CH. 6: “One Flew “INTO” The Cuckoo’s Nest, Part 1: “Old Days!”

By admin On December 8th, 2012

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Click on image credit links below each photo, for licensing names, details, and tags, etc.. Most Images cropped & reduced in size.

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I was now in Unit 3600! And, as soon as my family left, I could no longer resist the heavy drug injected into my blood.

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And I went to sleep. 

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But what was in store for me here in this high-security mental ward?

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And what did the spirits have planned for me?

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Well, I was about to find out what these unseen ones had in store for me…

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Yes, I was soon to find out…

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The Scream – by E. Munch – Wikipedia – public domain by edvard munch c.1893

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CHAPTER 6:

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“One Flew “INTO” The Cuckoo’s Nest”,

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Part 1:

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“Old Days!”

 

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NOT SO MUCH THE CUCKOO’S NEST…

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I woke up a short while later, smack-dab in the mental ward! Unit 3600! I looked around at my new environment.

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Where was the “shock-treatment room”?

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Where were the “ice baths”?

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Where was McMurphey?

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Where was Nurse Ratched?

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It actually was pretty comfortable looking! There were couches and overstuffed chairs. There was a TV and a stereo system. Even a pool table! There was a kitchen and dining area. Even a refrigerator loaded with snacks, and trays of food!

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NOT TOO SHABBY! NOT… TOO… SHABBY!…

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Since it was now very late…or possibly very early, the lights in the ward were turned way down low in this somewhat large place. All was quiet. The patients must have all gone to their sleeping quarters. These patient rooms were all in a row down two hallways; one hallway of maybe 5 or 6 sleeping rooms on one side of this ward. And the other hallway of an equal number of sleeping rooms on the other side. It was a very well designed ward, and very open…with the nurses’ station at one end of the ward and a very large living area on the other end.

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At some point, I was issued hospital pajamas, which I immediately disliked, to put it mildly. You know, the kind that are open in the back and come down to the knees. I guess hospitals prefer that kind, so they can access your back-side for readings.

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And as far as going back to sleep, I just can’t remember what happened on this my first night.

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But somehow, I would make it through the night.

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“OLD DAYS, GOOD TIMES I REMEMBER”…

(First line from the 1975 hit song by Chicago, “Old Days”)

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The next morning, the ward was filled with patients. I suppose everyone was well-behaved, as I recall.

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As I walked around the living area, I couldn’t help but appreciate the big picture windows on the far end of the ward, overlooking Klamath Basin. There in the far distance, was majestic Mount Shasta, towering in the distance on the southern horizon! (Oh, what I would’ve given to once again be back up on those slopes with a lift ticket!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MtShasta_SnowCapped.jpg

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“TAKE ME BACK, TO A WORLD GONE AWAY!”

(Further lyrics from the song, “Old Days”)

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But I knew those “old days” were all over, for me! Gone forever were the carefree times, I once enjoyed! Now, only judgment was hanging over my head…judgment as big as that mountain, off in the distance… ready to squash me like the proverbial bug! Worse! Eternal torment! Hour after hour of fiery torment awaited me! Year after year of unceasing punishment! Then as the years turned into centuries, and those into millenniums…my punishment would continue…on…and on…and on…forever! No rest! No mercy! No chance to repent! (Ohhh, that I could once again be flying down those sparkling slopes of Mount Shasta! I could just feel the cold wind on my face! Oh, that the knowledge of all this could be swept clean from my memory-bank! Then I could return to my blissful ignorance, and go back to my former selfish little life!)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dore_woodcut_Divine_Comedy_01.jpg

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But now my last and final end was gonna be this mental ward! Now these mysterious spirit beings had me in this strange place! What did they have in store for me? The world outside carried on. Anyone who knew me, probably just shook their head… “Did ya hear about Chuck?” “Yeah, I guess he went completely beserk!”

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(Ohhh, I could just picture myself on that chair-lift, going up, up, up to the top.)

