Sunday, November 25, 2007

Peter Pan Chronicles: Chapter 21299

The following is a very thinly disguised allegory. I’m talking wafer-thin:


Scene One:

Peter sends an email to the last of his remaining friends - those few who can still somehow tolerate the antics of a forty-something-year-old child. He offers to give away some of his toys. 'Come and visit me and you can have some of my toys!' he promises. This does not garner a response sufficient to make Peter feel loved again.


Scene Two:

Peter sends an email to the last of his remaining friends declaring that his pets are up for adoption. 'Fluffy and Biscuit require a new home. Any leads appreciated.' Again this does not raise enough interest among his friends to provide the attention he needs.


Scene Three:

Peter sends another email, this time declaring changes to his last will and testament. He then gets shit-faced drunk and changes the greeting on his voice-mail. 'The end has come. I've chosen the music. The telephone is at my side. You may leave me a final message.'


Scene Four:

Captain Hooked receives the email will-change notification, calls up Peter's line and gets the spooky greeting. He curses a blue streak, calls up Mrs. Pan to warn her that her son has flipped his noodle again, jumps in his banana ship and sails off to Neverland as fast as the wind can take him.


Scene Five:


Captain Hooked breathes a tremendous sigh of relief as he arrives at the ranch to find that there are no police or ambulance present. That's a good sign. Mr. and Mrs. Pan are waiting for him on the sidewalk.

"He's okay," they say. "He's alive. He won't talk to us, Captain Hooked, but maybe he'll talk to you. Do you have a key? We had to break in through a window."

Captain Hooked has a key and enters to find Peter Pan wailing in despair.

"I can't go on! There is no happiness for me here! This world is ugly and everyone here is evil! I'm going to the afterlife!"

"There's no such thing as afterlives, dude," says Captain Hooked.

"Yes there is! Yes there is! The dead have come to me in the form of animals to tell me of the afterlife!"

"Well, I think that's a load of crap and it would be a pretty sorry joke if you go doing yourself in and it turns out there's no afterlife. Then you got nothing."

"I know the afterlife is real! I know! I know!"

"Is the afterlife eternal?"

"Well of course! Duh!"

"Then what's the hurry, dude? Chill, will ya?"

"But I just want to die!"

"Boy, you need professional help."

"No! No more doctors! No more drugs! Just death! Death death death!"

Peter cocoons himself in his bed sheets and wails like a banshee. Captain Hooked performs a detailed inspection of the house, rounding up any and all the knives, guns, rope, syringes, poisons, drugs and/or alcohol and hiding them away. The phone keeps ringing. The callers according to the phone display are drug dealers and street kids. Hooked hangs up on them. Finally Wendy calls.

"Hi Peter!"

"It's Cap'n Hooked."

"Oh, hi Cap'n. Long time -"

"Listen, are you anywhere near Neverland right now?"

"Um. Yes."

"Can you please get the hell over here? Peter's a mess. I need your help."

"I'm on my way."


Scene Six:


Wendy arrives, is filled in on the situation and goes to keep Peter company and tries to cheer him up.

Hooked checks the labels on Pan's meds and looks up the phone number for the psychiatric doctor on the label.

"Hello, Doctor Islandhoppers?"

"Yes."

"I'm an associate of one of your patients, Peter Pan. Dude, that boy is seriously spun. We need your help..."


Scene Seven:

Peter comes downstairs red-eyed and dressed for work.

"You're not going to work!" says Hooked.

"I have to. It's a weekend evening shift. I'm the only one working. We can't leave the Laboratory of Health and Wellness unmanned just because of a little old pending suicide!"

"Wait a minute. Laboratory of- Is that where you got the cyanide from?"

"What did you do with my cyanide?"

"That's it. I'm going with you to work. I'm not letting you out of my sight."

"No you're not."

"Oh yes I am."

"Oh no you're not."

"Listen bitch! You sent me a cry for help! I'm trying to help you!"

"Peter," says Wendy, "Captain Hook is worried about you and would feel much better if he could go to work with you. Okay?"

"Okay."


Scene Eight:

Peter, sleepless and squint-eyed, performs his laboratory duties while mumbling to himself incoherently. The flasks and tubes are bubbling happily. The incubators hum. Pan peers through his microscope and counts tiny microorganisms.

"One! One flagella! Two! Two flagellas! Ha ha ha ha!"

"Peter, can I trust you alone for a moment while I go for a walk?"

"Yeah, yeah. No problem. THREE! THREE FLAGELLAS!"

