Life at Eloise

Thank you for visiting Donovan’s incredible tale of inexplicable time travel, sending him back from 2018 to the late 1940s.

Eight entries are posted of his time slip spanning September and October of the year 1947, in chronological order, detailing his frequent forays into madness and questioning the reality around him.  He’s finally attempting to adjust to life inside the Eloise Mental Asylum in Westland, Michigan, as he continues to struggle with missing his 2018 family and what exactly happened to him.

His journey begins here:

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September 19, 1947

Woozy. I slowly awake from the dark of unconsciousness. I’m shivering and curled into a fetal position on the walking trail that cuts through Rochester Park, twenty-some miles north of Detroit.

I grip myself with my clammy hands.

Naked, head to toe.

A shot of anxiety ripples through my body and shakes my core.

Oh my God.

Goosebumps cover my nude, wan body.  My cargo shorts, shirt, wallet, house keys, phone, watch… all stripped from me and gone. Naked as the day I was born. And as my hands grasp my chilled body in the evening’s dying sunlight, I feel a thin layer of strange film covering me.

Quick, need to find shelter in the nearest cluster of trees.

I stagger over and crouch behind a pocket of towering maples near the tranquil Paint Creek, praying that no passers-by witness me in this condition.  Cowering a bit more out of sight, my situation burrows into my brain and now fear fully grips me.

Rochester Park

Have I been drugged? Robbed? Raped? My stomach turns queasy at the thought of any of these horrors.

I need help. Now. Yet I’m too self-conscious to streak naked across a popular suburban park in search of someone with a phone. Especially with a playground likely populated with children in the center of it. I know how people are. They’ll whip out their phones, guffaw, and snap photos of the crazy nudie man to share with their buddies on Facebook.  My reputation would be ruined. My wife embarrassed. My sons humiliated.

So, I crouch here and wait, flustered, my mind reeling at a hundred miles per second. Twigs scrape against my backside; tiny jagged stones poke the bottom of my bare feet. My legs are tightly closed, squeezing back my private junk into a thigh-enshrouded hideaway as much as possible. A breeze now kicks up and I feel chilly on my bare back.

Wait. Chilly?

It’s July 9th!

I wait in nature’s cubby behind these trees as each minute ticks off like hours.

I silently thank God no walker, jogger or biker has passed by to get the shock – or laugh – of their week.

My teeth chatter. Is it really this chilly outside, or is my fear causing me to shiver like this?  It must be fear. It was at least eighty degrees coupled with some uncomfortable humidity out here when I started my stroll.

I wait, not entirely sure what’s next on my game plan. My relief that no pedestrians have wandered by now turns to despair at this loneliness. I actually wouldn’t mind a wayward and hopefully mature individual to walk on by, lending a hand in distress. And a full set of clothing.

It’s gradually getting lighter out.

Yes, the sun has broken the horizon. Which makes absolutely no sense.

It’s evening, isn’t it?

No, it’s morning.

In my disorientation, I failed to realize the sun’s rays were blasting up from the east, not the west. I’ve been balled up naked on the ground all night long.

This sets me off.

I wail at no one in particular.

“Help! Help me, someone! Help!”

I do this repeatedly. Shouting at the top of my lungs. At this point, I don’t care about soccer moms’ smartphones or snickering teenagers. Something terrible has happened to me, no question about it. I’ve been manipulated, injected, penetrated, or something else awful. I try to block out dark scenarios in my mind, but it’s no use. I’ve been physically and mentally vulnerable for over twelve hours, my thin shield of clothing having been removed and stolen from me.

“Help! Please!”

More minutes pass.

Wait, I see someone. Finally. Thank God almighty.

An older spectacles-wearing woman, aged well into her sixties and wearing a blue-ish floral design dress, scampers out from beyond the path. I assume she’s wandered in from the adjacent neighborhood about a hundred yards yonder.

I call out: “Ma’am, I’ve been stripped and robbed! Please call the police.”

