Waking up from modern sedation is something that I will never get used to. I heard the voice in the blackness, “Wake up Mr. Swift.” I felt someone shaking my shoulders and repeating, “Mr. Swift, you need to wake up.” From the blackness I opened my eyes and saw a figure leaning over me. I tried to sit up but was firmly held down.
“Mr. Swift,” the man above me spoke in an authoritative voice, “I will need your assistance in changing your diaper.”
Diaper! What was he talking about? Only then did I feel the dampness around my groin. I tried to sit up, but my arms were held tight against my chest. I could not move my arms. I raised my head and saw the white canvas that covered my arms and chest. “What is going on?” I asked. “And who are you? Where am I?” The questions streamed out as I regained my mind from the fog of the drug.
“Mr. Swift,” the man above me said, “You are in the Adult Detention Center in a seclusion cell. I am Officer Davis. “You have been placed in restraints until your transfer to Oak Hill Lodge in the morning.”
Placed in restraints!! Suddenly I realized the cause for the tightness around my chest and abdomen. I was in a straitjacket. Around my ankles I had leather cuffs connected by a leather strap.
“Mr. Swift,” Officer Davis interrupted my thoughts, “once again, your diaper is wet and it needs to be changed. When I tell you, lift your hips so that I may remove the used diaper and replace it with a fresh one.” As he spoke, I could hear the sound of Velcro being separated. I felt the rush of cool air on my thighs as he pulled the fabric aside exposing the diaper.
“What happened?” I asked. “I haven’t lost control since I was a small child.”
“That is an effect of the sedation,” Davis said as he pulled the adhesive tabs that held the plastic coated disposable diaper tight against my groin and hips. “Standard operating procedure for inmates in this level of isolation is to place them in a special smock that resembles a hospital gown, then strap on a straitjacket and leg hobbles. The restraints will not be removed until you have been transferred and evaluated at the hospital. I need you to raise you hips now,” he added.
I felt the cool air around my penis and balls. He pulled the diaper from under me, folded it and placed it in a plastic bag as he told me to lower my hips. I saw that he had on latex protective gloves as he took a wash cloth from a steel basin and I felt the warmth of the damp cloth as he cleaned me. He picked up and unfolded a fresh diaper, the plastic making a unique sound as he did so. I was again ordered to lift my hips as he placed the diaper under me. Before closing the diaper, he sprinkled talcum powder over my penis and balls. He sealed the diaper snuggly on me and closed the blue smock, pressing the Velcro together to keep it closed.
“I will be back in a moment with some drinking water,” he stated in an almost monotone voice as he stood up. Collecting the basin, powder and used diaper, he left the cell. I looked around me. The padding was covered in a green vinyl that, I later learned, made it easier to keep the cell sanitary. The room was about seven feet long and four feet wide. The door was also covered in the same padding with a hole near the top for an observation window. When the door was closed the padding appeared to be continuous.
Lying prone on the padded floor with a vinyl pillow under my head, warm from my body heat, I became aware of the snugness of the straitjacket. It appeared to be new; the canvas was stiff and somewhat coarse as it held my arms across my lower chest in a very tight hug. The collar of the jacket was wide around the neck but small enough to make it difficult to pull my head through it. I could feel the three straps that closed the jacket down my back and the leather strap and buckle that held the sleeves of the jacket. There was no crotch strap because of the isolation cell smock that covered my upper legs, ending just below the knee. From previous training I knew that they had placed me in a Humane straitjacket. It was a relatively easy jacket to get out of unless they had added additional straps. They had. I could see the locking leather cuffs just above my elbow and they were connected with a leather strap behind my back pulling my upper arms tight against my upper body.
Officer Davis came back into the cell with water in a closed container with a straw. “Drink slowly,” he cautioned. As I sipped the cold water that alleviated my thirst, the young, handsome officer asked if I remembered how and why I was in the padded cell. The memory of the previous few hours came flooding back.
