After not eating in over thirty hours Garry was famished. He wolfed down his chili and fries like a man who had been on a shipwreck for several days.
After quickly demolishing his meal Garry felt like having a smoke. He walked down the hall to speak to the duty receptionist. Garry asked her if there was anywhere he could go to smoke a cigarette. The receptionist told Garry that there was a small outside courtyard that was all locked and gated on the outside fence. She said that the gate was kept locked in case anyone was thinking about leaving the hospital. Garry was given the directions to get to the courtyard.
As soon as he got there he opened the door that led to the courtyard. He reached in his jacket pocket for a pack of Marlborough cigarettes. His dad had been in the United States recently and had bought Garry a carton of red Marlborough cigarettes. Lionel had remembered that these were Garry’s favorite brand of American cigarettes. Garry pulled a cigarette out of his crumpled pack. He must have scrunched the pack up somehow when he was on the Greyhound bus. He lit the cigarette up using a lighter that had a picture of the late Marilyn Monroe on it.
Garry then heard a voice in the dimly lit courtyard. The voice was coming from a wooden bench. “Can I get a light off you man?” the Voice asked.
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?” Garry asked.
“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,” Garry said 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,” Wally said.
Wally Stanfield was also in his twenties. He had a stocky build, wore bifocal glasses and when he wore his baseball cap Wally bore a striking resemblance to Michael Moore the documentary film maker.
“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 on a Greyhound bus on my way to visit my aunt and uncle in Kelowna. Sometime during the ride I got the crap 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.”
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.”
“Sorry. That’s a far out story man. No wonder the doctors and nurses didn’t believe you.”
“So that’s my story? What’s yours?”