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«by RYAN GRAHAM HASKINS B.A. University of Central Florida, 2010 A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of ...»

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36. Move to Nick’s bedroom.

37. Open closet.

38. Remove backpack.

39. Move to kitchen.

40. Fill backpack with non-perishable food items.

41. Move to office.

42. Open Medication Cart.

43. Remove all controlled substance medications.

44. Place all controlled substance medications into backpack.

45. Close backpack.

46. Move to van.

47. Place backpack in van.

48. Move to Nick’s room.

49. Wake up Nick.

a. Verbally communicate to Nick: ―Car ride?‖

–  –  –

50. Move to Gretchen and Maggie’s room.

51. Wake up Maggie.

52. Verbally communicate to Maggie: ―Ice cream? Car ride?‖

53. Dress Maggie.

54. Verbally communicate to Maggie: ―Ice cream? Car ride? Maggie, please get in the car.‖

55. Wake up Gretchen.

56. Dress Gretchen.

57. Move with Gretchen to van.

58. Assist Gretchen into van.

59. Secure safety belt for Gretchen.

60. Verify that Nick and Maggie’s safety belts are secure.

a. If Nick or Maggie’s safety belts are not secure, secure them.

61. Move to Terry’s room.

62. Sign ―Car‖ and ―Get Dressed.‖

63. Assist Terry with dressing.

64. Move with Terry to van.

65. Secure safety belt for Terry.

–  –  –

67. Open pantry.

68. Remove cookies or similar sweet food.

69. Move with cookies or similar sweet food to Constance’s room.

70. Place cookies or similar sweet food into Constance’s mouth.

71. Verbally communicate: ―Good job, Constance‖ repeatedly and with increased volume until Constance wakes up.

a. If Constance wakes up calm, give her more cookies or similar sweet food.

b. If Constance wakes up agitated, show her the cookies or similar sweet food.

