Things proceeded on the expected course the closure of the hospital a done deal all that remained was paper work and the shuffling off the patients to,, well somewhere.
I am called into the conference room . The time had come for them to sort out my fate.
Burt is there and the evil Dr. Chin and a couple of nervous looking social workers.
“So as you may know the hospital is scheduled to be closed.” Begins one of the social workers.
“Yes,I’ve heard that rumor.”
“So, hmm , we, hmm, have to decide where you will be placed.”
“Yes, I agree.”
And they all sit there giving me the dumb look.
I sit there.
They sit there.
I sit there.
They sit there giving me the dumb look.
“Ok people, let us say that you go into a new restaurant what’s the first thing you do, place your order or look at the menu?” I prompt them.
“Ohh look at the menu.” Peeps up one of the social workers, thinking of lunch no doubt.
“Just so.” I respond and I sit there.
And they sit there giving me the dumb look.
“Well?” I prompt them.
“Well what?” asks the evil Dr. Chin.
And they sit there giving me the dumb look.
“Oh for heavens sake people.” My hand slaps down on the table and they jump back in their seats. (If I ever get money one day I am going to retire to the country and raise a herd of those fainting goats just so I can go out back once a day and scare them) “What’s on the God Dammed menu here?” I snap out.
“ahhh, well, hmmm.”
The menu was pretty limited. They might be able to transfer me to another hospital, but it would be a ,, umm,,, well. More acute care. Burt looked kinda squimish at the suggestion. Me locked up with a bunch of screamingly anti social mad people dosed with heavy meds and absolutely nothing to do. The very thought would make anyone with a lick of sense nervous. And the thing was, I wasn't entirely fucked up enough to qualify for admittance to a hospital for the truly obnoxiously fucked up. Which on reflection is probably a good thing but I couldn't help feel a tad bit like the ugly girl at a sorority rush.
“The other option is possibly a half way house, but,,, ummmm.”
“No one wants a pyromaniac as a room mate, particularly one who smokes.” I finish for them and smile.
And that was it. That was all they had, so they sat there giving me the dumb look.
Burt had tried to get me qualified for SSI. I was not entirely cooperative with the process. I have this thing about paperwork. I finally decided to let Burt do what made him happy and fill out all the useless paperwork his little heart desired. If one part of the government wants to declare me insane and another branch of government wanted to give me money for being insane who was I to argue? Personally I figured that the odds of the government actually giving me money for making me nuts was pretty low. After all imagine the size of government debt if it had to go round giving money to everyone it drove nuts?
As I expected I was refused. Some lawyer lady called me to inform me that I didn't qualify for SSI.
“Ok fine, hadn’t expected it but I am curious. I am inside a locked mental hospital as a danger to self and others. Have been here for several months now. So I just got to ask. Just how fucked up do you have to be to qualify? Does it necessarily involve drooling?”
She said I should reapply, which of course involved massive amounts of paperwork which she just had to describe to me in fetish detail. On and on she went, some form number that and this form in triplicate and that form signed by the seven dwarfs in order of height. My brain pretty much shut down in self defense as soon as she mentioned forms/ I have this thing about paperwork.
She was prattling on about forms and procedures and I was humming a merry little tune inside my happy place. I check in now and then with the expected, “Yes, I see, ok, yes, I’m writing this down.”
I found myself thinking, would a real mad person have any idea what this nonsense woman was sputtering on about? I didn't think it likely. So if a mad person wouldn't possibly know what the heck this woman was babbling on about, this must be a test. If I can understand all this fis bin paperwork and fill it out correctly with all the correct signatures in all the correct places, wouldn't that prove that I’m not disabled?
Having come to that quite logical conclusion I shouted into the phone,
“I am queen of the monkey people!”
“What? I’m sorry what was that?”
I had found a way to stop all this form and paperwork blather, ohh goody.
“I am queen of the monkey people! And you, you, shall kneel at my feet and eat kumquats from my hairy fist.” I gave her my very best wicked witch cackle then hung up the phone. Being insane can be so much fun.
So anyway there they all say giving me the dumb look.
“Ok I just have to point out here that you, the supposed sane people in the room are all sitting there looking for me, me, the official insane person, me the danger to self and others paranoid delusional pyromaniac nut burger, to come up with a solution to your problem.”
There is much head ducking foot shuffling and the nervous shuffling of paper.
“Well,” I sigh and pause as though reluctant to go on. The bait most eagerly taken is the one most reluctantly offered. “ I may be able to stay with my grandmother.”
Every face lights up.
“She’s in her nineties and senile, hell, she may not even remember me.”
“Oh you could be such a help to her.” Ahh Burt ever the chirpy optimist.
Timing is almost everything. A phone call. I need to catch my grandmother in the house alone, and she needs to be just the right amount of senile. Enough to semi recognize me and enough to tell the doctors yes about me coming there, sounding coherent enough to not raise any warning bells. Everyone on my end is so desperate to get rid of me they will jump at any hope without too many questions. Timing and luck and I roll the dice.
It went perfectly. Better than I had hoped. My grandmother did need a bit of prompting to remember who I was but after that somewhat iffy start it went perfectly. Hell the social worker talked with my grandmother for less than five minutes. Really nothing more than asking her name and if it would be ok for her granddaughter to come for a visit home. I would have expected a somewhat more lengthy interview process before shipping a paranoid pyro into the care of a senile 90 year old.