The Breakfast Epiphany
"Settle down or they’re going to ship you off to the Regional," the familiar voice had warned him the night before. At first, he had laughed maniacally, but then tried to stop as an afterthought. Luckily, he fell asleep for a little while.
Now, "what a strange place to wake up in," muttered an orderly while rolling another old man up to the table.
"What a strange Saturday," he thought, making a note to himself never to escape from hospital bondage again.
The night before had been colorful. He had signed some papers, believing them to be an agreement concerning his transportation to Orlando Florida. It had seemed a little odd that the depot looked and smelled so much like the theme park itself. But apparently, he would have to sleep over for the night in these modest accommodations.
His roommate was a man with mutton chops and lots of jailhouse tattoos on his hands and arms. The man kept reading from a Gideon bible that had sections underlined in red ink. The man said that he was going to jail soon, and laughed while he shook with the DT's.
There was a mention of snack time, and then large bags of Oreos were being pushed around on a cart. Craving chocolate, he attacked the intruder immediately, who was screaming "get off of me" before the poor man realized what was going on. It turned out the man had merely wandered into his room by mistake, an errant snack cart gone off track.
Then a girl in her mid twenties appeared suddenly into the room, and took his glasses, disappearing into another part of the lockup unit. Everything was blurry, but was it worth getting up again just to get eyesight back?
Last night, when he was trying to escape the isolation room, they took his glasses and the string which held his pants up. He was thus handicapped by not only having to hold his pants up with one hand, but to do so without glasses. His escape would have had to have been devised carefully, so that he could reach the service elevator undetected. But he chose to let them recapture him, rather than elude them in defiance, a lesson learned after being held down by 2 men wearing rubber gloves and injected with a huge syringe full of "settle down now cocktail."
Earlier this morning, someone official came in and said it was time to eat, ushering him to a seat at a table with some really old people. They were so old, in fact, that they could have been Sid and Marty Kroft puppets, maybe animatronics. They were very life-like, but far too hideous to be real. The old man was dribbling oatmeal into a dish and then spooning it up again.
He looked down at his plate. There were scrambled eggs and chocolate pudding. There was a hair in the pudding. When he mentioned this to the orderly, he was told that if he wanted to leave this place, he had to eat. He stared into his bowl of generic breakfast cereal and began to cry. The roommate seemed to be laughing at him, while some fat balding man at the next table went on talking about the different kinds of speed, and how "Bennys" were so great. That seemed to last an eternity and then at some point, he found himself sitting around in front of the communal television set, passing out from the tranquilizers while watching an instructional video about playing golf.
Later, the hospital chaplain came by. Having just read about it in an OMNI Magazine, he confessed to the minister that he had stolen many patents, and that trademarks had been forged. With the knowledge he had somehow gleaned from Tesla himself, he had committed any number of serious offenses concerning electricity, and alternating current in particular. Tesla had performed public exhibitions, to the dismay and frequent admonishment by the press and religious clergy, but had been robbed given the extent to which electricity was all around us, and his inventions had proliferated every facet of modern life. They were using AC in every room, but Tesla wasn't getting a dime from it. That magazine article in the waiting room was all he could think about.
Then came the IQ test. It was held in an observation room, with an interrogator, and a 2-way mirror, behind which, some faint movement could be seen. After nearly completing the test, he admitted to the interrogator, that he had stolen the melody from a Beatle's song, and used it in a TV commercial. The interrogator was embarrassed, somewhat nonplussed, and went on to complete the test. This was after the multiphase personality test, and he had become somewhat paranoid. The movement behind the glass had caused him to panic, despite the tranquilizers.
This would later haunt him, after the grim resolution of 4 or 5 days believing that he had been a burn victim as a child, kept alive by means of a computer driven heartbeat, via television signals from station WAWA, an obvious harbinger of fate, meaning implicitly beyond reasonable doubt that water was of paramount importance, and the supply thereof should never be broken or jeopardized. Furthermore, it had been ascertained that the computerized clock signal, being broadcast by WAWA was going to be turned off, and that he would be forced to try and live without this viable life support, against all odds, at some unspecified time in the immediate future.
It turned out that the heliport on the hill was just a pasture, and the hospital was really a hospital, and not part of the Walt Disney World private shuttle system. In fact, none of it ever happened, he just thought of it one night while staring up at the sky, lying on the hood of his car, drinking beer and dreaming about the future.