Tuesday, December 6, 2011

And All God's People Said AMEN!

In the psych ward, every morning we have group. We go around, one by one, and share our name and our goal for the day. Group is its own special brand of torture that involves giving actively psychotic people a platform in which to espouse their crazy theories and delusions in lieu of just stating their damn name and goal.

My goals, by the way, are always something lame like getting my oil changed or actually studying instead of spending four hours playing spider solitaire or working out. The nursing students that show up always try to outdo each other with increasingly stupid existentialist goals like accepting myself and others, finding my inner peace, making a new friend. Kill me.

My absolute favorite goal ever came today. This patient I like to refer to as Santa shared his name and his goal. Now, everyone's goal is to get out the hospital and go home, but that's not really in their control so they have to come up with another goal. So he said his goal was to relax today. The staff member leading the group asked what he was going to do to relax. His answer: have sex. The staff member, after he stopped laughing, politely informed Santa that this goal was for today, not just in general, and there will be no sex in the mental hospital thankyouverymuch. Santa just nodded and said, "Huh, I thought that was allowed under certain conditions."

Hmm. I don't even want to imagine what those conditions might be.

Today's group was more akin to a church service than a group meeting. In the psych ward, religion spreads like mass hysteria did in Salem, Massachusetts. Last week, only one guy had a Bible, from which he would quote long (made up) passages intermingled with very inventive strings of curse words. Then a couple more people took up Christianity. But that must have gotten old fast because today everyone was Muslim. Half the group said "Allah Akbar" before they introduced themselves.

Then the church service began. Some lady shared with us a five minute ramble on what God wanted her to do with her life. An old demented lady started singing hymns and praising Jesus like they do on those televised services on TV and everybody joined in. And, lo, there was dancing and shouting to the heavens. And all we were missing was someone speaking in tongues and a giant snake.

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