She catches my eyes, gasps, holds up the “wait a minute” index finger, then turns and scuttles back from where she came.

I breathe a short sigh of relief. If I were to be caught naked and stranded out here, I’d rather a grandmotherly figure cross my path than some roving band of texting kids. But the relief doesn’t last too long… My nerves are still on high alert as I have no idea what befell me during my walk a little while ago.  Or yesterday evening, actually.  I feel violated by something unseen and unknown.  And it’s scaring the living bejezus out of me.

I grow impatient.

What’s taking her so long?

I again notice the air’s chill.  Feels somewhere around fifty-five degrees, no humidity. Yet I recall the weather forecast called for something humid and sultry. I don’t get it. That iPhone weather app couldn’t have been that wrong.

Here comes the woman again, walking briskly toward me and holding a pale-yellow beach towel. I sigh another breath of relief.

“Here young man,” she says and helps wrap the towel around me. The protective feel of that soft cottony material enveloping me instantly lifts my spirits, if only modestly. Half my legs and my entire chest are still exposed, but all butt cheeks and balls are safely hidden again.  Unless there’s a hidden photographer in those bushes, I’m officially safe from any social media humiliation.

“Thank you so much,” I tell her.

“I called the police,” she said. “Come with me.”

[…]

 

 

September 19, 1947 (II)

[Continued from the previous entry]

She introduces herself as Dorothy. Lives with her husband, Henry, and a brown cat in a simple one-story cottage-style home off Griggs Street, which backs up to the edge of this park. On the way I explain the whole blackout episode. She listens attentively, nods, but doesn’t say much. I’m still so numbed by this experience that I don’t even notice the beating my bare feet are taking on this path and now sidewalk.

I notice a shiny green Pontiac Streamliner Deluxe Coupe parked in her driveway. Despite growing up in the Motor City, I’m not the most knowledgeable about cars.  But I recognize this make and it’s from the 1940s, I believe. I catch the old license plate and it says 1947. Looks good as new.

There are classic car shows throughout the area during these summer months, one annually held right here in this park Memorial Day weekend. They are probably prepping their prize to showcase at the next one. Maybe the Woodward Dream Cruise next month. It’s strange that they just let it sit outside exposed to weather elements. I thought those car enthusiasts always kept those things tucked away in garages except for those rare special occasions when they spring it onto the world.

We enter the house’s back door.  Basement steps are straight ahead, and so I follow Dorothy to the right, up two steps and into a small kitchen.

“I have some clothes from my son still saved upstairs. I’ll find you some. Would you like a drink?”

“No, thank you, but I appreciate the offer.”

She dashes off and I hear her shoes tap up the stairs.

A brown cat darts out of nowhere and follows her.

I take a seat at the kitchen table. And for the first time since I regained consciousness, I’m feeling a tad more relaxed (relatively speaking). Warm clothes and police are on the way.

While I’m sitting here in only a towel, I’m suddenly taken aback with how old everything is in this house.  The refrigerator, stove, table, chairs, sink, cupboards, along with that sewing machine shoved in the corner. To top it all off, they have a black rotary phone perched on top of a table just inside the adjacent living room. If I stretch my head enough, the furniture looks generations-old as well. It’s straight out of Act 3 of Disney World’s attraction “Carousel of Progress.”

Except nothing is broken, rusty, or even dusty. No cracks of any kind. All these appliances and pieces of furniture don’t show any signs of wear and tear whatsoever. It’s like a museum or a refurbished house at Greenfield Village.

Dorothy is pretty old. Very traditional, evidently. I doubt I’d find any computer in this entire home, even those big boxy ones from the 90s.  Perhaps they are the crotchety types who just didn’t want to spend the effort and money on modern fancy-schmancy things.

