I wasn’t surprised to be kicked out by my new roommates, but it happened even faster than I had expected. Initially, I had moved in when they were headed for New York on vacation, and was booted over the phone before they even returned. With more than ample justification. We started drinking the night before they left and after they were gone I kept it up for a number of days. Alone, with Zach the rabbit and a collection of decent comedy DVDs. I had the time of my life drinking, sleeping, watching movies tailor-made for the oxygen-deprived brain and experimenting with Zach’s diet. Did he like raw garlic? Ginger? Fudgsicles? Yes, to varying degrees. He even ate some of my beard right off my face. Meanwhile, I drank in greater quantity than I ever had before. At some point, it became clear that I was headed for a horrible detox. Indeed, when I finally decided to sweat it out, I felt close to death. After two days of vomiting, shaking and swimming in cold sweat, I felt well enough to walk to the bank and grocery store, and to eat and drink lots of water. When you get so sick from drink that you can’t hold down water, you get pretty dehydrated. My lips had scabs on them. All of this sounds horrible, but it’s tough to put a price on 4-5 days of happy oblivion when your life sucks. I was hoping it was Zach who had pissed on the floor. I was pretty sure it was me who had fallen on the coffee table and broken it. Whoever’s piss it was, I cleaned it up pretty well and I had plenty of time left to get new glass for the table. I even managed to drive back to my mom’s to pick up my sorely needed meds. I popped a paxil and a couple of atavan, then maybe one more so that I could knock out and finally recuperate to get shit in order, both in the house and in my personal life. Things did not go according to plan.

I’ve never done serious hallucinogens so was ill prepared for the next couple of days. Apparently drinking myself almost to death so that Tommy Boy would be funny didn’t interact well with my meds. Still, I was blindsided because I thought the drink was mostly out of my system and I took maybe a couple of extra sedatives. I had no reason to doubt my senses. So I was not suspicious of my initial conclusion that a small group of people were running around the apartment, but were masters at hiding. I stalked them like a panther, waiting for clues of their hiding places and then pouncing in to corner them, only to find that they were not there. Based on their behavior and the few glimpses I had gotten of their appearance, I judged them to be art students exploiting me for a performance piece. I didn’t mind this in itself, but it was somebody else’s apartment, and I couldn’t allow this to go on. So after a while, I made a series of loud declarations. “Look, I don’t know what kind of arrangement you guys might have with Sammy and Dave, but they are on vacation. They are not here! And I just can’t let you guys run wild in their apartment without knowing who you are.” Then I picked up some kind of bludgeoning device that was sitting near the door. “So here are your choices. Leave now, and we have no problem. Walk out the door, and everything’ s cool. If you don’t leave, and I find you, I will pound the shit out of you! No joke, I will really fuck you up. Otherwise, I can just call the police, and you guys will all be fucked.” I stood at the center of the room, leaning on my big stick and waiting for a response, but there was nothing. “OK, I’m not fucking around! This is your last fucking chance!” Nobody said nothing.

Alright then, I would beat some art student ass, with relish. I went to a far corner of the apartment and began a systematic sweep of the place, clutching my boom stick, mentally dusting off the side kicks and looping punches from my kickboxing training. But the sweep produced nothing. I was confused and decided to sit in the middle of the room and observe, still certain that there was some illicit presence. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a plant move in a space too small for anybody to hide in. As I sat, I saw similar movements from a picture frame. Eventually a roll of paper towels R2-D2ed its way across the kitchen counter, in plain sight. The movements were getting bolder. My suspicions were confirmed. Fucking robots. The art students had planted robots in the house and were using them to fuck with me as a school project. I thought about smashing the robots, but it was never clear exactly which item was a robot and which was a household item. I went back and forth about calling the police. The situation seemed pretty harmless, but was it my place to make that decision? I knew Sammy and Dave wouldn’t want the police in their house, but what if I was wrong about the robots, and one of them blew up the living room? How would I explain that?

I decided to call Sammy and ask her how she wanted me to handle the robot encroachment. She didn’t answer. I thought it through and, knowing that there were no drugs in the house, decided the most important thing was to get the robots. Yeah, they still seemed harmless, but was that really my call to make? I called the police, which was an ordeal in itself. Let’s just say that 911 is a joke in my town, when I’m trying to tell them that robots are gettin’ down. I eventually met the police in front of the apartment. Both were women, and both were a bit skeptical. The lead tried to talk me out of the whole thing. “Don’t you think it’s kind of strange that you are calling the police because of robots invading your house?” “Well, look, I’m not saying they are robots from outer space or anything. Someone made them and planted them in the house. I think it’s some sort of prank.” As if to bolster my credibility, I pointed to the helicopter overhead and said, “Maybe that’s part of it! They could be controlling the robots from the helicopter.” She informed me that it was a police copter and I thought, yeah, I might be getting carried away here. We’re only dealing with a small troop of miniature robots.

At my insistence, the police swept the house and to my surprise determined that it was robot free. I had been expecting full vindication followed by a team of specialists to root out the robots. They asked if I was satisfied, and I said maybe. “Two professional officers did a thorough sweep of the house and found nothing; that doesn’t convince you?” “Well, I’m pretty sure you guys are right, but these are very hard to see. Is it OK if I have one more look to be sure?” So we went in and I went to the suspected robot hiding places. It seemed pretty clean, and although I still harbored suspicions, it seemed prudent to agree with the cops that I had been mistaken. Meanwhile, they’d made contact with the neighbor and made a round of calls to the couple who were to be my roommates for about five more minutes. Ultimately, the neighbor talked to Sammy, and the news of me being a raving lunatic and their broken coffee table was enough for her to reasonably ask that I bounce, pronto. I gave the keys to the neighbor.

So on the front lawn, the cops, who seemed like decent enough people for LAPD, asked me if I wanted to be taken in for a psychological evaluation. It was voluntary, but they reasonably argued that if there was a problem, it would be best to discover it. I thought about it and decided it was reasonable, plus it might be fun and the second cop was kind of cute. So I was cuffed and taken in. I don’t remember the evaluation very well, but I remember lots of glances from the cute cop. She was a bit too chunky, but I couldn’t help but think what a triumph it would be to tag a cop who had taken you into custody for being crazy. I wondered if she was thinking how nasty she would be for fucking a psychotic she’d had in cuffs. When they took me home I asked for their cards, but there was no real contact info on them. I was deluded alright. Whatever shrink-type person I saw said I probably wasn’t a danger to myself or others “yet,” and I was returned to my former apartment. I think on the way back, we gave a light pursuit to a suspicious motorcycle, which was fun regardless of if it actually happened. There’s kind of a blank space here, after which things get weird.



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