A very good morning of a very good month, I say, for I am alive and in good health. My destination is Central State Hospital, formerly the Georgia Lunatic Asylum. I intend to observe architecture festooned in ruin, while frolicking in the pecan grove with the squirrels. My push bike, a hybrid fit for an old geezer, nearly plops into a ditch as I am cut off by a white sedan who fails to indicate they are turning and there almost goes my very good morning.
I am standing in front of the circular driveway now and the dried-up fountain between the white hospital and the pecan grove, the center of a vast quadrant of brick edifice all gone to seed. Water-damage is visible on the façade, as are rusted screens, broken windows.
I see no faces inside the security cars that patrol. At one time, the Asylum housed 12,000 patients. Two examples:
- 22 year-old white female mentally ill for eight years; indecent and immodest, ulcerated legs and other somewhat minor complaints.
- 23 year-old female lunatic and epileptic convulsions followed disappointments in love; violent, hostile, auditory visual hallucinations.
I wonder if an ex-lover friend would have been eligible, who in the throes of an indefatigable psychosis accused me of a death-defying frippery beyond compare.
I brandish a banana from my manbag, my purse, my murse, if you will. It is bright-cold. Wincing from its brightness, I gaze up at the sky. The sky is all white with enumerable shades of gray — at least fifty. What comes to mind is the tartare sauce that W.G. Sebald uses in The Rings of Saturn, a compelling depiction of un-great condiments, a veritable tour de force. “The tartare sauce that I had to squeeze out of a plastic sachet was turned grey by the sooty breadcrumbs”. My banana is cold as ice. Suddenly, my brain starts to turn over handsomely. It is possible, I reason, that if I were to set the banana on the yellow painted curb that I would not be able to find it. Eager to get this pertinent, yet uncaffeinated thought down on paper, I locate a pergola next to the decrepit fountain. Admiring a magnolia tree just off to the right, I haven’t gone ten feet when I run right into an enormous cobweb. A squirrel cackles at my blunderings.