She returns and hands me what appears to be an entire wardrobe: Sweatshirt, Levi’s jeans, socks and shoes, all looking retro as well. Looking at the grey sweatshirt, I’m reminded about the cool breeze outside the windows, and why this is the case during a sweaty week in July. But I’ve got bigger things to worry about at the moment.

I thank her profusely.  She directs me to the bathroom so I can change out of the towel.

I walk past the living room, veer left down a short hallway and into the bathroom, looking forward to feeling even less awkward once I shake off this towel and put real clothes on.

I quickly change into the mothball-scented clothes which, of course, feel straight out of my now-deceased grandparents’ youth era. But at this point, I don’t care. Any warm coverings will do.

Feeling slightly more invigorated, I turn the cold-water faucet on the ancient sink and splash water on my face. I reach down to my discarded towel and wipe myself off as something captures my eye in the mirror.

I turn around and find a calendar on the wall.

Odd place for a calendar opposite the toilet. But there’s something even odder.

September 1947.

Throughout the seven decades someone sat on this toilet staring at this calendar, no one had thought to change it?  What happened in that month where calendar-changing suddenly stopped? What is so special about that month?

The calendar’s paper hasn’t even browned at all. Time stopped inside this home.

Alright, now I’m weirded out.

For all the graciousness dear old Dorothy has provided me, I’m suddenly looking forward to getting downstairs and waiting for the police to arrive. This home is beyond simple nostalgia and keeping hold of tradition. It’s eerie obsession of the “good ol’ days.”

I hear a couple car doors slam.

Must be the cops.

I fold up the towel and place it on the sink, quickly finish dressing, leave the bathroom and make a bee-line into the kitchen.

“The police have arrived,” Dorothy informs me.

“Thanks again. You’re a lifesaver,” I say.

We exchange smiles and handshakes. We are both sizing each other up a bit, not entirely sure the other person is all there, mentally. I’m a naked man found howling in the woods. She lives in a time capsule with absolutely nothing looking like it was purchased in the past half-century. A couple weirdos.

I find my way outside to the driveway, eager to make a statement to an officer and file a report.  And then probably get checked out, physically. 

I’m met by two policemen, one short and stocky, one tall and lanky.

Wow, they’re decked out wearing navy blue police hats and everything.

“Good morning, sir, I’m Officer Johnston,” says the tall one and shakes my hand.

“Good morning,” I say.

“I’m Officer Davis,” says the short one several steps away.

I nod.

Johnston begins talking but it’s muddled in my head. Something about receiving a call from Mrs. Lipuma about me crying in the woods. Naked. And so on and so forth.

My eyes are too affixed on the squad car parked behind Dorothy’s old-timer Pontiac.

That car is as old as Dorothy’s, if not older.

I hear myself mumble and babble about the events of my park experience, but my brain is on auto-pilot. I alternate looking at Johnston with quick glances in each direction down the street.

My heartbeat returns to overdrive.

Johnston is jotting something in his pad when he readies himself to speak.

“Hold on, sorry,” I say. “I just… what’s happening around here?”

“Sir?”

“These cars. All these cars. Why are they so old?”

Both cops glance at each other and then peer back at me with befuddlement.

“I mean look,” I continue as I wave my arm around. “Your police car, all these cars up and down the street. They’re from the 40s and 50s. What’s going on here?”

Davis lets out a chuckle. “I doubt you’re seeing any 1950 models. Those ain’t out yet.”

I grin, assuming he’s just joking along.

But inside my nerves are rattling. Not everyone on this street are classic car collectors, are they?

“C’mon,” Johnston motions to me. “We can finish at the station.”

I know he’s starting to question my sanity and wants to take this discussion elsewhere.

And so am I.

[…]

 

September 19, 1947 (III)

[Continued from the previous entry]

I crawl into the back seat of the Ford police car.

Every square inch of this car – the seats, the gauges, the dashboard, the material – is from decades ago.

Johnston and Davis enter their front sides and rev up the engine.

Apparently, they were listening to the news station on that tinny dial radio on the way over.