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But now, I was on my way down, down, down! (Oh, to be skiing on those slopes! Silently swishing down that big white mountainous wonderland!)

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Mt. Shasta – snow Capped – public domain – wikipedia

Hell – Gustave Dore – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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WARD WAS SECURED

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There were two large double-door exits; one on either side of the nurses’ station. I found out later that the nurses didn’t like patients to loiter too close to the two exits, for obvious reasons. Oh, they were both locked and had alarms.

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But there was always the possibility that someone from the outside would enter one of those doors, and a patient might slip out and escape from the hospital.

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“SINNERMAN, WHERE YA GONNA RUN TO?”

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After some time, I was given a written examination.

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There were two questions on this examination which only made me think that the Devil was in charge of this examination!

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One question was “What do you do when in a crowded theater, and you see smoke?”

As to thatom_bomb-river1-public domain sphere research corp.is first question, I began to wonder if maybe the spirits dreamed up these questions. After all, if the theater represented the world. And if the world was soon to become a fiery inferno. Well, the question, “What do you do in a crowded theater if you see smoke?” has an obvious answer…

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Yeah, obviously, you jump up and shout as loud as you can, to warn people, “Run for your lives and save yourselves! Because this theater’s on fire! The world’s soon to be burned up!”

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It just seemed like such a loaded question. A very loaded question, indeed, requiring the obvious answer…“RUN! SAVE YOURSELVES!”

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On the other hand, I now know that the spirits were controlling my thoughts, somewhat. So under normal circumstances, I would never interpret these questions in such an ominous and foreboding manner!

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Nuclear Bomb – wikimedia

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“LIKE A ROLLING STONE!”

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The second question went along with the first. It asked the question… to complete the following sentence, “A rolling stone….” Now normally, I would simply answer with, “A rolling stone…gathers no moss.” and be done with it! 

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Simple!

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Right?…..

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Wrong!

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As a matter of fact, I now began to suspect that Satan was responsible for thinking up the questions for this test.

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This is because that question was a very appropriate commentary on my current…uh…situation. This question reminded me of that song by Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone”.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bob_Dylan_1984.jpg“Once upon a time ya dressed so fine, ya threw the bums a dime, in your  prime…

now ya don’t talk so loud. Now ya don’t act so proud,

about havin’ to be scroungin’ your next meal…

how does it feel…to be on yer own, with no direction home…

like a rollin’ stone?”

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Definitely this psych-ward question was really a complicated question! At least it was for me! And that song (“Like A Rolling Stone”) seems to have hit the nail on the head. Because until November of this year (1979), I had all the things a person could hope for in this world: I had money! I had houses! I had talents! I had girl-friends! I had nice cars. I ate the best food (and plenty of it!). I saw the best live entertainment down in Reno, Tahoe, and Vegas. 

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I ignored the poor. I mocked the crippled (only twice!) I made faces as I passed by extremely fat people (probably). I ate and drank like a king. I lived a reckless life. I had an envious job. I played piano at steak houses on the weekends. I moved from one girlfriend to the next. I moved from one house to the next (and each house bigger and better than the previous house). Yes, I was a rich man! And it all went to my head! And I just moved on…like a rolling stone!

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Photo of Dylan courtesy wikipedia share alike license. Click here for link.

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THE RICH MAN & LAZARUS

Luke 16:19-31

http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_274698/Jacopo-Bassano-(Jacopo-da-Ponte)/Dives-and-Lazarus

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But now the tables had turned. Now I didn’t, “talk so loud!” Now I didn’t, “act so proud!” Now invisible spirit beings had captured me. Now I was bankrupt before an angry God! Now my judgment had come! Now I was sentenced to Hell! Now I was doomed to eternal torment…suffering intensely in never-ending hot flames of fire! 