I had arrived home from my job as a motorcycle police officer about six yesterday evening. Yeah, I’m a cop. I took off my leather jacket that had that military uniform fit, snug but not too tight, and hung it up. I went to the bedroom, removed the knee high boots that I kept perfectly polished. I would clean them later that evening, as I usually did, I thought. I was proud of being an officer and a sharp appearance was part of being a good cop. I changed from my form fitting uniform into a tee shirt, snug jeans (I hated the baggy look so popular with teenagers today) pure white sweat sox and running shoes.
I looked at myself in the full-length mirror as I left the bedroom and paused. The physical training at the police academy (I graduated only four months ago) had improved my appearance. I stood five feet, eleven inches tall, weighed about 165 pounds, had broad shoulders, a narrow 31 inch waist and my swimmer’s body filled the jeans and tee shirt perfectly. I kept my light brown hair short, about three or four inches long, perfect military length. My hazel eyes evaluated the reflection and I was satisfied with what I saw.
It had been a long day and I decided to have a light dinner, put on some music, and relax in front of the computer.
I had been on the computer for about ten minutes when there was a loud, sharp knock at my front door. Turning off the computer, I went to see who would bang on my door this hour of the evening.
“Are you James Swift?” said one of two police officers at the door looking at me and waiting for an answer.
“Yes, I’m Jim Swift.” I recognized one of the officers as a classmate of mine from the academy who was assigned to a different division.
“Officer Swift, I have a warrant to take you into custody. Dr. Clarke, staff psychiatrist, has petitioned the court under the Baker Act to confine you at Oak Hill Lodge for 72 hours observation,” the officer stated as both entered my apartment and closed the door behind them.
“There must be some mistake,” I said nervously. I could not hide the look of surprise on my face, “why would I be taken to a mental hospital? I haven’t done anything.”
“No mistake, Officer Swift. Place your hands on the wall above your head and step back,” the second officer ordered. He whispered “Sorry, Jim” before he proceeded. “Do you have anything in your pockets that might be a danger to me?”
“No, I don’t,” I barked back. The officer kicked my legs wide apart to keep me off balance as he proceeded to frisk me. Finding my wallet, the officer reached into the back pocket my snug fitting jeans and removed it, as well as the keys in my front left pocket.
Finishing the frisk, the officer ordered me to place my right hand on the back of my head. As I did, I felt the cold steel as the handcuff was closed around my wrist. Seizing my right arm, the officer pulled it behind my back with the palm facing out; then pulled me to a standing position as my left arm was forced behind my back and I heard the clicks of the ratchet as the cuff was closed. It took the officer a few moments to set the double lock on the handcuffs. Well done, I thought to myself, exactly by the book.
While being handcuffed, the other officer placed my wallet and keys in a clear plastic bag and sealed it closed.
“You will now be transported to the Adult Detention Center,” the second officer spoke, “where you will be processed into the facility and then taken before a judge who will rule on Dr. Clarke’s petition. If the petition is granted, and it will be, you will be held in the ADC until tomorrow morning as it is too late to transfer you to the hospital now.
Jim tried to get away from the grip of the second officer holding his arm as he said in a loud voice, “I don’t want to spend a night in jail. I didn’t commit a crime and I’m not crazy.”
“Sorry, Officer Swift,” the second officer stated in a firm voice as he held on to my left arm, “you know that these are procedures we must follow. Don’t make it hard on yourself, come along peaceably or we will be forced to place you into additional restraints.
Realizing that it was futile to resist, I stopped struggling. “OK, I’ll go quietly.”
“That’s good, Officer Swift,” the first officer said as he opened the door. I was lead out of my apartment and heard the door closed as we went down the hall. We reached the police car moments later and waited as the back door of the cruiser was opened. The back cage of the car has two specially designed seats. I was guided into the seat; my cuffed arms were eased into a channel at the back of the seat. Two belts were drawn across each of my upper arms and crossed over my chest and tightened forcing my back against the seat. A lap belt was placed low across my hips and pulled tight.
“These new seats allow us to transport prisoners with greater security for officers and greater comfort for the prisoner,” the second officer commented as though he didn’t know me. He closed the rear door and got into the front seat. As the car accelerated, I felt the straps pulling against my body, the grip of the handcuffs on my wrists and felt humiliated having been arrested by two fellow officers, one of whom I knew.