The male announcer’s voice sounds like something you’d hear from those old black n’ white movies, right down to the enunciating and vocal inflections. He’s reporting on a hurricane now plowing through Florida and the damage it’s bringing to places like Fort Lauderdale. I had no idea there was a hurricane down there. July seems early for such a strong hurricane anyhow.

The two cops chatter about the hurricane as we make our way down Dorothy’s driveway into the street.

Am I being punked?

Is this a reality show?  A time-warp experiment to screw with my head?  A real-life Truman Show?

Impossible, of course. Not to mention even the most ethically-challenged cable reality show wouldn’t strip naked an unsuspecting guy and drug him unconscious. And then swap out an entire street into something out of Leave It to Beaver. It’d be a lawsuit screaming to happen.

I muster up the courage to ask about all these “old” cars again as we roll through the subdivision, only to be waved off. Davis occasionally glances at me from the corner of his eye in the front passenger seat. The guys’ chatter has gone quiet.

I get it. They are getting concerned they may be dealing with a mental patient who probably stripped his clothes off on his own, perhaps after a night of booze and drugs. I bet he thinks I took some meth or something. Great.

The car turns right toward Main Street and we make our way through downtown Rochester, a tight suburban town north of Detroit. A downtown that I’m deeply familiar with. It’s home.

Yet so many things look foreign.

Classic cars. Everywhere.

Strange store signs. Vintage.

Crissman’s Drugs.  What is that place? 

Crissmans

(I snapped this photo much later on from a store across the street)

Where’s Sanders Ice Cream store?

Not a Kroger. But it’s called the Kroger Grocery & Baking Company?

Purdy’s Drugs?

Losing it now.

I’m not even sure what I’m wailing about. I shout short commands and questions.

“Stop!”

“Where are we?!”

“Take me to my house on Pheasant Drive!”

“Give me your phone, I need to call my wife!”

“Can you help me?”

All this in between bouts of indistinguishable moans.

This isn’t a joke, or a reality show, or simple coincidences.

I must be dreaming. A lucid dream. That’s it.

But it all feels so incredibly real. Too real.

Johnston is behind the wheel and sternly orders me to calm down. I sense the car moving faster toward its destination, and I think I overheard the cops say they are heading to a hospital instead of the police station.

Meanwhile I continue my meltdown in the backseat. I’m shaking uncontrollably with each unrecognizable block we pass. Nothing – absolutely nothing – is modern. Not one car, not any piece of pedestrian’s clothing, not one billboard.

And my eyesight begins to blur. I feel faint as I struggle to see past greyish, fuzzy tunnel vision. Here we go. This is my escape from a bizarre dream, I try to reason with my mushy brain. I’ll surely wake up next to my wife in my queen-sized bed soon and hear the pitter-patter of my children’s footsteps from down the hallway.

I slowly lose consciousness and topple over in the backseat.

[…]

September 24, 1947

[Continued from the previous entry]

I never made it home.

I lay in a rather uncomfortable bed at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital.

I’ve been in and out of sanity for the past week. 

Daytimes are spent trying to make sense of something so incredibly impossible that I seriously, and constantly, question my own mind. Perhaps I belong in this mental ward getting poked and prodded with needles when I melt down. Nurses tell me I lapse into frenetic shouts, demanding to speak to my mother. Here I am, a grown-ass man, yelling down the hospital hallway for my ‘mommy.’

I’m shell-shocked when I find myself sometimes fitted in a straitjacket.

This is actually me. Me. Tied up.

Nights? Sleep is fleeting at best. I snooze for a short while. And during those seconds my eyelids slowly begin to open, I convince myself that I just endured an elaborate dream. I convince myself that in a matter of minutes, I’ll trudge out of bed, into the shower, change for work, and kiss my wife and kids good-bye for the day. I’ll certainly remember this crazy dream about my travel to another era. What a doozy.