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Now I was like the rich man in that Bible parable. You know…the “Rich Man & Lazarus”. The Rich Man & Lazarus is a parable in the Bible about a rich man who lived in luxury and a very sick beggar named Lazarus who desired to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Bad_Rich_Man_in_Hell_(Le_mauvais_riche_dans_l%27Enfer)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall.jpgAnd so Jesus explained this parable by saying that it came to pass, both Lazarus as well as the rich man died. And Jesus explained further that poor sick Lazarus was carried off into Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man was sent to Hell, where he was tormented in flames of fire (see painting to the right).

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Anyway, the Rich man begged Father Abraham to send Lazarus with a tiny drop of water, but Abraham reminded the rich man that all his life, he enjoyed the best of everything, while poor Lazarus only received the dregs in life.

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Now it must be noted that Jesus was telling this parable to the rich Pharisees (a proud, strict moral Jewish sect), to shake them up a little.

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You see, the Pharisees believed that it was God who blessed them (the Pharisees), with earthly riches, because they were so wonderful; but they also believed that poor people were poor because they were cursed by God. 

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Now I wasn’t aware of this parable back then, but it sure fit me! I was being condemned because of my godless, decadent, arrogant, and self-indulgent life. And now my judgment had come. And no, there were no literal flames of fire. But the torment I was now going through was extremely painful. And there was no Lazarus, or anyone else, to bring even one tiny little drop of water (that is, one tiny drop of mercy) for me!

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And so, for me, the words of this song, “Like a Rolling Stone” which said… “Ya threw the bums a dime in yer prime, now didn’t you?” seemed to fit my circumstances pretty well at this moment. Yeah, that Dylan song kind-of paralleled the Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus. At least it did in my case! And just like that rich man in that parable, I too, “threw the bums a dime…in my prime”. 

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But now the tables were turned. Now I didn’t “talk so loud”. Now I didn’t “act so proud”. And now, just like that rich man in that Bible parable, I was in Hell! Oh no, there were no literal flames. But I was being tormented just the same. I nevertheless was being roasted in spiritual flames of fire, for the past days! And very soon, my torment would continue…right here in Ward 3600!

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“How does it feel? To be on your own? Like a complete unknown? With no direction home?” I was truly like a rolling stone. But I was also like the Rich Man in that Bible parable (of course, I knew nothing about that parable during this crisis I was going through!)

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Rich Man & Lazarus-Wikigallery-Public-Domain

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ROCKS THAT WON’T ROLL! NO ROLLING STONES HERE!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MARTIN_John_Great_Day_of_His_Wrath.jpg

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But there was a much bigger stone that had now dropped on me. And this stone weighed about a hundred pounds or so….   “And the seventh angel poured out his bowl (of God’s wrath) into the air… And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (approx. 100 lbs)…” Revelation 16:17, 21   

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Yes, these were the Judgment stones of God Almighty! And His stones of judgment don’t rock, and they don’t roll! They just fall on you! And they were now falling on me for the past days! And those stones were grinding me to powder! (“And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:44)

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Painting-Great Day of His Wrath by J. Martin-Wikipedia-Public Domain-Click here for link.

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“MULTI-PURPOSE” INCLUDES THE “SINGULAR-PURPOSE”: PRAYER…

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I walked around the ward and quickly discovered a nice multi-purpose room off the main sitting area, which also had couches and chairs. And it was empty. So I decided this would be a good place to pray. And I did. With the door open to give a little light, I knelt down before a couch and began to cry out for mercy. As far as I know, this was the first time during this 3-day ordeal that I engaged in serious prayer.

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I hadn’t prayed in years. Well why should I? After all, I was told, all through public schooling, that we were descended from apes! From the first grade onward and upward, this theory of Darwinism was shot into our little veins, in school! So why pray if there’s no God?

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BUT I USED TO PRAY!