–  –  –

72. Dress Constance.

73. Move with Constance to van.

74. Assist Constance into van.

75. Secure safety belt for Constance.

76. Move to front door of Liberty Group Home.

77. Lock front door.

78. Move to van.

79. Close all van doors.

80. Enter driver’s seat of van.

81. Verbally communicate: ―Car ride.‖

–  –  –

83. Start van.

84. Drive North on Liberty Street to Patriot Lane. 0.1 miles.

85. Turn Left on Patriot Lane. 0.2 miles.

86. Take the 1st Right onto Navajo Trail. 1.1 miles.

87. Turn Right onto Spice Road. 1.3 miles.

88. Turn Left onto the toll road. 0.3 miles.

89. Merge onto the toll road North. 25.7 miles.

90. Take exit 55 for Global Parkway. 0.3 miles.

91. Turn Left onto State Road 6 West. 7.0 miles.

92. Slight Right onto County Road 6A. 5.6 miles.

93. Turn Left onto State Road 4 West. 4.2 miles.

94. Turn Right onto County Road 39. 7.8 miles.

95. Turn Left onto County Road 2 West. 3.2 miles.

96. Slight Right onto Crooked Oak Road. 0.2 miles.

97. Take the 2nd Right onto Main Street. 14.6 miles.

98. Turn Left onto Camp Albert Road. 7.8 miles.

99. Turn Right onto Free Road 8. 5.3 miles.

100. Turn Right onto pre-scouted access road. 4.1 miles.

101. Park van on side of road.

102. Turn off van.

103. Exit van.

–  –  –

105. Remove backpacks.

106. Place backpacks on ground.

107. Open all van doors.

108. Unsecure all safety belts.

109. Assist Terry out of van.

110. Place backpack on Terry.

111. Assist Gretchen out of van.

112. Place backpack on Gretchen.

113. Assist Nick out of van.

114. Place backpack on Nick.

115. Assist Maggie out of van.

116. Place backpack on Maggie.

117. Assist Constance out of van.

118. Place backpack on Constance.

119. Place van keys in van.

120. Lock all van doors.

121. Close all van doors.

122. Assist all consumers into forest.

123. Move to Terry.

124. Open Terry’s backpack.

125. Retrieve can opener and one can.

–  –  –

127. Move to Nick.

128. Verbally communicate to Nick: ―Can opener.‖

129. Hand Nick can opener and can.

130. Watch Nick open can.

131. Verbally communicate to Nick: ―Good job, Nick. Can opener. Food. Hungry?

Can opener.‖

132. Take all backpacks off clients.

133. Open all backpacks.

134. Place all cans on ground.

135. Remove all controlled substance medications.

136. Prompt Nick to use can opener to open can of soup or similar liquid food.

137. Pop all controlled substance medications.

138. Retrieve can of soup or similar liquid food.

139. Administer all controlled substance medications to self, using can of soup or similar liquid food.

140. Move to Nick.

141. Verbally communicate to Nick: ―Goodbye, Nick. Good job.‖

142. Move to Gretchen.

143. Verbally communicate to Gretchen: ―Wa-wa-wa.‖

144. Move to Maggie.

145. Verbally communicate to Maggie: ―Sleep. No more work.‖

–  –  –

147. Sign ―Good job‖ and ―Break.‖

148. Move to Constance.

149. Kiss Constance on forehead.

150. Move into the forest, far and away.

151. Repeat step 150 indefinitely.

152. End Task: Liberation (1 of 1)

–  –  –

What is to be ours by destiny? Ours, far and away, where the quench rests, forever, far and away.

Disappointing whisper; near extinguished and muffled eternal, drowning in and drowned out by the hoarse shrieking shouts of the furies of the souls of those foolish and tempted who went out, down and toward, with nothing but grinning promises tucked in their pockets by those who sought only their fleeing—

–  –  –

that explains and excuses away the mystery, that asserts there will be no more blurred watercolor pioneers to revere and lust at. If we could tear out the legend, and make it all again new-terrifying-delightful, we could raise high that legend, banner it to any other thing we desired, to explain away the now new— We saw our self, once. In a grain of clarity and reflection we were briefly introduced to our self, as individual, as one and not the many, and the fog-husk was blown and shucked away, and we each saw the walls and roads and candy and people and noise rotating around us, everything not us in orbit around the concrete center of our chest, and grabbing and grasping at everything, we could clench nothing but our own empty hands calloused by the memories of

–  –  –

architects to protect and imprison us, us, we, the remainder of a drunken equation, the scraps, we, the offal of the building of the world. And when the building is done— The inherent difference between disease, sickness, and curse eludes us, as did many before us for a great deal of time. The progression from punishment to curse to loon to clown to sickness to shame to disease to subject to patient to ward to client to opportunity to blessing is disorienting, and foolish all, and soon we shall see ourselves promoted from princely to kingly to godly, but never possibly cleansed or cured or freed. Ours is a path that circumnavigates world and time, departing from faeculentus and arriving at caecus aurum nubes-culmen— We are comforted, to a degree, existing in an eternal nest woven not of straw and stick but of Piaget-Sensorimotor-Five and Maslow-Safety-Two and Ainsworth-Disorganized-Four, our wings left or forgotten in the womb, Mother Songbird long away now, left to peak at the world around and below us, subsisting alone on the glum fodder in the nest at our talons, until we are sleight, until it all unravels, spontaneous, we borrow flight, bellowing, into the delight of the dark black night— Anyway, kinda feel like giving up, if we could, if we knew what that meant. Don’t think we can really grasp the sort of participatory nature of one’s’ own life, how everyone truly is a very real component of their own presence here— We’ve received and retrieved psychic dispatches From all our brethren fallen, falling, and soon to fall Who through lonely-hate gasps and sobs Memoir Morse-code, interpret now