Yet it doesn’t take long to realize that this isn’t a vivid lucid dream. It’s reality. As real as the dated equipment and cabinets that surround me in this hospital room. As real as the perfectly styled 1940s-era hair-dos worn by the various nurses scampering about. As real as that “new” Perry Como hit “record” I heard from the radio down the hall.

But what is reality? Where I just came from? Or now?

My head begins to spin a hundred miles per hour while trying to make sense of it, and thus my descent back into a psychosis state begins again. I’ll flail about and demand this-or-that. Cry. Sob. Panic. Get sick in my bed.

In one of my short stints of clarity, I was given the opportunity to try phoning out. I explain area codes to Nurse Nancy, a young twenty-something with strawberry blonde hair in tight ring-curls.  She politely informs me that AT&T just started implementing something new called “area codes” a couple months ago.

Evidently calling my wife, brother and best friend are all out. Area code “248” is decades away from being created. I try to dial just the seven digits but get nothing but a weird staccato buzz.

However, “313” is active. I’m not sure why that delights me.

I twirl around the black rotary phone and try calling my mom. It takes a little while to connect as I sit through a lot of clicking – there’s apparently nothing instantaneous here. A young woman answers the phone – it’s not my mom. I futilely beg to speak to Mary, as if she’d magically appear and console me, reassuring me that she exists. But the woman tells me again that I have the wrong number and hangs up.

I don’t remember any other phone numbers – smartphones made remembering numbers not required – but I’m fooling myself if I really believed any others would connect to anyone familiar. They’d be nothing but dead ends.

 

I’m desperate for answers. From anyone. Even a half-baked explanation would be better than my spinning around in a web of confusion.

I finally get some piece of good news, as small as it is.

Monday, a psychologist from the University of Michigan – Dr. Frank Massey – is making a trip over here to review me.  I’m told he has a connection with something called the Edsel B. Ford Institute for Medical Research that just started up at this hospital.  But I don’t care about any of that.  I just want to be reassured that I’m not nuts; however, if I’m generally sane, that wouldn’t explain how my whole world changed in an overnight. Yet any sit-down with a specialist will do. Maybe, just maybe, he’s come across someone like me in his career history.

Monday is five days away. That’ll feel like eternity.

In the meantime, I hope that my frequent forays into crazy outbursts are limited, for the sake of the workers and other patients around here. 

I’m really alone.

September 29, 1947

[Continued from the previous entry]

For the first time in over a week, I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas morning.

I’m sitting across from Dr. Massey in an enclosed private room on Henry Ford Hospital’s ground level. He wears a drab grey suit and black tie.  He removed his black hat and laid it on the desk before sitting down on a folding chair. His dark hair is slick and combed back on his oval head. His eyebrows thick, nose narrow.

There are very little pleasantries. Dry and monotone, the doctor doesn’t exude the warmest of personas. It’s right down to business.

He pulls out his notepad and pen and we quickly get to it.

“What is your name, in full?” he asks.

“Donovan Anthony Galloway,” I respond.

His bushy eyebrows cock up.

“Could you spell that?”

Evidently, the name isn’t too common where the doc is from.

D-O-N-O-V-A-N

He scribbles it down.

“When were you born?”

“September 2nd, 1982.” He doesn’t even flinch at the year.

“How old are you?”

“Thirty-five. That’s the thing, it’s 2018.” He casually waves me off. I assume I’m just supposed to robotically answer questions and save any elaboration for later. I’m not a fan of his deadpan, borderline prickish attitude, but if this shrink can set me straight I’ll do whatever he asks. I’m at his mercy.

“And you have family?”

“Amanda, my wife. Nicholas and Connor, my boys.  Nicholas is six, Connor three.”

“Where were you born?”

“Royal Oak, Beaumont Hospital.”

He pauses, then writes. I get it. There’s no Beaumont Hospital yet.

“So, tell me what you do remember,” he asks.

