I’m worried. I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes. They asked me to get here fifteen minutes early. I did. But now it’s only five minutes before nine and she hasn’t checked the goddamn sign-in sheet once. Finally, Gary the ostensible Vietnam vet is called to the front desk. I’m next.

You’d think that sitting here among the real crazies—the people who talk to themselves, have nervous ticks, and stare maniacally—you’d think that one who is afflicted with only the mildest of psychoses would feel out of place. Yeah, right. Suddenly, I have this uncontrollable desire to throw things away. I look through my bag and come across deposit slips, wrappers and receipts—all trash. Fortunately, there’s a wastebasket next to me. It’s odd. I’ve already seen four since entering the Behavioral Health Services Building. Maybe it’s a crazy thing.

“Pa…lan?” I jump out of my seat, “Yes. That’s me.” Never mind that I can’t decipher my journal entries, notes to myself, or my grocery lists, but why, for the love of God, can’t I write my name legibly on a sign-in sheet? Oh no, maybe it’s be a crazy thing.

“It’s A-U, like the Island.” Evelyn must not watch Survivor, because she’s not taken by the imagery of the snorkeling paradise my last name usually evokes. She just irritably fumbles at her desk.

“And who’s your doctor?” I’ll show her. I proudly present my appointment confirmation letter. She puts on the glasses hanging around her neck, zooms in on the paper, raises an eyebrow and with an enthusiasm I have yet to see from Evelyn, spouts “Honey, you’re at the wrong center. You have to go to room 1200. This is B-200, the Center for Spasticity.” Never could follow directions. I wonder if that’s a crazy thing or an ADD thing. I guess I’ll find out upstairs.

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