My Day with D, and a Bad Movie

Friday, August 29th, 2003 | Friends

I visited D (“BiPolar Bear” is too whimsical for me now) this afternoon. I decided that I was going to be cheerful for him, but as soon as I saw him I burst into tears and threw my arms around him and hugged him like my lost childhood teddy bear had been found. There was almost nothing recognizable about him, which was actually good, for there were none of the familiar anxious hysterical tics, just slow deliberate body movements, an almost catatonic state, a big smile, and eyes that looked straight at me. He looks about 25 years older, has gained about 25 pounds, and his hair and beard have grown out and are now curly and almost completely gray, like a bust of a homeless Roman senators. He seemed anxious about finding a place to live, and I reminded him, first the shock treatments, then an apartment. The hospital is great, with a wonderful staff and a system in place that is really going to help him. They’ve already secured disability income for him, put him on MediCal to cover his medical expenses, are helping him file for bankruptcy, and can place him in interim housing while he finds a permanent place to live.

I am so glad that he’s alive, his smile was one of the most glorious things I’ve seen in years.

Later I went to see Le Divorce, which stank, even with all that talent. The one interesting scene takes place in a police car as a male and female cop express surprise at an American committing a crime of passion. “Most Americans kill for money or drugs,” the male cop says, cigarette dangling from his lips, then sniffing, inquires of his female counterpart’s new perfume, cigarette smoke filling the car.

Today was one of the few times that we’ve gotten together (back to D) where there wasn’t madness, even though we were encompassed by it. And boy, did they get it right in the movies. There was the girl twirling her hair, the guy staring out the window, the smiling man who’d occasionally scream at the top of his lungs, the guy pacing back and forth, back and forth.

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