I don’t know if this has ever occurred to you or not, but sanity is kind of a one trick pony. I mean, all you get is rational thought and linear thinking. Insanity, on the other runs the gamut from abstract to zany.
This has nothing to do with this story, though it might be a topic for later discussion, but I have probably been certifiably crazy more than once in my life. I know my wife thinks so. I told her my life’s ambition was to become a prophet. She still doesn’t know what to think about that, and I divulged that factoid to her about fifteen years ago.
As much as I’d like this installment to be all about me, it’s not. It’s about the incredibly famous people I’ve met as a psych nurse. So let’s take a stroll down the Hall of Fame, shall we?
Jesus Christ. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve met Jesus. A dozen times or more, easily, and I ran into him at every hospital I’ve ever worked or trained at. The most interesting thing about Jesus–he never looked the same twice. Jesus was a young fat long haired white guy. A young tall skinny long haired white guy at least three times, if not more. A young skinny gay guy with a crewcut. An older, much heavier gay guy with an Elvis kind of hairstyle, except he had red hair. A fat Hispanic guy. A couple of different fat black guys. An old, generally crabby, white guy–one, two, three times.
Jesus–in the Bible–is my favorite guy, all time, hands down. Jesus–as a psych patient–was nothing like he was portrayed in the Bible. First, and foremost, he could no longer heal. Jesus, in his many manifestations as a psych patient, couldn’t fix a hangnail–forget about doing anything useful, like casting out demons or raising people from the dead. Secondly, Jesus the psych patient had nothing new to say about God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, or whom the blessed really were, or what we could expect when The End finally came.
One of the psycho Jesuses I met during my career was a guy named Ed. He was one of our frequent flyers at the MVAMC. One day Ed said this,”You know, I think I’m getting better. I used to think I was Jesus Christ, but now I know I’m John the Baptist.”
“You remember how John died, don’t you? I asked, after I stopped laughing.
“Yeah, and I think I’d rather have my head chopped off than get nailed to a cross.” It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.
I’ve met God the Father twice, both times at the MVAMC. He was really tall, both times. Once he was middle aged. Once he was in his seventies. He was mostly calm, with moments of explosiveness in both of his incarnations. Papa God was mostly an entertaining psychiatric deity. And, if I remember correctly, he kinda liked his women with a little meat on their bones, if you know what I mean.
I met the Holy Spirit but once. He was the last of the Holy Trinity I’d meet, and I had almost given up hope of ever meeting him. El Espíritu Santo was an Hispanic guy who was hurriedly admitted to my unit at Aurora one Saturday morning. The Admissions staff was afraid he was going to kill them, so they rushed him to my unit first, and left all that pesky paperwork to be figured out later.
The Holy Spirit was a hot mess at first, but he settled down and became quite cooperative after a double dose of Zyprexa Zydis and a couple hours of answering my questions, and I had a lot of them. I asked every divine avatar I met these questions. How did that whole Triune God thing work anyway? How, exactly, were we created in the image of God. Did God have a physical body? What did He look like? How many angels, exactly, could dance on the head of a pin? Where was Heaven, and did Elijah have anything he wanted to say to his friends or family? I’m pretty sure those guys regretted being admitted to my unit, and most of them stopped saying anything about being any kind of god whenever I was around.
The only other deity I’ve met was Mars, the Roman God of War. He was a patient at the Minnesota State Hospital. He only identified himself to me as Mars once, and he couldn’t speak Latin. However, I took him seriously enough that I had to think myself invisible in order to survive.
That’s a scene from a cop movie that I can’t remember the name of, but this cop survives a mass shooting by a psychopathic maniac by thinking himself invisible in front of said psychopath–so nothing emanating from him was threatening or even challenging to anyone around him. And that’s what I did when I was cornered in the day room by the God of War in the dead of night. I’ve only had to resort to that defense a couple of times in my career, but it worked every time I employed it. You have to be able to think fast when you’re a psych nurse.
Moving right along down the Hall of Fame. Next stop, heads of state. Napoleon Bonaparte. Contrary to historical fact, the Little Corporal stood about six feet tall. The Czar of All the Russias was also quite tall. They were both my patients at the MVAMC. Napoleon spoke even less French than I did, but he did walk around with one hand inside his shirt, like people did when they posed for pictures during the Napoleonic era. The Czar of All the Russias called his mom frequently and asked her for permission to have people he didn’t like killed, like, for instance, his doctor.
“Mom, I don’t like this guy! He wants me to take meds, and–and I want to have him killed! Oh…o-okay, Mom. I’ll take the meds. Yes, Mom. And I’ll say I’m sorry. Yes, mom. O-okay. I love you too, Mom. Bye.”
I liked that guy. He probably would’ve made a great Czar. His mother certainly would’ve made a great Grand Duchess.
The King. Elvis’ real name was David Johnson. He was another patient at the MVAMC. This might be a HIPAA violation, but good luck tracking down which David Johnson I’m referring to. In Minnesota. Land of 10,000,000 Johnsons. DJ wasn’t just another Elvis impersonator, though it wouldn’t be inconceivable to think of him like that. DJ really thought he was Elvis. I’ll tell you what, karaoke was never the same after Elvis performed.
The Lizard King. Oddly, the guy that claimed he was Jim Morrison didn’t know that was one of his nicknames. How he ever pulled that identity out of his ass I’ll never know. He was a chubby black guy at St Luke’s that couldn’t tell you one single song The Doors sang, but he did know the lyrics to a lots of rap and hip hop songs. His real name was Morgan, and he was, without a doubt, one of the craziest motherfuckers I’ve ever known. Along with being the front man for rock band from the 1960’s, and Jesus Christ, he was also another one of the richest men on the planet guys. I’ve met that guy a lots of times too, now that I think about it.
Morgan liked me, so he gave me $300 million. Computer transfer. It should be on my next bank statement. Morgan was always asking me to bring him in a pack of cigarettes. After all, he had given me $300 mil. So, one day I bought him a pack of smokes and gave them to him at work.
“Wow, thanks, man. How much does a pack of cigarettes cost now?”
“Three hundred million dollars. We’re even now, okay.”
You have to be able to think fast when you’re a psych nurse. It could save your life. Or possibly your bank account.