–  –  –

Cumulonimbus regrets, pithy protest concluding All risen up now from the drain swirl at the bottom of the soul Memoir Morse-code, interpret now High voltage spiders feasting on slow bones, fists in walls Until the break-through reveals only more shadows and white dust memories Tearing at flesh, tearing down the I Amateur gymnastics in hot-piss and wet-shit and joy-blood Invisible harpsichords scoring post-dusk pill parties Toilet seat orgasms, gulping down stranger-blood Failed strawberry milkshake-suicides, four wet hands the funeral White cup morning beatings and pleas To just go ahead and go die To shut the fuck up To abandon sugar-caffeine monotheism To laundry detergent tortures and dishwasher toil To toil in the house, and to not toil the earth To enjoy the sweat of the brow, to rejoice in labor To understand what cannot be Shiny kitchen-palaces to scream in Being jesters to foul-lords, plotting carb-heists And soda orgies, and pudding-feats

–  –  –

To crack and spill, to bleed luscious cold-cuts And hyper-color drinks That demand all-fours gluttonous inhalation Lick the tile clean, eat the hearts of those who try to stop us And slink away to the sleep-place To sleep, through free will And dream, for once, of things we cannot know Chance meetings, and front door tingling Love-exhaustion Adventures into hope A chosen pillow, decisions like hard rain To flee west, to flee east To nest in bed with love for days Walk among others and smile To hear excuse me, to save someone Be someone’s favorite, have them seek you out Seek them out Know kindness, find a blessing and know it Be the audience and not the performer Discover something, figure it out Have wet dreams and stand with strangers, keep your hands busy

–  –  –

Break the skeleton of the world— So giving up, we mean, is really just an


wish-concept, a rust-metal dream, sharp and slippery in our hand, sinking to the riverbed; blood, the smoky exhaust down.

–  –  –

It’s been about a year and a half since I left Liberty. Things had gotten a little better by the time I left. Well, the clients had gotten a little better, calmed down a bit, had finally learned a few things. I don’t know if it was just them growing up, calming down, getting older and getting used to the house, the routine, given up a little maybe. What didn’t get better was the staff, the managers, so on, and it was peculiar that even with the staff turnover and the rotten managers that the clients could persevere, could forge on. I’m still not sure if it’s just time, time and routine that helped, or if it was really us, the few staff who cared, who tried so very hard every day, that made any difference. I’ll never know. Perhaps they know, somehow, if anything I did over the years and shifts and minutes accomplished a single thing. I like to think it did.

I’ve kept in touch with Liberty, through the few staff that are still there since I left, the ones who when I call know who I am, and tell me how Constance and Maggie and Gretchen and Terry and Nick are doing. I’d even visit once in a while, when I’d know that the manager wouldn’t be there, wouldn’t have a problem with a former employee visiting. I know I’m not a family member, but I’d consider myself the clients’ friend, or at least consider them my friends, and felt I had a right, in some way, to visit, and say hello, to see their faces again.

About a month ago, I called to check in, and Bruce, a decent staff member who started working at Liberty a few weeks before I left, told me Constance was in the hospital. I didn’t think much of it; she’d been in and out of the hospital several times while I worked at Liberty. It sucked really, having to go to the hospital with Constance, and when she’d be admitted a Liberty staff member had to be with her 24 hours a day, because otherwise she would go absolutely crazy, terrified probably. The hospital staff would restrain her in her bed, Velcro tie-downs on

–  –  –

to run away. When a staff member was there she’d be a bit more subdued, seeing a friendly face helped, I suppose.

So, when I called a few days ago to check in again, another staff member, who I didn’t know, told me that Constance was still in the hospital, and that they’d stopped staffing her, cause she’d been there so long. This guy didn’t know who I was, and shouldn’t have told me any of this, shouldn’t have told a total stranger this. But I pressed on, and he told me which hospital she was at, and which unit. ICU. I thought about her being there, alone, tied down, for however many weeks. I decided I’d go visit her. I’d tell the hospital she was my adopted sister or whatever. They wouldn’t care.

Three days later I arrived at the hospital. It was a small, local hospital, and I’d been there several times before, with clients and for myself. I knew my way around. Found my way to the ICU. I did a quick lap around the loop, looking in the rooms, hoping I’d be able to find her without asking. There were a few rooms with closed doors. I didn’t want to go in the wrong room, so I ended up asking one of the nurses.

―Excuse me, I’m looking for one of your patients. Her name is Constance,‖ I asked a wandering nurse.

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