Being a motorcycle cop, I did not have any experience of processing a prisoner into the jail. Arriving at the ADC, I was escorted to a small cinderblock room painted in white empty except a bench against one wall. At the other end of the room was a second door. A third officer came through the second door with a plastic container.
“Officer Swift, I am going to remove your handcuffs now. As your hands are released, place them on the back of your head,” the first officer instructed. I nodded my head signaling that I understood. I stood there for about a minute as the officer put his handcuffs away and removed the lid to the container. “Sit down and take off your right shoe and hand it to me,” the first officer continued. I handed the shoe to the officer who inspected it and placed it in the container. The same procedure was followed with my left shoe. “Remove your socks and place them in the container. Now stand up and take off your jeans, fold them and place them in the container. Next, take off your shirt, fold it neatly and place it in the container. Do the same with your jockey shorts,” the officer continued step by step as I complied with his directions. Now I stood naked and instinctively moved my hands in front of my privates.
The third officer placed the lid on the container and taped a paper with “Swift, James” on it. “Follow me,” the third officer commanded as he led me through the second door into a room with a shower stall and bench. “You will shower and dry yourself off here,” the second officer directed as he pointed to the shower stall.
The shower felt good and I felt a little better as I dried myself off. As I came out of the shower I was handed a jock strap, jail shirt and pull on pants and slip on canvas shoes, all orange in color. After putting on the jail uniform, I was lead to the booking desk where my picture was taken and I was fingerprinted. A clear plastic wristband was secured around my left wrist. It had my name and the notation “Involuntary commitment.”
Much to my surprise, I was again handcuffed with my hands behind my back. I was moved to a small holding cage and placed inside. “Mr. Swift” the guard explained, “in a moment we are going to take you to night court for a hearing before Judge Finch regarding your involuntary commitment for observation. After the judge has ruled in your case, you will be brought back here and then assigned a cell for the night.”
I waited nervously for about ten minutes before a deputy came to get me. When he finally came the deputy seized the handcuffs locked around my wrists and I was forcefully guided down several corridors and taken into a courtroom. You may not understand the extreme embarrassment and humiliation I felt being taken before a judge in an orange jail uniform in handcuffs.
“Your honor,” the city junior attorney spoke, looking at a manila folder with several papers, “Dr. Clarke, police staff psychiatrist, asks this court for an order of involuntary commitment to Oak Hill Lodge for Officer James Swift for a period of not less than 72 hours.”
The judge looked at me over his reading glasses. “Mr. Swift, this court has great respect for Dr. Clarke. If he feels you need to be held for observation, there is no reason to question his judgement. So ordered.” As the judge entered a note into his computer terminal, I was moved back to the holding cell.
Once again I was locked in the holding cage. I could not believe the events of this evening. A few hours ago I was home looking forward to a quiet evening but now I was an inmate in the ADC, not charged with a crime, but being held overnight until I would be transferred to a mental hospital. How could this be happening? Why would Dr. Clarke (who he had met only once while in training at the police academy) want me committed? Repeatedly I asked myself these questions, unable to find an answer that made sense.
About fifteen minutes after being placed back in the holding cell, the second officer appeared with a man in a white coat carrying a steel try. “Mr. Swift, I am a paramedic here at the ADC,” the man in white introduced himself as the cage door was unlocked. I noticed that I was no longer Officer Swift, but Mr. Swift. “A standing order of the ADC is that anyone being transferred to the mental hospital for evaluation be kept in restraints in an isolation cell. I am going to give you an injection to help you remain calm……”
“No, no, please, no shots, I don’t want to be drugged,” I pleaded as I attempted to back away from the paramedic holding a syringe. The second officer seized me around the neck in a chokehold as the medic cleaned the injection site with alcohol on a cotton ball and then jabbed the syringe into my upper arm. Seconds later I lost control of my body, as it became limp and the officer eased me to the floor. A wheelchair was brought to the cell and I think I recall being lifted into it. While I was not asleep, I was not awake either. I am not sure of the details, but I think I was wheeled to an elevator and taken down to the basement level of the ADC. I remember seeing a steel door with a small observation window. The door was opened into the hallway revealing a padded cell.
