I finally met Annie after talking to her online for a year.

She said something about a meeting at Rivers Edge Hospital.

I grinned and said “I escaped from that place.”

She laughed and said “good for you! The staff are terrible there, they treat you like prisoners.”

I agreed. I said “it was just like being locked up in county.”

I was at the hospital for some other reason and a doctor told me I was “tangential and all over the place.”

I explained that I’d been up for a few days doing crystal meth, so of course I’m tangential and all over the place. How many years did you spend in med school to figure that out?

Well, that got me committed fast. 

The doctors at Rush put several false statements on their paperwork and I would later learn that quite a few people had reported the exact same thing to the state.

“High and not interested in getting help” is not a valid reason to invoke that process and they know it and I know it. So they made some shit up.

After detaining me under false pretenses and sending me to such squalor and filth (how this oubliette is even licensed as a healthcare facility is beyond me) these fuckers at Rivers Edge were screaming orders at me and I took exception to that. 

The first thing I did was talking them into making it a “voluntary” admission. I don’t need that shit on my record. They actually agreed because now it meant they didn’t have to take me to a judge in the morning.

Then the second thing I did was to rip the placard with my room number on it off of the wall and then I used it to jimmy open the social workers office.

There was a ring of keys in her desk drawer next to a pair of running shoes. 

And if that isn’t Providence, I don’t know what is.

I used her keys to silence an emergency exit alarm and open the staircase.

Then I walked to a bar and panhandled for bus fare and beer money.

None of the staff noticed because they were all too busy being assholes to the other inmates— errr, “patients.”

When I got home I faxed them a copy of their ring of keys and my middle finger. 🖕🏻

I think that’s when they went “oh shit” and did a census of all of their patients and noticed one missing.

I ended up on a missing and endangered list for a minute. I negotiated with them to return the keys and sneakers in exchange for my cell phone, keys, and wallet. It cost $800 in lawyers fees to make them fuck off and not press charges for stealing her sneakers.

That said, I would have gladly paid even more then that to not spend another minute in that filthy fucking shithole being treated like an inmate and screamed at by those awful people.

I also think they were all talk. I argued with Cliff a little and said there was no way in hell they were actually going to go on public record and admit to their incompetence or woefully inadequate security in any detail. Trust me, if the keys were not in that drawer I could have still gotten out. But he talked me into hiring “his guy” to mop it all up, and so I did.

You’ll have to excuse me for not “getting help” considering that’s the kind of place you’ll get sent to in this city. It’s a fucking joke. You just eat paste and shitty jail food for five days and they punt you out on the street and you fall between the cracks again.

Miracle on 34th street in my mind, hallelujah! I’m not an addict or crazy anymore! And all you had to do was put me in a filthy room and scream at me!