Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Am An Alien

Don't worry...I won't try to abduct you for experiments on my mother ship. Although it would be really cool to have a mother ship. Mine would have a Lazy Boy recliner with a little beer fridge right beside it, and a big flat screen with a subscription to all of the sports networks. There wouldn't be time for abductions. Oh - and an XBox with Halo. That's where I would do most of my terrifying alien work.

When I was first given a day pass, I felt like an alien. I wore long sleeves to hide my hospital bracelets (later on I would accidentally "lose" them - a trick I learned from my more experienced friends on the ward). If I remember right, my parents took me, my brothers, my wife, and my son to a restaurant. I was told to order whatever I wanted. I wanted pancakes. I hadn't had a pancake in at least a month or two.

So, while everyone else ate steak, chicken, fish, pasta - I ate a stack of pancakes. I don't remember what anyone said, and am not even certain of who was there, but I remember those pancakes. They were the best thing I'd ever eaten.

I also remember feeling like a fish out of water. I was floundering. I sat with my back against the wall, nervously glancing at everyone around me. To go from a quiet hospital ward with just two dozen patients to a crowded restaurant is shocking. I was certain that people could tell I was a psych patient. So I focused on the pancakes, and when my family wanted to stay and chat over dessert and coffee, I asked to go back to the hospital.

The good thing about being an alien is that everything around you is new, and the smallest thing like eating a pancake becomes an extraordinary experience. The bad thing is that you are surrounded by people who are so different from you that you feel reintegration is impossible.

Sort of like the Great Gazoo. He never did quite fit in with the Flintstones.

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