“Yes, now I remember,” I said to Davis, “everything up to being brought down here from the holding cell,” I answered, “after that I don’t remember anything until you woke me up.”
Officer Davis continued to give me water. He filled in the missing information. “It took four deputies to drag you into the isolation cell. You were stripped of your jail uniform, the diaper was taped on and the isolation/suicide smock was put on. The smock is a new item for us; nylon coated on the outside and has quilted fibers between. Next, the Humane straitjacket (I was right!) was strapped on. It took two men to hold you up and a third officer to get your limp arms into the closed sleeves of the jacket. After the jacket was strapped on the pinion straps were added. You were placed on your back and the ankle hobbles were locked in place. That’s enough water for now,” he said as he removed the straw from my lips. “I will check you again in the morning before you are transferred. The lights will be turned off so you may sleep,” Davis said as he left the cell. I watched as the door was closed and heard the muffled sound of the lock as it was set. The bare light bulb in the wire cage above me was turned off and only a small stream of dim light in the cell came through the observation window. Then even that was closed and I was in total darkness.
I pulled my arms against the canvas sleeves, but the straps held secure. I thought back again over the events of the past hours: in a short period of time I had lost my dignity, my privacy and my freedom. Suddenly I felt a wave of tiredness spread over my body and I had a difficult time in keeping my eyes open. Oh, shit, the water must have been drugged……
I woke up to the sound of the door being opened to my cell. Officer Davis came into the room with the steel basin and fresh diaper. “Ah, I see you are awake,” he said as he looked at me helpless on the floor of the padded cell.
Once again I felt humiliated as he went through the same procedure of changing the diaper that I was forced to wear. It only took him three minutes to complete the process.
“The people form Oak Hill have arrived,” Davis said as he left the cell. “Good luck, Mr. Swift.” His remark puzzled me but I only had a few seconds to ponder on his comment. Two men dressed in all white, shirts, pants and shoes came into my cell.
“Mr. Swift, my name is George and my partner is Mike. We have come to take you to Oak Hill,” George said as he knelt down on my right side and his partner on the left. Mike, without comment, lifted my head and slipped on a rubber muzzle over my mouth and adjusted the straps that went around my head. My sweat quickly sealed the rubber to my face and, as much as I tried, I could not open my mouth. I had been gagged!
Officer Davis appeared at the door and spoke to George, “Here are the papers from the court and ADC. After his evaluation, he is to be brought back here to be processed out of the jail.”
George took the papers, shook Davis’ hand, thanked him for his help, and then, signaling his partner with a simple head movement they proceeded to lift me up to my feet. With the ankle hobbles, I could only manage short steps and moved slowly. In the hallway was a wheelchair for me and after I was seated a strap was secured across my lap and locked behind the chair, Mike pushed the wheelchair through the jail, past other inmates working in the hallways. I saw them look at me bound and gagged and heard stifled giggles and then uncontrolled laughter as I was pushed past them. My embarrassment and humiliation being seen in an isolation smock, leather ankle hobbles, straitjacket and rubber muzzle was so strong I tried to hide my face by lowering my head.
Finally we arrived at the sally port where the ambulance was parked. I was pulled up from the wheelchair and walked the few steps to the waiting stretcher. Picking me up as if I weighed nothing, George and Mike placed me on the stretcher and locked straps over my chest, waist, thighs and ankles. I was held almost totally immobile and could only move my head and feet. The stretcher was put in the ambulance, the wheels were locked and George got in the back with me. Mike closed the doors and moments later the ambulance pulled out from the garage and headed for Oak Hill Lodge. During the half-hour trip George and Mike talked about sports and news events totally ignoring me.
Finally we arrived at the hospital. The stretcher was wheeled to a treatment room and both orderlies left, closing and locking the door behind them. The room was about ten by ten, the cinderblock walls painted in institutional green. There was a bared window in the front of the room and a door behind me. I didn’t have to wait long before George and Mike came back with a male nurse.
