THE CATCH 22 SOLUTION
About a week later I am asked if I wish to return to my old apartment building to pick through the remains of my life. I politely declined. Too much like stepping on my own grave thank you very much. I gave them a list of things they could bring if they wished to go to the trouble. My big yellow tackle box of art supplies, my paintings,my cd’s and movie collection and a suitcase of clothes.’ The suite case I had packed before the fire, and I had put it, and those other odds and ends stacked in the hall way. I had an idea that some of it would be catching up with me sooner or later.
I was most pleased to get my tackle box, ahh crayons and water color pens just what a mad woman needs to pass the time.The staff was pleased with my paints and collages, always good to have an artistic mad person in the house, gives the place a touch of class. Not feeling the muse I just spent my time scribbling doodles on paper. Hardly seemed worth the praise the staff heaped on me for scribbling. But if they wanted to pat me on the head, I wasn’t going to argue.
The whole art thing came about thusly. It was my thirty third birthday, which I thought a fine time to do the take stock of life thing. Where am I now? What have I accomplished sort of thing. Looking back I found that the only thing I had really accomplished in life was to fuck things up and piss people off.
Holy shit, I’m an artist.
Imagine my surprise. At the time I didn’t even own a box of crayons.
A doctor interrupts my doodling to ask if I would mind it if he brought in some interns to interview me.
I didn’t mind. Here I am all bored and they give me a room full of baby doctors to play with. Why I bet their just as cute as puppies.
And oh my weren’t they just, five of them, so eager,trying so hard to look all serious and learned. Three men, two women all in their crisp intern lab coats, clip boards up and pens ready.
“Do you know why you’r here?” The head doctor asks me.
“Here in the hospital or here in this room ?”
“Here in the hospital and here talking with us.” He smiles. He likes clever patients.
“Ahh well I would say that I am here in the hospital because of a difference of opinion.” I smile. “I would say that I am here because my former landlord Richard J Boccie is involved in the illegal drug business in a fairly large way and that I have gotten in his way so he has taken a contract out on my life. (if that really is the correct term, I don’t know maybe the people in the mob call it a hostile take over). And I am here because it is better than being killed.
“You on the other hand would say that I am a paranoid delusional nut burger who has been driven over the edge by certain unfortunate lifestyle choices and has, poor dear, become a danger to self and others.
“Hence the difference of opinion.
“I’m here talking with you all because I’m a fairly amusing nut burger and you thought it would be a nice change of pace for your students from the depressing run of mumblers and droolers they normally have to examine.
I smile, They laugh.
“Well let’s begin shall we?” I adjust my glasses
First question from the well groomed young man on the left. “Did you really set the fire in your apartment?”
“Yes, yes I did.”
“Umm, why did you set your apartment on fire?” This from the woman in the middle in carefully bland makeup.
“The short answer is because my landlord was trying to kill me. The slightly longer answer is because it would send me here.”
“You wanted to come here? Why?” They all lean forward in their seats. This was as answer they were not expecting. Which is odd I think, after all haven’t they gone into massive amounts of debts and years of schooling to get here? All I had to do was start one little fire.
“I call it the catch 22 solution.” I tell them.
“The situation I am dealing with, whether you believe it or not, and I take it as a give that you don’t. Boccie wants me dead. He is offering a hundred thousand dollars to see me dead. As ego flattering as that is in a twisted sort of way. It is a bit of a problem. I cant get anyone like the police to believe me about this, and I cant be sure that simply leaving San Francisco would be enough to insure my continued breathing. There is no such thing as anonymity anymore, anywhere I go I will leave a trace that can be found by anyone with even a modicum of computer skills.
Since I cant get anyone to believe me, well disbelief has its uses.
“First, being in a locked mental ward, I figured that it puts me out of reach of Boccie’s hired guns. They arnt all that cleaver and perhaps with me out of the picture it will give them a chance to calm the fuck down.
Second, one of the reasons Boccie wants me dead, other then the fact that there is just something about me that really pisses him off, is he is afraid that I just may get someone to believe me. Well now that I am officially a nut case my credibility is completely shot. Thus removing one of Boccie’s major motivations for wanting me dead.
Third, being now officially a paranoid delusional nut burger I have some small protection from being killed once I move on out of the system. So long as I’m alive I’m just a delusional nut who thinks her former landlord is trying to kill her. If however I end up dead in some no doubt messy fashion people might just begin to wonder if my paranoia might not be entirely mad.”
While I admit it’s not an ideal solution, it’s the best I could come up with under the circumstances And it does appeal to my sense of humor.
“Why do you think your landlord is trying to kill you.?”
“That is a long story.”