I was running really early this morning and was going to have a full 5-7 minutes to leisurely jay walk across Colorado Blvd. to catch the bus. So, I took the elevator downstairs (it doesn’t smell in the mornings because it’s freshly cleaned), opened the controlled access door and run smack dab into one of my neighbors.
This neighbor, Mike, has met me numerous times and asks if I have a boyfriend every. Single. Time. And then curses when I tell him I do have a boyfriend.
So, I run into Mike and he is wearing scrubs, no shoes, ankle socks with non-stick nubs on the bottom and a giant white blanket. This is wear things got a little weird.
Mike starts telling me, without prompting from me mind you, about how he just got out of the hospital. He tells me that they won’t give you shoes when you leave the hospital and he had to walk from the Rose Medical Center back here with no shoes on and a blanket wrapped around him.
“I looked like a fucking discu… dista… dis… dis…”
“Disciple?” I asked, trying to be helpful.
Then he proceeded to show me how he had to walk home from the hospital.
But he wasn’t done there. Then he proceeded to tell me why he was in the hospital.
Apparently it all started last night, when he learned he was getting kicked out of his apartment by the management company. He was hanging out in his place, when he heard someone touch his door knob. He confirmed with his buddy and then went to see who was outside. There was no person, only a notice on his door handle from the sheriff’s department that his property was going to be seized. Or something like that.
Then, poor Mike had an anxiety attack. He called 911 “on myself” and told them that he needed to have someone come pick him up because he was either having a heart attack or he was having a panic attack. Of course, the operator asked him if he had taken anything that night.
Well, now we’re on to another story, and I’m starting to understand why Mike is so keyed up at 7:30 in the morning after getting out of the hospital.
Mike tells me that he is not a drug addict, but explains he had been drinking and his friend convinced his to do a line “this big” and indicates that it was no larger the white section of his fingernail. It was non-existent. No human being could ever make a line that small.
Mike explains to me the miniscule amount of cocaine he used last night and then segues into talking about how he thought he had the swine flu several weeks ago. It turns out he had strep throat. But it had a violent reaction in his body, he explains, because look at this.
At this point, Mike removes his blanket and shows me a purplish rash that covers nearly his entire arm. He informs me that the rash is over his entire body, but not to worry, it’s not contagious. Thank God.
I don’t know how this whole section talking about his rash and the steroid cream he’s using fit into him having a panic attack, but it must have been very important in his mind, because he described the infection in ridiculous detail.
Come to find out, it has no bearing on his panic attack. It was just another story he was telling me. Maybe it was to tell me he was in medical school. Because Mike is in medical school. He told me so several times.
So here I am, standing in the mailroom of my apartment complex with a guy dressed like Jesus who is describing in agonizing detail a purple-hued rash that is all over his body and the only thought going through my mind is, “How can I graciously bow out of this conversation before I miss my bus?”
Well, after the illness section was covered, we went back to the panic attack. At this point, I lost my grip on the controlled access door that I had been holding open for Mike the entire time in the hopes he would get the hint that I wanted him to go upstairs, but he wasn’t.
When the door almost slammed closed but I caught it, he said, “Were you holding that for me the whole time?”
I nodded. Inside my head, I wanted to tell him that he needs to go up to his place while he still has it and sober the fuck up.
So he finally starts heading through the door right as I glance outside to see my bus roll right by the bus stop.
And the last thing he says to me before he heads to the elevator was, “So, do you live here with your boyfriend?”