We received a call from a relative telling us that our son had arrived at their house and was eating breakfast ravenously. He was also drinking cup after cup of coffee. We asked her not to tell him that she had called us and drove there as fast as we could. We arrived to find him in good form, regaling ‘his audience’ with an experience from the hospital.
‘I was lying in bed one night, wide awake, when a sexy doll crept into bed with my room-mate. They whispered, probably sure that I was fast asleep. He told her to remove her jeans, and she wriggled out of them without getting off her back. It was something to see.’ My son paused for effect and I noticed that my husband and I were the only people who were not smiling. We were working out how we would be able to return him to his ward in the hospital as there was no way he would go docilely. His silky hair was matted and his clothes grubby. It amazed me how little surprise he’d shown on our arrival. When he had finished his anecdote, he turned to us saying; “I knew it wouldn’t take long before THEY told you where I was. By the way, I am not going back to that hospital nor any other.”
Unable to persuade him to change his mind, we had to have him returned against his will which is a traumatic experience. But, as always, I wondered how such a sick young man could express himself so well. Many years later, I found a notebook in his apartment filled with poems he’d written during the time he spent going in and out of hospital.