“I want to hear more about your grandfather another time but I see that the nurse is signalling for us to come inside,” said Garry.
“Yeah, next time you want to go for a smoke come find me in my room, 109. I think that we will be having some interesting conversations,” replied Wally.
Garry walked back to his room glad that he had made a friend. He sat alone in his room for a few minutes pondering his conversation with Wally.
Shortly after this he heard a knock on his door. It was Todd Finlay.
“Sorry for the interruption, man, but the guy down in emergency was freaking out pretty bad. I see that you finished all your supper. They must have forgot to send up your desert. It was apple pie and ice cream this evening. If you want I can go down to the kitchen to get you one. They usually have food left over,” said Todd.
“No thanks Todd. I’m pretty full from my supper,” answered Garry.
“Should I open your window now?” joked Todd.
“Not just yet,” Garry laughed.
“The receptionist told me you went out for a smoke break while I was gone,” said Todd.
“Yeah, I did,” said Garry taking a sip from the remainder of his coffee that had now turned cold.
“Was anyone out in the court yard with you?” asked Todd.
“Yeah, a guy named Wally Standfield.”
“Good. Wally’s an interesting guy. He likes to talk doesn’t he?”
“Actually, talking to him cheered me up a bit.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” said Todd putting his yellow legal pad on the desk in Garry’s room. He also took out his favorite silver Cross pen.
“I have to take a few notes on my clients when I have interactions with them. I enter some of them in the shift log book and some stuff I use for my case notes on my clients,” said Todd moving a chair closer to Garry’s desk. “It’s all part of my job.
If I don’t write them down immediately I’ll probably forget what we talked about an hour from now.”
“Where shall I start?’ Wally wondered out loud.
“Up until about two years ago my grandfather worked for the provincial government in B. C.
He was a scientific researcher for The Department of Fisheries. That was Grandpa’s official title anyway.”
“What was your Grandpa’s name? I might have heard of him. My father is a marine biology professor at UBC and he may have mentioned your grandpa’s name.” said Garry.
Grandpa’s name is Winston Stanfield. His parents named him after Winston Churchill. His full name was Winston Churchill Standfield. Most people who knew him thought he was crazy or if they had a gentler nature, they would say that he was eccentric.
Personally, I thought he was the coolest guy around. He definitely marched to his own drummer and refused to be confined by anybody’s rules. He had a diverse, eclectic set of interests and past times. If he were born about a century earlier he would have been admired as a rugged individualist. He was the last person that should have been working for the government.”
“Wow, your grandfather sounds like quite a fascinating individual,” Garry interjected.
“A character would probably be a better choice of words. Gramps is like a character in a novel. What can I say? He’s my hero.”
“So that’s my story? What’s yours?”
“Wally took a deep drag from his cigarette. “I tried to run away from the last group home I was at?”
“So why did you leave?’ asked Garry as he ground his finished cigarette into the ground with his boot.
Wally laughed. “It would take about an hour and three or four more cigarettes to tell you.”
“That bad, eh?”
‘Worse, They run the place like a jail. It’s all about rules, regulation and control of the unit. In short, all the things I hate. I value my personal freedom and privacy above everything else.”
“So how did you get to the hospital?”
“The police found me wandering the streets so they picked me up. I hadn’t taken my meds in a few days so I was starting to hallucinate a lot and was pretty disoriented,” Wally explained.
“When you were telling your story about your parents it reminded me that I have some weird relatives, too. Especially my grandfather.”
“What’s weird about your grandfather?” asked Garry. Do you want another cigarette?
“Well my grandfather has quite the story. It easily rivals yours about the reptilian creatures.”.
“Now you got me hooked. What’s his story?”
What’s Up Summer Edition (Part Two)
In the last episode of my non-fiction life I wrote about issues with my eyesight. During the summer I also had serious issues with my computer. I am very addicted to my computer so it was somewhat a disaster for me when it crashed. My computer’s crash was fatal. Fortunately, I took out an extended warranty when I bought it. My policy has been to purchase an extended warranty for anything that could result in expensive repairs or the need for replacement if they stop working. I have found this to be particularly important if one is buying electronic, technological items.