I’m about to formulate my thoughts when I see him dig his hand in his suit jacket pocket, withdraw a pack of Lucky Strikes and pick out a cigarette. I stare wide-eyed as he extracts a lighter from his pants pocket, pulls it up to his ciggy and ignites it. A plume of smoke wafts from the tip.

In a hospital?

Never mind that, I convince myself. Back to the story.

“Where do I begin? Nothing extraordinary happened, at least not at the beginning. I got home from work, changed into my casual clothes, played with the boys a bit, and then drove over to Rochester Park to walk a few laps. I do this at least twice per week. I was on my last loop around the park when it happened.”

“Avon Park.”

“Huh?”

“Do you mean Avon Park?”

“Is that what it’s called now?”

He quickly nodded. “What happened from there?”

“Well, everything went dark around me, and then it felt like I was suffocating. All the hair on my body stood up as if there was static electricity covering me like a blanket. Then I blacked out. This all happened in a matter of five or ten seconds.”

He jots more in his pad. “Mmm-hmm.”

“Open my eyes and I’m buck naked, crouched up like an animal,” I tell him. I’m getting more anxious as I relive the moments, PTSD-style. “Listen, I know this sounds absolutely crazy to you, but you have to believe me. Something is serious wrong with me. I have memories of my life, but I don’t know where I am. I have nothing to prove it. My wallet, my phone, my credit cards, everything I had that could prove I’m not some flake are gone. But I can tell you in the most minute details of my life leading up to this point.”

I start to shake and feel my eyes well up.

“Mr. Galloway,” the doctor says. “What year do you think this is, right now?”

“2018. But everything I see around here said 1947. But that can’t be.”

He nods and keeps writing.

I need proof. Not only to this guy, but to myself. I’m not the biggest history buff, but I have some decent knowledge of the mid-twentieth century. I know events around this time, so maybe I can hit on something that’s just around the corner.

“NATO. Do you know that?”

“NATO? No, I don’t.”

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It’s a group of western allies from World War Two that form an alliance against the Warsaw Pact. It forms in ’48 or ’49. I don’t remember the exact year.”

He writes.

“Who’s the mayor of Detroit?” I ask.

Doctor takes a cigarette drag and looks up. “Edward Jeffries.”

I never heard of him. “So, Albert Como isn’t mayor yet. I think he gets elected in 1950.”

Wars. That’s it.

“The Korean War. 1950.”

“The Korean War?”

“North invades the south. America sends in the troops to fight alongside the south. It lasts for several years. And the President. Is it Truman?”

He nods.

“He will continue to be until 1952.”

Dr. Massey flashes a quick half-grin. “Are you sure about that?”

“Yes,” I say. “He’ll go against Dewey in 1948. In fact, one of the newspapers will get it wrong and announce that Dewey won. I forgot which paper it was. But he’ll get another term until Eisenhower wins in ’52.”

He looks up again. I know he thinks I’m nuts. “General Dwight Eisenhower?”

“Yes. Ike.”

Sports. What about sports?

“Baseball. The Yankees will pull off several years in a row in the World Series. Starting either next year or the one after.”

“The World Series begins tomorrow.”

“Are the Yankees in it?”

Dr. Massey thinks for a moment. “Yes. Yes, they are.”

It feels like the Yankees are always in the World Series.

Football.

I dig back in my memory banks.

“The Lions. Super Bowl winners in 1952 and 1953.”

“The what bowl?”

“You know what I mean. NFL champs.” That’s right. Super Bowl doesn’t exist yet. Not until the sixties.

I continue to reel off as many factoids as I know about the late 1940s until he raises his hands to stop me.