“Good morning, Mr. Swift, I am Nurse Mark Reynolds,” he said to me looking at a medical chart. “Release the stretcher straps, help Mr. Swift to the chair, remove the stretcher, and bring a patient uniform,” the nurse ordered. As the orderlies started to remove the straps, that held me to the stretcher, the nurse continued, “Mr. Swift, you are here for a court ordered evaluation that takes about three to five days. Dr. Clarke, the doctor in charge, will see you this afternoon. You will take psychological tests administered by our staff and Dr. Clarke will go over the results with you.” As he spoke, the muzzle was removed and the ankle hobble was unlocked and taken off.
George returned with a white uniform and slippers. He had me stand up and, much to my relief, started to remove the straitjacket. He eased the jacket off my arms that tingled as blood rushed down towards my hands. I was directed to remove the jail smock and the diaper and was handed a jock strap, pull on pants and then the pull over shirt. Except for the color, the uniform was exactly like jail clothing. As I picked up the shirt I saw stenciled on the back “Mental Patient Ward D.” I put on the slippers and looked at Nurse Reynolds. A second identification bracelet was put on my left wrist, this one had my name and “involuntary evaluation commitment” written on it.
“This is a high security, locked ward, Mr. Swift,” he said. As long as you behave restraints will not be needed. Infraction of the rules will result in punishment. Is that clear?”
“Yes, I understand.” I said.
“George will show you to your room, “Nurse Reynolds continued, “and give you a tour of the ward. You are free to read, watch TV, play games,” he said and left the room.
I felt great relief in not being in restraints. I was shown my room and then given a quick tour. There was not much to see. From the locked door that was the entrance to the ward there was a hallway with patient rooms, offices, two treatment rooms, and the nurses station where the nurses and orderlies kept records. There was one door that was not labeled and George did not mention what was behind it. At the end of the hallway was the dayroom with the usual chairs with cushions, square table and wood chairs, and one TV.
“At this time, there is only one other patient on this ward,” George commented as he showed me my room. The rooms were 12 feet deep and 10 feet wide. Each room contained a single hospital bed, desk and chair, and a small side cubicle with toilet, sink and shower.
“You may read or watch TV until lunchtime.” George continued, “This afternoon you will start your testing and you will meet with Dr. Clarke around 5 p.m.” With that, he left me alone in my room.
I took the opportunity to use the bathroom, just incase I would be forced to wear those awful disposable diapers again. I went to the day room that was empty and read the morning paper.
Lunch was brought to the ward about 11:30 in the morning (I could see the clock in the nurses station) and realized I had not eaten since I had been taken into custody. The food was actually good and the coffee was strong: George even allowed me to have a second cup.
I watched the noon news on TV and when the soap operas came on I went to look out the mesh barred window. The grounds of the hospital were magnificent and had a manicured appearance. I wondered if I would be allowed out during my evaluation time.
“Mr. Swift,” George said, tapping me on the shoulder to get my attention, “it is time for your first test session.” He took my arm above the elbow and escorted me from the dayroom to an office down the hallway. The door was open and sitting behind a desk was an attractive young woman, about 25 to 30, brunette hair pulled back into a pony tail, beautiful blue eyes, somewhat on the thin side wearing a long white coat that allowed an obstructed view of her ample cleavage She had long legs and was sitting with her legs crossed. I have to admit I have a thing for long legs.
“Ms. Smathers, this is Mr. James Swift.”
“Thank you, George. Please have a seat Mr. Swift,” she said in a soft but firm voice. As the door was closed she continued, “may I call you Jim? My name is Joyce, I am a psychometrist, a person who gives psychological test.”
“I understand,” I said somewhat nervously.
“There is nothing to be afraid of here,” she told me, looking over the top of her reading glasses. “There are no right or wrong answers to these tests. During the next few days I will give you several tests: first will be the WAIS, an intelligence test: the TAT and Rorchasch Inkblot Test……”
“The one that looks like a bat?” I asked
“Yes, that’s the one,” she continued, “the Berry, and the MMPI. These other test will provide a clue as to your psychological makeup. Do you have any questions before we begin?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I replied. I was familiar with most of the tests, having taken three psychology classes in college. Some of the tests, such as the Berry, are quick and do not require much time or energy. Other tests, like the WAIS, take up to three hours to complete. With breaks for the bathroom and stretching, we only completed two of the tests. At about 5 p.m. George knocked on the door and entered.
