Before I got to Mount Irvin I was in North Dakota for a month and a half after I left Marietta, after I was hustled into leaving that is. It was a crummy little town called Grafton 30 minutes from the western Minnesota state line and 30 minutes south of the Canadian border. BTW I have no car. Rikki kept that.
It didn’t work out because…well, you don’t care. But it was something I could’ve dealt with if I I hadn’t been so close to nervous collapse. But I had to have a professional job. I couldn’t go home. Once Rikki got rid of me out of there, there was no way she’d let me back in. She’d worked too hard to get rid of me. So I ended up in Mount Irvin running on fumes.
There were tunnels underneath the hospital at Grafton that led to every building of the hospital. At night the doors from the buildings to the tunnel, including the Physicians’ dorm where I was staying, were locked and I had to use a key. One night I was going to pieces with anxiety before I got the Elavil. All I had to use was alcohol. I went out for beer. For a whim I used the tunnel that let out on the street right at a convenience store where I bought beer.
It was so quiet in the tunnel at night it was unnerving. During the day it was full of people and hand trucks going everywhere but at night it’s deserted. It was so quiet that I let my imagination get away with me. I was agitated and sweating and I suddenly got it in my head that if I turned around i’d see a figure in a white space suit striding after me. I hauled ass all the way to the end of the tunnel and got out and walked the surface streets back. This phantasm is a testimonial to how raw my nerves were. I reflected that even if I had a gun I couldn’t use it down there because in that concrete tunnel the bullets would ricochet like crazy.
And I resolved never to use the tunnels again at night. I would’ve had a chance if the job I went to next in Indiana were quiet and easy but no. I managed to get hired to work for the worst psychos in the place. Since I was already that close to collapse it was only natural that I did collapse.
But again, i’m getting ahead of myself.