Fortunately, I had a back- up plan. As it took over a week for my computer to be serviced I needed a reasonable facsimile at home. A few months ago I purchased a couple of android tablets and had copied my books and music to the devices. Now, about the only thing I couldn’t do was write during the waiting period. Like I often say, I love technology when I can get it to work properly.
Episode 76 of the Lake Demon
Wally took a long deep drag off his cigarette and turned toward Garry . “Okay, I can see that you obviously took a shit kicking. That explains why you’re in the hospital but it doesn’t explain why you’re in the psych ward.”
Garry stared at the ground and focused on the yellow-orange leaves on the ground. ”Well, obviously they think I’m crazy.”
“So what would give them that idea?” Wally asked.
“The doctors and nurses didn’t believe me when I told them what I saw on the bus.”
“So, what did you see?”
“I saw several people on the bus that had reptilian features.”
“You mean like snakes and alligators?”
“No, their heads were shaped more like flesh eating dinosaurs like T-Rex and Allosaurus.”
“I think I watched a documentary about people who could change their appearances back and forth from people to dinosaurs.”
“I saw that show too. What they were saying was true, Wally.”
“Have you ever seen these reptilian creatures before the bus ride?
“I see them practically everywhere I go. Even at home. My parents both have this power. At least my dad does. My mother passed away about a year ago.”
“Wow. That’s a far out story man. No wonder the doctors and nurses didn’t believe you.”
What’s Up? End of Summer Edition (Part One)
This has been quite a challenging summer. I was really looking forward to the holidays and for about the first three weeks things went according to plan. I got more time to do the things I wanted to do. When I’m doing sub teaching during the year I often find that I don’t have the energy for my hobbies. I have a variety of interests including spending time with my wife, reading books and listening to audio books, practising my guitar and bass, blogging, going to the gym, riding my mountain bike, listening to music, computers and assorted electronic devices and writing fiction. I may have missed a few hobbies but I can always get to that later. For the first three weeks in July I got to do all these things.
Then a series of very negative events happened. I went to an appointment with my optometrist to find out if a new prescription for my glasses would help with my eyesight. Near the end of 2012 I had surgery to repair a detached retina in my left eye. The surgeon told me that I had waited too long to get the surgery and that I would never get my complete eyesight back.
After doing many tests on my eyes my optometrist confirmed the surgeon’s prognosis. She also found that I have cataracts in both of my eyes. We discovered that getting a new prescription for my eye glasses would have little if any effect upon my present state of vision. The best I could do was to buy large magnifying glasses to help with my reading. As I read voraciously the magnifiers did prove to be useful.
Episode 75 of The Lake Demon by Ken David Stewart
Garry turned towards his left the direction that he heard the voice come from. From a light streaming out from a window on the ward Garry could make out an old well used park bench. ”Mind if I join you?” asked Garry.
“Sure, this bench is a four seater for regular size people but only a two seater for extra-large guys. We have a couple of really big guys on the ward now. What’s your name, buddy?”
“Hi, I’m Wally Stanfield. So what brings you to our delightful facility?”
“Oh, I was just in the neighborhood and thought I’d check out the place,” answered Garry removing a Marlborough from its pack. “Man I hate these soft packs. They get crushed so easily and the cigarettes break. Would you like one?”
“I’d love to have a Marlborough. I haven’t’ smoked one in years,” said Wally.
Wally Stanfield was also in his early twenties. He had a slim build and he was by no means physically attractive. Wally had longish hair that was black and curly. He had a pronounced bald spot at the top of his head. He was already a victim of male pattern baldness.
“Okay, now all joking aside what’s your real story? Don’t worry. I’ll tell you mine and I’m not easily shocked.”
Garry leaned over and lit Wally’s Marlborough with his Marilyn Monroe lighter.
“I was a Greyhound bus on my way to visit my aunt and uncle in Kelowna. Sometime during the ride I got the shit kicked out of me by one of the other passengers. I just remember a fat, red neck, neo-fascist bastard that must have punched me in the face about twenty times. For an encore he kicked me in the ribs with his steel toe construction boots. The next thing I was aware of was the police taking me to the hospital.”