Monday, April 27, 2009
The CP Chronicles: Chapter One (Sal)
Sal was one of my favorites. He was a man in his early 70s and he was bipolar. I got to be the one to take Sal to his doctor appointments because we got on so well. And I was one of the few who was able to calm him down when he found out that the doctor was all out of pens.
Sal had a nighttime routine where he counted out his click pens. They were the fat round ones that would have a business name or a pharmaceutical name on them. He was fascinated by them and got a kick out of collecting new ones. And when the doctor's office was out, stand back! Cover your ears! Sal was on the war path!
I have never heard such profanity in my life. If people cuss like sailors, Sal cussed like the pirate captain on the most dreaded ship in the sea!
But when he was in a good mood, he was a hoot. He was like a teddy bear, wearing a union suit with every pocket stuffed full of useless goodies, be it a baseball card, a toothbrush, or a packet of Sweet N Low.
One day, I was working on the unit by myself and Sal was back in his room (he had one of the individual rooms, Mr. Moneybags! I was filling out charts and Sal kept yelling my name, "Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaara!" (He was one of the few that got it right.) "Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaara!" I knew I had just checked on him and he probably had some scheme in his mind, but finally, I started walking down the hall and asked, "Yes, Sal?"
Sal quickly screamed, "Have you ever been to New York?!" And slammed the heavy metal door to his room. I just stood in the hall shaking my head and then chuckled as I went back to my charts.