“Sorry Ms. Smathers, but Dr. Clarke would like to see Mr. Swift now.”
“That’s OK, George, we have finished for today,” she said, then turned to me, “we will continue in the morning and tomorrow afternoon. I will be able to give Dr. Clarke the results of your tests the next day.” We both stood up and she shook my hand, “you have been a cooperative subject. Thank you,” she told me.
George took my arm, “Come along, Mr. Swift. Let’s not keep Dr. Clarke waiting.
Once again, I was firmly escorted to another office.
I entered the office of Dr. Clarke and he motioned for me to sit down. “Thank you, George, I will call you when we have finished. Please close the door on your way out.” George had a strange look on his face as he left.
Hesitating a moment, Dr. Clarke went and looked through the peephole in the door. Satisfied that we were alone he asked, “How are you doing Jim?”
“It has been a difficult 24 hours,” I said. “I didn’t expect I would be spending last night in the ADC. I thought I was to be taken into custody this morning.
“Yes, someone changed the time on the paperwork,” Clarke said. “That is the first irregularity to be noted. Has anything else gone wrong,” he asked, sitting in the chair next to mine.
“No, except for being drugged twice at the jail. That seemed strange,” I replied.
“The sedation given to you during the night was not authorized Jim. I did not think they had that drug at the jail,” Clarke commented as he made additional notes on his pad.
We continued to talk about my assignment. About two weeks ago I met with Dr. Clarke and my captain late at night at my apartment. There had been reports of patient abuse at the hospital. I was asked to be an undercover agent to investigate the charges. It was explained that there was some danger to the assignment, but Dr. Clarke would be my contact during the involuntary commitment. If anything happened, he should be able to get me out of the hospital quickly. I accepted the assignment, although it would take me off of motorcycle duty for a week.
I met with Dr. Clarke one additional time two nights ago. He provided me with what I should expect while at the mental health clinic.
“I will see you tomorrow about this time,” Dr. Clarke said as he picked up the phone and asked George to come get me. “Good luck, Jim,” he said. We looked at each other and then laughed, realizing the phrase from Mission Impossible.
There was a knock at the door and Dr. Clarke said, “come in George.” He entered as I stood up. “We will not need any medication for this patient tonight,” the doctor said as he gave the orderly a slip off of his prescription pad. “I will see Mr. Swift tomorrow at the same time.”
George looked at the paper and smiled, “I’ll have this put on his chart right away, doctor.” Ordering me to stand up and took hold of my arm, “This way, Mr. Swift.”
Back at the dayroom my dinner was on the table. I was hungry and enjoyed the meal. There was a choice of soft drinks or iced tea and water. The iced tea was freshly brewed a surprise where “institutional cooking” was served.
One other patient was watching TV while I had my meal. After I finished I went over and sat in the chair next to him. The evening news had just started and I turned to introduce myself.
“Hi, I’m Jim Swift,” I said as I offered a handshake.
He shook my hand, “David Trotter. I hear you are here on a Barker order. Same here” Barker is the name of the law that provides for involuntary commitment. “Call me Dave. I have been here for three days and hope to be released tomorrow.”
We watched the news and talked during commercials. Dave was a college student, majoring in psychology, of all things. His professor had asked for a volunteer to go through the Baker process during one-week winter break and make a report to the class.
“Automatic 4.0 for the class,” Dave smiled. He had a great smile with perfectly white teeth. This 20 year-old was blond, blue eyed, no beard or mustache, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. The hospital uniform did not hide his solid chest and defined muscles in his arms. He could have been a double for Michaelangleo’s statue David, his namesake. This boy would have no trouble getting the woman or man of his choice.
