“It’s not what you think it is. I was drinking plenty of water and even getting some exercise in after work. Good habits, right? You could call me careless, for that particular moment, but not as a rule. I’ve been much better since I saw you last. My wife is busy at her job. She has a lot of people to manage, so I hate giving her a reason to feel like she has to do that with me. The incident was terrible and surprising, but I bounced back quickly. I didn’t even miss any work, which is a really good sign. I let it roll right off of me. I suppose I should’ve avoided the situation entirely. That is easy to say now. But there was a weird momentum to the day. It almost seemed inevitable. I know that’s hard to believe, but I must be honest.”

“If you are being honest, how is it that you are in the hospital again and you can’t admit why you are here? You’re talking around the reality of your situation, as you call it. I want to hear you say it.”

“Oh, I can say what happened. A security guard attacked me in the parking lot. I assume he was on some kind of power trip. The cops came and I ended up here.”

“That’s not exactly true, now is it?”

“It is. Been here a week now.”

“No. You left your house and walked to a Wal-Mart where you started screaming on the haircare aisle at the security guard about your mission. He felt threatened and called the police. Lucky for you that your wife showed up and explained your history to them. You could’ve ended up in jail.”

“And this is not?”

“You know what this place is all about. We help you here.”

“If it is so helpful, why did I end up back in here?”

“You are sick. You need to acknowledge it, then maybe you can get better and never see the inside of a hospital again.”

“I am different. I don’t see why I should be warehoused in here like an animal.”

“You are not an animal. You just need some medical assistance and we are all here to provide it for you. For everyone here. We just need you to help us so you can get on the right path-one that takes you home. Don’t you want to be with your family?”

“Of course. Just not like this. I’m not the person that I used to be.”

“You get to change that.”


“Hard work. Are you ready to begin?”

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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