When I entered his emergency room, I did not expect to see what I saw. I had his Human Resources Manager high pitched nasally voice repeating what just happened with certain snippets spotlighted.
“…..He seems to have had an Episode…..”
“…..He was rather disoriented…..”
“….it appears to be some sort of breakdown….”
I’m embarrassed to admit her continual usage of Ma’am stung and it bothers me still. She couldn’t have been 10 years younger.
I walked in and there he was. Sitting on those very uncomfortable guest chairs that usually accompany a room. Reading a magazine. Of course, with two gowns on. One over the other to block any opportunity to see his backside, or lack of backside. Like many persons, he didn’t like those hospital gowns. But he was prudish enough to ask for an extra.
My imagination was expecting restraints, a guard, something. I hugged and kissed him.
“Gerry? Are you ok? I came over as soon as Linda called me. I’ve been calling and texting”
“I’m good, I’m good, all good. Left the phone at work, sorry” he said calmly.
I took a deep breath. “So, what is going on? Linda said you had an…. episode? Have you been seen? Have they said anything? Are you hurt? Are you….”
“Ah, stop, hold on” He interrupted me. He knew I was spiraling.
“I’m ok. I’ve been…..seen for lack of a better word. But I don’t think they know what to do with me.”
There was a pause. I stared at him waiting. “Are you going to give me the details? Linda said you had a breakdown. What is going on?”
He looked up at me. I was a little scared of what he was going to say next.
“Babe, I’m just going to say what I have to say. Please bear with me, no matter how strange, ok? Just answer my next few questions, ok?”
“Ok” I replied, terrified of what was to come.
“Can you please spell Label and Michael” He asked.
“Please just spell those words. Please?”
I covered my face with my hands.
“Label: L-A-B-E-L. OK. Michael: M-I-C-H-A-E-L”
He looked down at his feet and nodded to himself.
“When you type out the word “I’m”, for example…if you were to ask me…Gerry, I’m going to the store, do you need anything? ….is the “I” in I’m capitalized?
“Yes” I said. “Always.”
He clasped his hands together. Crouched low on the chair. Hands and arms between his legs. He looked up and said.
“Babe. For me…..Label is L-A-B-L-E. Michael is M-I-C-H-E-A-L and I’ve never capitalized the I in I’m. I am not supposed to be here. Here in this universe. This is not my home.”