We talked for several hours, ignoring the TV. Dave was interested in my being a motorcycle cop and asked questions about my cycle, my uniform (especially the boots) and unusual experiences I had on the job. I asked about his school, sports, and finally dating. Dave said he did not have time to date, he spent his time studying and varsity swimming (backstroke and butterfly). He did not have time for social activities and felt guilty not being able to study while he was confined in the asylum.
The orderly Mike came up as we were talking. “Lights-out in 15 minutes. Return to your rooms,” he ordered. We went down the corridor and I found that Dave’s room was across from mine and we said goodnight.
Mike came into my room. He motioned for me to sit on my bed. “Patient rooms are locked from the outside during the night. You are to sleep in your uniform but you may remove your slippers. A fresh uniform will be given to you in the morning If you need help during the night, use this buzzer,” he continued and showed me where it was attached to the bed. Do you have any questions?
“No, thank you.”
“If you need it, the doctor has authorized a sleeping pill,” Mike said as he left the room. “Just ring and I will bring it to you.”
“I don’t think I’ll need it, but thanks,” I said yawning.
I watched as Mike closed the door from the hallway and I heard it being locked. I brushed my teeth, took a piss and lay down on the bed. The lights went out almost immediately.
I tossed and turned on the hospital bed unable to fall asleep. Normally I fall asleep without any trouble, but I just could not sleep. Finally, in desperation, I rang the buzzer. When Mike answered I asked for the sleeping pill. I heard the door being unlocked and Mike entered with a clear plastic cup with a dark colored liquid. He told me that this was a fast acting sedative and that I would be asleep in about a minute. It tasted like grape juice and I felt sleepy moments later. I do not remember Mike leaving my room as I quickly drifted into a heavy sleep.
During the night I thought that I heard a commotion outside my door. With great effort I got up from my bed and looked out the observation window in my door. I saw Dave being lead out of his room with leather restraint cuffs around his wrists and ankles. The wrist cuffs were connected together with a short strap; his hands locked behind his back: the ankle cuffs had a short leather strap that allowed him to take small steps. He appeared to have trouble keeping his head upright, leaning to the right, then the left. Two orderlies I had not seen before were leading him down the hallway towards the offices.
Mike was watching this and he saw me looking out the window. He unlocked my door and guiding me back to my bed, pulling the bedcovers over me as I went back to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to the sound of my door being unlocked. George handed me a clean uniform, told me to strip, shit, shower, shave, and dress then report to the dayroom for breakfast. Fifteen minutes later I entered the dayroom and saw Dave having breakfast. We greeted each other and I sat down with him for breakfast. He did not mention anything unusual during the night when he asked how I had slept. I told him that I needed a sleeping potion and he laughed telling me he used it the past three nights. When George came over I mentioned to him and Dave what I thought I saw last night. Both agreed that it must have been a dream.
“It is time for you to continue your testing, Mr. Swift,” George to me. Mr. Patrick you will be meeting with Dr. Clarke in half an hour.
“You see Dr. Clarke?” I asked Dave, surprised that he had the same psychiatrist.
“He is my professor,” Dave answered. “We discuss my perceptions being here.”
George looked at me, took my arm forcing me to stand, saying, “Mr. Swift, you may talk later,” and moving me to the corridor.
The testing with Ms. Smathers dragged on into the afternoon, but we finished and after lunch It was almost 2 p.m. according to the wall clock in the nurses station when I got to the dayroom. Dave was watching TV. I sat next to him; he looked at me and seemed dejected.
“They won’t let me leave today,” he said in almost a whisper. “Dr. Clarke was not able to keep his appointment this morning, some type of emergency. Nurse Reynolds explained that only the doctor of record may sign the release papers.”
George brought my lunch to the dayroom, set it on the table and looked at both of us. “Dr. Clarke will not be able to see you this afternoon, Mr. Swift. He will see both of you tomorrow morning to discuss test results. He regrets that he cannot make it and has authorized us to allow both of you to have an exercise session. The weight room and cardio-vascular machines are in a different building. I am the only one on duty until this evening and, in order to take you to the exercise area, I will need to place both of you in straitjackets. The exercise area is available at 4 o’clock today so you have an hour to decide if you want to go. If so, I will need time to apply the restraints.”
