Things you think you remember clearly tangle
Like old reels of film together with other bits of memory
And if you try splicing stories you're likely to end up
with slide shows - boxes and boxes and boxes
O f old-fashioned slides that no matter how often
You try to order them, put them in some sort of chronological
Sense - they always end up tipped over into a messy pile
I know that's how it is for me and I should be one to talk;
Flipping through my own filofax of memories, the oddest unrelated
Things surface and come spilling through the gates
Of some badly charred synapses and out my mouth
To wit: I see myself being wheeled down the hallway going faster
Than a race car driver, laughing like a maniac, a security guard and a nurse
Their faces red and sweaty, in hot pursuit - I am looking back over my shoulder
When I ram into a wall and realize I'm not being wheeled at all - I am driving ...
Confined to my room for 24 hours again - under observation like a bug
Oh well - heavy sigh - I agree to go to group as penance - and behave -
I hate group - think it's a colossal waste of time - bunch of lunatics sitting
Around trying to out-shock or out-depress each other - but I promise this one time
So that I will get to go home - to go every day for a week and I also promise
To behave; that is, not be cheeky, not swear, just sit there and be good
And I remember I was doing so good, I was -
It was the week before Christmas ...
After all - who wants to be inside over the holidays?
And some poor soul was telling the saddest tale ...
I was practically nodding off and to keep from doing that
Crossed my legs at the ankle; forgot I had my Christmas sox on
Under my boots - gift from my kids - they - the sox, not the kids -
Played carols, if you pressed on them (tinkly, like a music box?)
So, right at the most poignant part of this person's talk
My ankles break out with "Jingle Bells" and there was no way to shut them up
It was humiliating but god-awful hilarious at the same time, you know?
I tried not to laugh - hell, I'm not some kind of monster
Even the shrink-facilitator's face was twitching
The other members of the group started coughing and twitching
And the poor speaker ended up running out
Oh yeah - good times
That's a memory that's stuck with me
Sometimes the smell of toast burning will snap me back to the ECT lab
But there are so few memories surrounding getting 'lectricity
Appropriately enough I only get flashes - the smell of the room where I'd get zapped
The copper taste in the back of my mouth just before I went under
The jack-hammer pounding in my head when I'd come around
And remembering how much I can't remember as a result of the treatments
If that makes any kind of sense
That and for me, the fact the blessed things didn't work.
Glimpses of the meds nurse bringing around the little cups
Pills - every four hours, counted and meted out - she or he
Standing over me, watching carefully to make sure I swallowed
That was rich - I was probably the most compliant patient ever
All I ever wanted was to get better ...
So many images from the Ha Ha Hilton - I should write a book
Oh right, I am writing one ..." playing crazy eights on the inside"
Kidding, I'm kidding - but we'll see - the other tricky thing
About memoirs of the insane? I don't know about other nut-bars
But I usually find recountings extremely tiring ... yeah ... I do.