Thursday, April 19, 2012


The clinic is new and has no smell: no damp, no perfume, no disinfectant.
My room is like something you might find in a cheap hotel. The ceiling is high and vaulted. Instead of a wheeled, adjustable metal hospital bed, there is a single mattress on a simple, sprung frame. It’s covered in a non-descript, beige-ish, synthetic fabric. There is a set of drawers next to the bed, a dresser and a narrow wardrobe, all made of pale pine veneer. A phone with a private number is on top of the set of drawers – I am allowed to make local calls. Heavy green drapes conceal floor to ceiling windows. The windows open for fresh air but are screened with a fine steel mesh. Next to them, a door opens onto a private shower room with a toilet.
On the first day I was here, I was visited by a nurse who asked me a lot of questions and jotted my answers onto a sheaf of forms: Why was I here? For a course of transcranial magnetic stimulation and intensive therapy. How was I feeling? By turns deeply depressed, suicidal, manically anxious and paranoid. Am I on medication? No. What is my psychiatric history? Have I been agitated or aggressive recently? Do I drink or smoke or do drugs? I sign the last page of the forms, consenting to the rules, which are mostly about controlled substances for those who are in rehab' here.
Later, the nurse asked what I did for a living. I told I her I was an artist. She asked what kind of art I made but before I could answer she said, “You must go to lots of openings, like on Sex And The City!” I wonder what the fuck Carrie would write about if she found herself where I am now.


Eric L Hansen said...

my heart is with you, Hazel, I want you to come back and make more art, the world needs you


Karen Martin Sampson said...

Thinking about you, Hazel, and sending heartfelt good wishes! Eric is right...the world needs you.