Hooked saunters out the door than bolts for the stairs. He climbs to the main floor of the hospital and scurries through the endless corridors in circles, finally stumbling upon the Emergency Department.

"How can I help you?"

"Listen, I can't leave my friend alone for long. He's suicidal. You gotta help."

"Is he in the waiting room right now?"

"No. He's down in one of your labs, mixing cocktails."

"That sounds highly irregular."

"Oh, he is. You have no idea, lady."

"There's a social worker through that door there. Go right in."

Hooked goes through the door.

Social Worker Number One listens to Hooked's story. She provides a business card for C.O.A.S.T. - the crisis outreach and support team, and a phone. He dials them up and tells his story.

"Have Peter call us back at this number please."

"He won't do it."

"Ask him if he will, please. And if he won't, ask him if he'd mind of we dropped by to see him. Then let us know."

"Okay, but I don't think he'll be very keen. He seems to have made up his mind. But I'll ask him."


Scene Nine:

Hooked barges into Pan's bedroom and raises the window blinds.

"Go away."

"Time to get up. You're gonna be late."

"The afterlife is not on a timetable."

"You're gonna be late for your therapist appointment."

"I'm not going."

"Oh you're going, all right."

"I'm going to the afterlife."

"Get out of bed or I'll kill you myself, bitch. Now get in the shower."

Peter drags himself to the bathroom while Hooked gets his things together. He goes to the kitchen sink, removing his eyeglasses, then changes his mind. He will not wash his spectacles today. He has a plan. He puts them back on, dirty.

He grabs a novel. He takes Pan's car keys and hides them.

"Where's my car keys?" says Peter upon arriving at the bottom of the stairs.

"Never mind. I'll take you to your appointment."


Scene Ten:

They arrive at the Theraporium and park.

"Pick me up in one hour," says Peter Pan.

"Negative. I think I'll wait inside." He grabs his novel.

"It's a crappy little waiting room. You won' t like it."

"I'll be fine."

They enter and take seats in the crappy little waiting room.

"You're right. It's crappy. Maybe you'll let me sit in on your therapy session, Peter."

"No."

"Yikes. My glasses are dirty. Do you have a kleenex tissue?"

"No."

The therapist enters to summon Peter into her office.

"Oh, and you must be Captain Hooked."

"Pleased to meet you. Would you have a kleenex I can borrow?"

"Of course."

Hooked follows them into the office, takes a kleenex from the obligatory kleenex box, helps himself to a seat and starts cleaning his glasses.

"So Peter. Why is Captain Hooked joining us today?"

Pan shrugs. "Ask him."

Hooked spills the beans about Pan's latest adventures.

"Well Peter," says the therapist. "This has all gone too far. Don't you think?"

"I guess so."

"I'm going to have to insist that you get an assessment. Will you go down to EPT and check yourself in or do I have to call COAST to have you picked up?"

"I'm not going!"

"Then I'll have to call COAST."

"Fine! But I'll put up a terrible fight! Just you wait!"

Pan bolts from the room and flees the Theraporium.

"Do you suppose he'll come back?" the therapist asks.

"I don't know. I'd better go find him."

Hooked comes up dry. Pan is nowhere in sight. Hooked returns to the office where the therapist is talking to the police.

She hangs up. "The police are looking for him. They'll bring him in." The phone rings. It's Pan.

'I'm at the Mohawk Donut Shop on Tim Horton Drive. Send Hooked to get me - alone!'

"Alright. He's on his way. Stay put." She calls back the police, who promise to pick Pan up at the Mohawk shop.

Captain Hooked is worried about Pan's safety. A swashbuckling duel with the sheriff and his men could spell disaster for Peter Pan. He rushes off to the donut land, hoping to smooth the pending altercation.


Scene Eleven:

Hooked arrives at the donut shop to find a fleet of policeman and police cars. They have let Pan slip through their fingers. Hooked helps them identify Pan on the shop's security video log. The description is broadcasted to the force. The manhunt is on!


Scene Twelve:

Captain Hooked is back at Neverland ranch. The phone rings. It's Tinkerbell.

"Jesus Christ!" says Tinkerbell. "What the hell's going on, Hooked? Peter just called me on my cell and begged me to call up his therapist and tell her that he's okay and to call off the police! I said I couldn't do that. He said he'd call me back in an hour."

"Dude, can you get over here within an hour?"

"Yeah. Sure."


Scene Thirteen:

It's after dark. Tinkerbell and Captain Hooked wait together anxiously. Finally the phone rings. Hooked takes the call. It's Peter Pan.

