Room 313 was a semi-private room. I was in bed “A” and a dude named Donnie was in bed “B”. Donnie was sleeping when they brought me into the room, so I didn’t say anything to him. He was a white guy who looked to be in his mid-thirties and was clean cut. I was surprised, because with my luck, I’d figured I’d be matched up with some homeless Mexican and get spend the weekend fighting with him over whether we were going to watch football on ESPN or Sabado Gigante on Univision. I suppose it didn’t really matter; I was looking forward to mainlining my way back to ecstasy every four hours anyway. Soon enough, a nurse came in the room and woke Donnie up to check his blood pressure. She asked him some questions, but he didn’t say much. I assumed that he was still sleepy and might even have been a little pissed that she woke him up. Then Donnie started talking…
A deep voice began “speaking” in some guttural, stuttering tongue that was unrecognizable as any language I’d ever heard before. The sudden realization that I was sharing a room with a fucking retard hit my like a baseball bat square in the forehead. Donnie sounded like a combination of Warren from “Something About Mary”, Porky Pig and Helen Keller on steroids. I dreaded the moment when Donnie would turn his attention to me and begin the verbal assault. Sure as shit, as soon as the nurse left the room Donnie began to carpet-bomb me with a painful, stuttering Q & A session.
"Whaa yheu naam? Whaa w..w..w..wonngh wiff yheu?" I kept waiting for him to ask me if I’d seen his baseball… I did my best to avoid as much verbal interaction as I could, but Donnie was a talker.
Donnie was also a call button pusher. The nurses had to hate him because he was constantly summoning them with the call button for absolutely nothing. Everything from, “I’m cold.” to “What’s for dinner?” to “I just peed.” Sometimes the nurse would leave the room and he’d hit the call button again before she’d even have time to get back to the nurse’s station. Donnie was a very demanding retard.
While he was out of the room having some tests done, I got the whole story on Donnie from one of the nurses. Donnie had been in a car accident about six or seven years earlier that seriously fucked him up. He was jogging early one morning when he was hit by a car and suffered severe head trauma. Donnie had a Master’s degree and was a CPA before his accident. Now, he could hardly talk, couldn’t walk, and couldn’t wipe his own ass. The nurse said that Donnie had been living with his parents, but they were forced to move him into an assisted living center because he needed more care than they could provide. He was in the hospital because he had a blood clot in his leg and the doctors were afraid it would break loose and cause him to have a stroke. After learning all of this, my feelings toward Donnie changed a bit. He was still an annoying pain in the ass, but at least he wasn’t a retard.
Beyond brain damage, a life-threatening blood clot and an affinity for The Hallmark Channel, Donnie had another major affliction that commanded my attention. The poor bastard was constantly puking. He’d eat something, and then puke. He’d drink a few sips of water, then puke. The nurses would spend 20 minutes cleaning him up and changing his clothes, then he’d hurl all over himself again before they could get to the end of the hall. He vomited so much on Friday, that I began keeping a record of the eruptions. At 6:12 AM, Donnie had his first reversal of the day. He blew beets again at 8:22 AM, 9:51 AM and 11:05 AM. Donnie then decided to throw everyone a curveball by shitting all over himself at 12:15 PM. Even though they had taken the preventative measure of putting a diaper on him, the clean-up took the nurses forever and funked up the room something fierce. Thank God we had already eaten lunch. After he dropped the deuce, I quit recording the times he puked. Shitting the bed just kind of made throwing up all over himself not as interesting anymore.