I was 14, recently recovered from cancer, stuck with an unintentional addiction to pain pills. I went into a very deep depression. My parent were very worried so they put me into a pediatric psychiatric hospital. I was there for about a week. I was on the female side of the ward and for the first few days I was by myself even though all of the other girls had been assigned roommates. I came back from lunch one day to find that the other bed in my room was full of luggage. I had been assigned my first roommate. I had mixed feelings about this.
Flying Business class from New York to London, British crew on a United flight. Nice service from the flight attendants, typically lousy food as per all United flights, but unlike most United flights, the booze service was good. I asked for and received a couple of scotches before the miserable dinner and a couple more after to make up for the awful cuisine. As the captain announced the descent into Heathrow, very cute flight attendant came and knelt by my aisle seat and gave me a bottle of champagne. She said it was because I had been so nice and polite during the flight, said “Please” and “Thankyou” and smiled at the attendants. Seems that her experience of Biz class passengers was not normally so positive. As an Englishman, this disappointed and surprised me.
This wasn’t in a woods, but it was in the foothills of a mountainside in a remote and isolated area. I lived on the edge of hills with extensive hiking trails that stretched past city after city in Southern California. Everyday I’d climb one hill and follow its curves back down. It was my daily exercise routine and my serenity. One year there was a major fire that started nearby and burned the brush for a good twenty miles. After that a fence was installed around the entrance, with a gate that was open half the year. The other half of the year it was locked during fire season. I had to climb the fence during the dry season to still hike.
I climbed the fence like usual, walked in a short way, and started my steep ascent up the switchbacks, when I heard a voice. I stopped and listened, a red flag, as I was alone hiking in a remote area. Then I heard several voices, and I felt relieved as there was a group of people ahead of me on this trail. I hadn’t seen them, but I heard them. I continued up, and on the third switchback the voices began to argue, yelling loudly at each other. I stopped in my tracks and looked up to see one lone man chugging up the trail, dressed in business attire (mind you, he had to climb the fence to get in) yelling at the top of his lungs, using three different voices. I froze. My hair stood up on end. I turned and ran down the trail as fast as I could to get out of there. I would not hike there again.
Thirty minutes later I heard sirens going up the hill and then I heard them again, back down the hill. This said to me that the man wasn’t dead after all. But that he was critical as sirens are only used for the critically ill. Later that afternoon the police called me to wrap up their report. The man I came across was a homeless man in his fifties. He had a heart condition that the officer could see. As the officer walked up to him the man jumped up, but couldn’t get very far as his legs were very swollen. The officer assessed him and called the paramedics. Soon after arriving at the hospital the man passed away. At least he wasn’t alone.
She finally walked into the room and introduced herself, Emily was her name. I was polite but I had severe anxiety and she could tell. She began to tell me why she was there. She was 17 at the time and her mom suspected she was on drugs, she told me she would only be there a few days until they could confirm that she really wasn’t on any drug. After spending quite a bit of time with Emily I opened up and we would talk all night. She would lend me her chapstick all the time because I had the worst chapped lips of my entire life. We would laugh and make silly songs and tell each other our life goals.