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Ramblings from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

Black Thursday…

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Black Thursday…

Perhaps I would feel much better if I get this all written down, step by step as it occurred. Perhaps it will serve to show how, for people like myself, an ordinary day can go to hell in a hand basket before you can blink. I dunno, but here goes.

I got up Thursday morning, as is my wont, and went to the lake fishing at first light. Now I was having a wonderful time, pulling one fish in after another, when I caught the biggest fish I’ve caught this year, a monstrous carp. That’s when things began to go downhill.

First of all, although I landed the fish, it snapped my pole about 1/3 of the way down. This aggravated me to no end, but what was worse is I had to throw it back. There’s a regulation at the lake that says you cannot keep grass carp. However, I don’t know the difference between grass carp and other carp. And from what I have been told, neither do the rangers. Strike two.

I came home very much miffed, fixed my breakfast, and began to plan the rest of the day. I had an appointment with my counselor at 11:00, so I figured I’d swing by Walmart and get a new pole, then go to my appointment. My truck decided not to start. Strike three.

A neighbor was kind enough to help me work on my wayward vehicle, and I made it to my meeting. For once, I decided that we were never going to work on my issues unless I was honest and forthright. Everyone has heard the old saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” I beg to differ. Sometimes it’s best just to lie your *** off.

I told her that I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I told her that I thought I had been released from the hospital too soon. I told her that I fear suicide. There’s another three strikes.

I was asked to take a new appointment with Dr. I, which I refused, saying I might not be there then. What I didn’t say was that I have an appointment with my new doctor on the 25th, because if it doesn’t work out, I am forced to continue with my current physician.
Now I am many things, but a fool isn’t one of them. I knew from their body language and facial expressions that they were not gonna just let it alone. So I took my sweet time in leaving, taking extra time in the bathroom, standing on the porch smoking a cigarette, and waiting outside my truck for the call to come talk with crisis. No dice.

I came home, fixed lunch, walked the dog, watched a movie, and then decided to go fishing again. Now remember, my original appointment was at 11:00, and I left around 20 minutes after twelve. It is around 4:00 that I, while placidly fishing (and catching fish), was approached by two policemen with a temporary custody order. For what, I asked. I was just fishing, no danger to myself or others, but to make a long story short, I had to go with them.

Looked like they had over half the force there, plus a State Trooper and a Game Warden… I was asked to turn over anything dangerous in my pockets, such as my fishing knife, and still was searched three times by three different people.

I got my first double take when I got in the police car. The Officer I was riding with watched me pull on my seat belt. “Just between you and me, Mr. Harris,” he said, “You don’t have to wear that SOB if you don’t want to. I hate them, and I never wear mine.” I told him I was in the habit of obeying the law, and seat belts were the law. He grinned and put his own belt on.

I was taken to the local jail, where I had to wait endlessly for the Mental Health worker to show up. I commented that if they had taken all the trouble to get a manhunt out after me, the MH Worker could have been there when I arrived. One Deputy snorted. “Ain’t that the truth! I was supposed to be off shift around 20 minutes ago!”

We smoked and swapped fishing stories, and then I got my second double take. One Officer leaned over and told me that for a man in my position, i.e., wound tight as a drum, a little marijuana would really help acting as a relaxant. This from the same people that would arrest me if I even had the smell of pot on me! OK. Maybe file that away for the future. Or maybe it’s best to forget I ever heard it.

Finally the worker arrived. Of course, I had to explain and defend every single word I had said that day. I was asked leading questions (I believe that is illegal in a court of law, but, hey, I don’t have any rights!), she attempted to trip me with my own words, (forget that, I have an excellent memory and a high IQ), she blustered and tried to make me angry. I was prepared for all the mud she could sling, as I had anticipated this move, (but not after a good four hours, for God’s sake! Had I been intending to commit suicide, I had ample time. Hey, do you know the number for 9-1-1? You think someone needs help, they need it immediately, if not sooner.)

I told her that I had expected to have to talk to crisis, and described my actions upon leaving the clinic. I even saw the two nurses whom I trust explicitly, come out and thought they were coming to talk to me and actually took a step or two in their direction, but they suddenly turned as though they had forgotten something and leisurely walked back inside. The MH Worker agreed it could and should have been handled better.

Finally, she said she was going to let me go home, and not be aggravated about the matter. Too little, too late for that one. I was furious! Totally ruin my day, embarrass me in front of other people, drag me off to jail (I narrowly escaped handcuffs and the “cage” in the back of a patrol car as if I were some dangerous fugitive! Heck, I didn’t get that when I came down after my suicide attempt!)

So let me wind up by saying this: Never say a day is so bad that it cannot get worse. Yes, it absolutely can, faster that you could ever expect it to snowball! I assure you that I am living proof of that!


  1. qimissung's Avatar
    Saying that they didn't handle it well is something of an understatement. I'm glad your handling it well!

    Was the next day better, I hope?
  2. pussnboots's Avatar
    Maybe they held the wrong person in jail. First the cop tells you "you don't have to wear a seat belt", funny I to thought that was the law and second, one of them tells you
    to smoke some marijuana since you are so wound up!!!!

    I'm sorry to hear that you had to go thru all of this but try to think of it from another perspective. At least people care enough about you to make sure you don't do anything to hurt yourself.

    Hope the coming days are better for you.
  3. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    Yikes, you're not kidding, that is a bad day. Still, you got through it and that's something positive to take away. And it sounds like you've got your head screwed on a whole lot better than most of the people you encountered that day. I guess sometimes honesty isn't the best policy. How messed up that sounds.
    Hope things get better Pen. Goodness knows you deserve it.
  4. Virgil's Avatar
    Pen, I know it was a hard day, but from your posts and blogs and writings here on lit net, you seem to be improving as best as I can tell. You are in my prayers, if that makes you feel any better.
  5. DanielBenoit's Avatar
    It's amazing how ridiculous people can be, it's quite apalling.

    I hope that your next day went better
  6. 1n50mn14's Avatar
    ... wow... wow is all I can say. I have been in a similar situation myself, and it is enraging. Nothing can make a day go downhill more than public humiliation, especially after a bad day already! Sorry to hear that, Pen!
  7. mtpspur's Avatar
    Pen, just finally got around to checking this out--I have been very remiss on blogs lately. Hang in there--God has plans for the two of us and the joy is that is rarely what we think they will be but infinitely better.