"Why are the cops after me, Hooked?"

"They're trying to help you, Peter. We all are. Why don't you make things easier for yourself and everyone and tell us where you are. I'll make a deal with you. Tell me where you are and I'll leave the police out of it. I'll come and get you myself and take you to the hospital. What do you say?"

Alright, but not THE hospital. We need to go to an out-of-town hospital so that my co-workers won't see my file and find out about me."

"Dude, if you kill yourself they're all going to find out anyway."

"I guess that's true. Okay - meet me at the parking lot behind the Bijou Cocktail Club."

"I'm on my way."


Scene Fourteen:

Hooked arrives a the Bijou Cocktail Club. He looks all over - inside the club and out. There is no Peter Pan to be found. Captain Hooked heads back to the ranch.


Scene Fifteen:

The phone is ringing as Hooked comes through the door.

"Hello. Hooked speaking."

"Hooked, it's Wendy. I just saw Peter at the bus station. I asked him why he was there. He says his phone is tapped and he was supposed to meet you at the Bijou Club but the police were waiting for him there so he fled to the bus station and he's gonna get a bus to Toronto so he can go visit the park where his friend died! You don't think he wants to kill himself in the same park as his friend, do you?"

"Did you see him get on a bus?"

"No."

"It might just be another piece of misdirection."

"Hooked, is Peter Pan on the lam?"

"I'm afraid so, Sugar. Now excuse me. I have to go." Hooked hangs up and immediately the phone is ringing again.

"Hello. Hooked speaking."

"Hello Hooked. It's the sheriff. Any news?"

"Pan was seen at the bus station moments ago. Supposedly he was getting a ticket for Toronto."

They spend an hour on the phone. Hooked tells the sheriff Pan's life story in order to facilitate the manhunt. They hang up and Hooked calls up Mrs. Pan, reluctant to finally share the bad news but owing it to her.

"Mrs. Pan, It's Hooked calling -"

"Peter was just here. He's on his way home. He says you'll take him to the hospital..."


Scene Sixteen:

Tinkerbell does the driving. Pan is despondent in the back seat. He still shuns THE hospital. They have negotiated and settled on the out-of-town Lilly Valley Hospital instead. En route, Hooked borrows Tinkerbell's cell phone and calls the sheriff - ostensibly to call off the manhunt but really to tip him off as to the choice of hospital. The sheriff then gets on the horn to the therapist and to Doctor Islandhoppers so that they can send their advice to Lilly Valley Hospital in order to ensure that Peter is admitted to their psych ward for a proper assessment.


Scene Seventeen:

At the hospital the trio is given audience with Social Worker Number Two. Then Tink and Hooked are asked to leave and she interviews Peter Pan alone for about an hour. Then Doctor Nobody comes in and does nothing. Tink and Hooked are readmitted and Doctor Nobody explains that they wish to send Pan home again and for Captain Hooked to please stay with him for another four days.

"Are you fucking kidding me, dude?" says Hooked. "Didn't you get the notifications from Dr Islandhoppers and the therapist?"

"No. We haven't. This is an emergency room and I am Doctor Nobody and Doctor Nobody says that this boy may go home as long as we know he'll be okay for four days. After that - we don't care. It is not the job of emergency room operations to give a flying fuck what happens to anyone after they've been out of our hands for four days. At that point we can not be held to any liability if your friend decides to bite the bullet. Now if you'll excuse me a moment, Doctor Nobody needs to stretch his legs and get a coffee. Gentlemen..."

Doctor nobody leaves and never returns. A hospital grunt comes in and removes Pan's shackles and assures him he's free to go.

"Cool!" says Pan. "Come on, guys! Let's go to my place and play in the hot tub!"


Epilogue

It turns out that the advice of Pan's professional counselors was indeed received by the Lilly Valley Hospital staff but never passed on to the interviewing social worker or to Doctor Nobody. This is what is known as a GCF or Giant Cluster Fuck. So apparently the health system may be just like every other societal institution after all. Just a bunch of nobodies collecting fat paychecks and pretending that they're accomplishing something while in many cases - they're not.

4 comments:

Claudia said...

Buddy... Peter has great friends.

Take care.

Suki said...

I think I lost you somewhere around #13. Bad colds do that to a girl.

Take care, you. Being around Claudia and folks like her - even on a blog - should tell you that you are in no way alone. :)

Kathleen said...

I hope all is well in Neverland.

*hugs* to all.

Babs said...

Ditto what Kat said. I hope everything works out well for all involved. I know how tough things like this can be.