Firstly, and most important at least for me, Scott's okay. Thank God. You can't even imagine the relief I felt when I saw him post...well, maybe some of you can. In any case...Jesus, so glad he's alright.
Now to the hospital visit.
Daniel is being treated at University Medical Center. They've determined that whatever he has isn't contagious, and is similar to what would happen if he were exposed to a very high level of radiation, although the doctors can't find any trace of radioactivity in his body. They don't know what's going on, but they're treating it like radiation sickness.
When I arrived at UMC yesterday, Officer Clinton and another police officer, a woman named Officer Moreno, met me in front of the Urgent Care center. They took me to the room where Daniel was being treated, telling me along the way that the police were still unable to identify him, and he didn't seem to remember his last name. They warned me that he might not be responsive or even concious, or he might be awake and violent. They said that at any sign of trouble, I'd be out- no arguments, no returning. Which was fine with me.
They were keeping him in a clean room- not because he was being quarantined, but because he's so succeptible to infections. We had to wear suits over our clothes, and face masks.
He looked...bad. Most of his hair's fallen out by now, and he looks like he's been starving...his whole body was a mass of tubes, and he had a breathing mask on his face. The room had this sneaking sour smell, like something was rotting far away...and I knew the smell was coming from him, that he was rotting from the inside out. I was scared to death but I wanted to fucking kill myself for wishing this on him.
I didn't muster up the guts to go very near him. His eyes were open. They looked like a calm ocean. All I could hear was the machines beeping and his breath- harsh, painful. He spoke first.
"You're not dead." His voice was very weak, and he spoke slowly, as if he were dreaming. The police officers behind me stood up straighter.
"No." I said, and there was a pause that was kind of akward in hindsight. Anything I'd wanted to ask him went out of my head, and I realized that I'm an idiot- I couldn't ask him for information about the monster with the police in the room.
"He's coming for you. He knows your name now." He looked slowly between the two police officers on either side of me, and then down. "I'm sorry."
I flinched. He continued.
"I didn't want...he made me. He hurt me...spiders in my head. Nails and stones. Please forgive me. I didn't mean to."
And he started crying, but breathless, just gasping while tears ran down his face and into his oxygen mask. I started to choke up too.
"It's okay." I managed to say, trying to stay calm even though all I wanted to do was run away and never face this poor man who had tried to kill me.
"He's not gone..." he said. He started to tremble very slightly, which got more violent as he spoke. His voice, too, got stronger. "He's in my head now. He wants me to stand up and strangle you but I'm too weak now."
Daniel made this awful choking sound that I realized was laughter. And then he looked me dead in the eyes and said "I'm sorry" again. And he started convulsing, bucking on his bed like he was having a seizure.
A nurse ran past us and went to hold him down, another told us to leave, polite but firm. I couldn't think. We were out in the hallway before I knew it. The smell of decay was stronger and I felt sick. Officer Clinton led me down the hall and took my face mask when I pulled it off. He asked if I was alright and, when I nodded, he told me that Daniel had been talking about his master since they'd taken him in. He said that Daniel was probably schizophrenic, with delusions of being controlled by an outside force. I didn't argue. I left the hospital and drove home. I was in that room for less than ten minutes and I can't stop thinking about it.
I'm going to exit 208 tomorrow. It's time I did something.