October 6, 2012

Last night was the 3rd time that the woman who sleeps in the bed below mine in the bunk bed gibbered for a long time and then was getting up to hold onto the railing.

She was already gibbering before I got into my bed.  It got louder and louder, and finally it was someone else in the room who said her name, sharply and loudly, a couple of times, to try to make her stop.

I went to the first floor and got on the couch, not wanting to try to sleep in that bed.  I thought about whether or not I should try to talk to the staffperson about it, because I thought that there was a good chance that the staffperson wouldn’t let me sleep on the couch.  I thought that I’d try to sleep through the night on the couch, for safety, and then try to talk to the next staffperson who was going to be there the following night.  I decided, though, that it was a better idea to try to approach the staffperson and tell her what was going on, since if she went downstairs and saw that I was on the couch and hadn’t asked to be there, I’d have to make the explanation anyway and she’d probably be even less sympathetic than I thought she’d be if I approached her to make the explanation.

I went to the office and asked to speak with the staffperson; I told her the history of what had been going on with the woman.  The staffperson said “She makes those noises all the time.  She also will sometimes just stop in the hallway; I’ll see her and ask her what’s going on, and she’ll say ‘Nothing.’”

I said “I have a high tolerance for people who have mental problems.  However, you can have mental problems and also be dangerous, and I think that’s what’s going on with her.”

There was denial of what I was trying to tell the staffperson.  She also told me that she couldn’t let me sleep on the couch, because if she did that everyone would want to be able to sleep on the couch.  She said “You should ask to be moved out of that room.”  I said “If she’s dangerous to me, she’ll be dangerous to other people.”  She said “You can’t worry about that.”  She said that she’d write a note about what I’d told me, and she told me to call the social worker on Monday and ask to be moved out of the room as soon as another bed is available.

I asked her if she would go to the room and look into it from the door; I said “If she knows that you’re aware of the situation and that you’re checking out what’s going on, I think that would be good.”  She said that she would do that.  I said “OK, I’ll go back to the first floor and put away the books and the blanket that I took out, while you talk to her.”

When I went back upstairs, the door to the office was partially closed; I knocked and saw that she was talking to the woman.  I went to my room and got into bed.

When the woman got back to the room, she did some coughing, which she does almost every time that she sees me; however, she was much quieter for the rest of the night.  In the morning, the staffperson told me that she had told the woman not to be near me if she had to get up in the middle of the night; she told her that if she had to hold onto the railing, not to do it close to me.

The woman also asked me about it this morning; she said “You felt the need to talk to staff about it?”  I told her that I didn’t feel like talking about it; she persisted until I told her again that I didn’t feel like talking about it.

I think that the woman is dangerous; that is my feeling about her and about the situation.  I’ve stayed in what most homeless people in the Boston area agree are the most dangerous shelters, where fights break out while people are waiting in line, where people have been stabbed and shot, where people have threatened me and others, and I’ve never had a situation like this happen.  If the conglomerate hadn’t been harassing me and telling people to kill me for more than 2 years, I don’t think that this situation would be happening.  There are a lot of things that wouldn’t be happening if the conglomerate weren’t causing them to happen.


Copyright L. Kochman, October 6, 2012 @ 4:46 p.m.