Monday, April 6, 2009



I have no real memory, but at some point I probably went and stayed with Carol Paulus for awhile, something I did periodically for years for a couple of reasons. I had nowhere else to go and Carol was better than most at dealing with me in the state I was in. Again, I have almost no recollection of what I was doing after getting out of the hospital, which probably means I was extremely loaded.

The constant intake of both drugs and alcohol into my already weakened system was sure to have made a bad situation worse. My mother had gone back to San Jose and was probably getting information from Carol as to my whereabouts and condition. Nothing improved in my life and that's the one thing I am sure of. Each episode lent itself, in part, to the cause of the next debacle which I seemed incapable of preventing or avoiding.

By the end of the summer of 1972, I believe, I found myself once again in the Park Sunset motel/hotel across the street from the Continental Hyatt House on Sunset Blvd., where I'd started my suicidal journey sometime earlier. It was now roughly 2 months after I'd overdosed at Gavin Murrell's house and I was isolated and alone. Fueled by nonstop drinking and lack of sleep I began to obsess over my feelings that life for me was no more than a series of failures and should end.

I had in my possession 13 3-grain tuinal that I'd stolen from Carol. These are large-dose barbiturates used for sleeping and are extremely lethal when taken in sufficient quantities and mixed with alcohol. I ingested all 13 along with a fifth of scotch. I was found unconscious in my bathroom, after falling into a second coma within 90 days.

Again, it was Carol Paulus who found me in this state and called the paramedics who took me by ambulance to USC Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles, rather than UCLA in Westwood. L.A. General, as it was known, was where everybody went who couldn't afford a choice. It was a huge place and packed to the rafters with indigent and poor.

On this second go round for me, I was just another person carted into the bowels of L.A. General like so many others that day. Although it's an incredibly gloomy place it was still a damn good hospital if you were in a coma. This time there were no round tables, little gray men, or anything else. This time there was only blackness.

I came to in a huge open ward with beds shoved into every possible open space available. It was drab and poorly lit and seemed to stretch on forever, with bed after bed of distressed human beings. Every kind of person imaginable was represented in that ward. As for me, I was just another one of the poor unfortunates who'd found my way there via my own actions and piss-poor luck.

I realized I was not doing too well with this suicide business, but was winning the battle of how to slowly, or perhaps quickly, destroy myself piece by piece. As I lay there in bed trying to focus my vision, I felt utterly alone and completely worthless. About that time a black nurse approached my bed, noticing I was conscious. She had a nice face and smiled at me asking how I felt.

I couldn't really respond to her question because I was still out of it from the beating I'd taken from the second overdose and it's compounding damage to my mind and body. I stared at her through my blurred vision and tried to speak but have no memory of what I might have said, possibly something about killing myself. All at once this seemingly pleasant lady's entire personality changed as she began to preach at me.

She was forcefully saying, that it was a sin against God Himself for me to have tried to kill myself, and that I had to repent there and then, in front of her, or my soul would be punished for eternity in hell. I suddenly was far more awake reacting to this stark raving insanity that had just begun to unleash itself on me. I began freaking out and started yelling at her to get the fuck away from me and leave me alone.

As in UCLA, the area quickly filled with hospital orderlies who were trying to determine what was wrong. Since I was yelling when they arrived to "get that crazy bitch outta here," they decided I was the problem and tied me to the bed with 4 cloth restraints and left me there freaking out. Completely demoralized and exhausted by this event I finally cried myself to sleep.

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