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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 18, 2013 - March 21, 2013

Parrish is asleep on the big white sofa in my living room, where he has been since noon.  He’s covered with a thick felt tie dyed blanket that looks as though it came straight out of the late sixties, and he has been up twice, both times to eat.  Only his buzz cut of graying brown hair is visible and he is snoring loudly.
He has a dreadful cold and chest congestion.  I gave him cough syrup and a decongestant at noon and then again at 4:00.

So, I need to fill in some of the blanks since my last post about my son.  

Last Monday, March 18, there were severe thunderstorms in our area.  There were trees down all over town, including the front yard of the boarding house. A large pine fell over the hood of a young woman’s car as she drove down the steep driveway.  She is unharmed but the front of her car is flattened.   The other residents' cars were in the back of the house and no one could get up the driveway.    She had no money for a cab, so she stayed over at the house.   Parrish gave her his bed and slept on the floor.  

He called to tell me about all the exciting events and insisted he did not want me to come and get him.  Things were chaotic there, but he seemed to be managing.  

It was Wednesday morning when P called, anxious and perseverating.  He said there were drug deals going on in the house and that people were coming to the door asking for “Fat Mama,” the landlady.  He said Fat Mama had dozen of bottles of pills, most of which she stole from her renters, using their medicaid cards and keeping the meds.  I knew she tried to get Parrish’s application, but he gave it to me to complete.  He said that Fat Mama told him she was going to open a Direct TV account in is name.  She told P to ask me if I would co-sign a loan application with her so she could buy a new truck!  I thought he was paranoid and tried to reassure him and went to fetch him.

We went out for a drive and I continued to try reassure P and try to convince him that Fat Mama couldn’t take out a contract with Direct TV in his name.  He has no job and no credit, so I let it go, though he continued to obsess over it.  He was so sluggish, he did’t want to eat and asked me to take him home so he could sleep.

The next morning, Thursday, Parrish called, saying he was in a bad place, that he was afraid someone would hurt him, that there were drugs everywhere and he was afraid “they” would steal his meds and his phone and his iPod.  When I arrived, he was standing in the street waiting for me.  He had a note from Big Mama asking me if I would use her food assistant card and give her the cash.  She tried to sell me her food card.  Hell, it could have been someone else’s, given her propensity for applying for them in the names of her tenants.  I balled up the note and threw it in my car trash can.  P said he woke in the night to find Big Mama “borrowing” his phone because hers was dead and she needed to make calls about the tree and other things.  He foolishly let her have it.  

Parrish continued to be fearful and insist that he needed to get out of the boarding house.  He said Fat Mama “borrowed” his phone because hers had been cut off by the power outage.  I called Parrish’s number and when she answered, I told her take the phone home and put it in his room.  (I later learned she did so only after using all of his minutes).  I brought him to my house to spend the day with me while I searched for a one bedroom apartment that is affordable and safe.  I learned that there is no public housing available in this town and that none of the facilities are taking applications until next year.  

I was frustrated and Parrish was anxious and didn’t want to go back to the house.  For as long as was practical, we stayed here and avoided going.  When it was nearly too late for me to be out alone in my car, I dropped P off with a stone in my stomach.  When I got home, I called his phone but it went straight to voice mail.  Of course it did.  There were no minutes left on it.

I didn’t sleep.  I was unsettled, wondering if I should have dropped Parrish at the house.  At 1:30, the thunderstorms rolled in with multiple lightening strikes and booming thunder. 

Belle panted loudly and wandering around the room.  There was no way to sleep through that noise.  Honey climbed on my stomach and shivered.  Then she jumped down and hid behind the toilet.  Now and then, she got on the bed, then jumped back down.  I did not make this up.  

There’s more......

© 2013 cjschlottman

1 comment:

Ujjvala said...

What do you think of instead of “Parrish is asleep on the big white sofa in my living room, where he has been since noon,”
this version -
: “Parrish has been asleep on the big white sofa in my living room since noon”?
About the young woman who slept in Parrish’s bed while he slept on the floor: I wondered if she was a resident of the boarding house. Why did she need to stay anywhere instead of calling a cab? Also, “being Parrish” – what in fact was he being? Generous or a pushover? I think elucidation of these two factors would strengthen the paragraph.
Then in the paragraph where he asked you take him home, but in the next paragraph he calls you, It’s implied that you took him back to the boarding house. Did you omit this part because in previous blogs you had stated you would not have him live with you?

“.(I later learned he did so only after using all of his minutes).” – Did you mean “she did so “?
Also “I did not make this up.” You love your dogs, but I think this was also unneeded. Dramatic enough without it.
It’s unfortunate that mental health in the US is being discussed only in the context of gun control. Literature such as your blog could shift the focus to that the lack of consistent mental health care in this country.