My Stay at the 5-Star Sanitarium


I am writing this from my stay at a sanitarium. It is very peaceful and quiet and I am eating a lot of chocolate and there are monkeys everywhere and they are hilarious and one of them keeps giving this cat a bath in the sink. He keeps scrubbing and scrubbing. I keep telling him that the cat is clean already and he just laughs and keeps scrubbing. The monkey smells and should really scrub himself but life is not always logical, especially in my sanitarium. The cat seems bemused by the whole thing, even though it is being washed with apple orchard scent palmolive, so I ask him does he not mind, with a question mark at the end, (but I refrain from using a fake british accent), and he just smiles demurely. They seem to have an understanding. There is heat so it is warm and I can adjust the heat up and down, which I do, frequently, to conserve energy. There is a washer and dryer so clearly it is a 5 star sanitarium and my clothes are very clean, including my favorite red hoodie sweatshirt that I wear every day a lot. I wish I could put the interior of my car in the washer but suspect that is not logical and I came here for logic. They have those dryer sheets so I feel pretty special and my static quotient is down while cleanliness is off the charts. I almost miss static, but not really.

There is no jello, which is surprising, but I vow one day, when I again have a kitchen of my own, to revisit my old hobby of making interesting jello mold constructions of colorful jiggly goodness. I think about having a little roadside jello stand outside my studio in lower Holyoke (which I call DownHo) and sitting out there all day till everyone buys my jello fabulosities and I make a mental note to wear sunscreen. I wonder if my jello stand will get jacked. I wonder what I’ll wear – probably my red hoodie sweatshirt and maybe the plaid apron I bought at Kelsey’s yard sale last fall. Then I remember that out here we call them tag sales.

I have gained 5 pounds as ordered but need to make an appointment at the dentist and stop biting my nails. The Fedex man left packages on the step which I suspect are tubes of money since they are too light to be full of sushi but they are not addressed to me so I don’t open them, and sometimes birds sing and squirrels look at me and then run off. There are brick walkways and I count the bricks. I tried multiplying them but got confused and it seemed pointless anyway.
There is plenty of laundry detergent and mineral water and fresh lemons and I am getting so much rest that sometimes I have energy and I clean things. The toaster is now free of crumbs. I took everything out of the fridge and cleaned it and then put it all back in but in different places because I couldn’t quite figure out the system and there is no one to ask. I laugh when I think about how no one will ever be able to find anything again and wonder if or when they’ll figure out that the entire contents of the fridge are now arranged according to the dewey decimal system. I haven’t tackled the freezer because it is full of meat and I don’t want to go there so much.

At night they show old dvds of Freaks and Geeks and I am reminded of high school and how I, and my hair, used to sit next to Jim Brown in history class and would show up high and then show him the entire contents of my pocketbook, one item at a time. He was from Texas and was very patient. He dressed slightly differently than the rest of us and was very nice. I wonder if he owns oil rigs now and thinking that makes me think that he should go to the gallery where my show is up and buy things before it comes down next week so I’ll have money to move to a new studio and won’t need to go stay at sanitariums.

I have grilled cheese and artichoke hearts on a TV tray while I watch Freaks and Geeks and the TV tray goes with the 80’s in the show. I am somehow reminded of one time in college when I mailed an actual handwritten letter in the real postal mail to my next door neighbor Al who was like my idol because he was accidentally hilarious and had a tarantula in a cage decorated with pictures from the SI swimsuit issue and he played Highway to Hell by ACDC at full blast every morning while showering. This meant that that was my alarm clock as well as my own shower theme song as our bathrooms where next to each other and we had the same morning class schedule. I am conditioned now such that when I hear that song I feel like it is time to shower. Anyway-I wrote telling him I was somehow in deepest imaginary ancient Mesopotamia and at a midnight ceremony they had sacrificed my maroon suede pumps by throwing them into a volcano. He didn’t think the sacrificial ceremony bit was so weird as was the act of mailing the letter. He kept that letter.

And most importantly, after 3 days I am finally able to clear the voices from my head.


In actuality I am housesitting at a place of sanitarium-like reprieve for not being my usual place of being. My usual place of being has a new neighbor and a new cat. For 3 weeks I have listened to stomping around at odd hours and a screaming, howling, crying cat whose favorite time to get crazy is between midnight and 5 am, although the howling and running and knocking over is pretty much 24/7. But between midnight and 5 am it likes to run around and knock things over even more, all while screaming and crying. Sleep deprivation studies show that this can make people need to go away. Only after 3 days of housesitting was I finally able to get that sad screaming sound out of my head and sleep through the night. And so now I need a Jim Brown, or anyone who is not fictional and has oil rigs or fedex packages of cash, to go buy all of my work so I will have funding to move to a new and improved place. It could happen.

The real point of this post is actually the Hampshire Gazette article in the post below. How amazing is it that Kristina Tedeschi wrote that article? I wonder if she has a pet trantula or listens to Highway to Hell in the shower? At any rate she gamely and fairly addressed the show addressing arts coverage and I think that’s spectacular. She was very nice on the phone, which goes with the niceness of the article.

Next Wednesday the voices tell me there will be an article in the Advocate. At any rate-I posted the text and one of the images from the article below because at my sanitarium we have high speed dsl. But at my sanitarium the PDFs I made were broken, like my ability to sleep. Maybe I’ll get that sorted out too.

One Response to “My Stay at the 5-Star Sanitarium”

  1. paula gottlieb Says:

    Mo- read the gazette article- THANKS!! much appreciated by a disgruntled artist trying to hang on by a very thin thread . Coverage of the arts in the paper has become really dismal… worse than spotty… it kind of mirrors the dominant culture’s disregard for creativity

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