My father has been hanging out with the heroin addicts. He says they have interesting stories.
The Director, who will soon finish his doctorate in psychology, says this is probably because they're on methadone and mellow, and, more importantly, because they're not psychotic.
Because they're not psychotic.
You see, there's a little of everything in there. There was the zombie roommate, who is now gone. There are people who bang their heads against the wall. There are teens with eating disorders. There are people why cry all day long.
So in terms of people for my dad to hang out and discuss foreign policy with, or share moral outrage over the NYT's front page news, well, the pickings are slim.
To get to the psych ward, you can only take one elevator. They have to buzz you up and down. You have to sign in.
All of the rooms have two beds and a bathroom. The doors do not lock. And they are left open. None of the cupboards in the rooms have doors. So everything is out in the open.
Last week someone stole my dad's underwear and socks. Oh, and his toothbrush.
My mother told me this Wednesday night as she was on her way to buy my dad some new clothes.
I asked if she thought it was the zombie roommate who had moved out that day. She didn't think it was him. She thought it was an accident.
An accident? They all know which rooms are theirs! And which cupboards!
"Well, yes, Lis. But they're all kind of nutso, you know."
I told my brother, who said, "For all we know, there's someone there who cuts up other people's underwear in little pieces and eats it."
All of his stuff, plus various other things that don't belong to him, turned up in a paper bag at the nurses' station a couple days later. Someone else's bible went missing yesterday. That, as you may imagine, was a big drama-trauma.
My dad has still got his sense of humor, dark and twisty as ever.
He got a new roommate this weekend. He seems to be a very innocuous, quiet man. Which is lucky, because there are some really loud, batshit crazy people in that place.
When we were about to leave, my dad tilted his head towards his roommate's side of the room and whispered conspiratorially, "I suspect this one's an axe murderer."
We all agreed that if that's the case, it's truly lucky they're on a floor where they don't even let you have safety razors. He'd have had to check his axe at the sign-in desk.