that sloppy handwriting...

'Pt. led group in exercise. Asked everyone to bend over and touch their toes and 'stick asses way up in the air'. Pt. continues to exhibit oppositional defiant behavior and depressive symptoms.'

Tony wore a blue handkerchief on his head and paced the hallways of the psychiatric ward like a pimp on 42nd Street. He ruled the joint. His six foot frame was massive. His large steroid like muscles filled the light blue hospital gown he wore to the seams. Most of the patients bowed down to him.

I dropped to me knees when he asked me to.

'Don't worry about it, dude,' he said. 'You'll get out eventually. I've been in and out of these places all my life. It feels like home to me. You're manic now, aren't you?' He asked while pulling the blue hanky from his head. I noticed his razor stubble was slightly darker than the dirty blonde hair that covered his head.

'I don't think so. I'm God,' I explained.

He laughed. 'Dude... you ain't God. You are a god, but you ain't God yet.'

'You don't think so?' I asked emphatically. 'That's interesting. Tell me... what in Zyprexia's name made me see the light?'

'I don't know. I never thought I was God,' he laughed. 'I've always pictured myself to be more like Moses when manic delusions take over my soul,' he explained while whipping out the largest caucasian cock my lips had ever seen.

'Moses?' I asked while coming up for air. 'I can see the connection. You're hot and your cock is delicious!' I replied.

'Thanks. I'm going to give you my number. I'm leaving here soon. I want you to call me when you get home. You can sure suck a dick, boy! Keep the number secret though. Nobody knows I let me suck me off.'

His words of encouragement were the only thing that made me feel better while on lock-down. The medications made me rigid and nervous. I could hardly think straight. Someone had written graffiti on the wall in my room that I shared with Tony... 'D-Unit'. The writing on the wall made the place seem like a prison. Where was I? What was I doing there? Who was this man in the handkerchief in the bed next to me?

After I blew him, he went down the hallway and somehow got into the nurses station... a plexiglass enclosed room filled with computers, typewriters and charts. The nurses kept the cigarettes in a drawer inside the see-through room. Tony was able to somehow pick the lock or slide the window at the nurses station open to steal us each a Newport after our promiscuous encounter. He had matches too and we smoked near an air- conditioning vent next to a window which overlooked a staff parking lot.

I hadn't been able to relax in days. My restless legs, affected by the strong dosages of anti-psychotics was a living hell. Every inch of my body felt tortured, poked and prodded by the men and women in white. The sex and cigarette with Tony alleviated my anxious symptoms momentarily. I felt safe with him and it felt like I was back in Shawn's arms.

I went to bed and finally I was able to rest peacefully. I got several hours of sleep. Nurses woke me up for dinner...

'Charles. Charles, wake up. You have been asleep for more than twenty-six hours. Wake up Charles.'

I was starving. A handsome Black male nurse led me down the hall to the cafeteria by the hand. I felt like a queen. While being escorted to the dinning facility, I looked out of the window in the recreation room and noticed a large white bird sitting atop a light pole outside. The feathery creature looked just like a stork. My delusions of being 'with child' and carrying the Christ child slowly started to return. I blocked the notion out and finally we entered the cafeteria.

Everyone had already eaten. They had a plate waiting for me. The other in-patients were fighting over containers of vanilla ice cream. The small white Styrofoam containers were made of the same substance as the hospital slippers on our feet. The ice cream containers had paper lids at the top though. The touched were pulling off the paper lids... those meds made us all crave lots of sugar. The ice scream sure hit the spot...eating it was like a cigarette after sex. The cold, milky dessert reminded me of what I had done in my room with Tony. We couldn't get enough comfort food while on the psychotropic pills. As I said a prayer over my meal. I hoped that all the patients would save me at least two bowls of the sweet icecream.

'There he is... the queer,' proclaimed the man who wore a snot rag on his head. 'He likes me. He thinks I'm hot. Tell them, you think I got a nice fat cock. Tell them how you drained it,' Tony shouted.

I realized then, Tony was crazy, even more so than I was at the time. The other patients looked hopelessly into their frozen containers of cream, not knowing for sure what Tony was shouting about. Hospital staff pretended not to be listening to him. They could have cared less. His voice was just like another imaginary one in their heads, but not in mine. They were hungry and it was medication time. They didn't want to hear about Tony getting a blow job from the big queen.

'Yes, you are ruggedly handsome, but not as fine as Shawn,' I said while yawing, trying to remember how to hold a fork and feed myself again.

He seemed to know my dead lover when those words were spoken with my mouth full.

The room grew incredibly silent. Only a few tongues licking plastic spoons could be heard in the cafeteria where one could hear a pen drop if he or she really wanted to.

I knew his type from the outside world. I knew not to confront his repressed demons in the dinning facility in front of our peers. I waited for him later that evening

'Lights out,' the nurses shouted as the headache infusing, florescent lights were dimmed to low for the night.

There were no pulls off lids for this dessert or fighting over the last Stryofoam bowl of 'Good Humor'. He lifted his blue gown and I had him again but this time, before going down on him, I made him say he loved me. He did. He said it and it sounded like he meant it.

'I love you. Give me some pussy,' he moaned.

He was delusional again, I realized. He thought I was a real woman, so I played along with his delusion and rolled over and said, 'Please, don't get me pregnant.'

'Shut up and take this nut, bitch.'

Tony was discharged a few days later. He was spit out of the system just like he explained would happen. I also got out of that place... just like Tony had assured.

I threw away the little yellow piece of paper with his number just like my last prescription for Lithium, but I will always be grateful for him parting my delusions and for helping me to get back to the promised land.

I intended to call him and fight for child support before throwing that little yellow piece of paper away, but somethings are best forgotten and left inside the psychiatric ward.



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