Let’s see, I left off from my previous story that I had only twenty- five minutes to make a decision what I was going to do once I got off the Staten Island Ferry. I knew what was waiting for me at home and the scenario in my head wasn’t playing so well. So with no planning, I decided to pull a stunt that just spiraled out of control from the moment it started to the very end. I was standing on the bus ramp just outside the Ferry terminal waiting to get on the bus, and faked an episode of hyperventilating.
The bad thing about that was I actually had to go through the symptoms to make it believable. My body started to tighten, mouth drying up, and my fingers were curling in looking like a stroke victim, I eventually passed out from lack of oxygen to my head because of breathing so fast. Before you know it, I was laying in the back of an ambulance being treated by the Paramedics. They rushed me to the emergency room where they started giving me I.V. asking me a bunch of questions like, my name, address, and my age.
I pretended that I didn’t understand what was going on and played it off pretty good. What I didn’t expect was for them to shove a tube up my nose to pump out my stomach. I learned later they had to make sure I didn’t have any drugs in my system and not overdosing on anything. I had to endure all that just because I didn’t want to go home. On top of that, I decided to fake a speech impairment by stuttering when talking.
When I was at my father’s house I watched a movie on television about two rock and roll singers named Jan and Dean. One of then got into a car accident and if I remember right, had injuries to his head that caused him to stutter for a while. So I decided to add that to my acting debut that evening, and it seemed to go over well. The nurses at the desk called my foster parents and within a couple of hours my mother came walking in with her son Barry.
I remember her looking at me asking what happened when I got off the ferry. At first I didn’t want to answer, but tried to explained while stuttering, how I was feeling dizzy and sick while on the ferry-boat. She just leaned over to me and asked if I was faking everything just so I didn’t have to come home? Dam, I thought I had this all down packed. Hell, even the nurses seemed to fall for it including the doctor, but she figured it out faster than I thought she would.
My mother knew something was up, and her son Barry figured that out just as fast. He asked had I seen that movie Jan and Dean which I told him no. But he didn’t buy that either. He knew I was full of shit soon I opened my mouth. She asked me if I wanted to leave the hospital and to go home with them… which I replied that I didn’t. She just looked at me with watery eye’s gave me a kiss on the forehead and left. I knew I had to continue this charade till I came up with a better plan, I just didn’t know what I was doing anymore.
I didn’t feel guilty at all wasting everyone’s time at the hospital with my antics. I did what I had to do to prevent myself from getting a beating from my foster-father at all cost. Who knows what would have happened had I gone straight home to face the music. Maybe he would have been nicer to me with no intentions of hurting me if only I gave him the chance. I guess no one will ever know the answer to that because I ended staying in that hospital for almost seven days till they released me, but not after visiting with a shrink that was assigned to my case.
I told him only half the truth what I did, and explained how scared I was going back home, but had to stick with this story hoping that when I got home, everyone would feel sorry for me. I had such a dear friend who visited me almost everyday. She was always upset to see me hurting the way I was. I told her some things, but she never knew about my secrets. She never knew about the beatings and I wasn’t completely honest with her that I was faking the whole thing.
I wanted too, but I felt bad doing that to her. To be honest, I think she knew all the time and didn’t want to say anything to upset me. She was my friend back then, and to this day, even though many years have passed since I last saw her, I will always remember her being there for me when it mattered the most and to this day I still lover her for that. The day I was discharged, my mother came to pick me up and I just sat in the car quietly as she drove.
As the music played on the radio, I looked out the car window wondering what was going to happen next. How long will I keep pretending that I couldn’t speak without stuttering? I just sat there in deep thought when a familiar song started playing I heard a couple of days ago at my father’s house…it was from the movie Jan and Dean.