“I think I’ve gotten enough information today,” he explains with the nearly fully-smoked cigarette dangling from his mouth. “I’m going to recommend you get admitted into a psychiatric hospital tomorrow in Westland for further diagnosis and treatment. By accordance of Truman’s National Mental Health Act, we can only keep you for a specified period of time, after which you’ll be transferred to a state-funded residency in Detroit or another facility. You’ll be prescribed medication…”

I’m seeing the doctor’s mouth move, but the words barely register in my brain. Maybe I expected too much from this visit, as if he’d snap his fingers – or I’d be handed ruby slippers to click three times – and I’d be whisked back over the rainbow and into my modern home.  Wherever, or whenever, that is.

He stands up, tosses his cigarette butt on the floor and crushes it with his polished black shoe, and gives me a stale, professional handshake as he forces a weak smile. I’m just a patient to him, of course. Another loon. Someone who isn’t playing with a full deck of cards upstairs.

A dolled-up nurse meets us at the door and she escorts me back to my room.

Tomorrow I’ll be transferred.

I’m not sure I care. I built up all my calm sanity for today, so I can chat like a rational human being with Dr. Massey, telling him family statistics, how events unfolded at the park, and a bunch of fortune teller predictions. And that was it. It’s all scribbled down in his little notebook to take back with him to U of M to get filed away with all the other mental cases.

Now I’m left alone in my hospital bed surrounded by 1940s décor. Alone with my thoughts. The seconds, minutes, and hours tick away as my mind floats in a myriad of different directions. I think about my wife, my kids, my friends, my co-workers, my life. Eventually, the ambient hospital sounds from outside the hall get muted as I mentally check out.

It’s really happened.

I don’t know how, but it has.

I’ve traveled back seventy years through time.

HFH

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 1947, where I spent my first few weeks in my new era. 

 

October 6, 1947

[Continued from the previous entry]

I’ve relapsed a lot here at the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital in Westland, Michigan. I’m in a room with three beds, yet the other two are unoccupied. So this small room is my own private enclave at least for the time being.

I thought I’d get better with the passage of some time, whatever “time” has become now, but I found my episodes getting worse. Maybe it’s those strange drugs they’re giving me. Or that it’s really sinking in that This Is It. I am somehow in a different era now, and this ain’t an elaborate dream. Or maybe this is the dream. Or my 2018 life was the dream. Once I try to make sense of it, I simply go around and around in circles and my mental stability breaks into pieces.

I barely eat. I haven’t shaved since I “arrived” here, so I’ve got myself a scruffy brown beard on my cheeks and chin. I cry, sometimes long enough to where my tear ducts are completely drained. I babble to myself and at the wall, joining in the chorus of the lady across the hall from me. I haven’t yet rocked back n’ forth and banged my head against the wall.  At least I don’t think I have, as I do get this recurring headache.

I heard two guys talk about Game 7 of the World Series tonight between New York and Brooklyn. I’m sure a large group of my fellow co-patients will be watching on that tiny black and white television screen in the lobby area. All leaning in toward the television, sitting on those rather uncomfortable wooden chairs. Evidently a pitcher that goes by “The Naugatuck Nugget” will get the start. If I had my smartphone with me, I could Google it, tell them how it all goes down and spoil their excitement. But even if I could, I wouldn’t. Too nice of a guy to rain on others’ parades.

It’s nice and warm for October 6th, in the high 70s. My simple room’s window is cracked open letting a summer-like breeze in. For a moment I’m reminded of that July evening where I went missing from my real life, and wound up here. Then I start wondering where my physical body is, let alone my mind, in that era. It’s been a couple weeks now since whatever happened to me. The police are probably looking for me.

Unless I’m dead there, and alive here.

Am I buried six feet underground in some cemetery in 2018?

This is the train of thought that helps drive me to some crazy episodes. If I’m gone, then my wife is a widow, and my children orphans. Either my body disappeared altogether, or it was found as some lifeless lump in that 2018 version of the park. Or what if it’s a duplicate of me, and I awoke having no idea who or where I was in that era?

Again, if I think about this too hard, I begin to fidget, and I must restrain myself from going off the deep end.

Therefore, I just refocus on the warm breeze blowing in from outside.