So this month, I’m rotating at a psychiatric hospital for my psychiatry rotation. Let me just begin by telling you that everything I have imagined about these psych wards has become quite the reality in just these first few days of my rotation. I’m sure as the month goes by, I’ll have some pretty weird shit happen to me while I’m on this psych ward… but for now, let’s go back to the beginnings of my ventures into the world of psych.
I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a story from my college years. Freshman year, actually. First semester. (It’s so timely because I’m also doing this rotation back in the town where I went to college.) It’s not really scary as it is just kind of a weird, unsettling sequence of circumstances. But sometimes, I’ll think back on the incident and be like, “Huh… I suppose I was pretty lucky nothing really happened,” because knowing my luck, 9 times out of 10, things could’ve ended badly. But here goes…
Let me first begin by telling you that for a while there, I was attracting bad luck and weird shit out the wazoo and a whole bunch of really strange crap was happening to me—being followed while driving home, getting stuck in elevators, lights going out in elevators, elevators not working and taking me to the wrong (and under construction) floors in buildings (I just don’t have the best of luck with elevators), sleep paralysis, taking wrong turns that end up leading me basically into the depths of hell, all my ghost stories (especially the phone call), all my hospital stories, and just basically you’re everyday WTF moments that just make you think “Okay, this dude has some really bad luck.” I mean, I will admit that I’m also a little baby when it comes to these things, so my overactive fear just kind of amplifies these situations often into more than what they really were. And like 50% of the shit that has happened to me have been hella funny slapstick situations, so it’s not all scary/weird. But you’ll see that sometimes… things could’ve ended badly, like this one:
I was taking the basic, introductory psychology course because it was required as a general education class at my university. And for that class, we were required to participate in a study conducted by psychology majors and professors at the university. Like, it was a big chunk of our grade (like 10% or something), and I wasn’t doing that great on the quizzes and the exams, so I needed every point I could get to keep my grade in the class.
But anyway, so, I logged onto that database and just looked for a simple study that I could participate in and just get it over with. So, I clicked on one, saw that it was scheduled at 3:00 on a day that I would be done with classes, and the study only lasted I think maybe an hour or so, so I signed up for that one. And this was about two days before the study was supposed to go down.
Well, the next day, I was in class all day, and by the time I got home, I checked my email and got a confirmation email that I was scheduled to go to a psychology study at 3:00 A.M. …3:00 A.M. … … ..3:00 A.M.! I don’t know how I could have been so stupid as to have overlooked that. And the policy of the studies was that you could not opt out of them after a 24 hour period or else there would be a 5% deduction from your grade and a whole 10% if you just flat out don’t show up. And so there I was, at like 6 in the afternoon, dreading the fact that I’d have to stay up all night just to drive back to campus to the psychology building to participate in a study at 3 in the GD morning. …but then I think about it and then I was like, “That’s so weird. Why would a study be scheduled at 3 in the morning?”
But then… I don’t know. If you haven’t realized it already, half of the things that have happened to me in the past was because I am probably the stupidest person you’ve ever met. I mean, any regular person would have confirmed the time before signing up for anything. I guess in the back of my mind, I was like, “Yeah, of course it’s at 3:00 P.M. Nothing would be scheduled for 3:00 A.M.,” so I didn’t pay attention to it. But of course… right? And on top of that, any normal person with a normal, functioning brain would have been like, “Eh. It’s some mistake. I’m just not gonna go because it makes absolutely no sense to have a school function at 3 in the effing morning.”
But anyway, that entire evening, I was just moaning and groaning about the whole situation. And so when it came time, I got to the building and walked up the steps to the doors. And in one of the doors, I saw that there was a “wet floor” sign stuck between the door and the doorjam to keep it open, so I was like, “Okay, so this study is probably a real thing and they did that to keep the doors open.”
And then I mosey on into the empty building and walk around for a little bit, looking for signs of anyone else who might be there. But there wasn’t. I didn’t even really know where I was supposed to go for the study. So, after like five minutes of being in that scary, empty building alone, I turn and make my way back to the door, thinking, “Whatever, this isn’t worth it. I’m out of here. If they wanna take points off, go for it.”
But just turn around, some guy comes out of one of the hallways and stops me. I literally almost shit my pants. Holy crap, he scared me. But after I regained my wits, I get a good look at him and he just seemed like any regular college guy, wearing a hoodie and shorts. He was maybe a few years older than me. He asks me, “What are you doing here?”
"I think there’s supposed to be a psychology study tonight? It was scheduled at 3:00 A.M." And by that time, it was like 3:15.
And this is when red flags start flying through the air. He didn’t say anything for a good ten seconds. Then he tells me, “Oh. Okay. Me, too.” You just kinda had to be there. The way he said it. The way he paused. And the way he kept looking over to the stairwell leading downstairs. It just gave me chills. I know I was probably reading too much into it and being a big scaredy weenie baby as usual… but IT WAS FREAKING 3 IN THE MORNING! THAT’S WHEN THE SHIT GOES DOWN!
"Do you want to go downstairs and check it out?"
"… … …I think I’m just going to go home."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. Sorry." And I turn and walk the fastest I ever have to the door and bolt out the building, race down the steps and to my car, and speed back home to my apartment.
That night, I emailed the class coordinator and CC’ed my psychology professor, explaining myself and what had happened, apologizing for missing the study, and hoping that they’d reconsider taking any points away and just let me sign up for another one.
The next morning, the class coordinator emailed me, apologizing multiple times, saying that the scheduling system made a mistake and the study wasn’t supposed to be scheduled for 3:00 A.M. He goes on to tell me, “Thankfully, you’re the only one who signed up for it, so it wasn’t too big of a mess.” …shit, man, it just gave me chills again.
Why was the door propped open? Why was that guy in there? WHY DID I NOT DOUBLE CHECK THE TIME BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR THE STUDY?! …JUST WHY?!?!!
I don’t know, mi amigos. It was just one of those situations where things just didn’t add up correctly. I might not be the best at math, but I’m serious. Alarms were going off in my head the whole time. One or two things seemed out of place that made it more than just a mishap or common mistake. But I’m glad I listened to my conscience that night and (speed) walked away. Because knowing my luck, things could’ve ended badly.
Hỏi Tình (Ask Love) - instrumental
-from Paris by Night 75: Về Miền Viễn Đông
Hỏi tình, hỏi tình là tình mãi xa xăm,
Tình ơi là ơi xin lại… cho dù…
Even though I’ll wait for hundreds of years.
My latest adventure. Adventure 16: Utah - Zion National Park