George left and Dave and I looked at each other.
“This is getting on my nerves,” Dave said.
“Same here,” I said. But we are in a mental hospital. And I could really use the exercise. How were you brought here?”
“Police showed up at my dorm room and told me that I was to be taken into custody under the Baker act that allows involuntary commitment to a mental hospital for 72 hours. They took me to the jail in handcuffs and booked me, put me in jail clothing and a straitjacket, took me before a judge who took one look at me in restraints, and agreed to the commitment and I was taken from the court room to a waiting ambulance. How about you?”
Almost the same, but I spent a night at the ADC in a straitjacket and padded cell.” I left out the part about the diapers. Too embarrassing.
We continued to talk and watch TV until George came out with two canvas jackets. “Do you want to go for a workout?” he asked. While I did not like the idea of being strapped into the canvas straitjacket, I needed a workout badly and nodded my head yes. Dave did the same.
Dave went first and I watched as the closed sleeves of the jacket slid up his arms and over his shoulders. George went behind him and fastened the four slider back straps of the jacket, reached under and pulled and secured the single crotch strap. He went in front of Dave and pulled the end strap of the right arm through the strap loop on the front of the jacket, then did the same with the left arm. Again stepping behind Dave, he pulled the sleeve ends through the side strap loops and connected the sleeve ends. The straps were drawn snug but not tight.
“OK, Mr. Swift,” George looked at me with a smile, “your turn to go into a Posey.” I stood up and he followed the same process in putting me into the straitjacket. The jacket was, surprisingly, comfortable.
George grabbed hold of Dave’s left arm and my right arm and led us to an elevator just outside the locked ward. We went down to the basement, turned left out of the elevator and through a steam tunnel to building five. At the end of the hallway George unlocked a steel door and led us into a remarkable gym with free weights, weight machines, stair stepper and running machines, rowing machines and two cycle machines with electronic readouts. In just a few minutes we were released from our restraints.
“Have a good workout. We have showers here and clean uniforms. Dave and I did about five minutes of stretching as George watched. We spotted each other using free weights and then completed the weight machine circuit. Afterwards I used the stationary bike and Dave used the running machine and rowing machine. At the end of an hour and a half George, who had been using the weight machines, signaled that it was time to shower. He unlocked a door to a locker room and large shower with four heads.
“Strip and shower men,” George ordered. “Put your sweaty uniforms in the hamper there.” I couldn’t be sure, but I thought I saw Dave look me over and to be truthful, I looked at his magnificent, slim, athletic body. He had the build of a gymnast; well developed upper body with strong arms and chest and a washboard stomach. Dave had a narrow waist and a bubble butt attached to slim but strong legs. We dried off with beach-sized white towels and put them in the hamper. George handed us neatly folded set of white uniforms, jock straps, pull on pants with elastic waist and no pockets, pull-over shirt and canvas slip-on white shoes. As Dave pulled on his shirt I noticed that the stencil on the back read “Asylum Inmate.” I checked and mine read the same.
“George, what is this?” pointing to the back of Dave’s shirt.
“That was all they had in the laundry,” he said, “Don’t worry, you will get the correct shirts when we get back to “D” ward.” He held out a straitjacket and I allowed him to strap me in. After he finished strapping Dave into the other jacket, he took us back to “D” ward.
“Go to the dayroom, I will be back in a minute to remove the jackets,” George said as he went into the nurses station. I followed Dave into the dayroom, admiring the way the crotch strap pulled the fabric of his pants as it went up his ass crack showing off his butt. It was then that I noticed my penis had become hard. The crotch strap rubbed it as I walked. Dave turned to me, looked down and smiled. “You too?” he asked. Yes, I saw the very same thing had happened to him. Never before had something like this happened. I was scared. I’m not gay, I thought. I looked at Dave. His smile had disappeared.
“It must be the crotch strap rubbing as we walked,” I whispered.
Dave relaxed. “Yes, that must be it.” We both sat down and tried to forget what had just happened. It seemed to be taking George a long time to come and release us. I looked around at the nurse’s station and saw two orderlies I had never seen before coming towards us.
To be continued ….