|Life, Death, Madness - Page 13|
On the psychiatry unit, Dominick will sit in his room, anxiously awaiting his mother's next visit. Nearby, Dorothy will sit cross-legged on the hallway floor with a cup of cold coffee, deriding staff and mocking her long-deceased husband. Two new patients—a manic, disorganized young woman from a local college and a psychotically depressed, 40-year-old man who's convinced the world is scheduled to end on Friday—will be admitted to the unit.
This much I know: the world won't end on Friday. But today has. I walk out of the hospital and into the night, a world brimming with people just one breath removed from emergency.
Gary Weinstein, L.C.S.W., has practiced social work for 30 years in Syracuse, New York. He last wrote for the magazine on his work with prisoners in the March/April 2003 issue. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the Editor about this article may be e-mailed to email@example.com.