Actually, Mrs. Pascal would have liked me. I was friendly and cheerful. I always helped those who appeared to struggle. But I was not yet even becoming the man God intended for her and I was too selfish at that point to recognize her demure, elegant beauty. Love Letter – – part 12 from the beginning
I even grew spiritually by attending a Christian leadership camp called The Summit the summer after sophomore year. It was in Manitou Springs, Colorado at the base of Pikes Pike. My folks and I visited the Air Force Academy before they dropped me off. I’m not sure that I actually grew spiritually. I spend hours studying the politics of the Christian right – – even picketing an abortion clinic. I regret it to this day. You and I must really talk politics some day my friend. I think one contribution to your struggle must be the Christian imprimatur on decidedly non-Christian politics. Fair and balanced. Mrs. Pascal and I are Democrats. I once had a bumper sticker reading Pro-Life Democrat. I took it off after someone put a 10 penny nail through my rear passenger side wall. It either happened at the Mexican restaurant where Russell and I eat or at my place of employment. Catholic Mexicans or Anglo Evangelicals? I wonder.
3/15/13 – – KL airport, awaiting Singapore
I did fall in love at the Summit – – with Colorado. The love continues to this day. Mrs. Pascal and I maintain it and have shared it with the boys. After a week of classes at the Summit we had a free day to either River Raft (not sure why I capitalized that) or hike Pikes Peak. I chose the mountain and completed my first and only marathon that day – – one mile to trailhead – – thirteen up – – thirteen down – – one mile back. To be 16 again. Actually, Mrs. Pascal and I will go stay in Manitou on our anniversary trip this year. We’ll acclimatize in a B&B then hike 1/2 way up one day and camp, summit and return to Barr Camp for a second night – – then back down. Oh, to be 41. At least the company will be great this time.
I can’t exactly tell you why it happened other than the groundwork I’ve laid. You have all the information I’ve had when I try to figure it out albeit from a shallower depth of field. But it did happen. I was reading The Talisman by Stephen King. I was a voracious reader of fiction in high school reading all Tom Clancy and beginning King. The Talisman is scarey. “But Pascal, name one Stephen King book that isn’t!” On Writing . . . Meditations on the Craft – – brilliant and on my multiple reads shelf. So, I’m sure that reading a book with a significant component of lycanthropy didn’t help. I was spending the night at Chris Alvarez’s house a week before junior year was to start. Our friendship was still there but strained. And we had a fight – – I don’t even remember about what. I do remember leaving his house at one in the morning with the clothes on my back. I was angry, confused and lost. The roads of suburban San Antonio outskirts were not as well marked as the trails of the Rocky Mountains. I walked until dawn began to break. In the course of that walk I became more angry, more confused, and more lost. When the police arrested me trying to throw a newspaper vending machine through a convenience store window I had lost everything – – my way, my clothes, my mind. There were two arresting San Antonio PD officers. One man, one woman. At first they were understandably perturbed by a naked raving lunatic. But then compassion.
One brought me a blanket. The other said she would remove the handcuffs if I was calm. They asked who my parents were. I said I had none. They asked why I was naked and wandering. I said I had become a werewolf for the first time last night. And I believed it, so on one level I was not lying. What is a delusion? A fixed false belief. Why do I know that following Christ is not a delusion? Because I’ve been delusional – – it is different. I was transferred to the PICU of the San Antonio State Hospital and was not charged with any crime. I was under an order of emergency detention – – a 48 hour hold that allows a person to be held involuntarily until competency can be assessed. The P in PICU stands for psychiatric. The ICU means the same as it would elsewhere. At SASH it is a place for high risk suicidal patients or violent psychotics. I represented the latter.
-to be continued-
Photo credit: Handwritten letter by Descarte: by PHGCOM [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons