The Medical Factory

The patients, like a herd of sheep line up and wait for their medications. In a factory fashion, the sick men and women go in one door and out the other to leave the nurses triage. Some are in worse shape than others. At least half of the patients don’t even know where they are. Then, there are the compos mentis who are here, too aware and ashamed of their surroundings. I am too aware.

What happens to someone who is an addict, mentally ill, and is too cognizant of their circumstances? You have a subject who sees and hears too much. You have an individual who becomes paranoid by the rigid structure. You feel watched at all times. You are being watched at all times.

Most of the nurses and doctors assume I’m obtuse. They see a large American who wasn’t clever enough to learn Hebrew. They see someone who is always desirous. They see someone, but they don’t really know who I am.

After my old roommate, Jeffrey left Raz decided to join my room. Raz, like Adam is in his mid 40s and the two have a lot in common. The two have a man crush on one another in the most heterosexual way possible. Both also have two children. Adam is too blinded by his own darkness to notice that Raz has some strong demons of his own. The man snorts tobacco with other patients and Adam has not caught onto this behavior.

In a unit full of addicts, snorting tobacco has become the new craze. Raz resembles a doctor and even dresses better than authentic ones in the ward. Instead of simply smoking tobacco, they turn it into a powder and sniff it. Fortuitously, I have not caught onto this frenzy and I prefer to drink coffee throughout the day. Who knows, maybe they will start snorting caffeine next.

Raz is a good guy, but I’m obviously cautious of him because of his erratic behavior. While I’m an addict myself, I never resorted to snorting or injecting. I preferred to keep things juvenile and simply swallow. I’m not saying I’m better because I never exercised the option to snort or inject. I’m simply stating that I’m cautious of people who are so desperate for a high, that they will snort tobacco at an addiction unit of a hospital.

I’m planning on leaving the hospital a week from today. I’m doing a “trial” run this weekend to see how I react to normal life. I need to see how I behave with Rae, how I handle fatherhood, and how strong my ability to stay sober is. If all goes well, I’ll be heading back home to Rae & Jordan. I’m excited for the challenge and the opportunity to live a normal life again. This is a second chance for me, and I look forward to seizing it.