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But I used to Child at Prayer by Eastman Johnson, circa 1873pray. I used to pray as a little boy. I faithfully prayed the Lord’s Prayer every night on my knees before bed. Yeah! Me! I even went to church in those days! (This nice painting to the left, of a little boy praying, is of course, not me. But since I don’t have any photos of me praying back then, this one from Wikimedia will have to do. And this is just about the same prayer-posture I took each night, as a little boy (of course, minus that old-fashion long night-gown kids once wore in the earlier decades)).

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I attended church with my family every Sunday. Yeah, Sunday was great day for me and my family! Our pastor was a young guy, Pastor Capalungo. Pastor Capalungo was a modern-thinking guy. Not a traditionalist! Not at all! Very outgoing, upbeat, and energetic. Full of life! He could have easily been a counselor for a kid’s summer-camp. He was good, no, great with kids. He made you think, “I didn’t know that church could be so fun!”

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And so, we liked church. 

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Freedom_from_want_1943-Norman_Rockwell.jpg

Anyway, after church, we would all descend on my grandparent’s house, for a big Sunday afternoon dinner. And Grandma put on an incredible spread! It was like a holiday feast every week! And then after that, my brother, sister, and cousins would all go out into the big back yard, and run and play and hide and seek and whatever other games we invented!

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Yes, “those were the days, my friend! We thought they’d never end! We’d sing and dance forever and a day!…Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days!”

(Lyrics from the 1968 song, “Those Were The Days”)

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Yes, those were the days of swimming in the nearby creek, blowing on spindly dandelions, catching frogs and crickets in grassy lawns, and climbing trees, exploring old barns, shooting marbles, playing army with tiny rubber WWII soldiers, and a bunch of other boyhood joys!

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Oh yeah, those were good years! Very good years indeed! And in the late 50’s, early 60’s, we were about as normal as this Norman Rockwell painting!

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Child at Prayer by Eastman Johnson, circa 1873

Norman Rockwell-“Freedom From Want” Wikimedia “Fair-use Rationale” (click here for licensing details)

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“SAMMY COME HOME”

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I even had a dog. Dad got ushttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sitting_Samoyed.jpg a snow-white Samoyed Husky, which we named, “Sammy”. Beautiful dog with long white fur and a great big smile! Us kids loved that dog, in spite of the fact that he was a bit of a rogue, often sneaking out of the yard, and off into parts unknown. 

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SAMMY GOES ON EXTENDED ROMP

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Oh yeah, Sammy was a very welcomed member of the family. He chased sticks, and brought ’em back! Jumped through a Hula-Hoop! A very smart dog, too! But for his one failing in life (being a rogue), he was just about a perfect dog: perfect, as far as I was concerned, anyway.

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But when Sammy thought that nobody was looking, he would slither out into the street, with his tail tucked between his legs, kind-of looking back to see if he was being watched. But ol’ Sammy seemed to somehow see an imaginary line in the very middle of the street. Because once he crossed that imaginary middle line, if nobody yet had yelled at him to come back, ol’ Sammy would take off like a lightning bolt! Snow-white fur flying in the wind until he’d disappear completely out of sight!

.Siberian Samoyed dog. Image- EduardoVela Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

And that’s the last that we’d see of him till evening, when he came happily trotting home. (Of course, when he saw us waiting angrily for him, he would tuck his tail between his legs and with ears down he would slither back into the yard.) 

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And so this went on for however long we had Sammy. Sometimes we’d catch him slithering across the street. And we’d yell at him, and he’d slither back into the yard, knowing that a spanking was awaiting him. But once Sammy crossed that imaginary center-line in the street, there was no amount of yelling that could get him back! He was gonzo! And then, at evening, he would come trotting back home like a miniature Clydesdale pony on parade! And why not be happy? Because, whatever he did all day, he no doubt had a good time! 

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But as I’ve said, Sammy had his good aspects too! He was lovable, and playful, fun to chase. And he could fetch sticks and baseballs as good as any dog could! And us three kids would often wrestle with Sammy in the living room, while watching any number of TV shows during the very early 60’s.

