Harry entered the waiting room and walked up to the admissions window. The receptionist was away from her desk, so he rang the bell sitting on the window’s ledge and waited patiently. The receptionist came around the corner, carrying some files. She was attractive, which Harry did not expect.
“Hello, sir,” she greeted with a gentle smile. “Are you here to visit someone?”
Harry noticed the receptionist’s name tag, then looked into her eyes. “No Marcy, I’m here to check myself in.”
A quizzical look came across Marcy’s face as she studied Harry a little more closely. He was middle-aged, very handsome with slicked-back brown hair and piercing blue eyes. He looked like a professional athlete or someone famous, but she didn’t recognize him. “I’m sorry, sir. Did you say that you wanted to admit yourself?”
“I’m sorry sir, but you may have the wrong institution. This is a psychiatric ward, not a center for substance abuse rehabilitation.”
“I know exactly what this place is. I’m not here for drug or alcohol rehab,” he said matter-of-factly. “I need help, and this is the only place I can get it.”
“Ok, sir. I’ll need you to fill out these forms and then I’ll arrange a psych evaluation with one of our doctors.” Marcy handed Harry a clipboard with several pieces of paper and a pen clipped to it. Harry went over to one of the chairs, sat down, and began going over the paperwork.
Name, Harry Anderson. Date of birth, unknown. Address, 352 Manchester Ave. Social Security number, unknown. Emergency contact, none. He filled out the remaining useless information required; most of it he marked unknown or none. The final question: Reason for Admission? I can’t die.
Harry scribbled his signature on the bottom of the final page, walked over to the admissions window and handed the paperwork to Marcy.
Marcy quickly scanned the paperwork to ensure its completeness. What the hell? She had worked at St. Peter’s ward for over 7 years and had never seen anything like it. She looked up at Harry, perplexed. “Harry, please have a seat. Doctor Stephenson will be right with you.”
Harry went back to his chair and began thumbing through a magazine. His mind started to wander. How many magazines have I read? How many books have I read? Articles, newspapers, scrolls, stone tablets, cave paintings? He sat in his chair, the sense of non-purpose welling up inside him once again. What have I done to deserve this curse! Why won’t you release me? I’ve done all that I can do!
The calling of his name temporarily relieved him from his personal hell. Harry looked up at a female dressed in a professional skirt and jacket, holding the door open. He stood up from his chair and walked over.
“Hello, Harry. I’m Dr. Stephenson.” She held out her right hand to welcome Harry with a handshake.
“Hello, Dr. Stephenson,” Harry replied as he reached out and shook her hand. He stared intently into her green eyes. Please, help me!