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But then one time, he didn’t come home for days! We feared he was gone for good. I was really worried I would never see him again.

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And so I prayed and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samoyed_dog_headshot.JPGprayed for Sammy to come home. But it seemed like Sammy was gone for good.

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And then, a few days, or even a week later, I remember walking to school one morning, and running smack-dab into him crossing my path, as he was gallivanting through a near-by neighborhood! He was so muddy, I could hardly recognize him! Nevertheless, I was completely overjoyed to find him! I excitedly held on tight to his collar, and happily ran him back home, about 4 or 5 short blocks away in this older section of town, which we then lived! 

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Sitting Samoyed wikimedia share-alike license

Siberian Samoyed dog. Image- EduardoVela Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Samoyed dog headshot wikimedia share-alike license

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SAMMY’S LAST ROGUE-ROMP

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Back in the early 60’s, it was somewhat of a “do-whatever-you-like” world in many aspects of everyday life. After all, Salem Oregon was a small, quiet town in those days. Things were pretty safe, back then. Oh yeah, there was crime. And there were drugs in certain corners of the city. And immorality too. But the occurrence of those things was just fractional compared with now! At least in Salem they were. 

Sidewalk in autumn - Salem, Oregon wikimedia by M.O. Stevens GNU Free Documentation License

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And, in many ways, people were more responsible than they are now. However, in other particular areas of life, people were sometimes very irresponsible. And because of this, we just didn’t even think of restraining our dog. Things were not like they are today. And my mom and dad were both full-time career people. And so they were so busy working, that Sammy’s security was left pretty-much up to us three kids.

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Well one day, after one of his usual romps into parts unknown, Sammy came home, as he normally did. But this time, he perhaps didn’t come trotting home like a finalist in a dog show. And every day thereafter, he seemed to get sicker. We feared he either accidentally ate something poisonous, or perhaps, someone got tired of his playboy antics in the neighborhood, and simply fed him some poison, to get rid of him. Nobody ever knew for sure.

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But whatever the reason for getting sick, wasn’t important right now. I just wanted him to get better. And so I prayed for his recovery. And I prayed! And I cried out to God for his recovery!

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But in spite of all my prayers, Sammy just kept getting sicker. “Oh God, please make Sammy well again! Oh God please!”

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Finally, after a week or so later, our dear Sammy died. Needless to say, I was devastated. Man, did I ever cry for my loss! Sammy was gone! Wow, did I ever cry!

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Sidewalk in autumn – Salem, Oregon wikimedia by M.O. Stevens  GNU Free Documentation License

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THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO SEE

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A little time passed by. And as I earlier stated, each night before going to sleep, I would kneel down beside my bed, and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salem_Church_(Marion_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(marDA0096).jpgfaithfully pray the Lord’s Prayer. Night after night I would faithfully pray the Lord’s Prayer. And it’s hard to remember how long this went on. But perhaps it went on for all those early years that me and my family attended church each Sunday.

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But us kids were beginning to become teens. And now there were many things to do. And even church began to lose its importance. And not just for me. My entire family began to fall away from regular church attendance. And Pastor Capalungo even moved on, and another pastor took his place. And so church was eventually put on the back-burner, as they say. First my parents, and then, eventually us three kids quit going altogether (Oh, maybe my sister kept going, as I vaguely remember).

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But I had other things to do: better things to do! And after a while, I decided that the Lord’s Prayer was too long of a prayer. So I substituted “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, etc….” This was a shorter prayer, than the Lord’s Prayer. But even that went by the wayside after another year or two. I eventually stopped praying altogether.

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The First United Methodist Church in downtown Salem. wikimedia public domain

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Judgment Day license plate www.devouringfire.com

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To go to Part 2, just click here…

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CH. 7 One Flew Into The Cuckoo’s Nest, Part 2:”Surf’s Up!”

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 This next part 2 has more old memories of supernatural events from my past

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