|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine
11 - Identity Crisis - Tammi
April 28, 1999
Do you like my new pen? I really like this green color. It's real pretty. I don't see why Dr. Johnson wants me to write in this damn journal every day. I just don't see the point in it. I don't even know why the hell I'm here in this damn place. I swear too much have you noticed? My nurse tells me I swear like a sailor and she wouldn't be surprised if I drink like one and that's the reason how I ended up here. They think I have a "problem". How fucked up is that? I do not have a problem! Just because I do not remember a damn thing does not mean I am crazy. DAMMIT I AM NOT CRAZY! DAMN! Why am I even writing in here? I don't remember. Well bye.
"Well look who decided to wake up today."
A young boy bolted straight up in bed clutching his sheets around him.
"You must be hungry." the lady said as she set a tray on the table next to the window. "You've been asleep for almost five days. We were getting worried." she babbled.
The boy only stared, his eyes wide. "Now let's see." she walked closer to him. "Now dear don't look so scared, do you think you can dress yourself?" she asked.
A look of scorn crossed his face. "Who the hell are you?" he asked.
The lady looked concerned. "Well I was right about one thing, you still swear like a sailor, but now it looks like you don't remember again." she shook her head in disbelief and clucked her tongue.
"Where fuck am I? Who the hell are you?" he asked again.
The lady only shook her head again. "I'll tell you once you get dressed now do you think you can get dressed yourself or do I have to do it for you?" she asked teasingly pulling at his sheets.
He yanked away his sheets and rolled out of bed. It was then he realized that he was wearing a pair of dark blue flannel pajamas. For some reason that didn't seem right. The pajamas. Just something about them that didn't seem right.
He took one final glance at the lady and reached for a door. He was met with a row of clothes. He reached inside and pulled out a pair of slacks and a shirt. Once more eying the lady nervously he opened the door and disappeared into the bathroom.
May 3, 1999
Dr. Johnson gave me another pretty pen today. I think he gives me a lot of pretty pens. Yeah. I think he gave me a pretty green one and I like that a lot.
It's funny I woke up this morning and I didn't remember a damn thing! I didn't even know who Gina was! (my nurse) She told me I had another nervous breakdown. Something about crying hysterically and throwing stuff against the walls. They almost moved me upstairs, but instead they once again gave me a whole shit load of sedatives and so that's why I slept for so long. Five days! Five whole fucking days! Damn the drugs must of erased my memory or something. I still have no clue who the hell I am, I just know that I DO NOT wear flannel pajamas and I'm supposed to write in this journal every day. That and I hate doctors. All doctors. But Dr. Johnson is okay. He's a nice guy.
"So how are you feeling today?" Dr. Johnson asked the young boy.
He shrugged and slumped even further in his seat.
"Remember anything? Anything at all?"
He shrugged again and began to play with a paper clip on the desk. "Not even your name, age, your family, no memories, nothing?"
He looked up, twisting the paper clip around. "I just know I don't wear flannel pajamas if that helps."
Dr. Johnson only nodded and readjusted his eye glasses. "I notice that you write your journal entries like you're writing someone a letter."
"Is that something wrong?" he asked.
Dr. Johnson noticed the streak of sarcasm in his voice. "No, I also noticed that you've been signing your journal entries as Identity Crisis, why is that?" he asked.
The boy shrugged once again. "I don't know." he replied truthfully.
"Do you think it has anything connected with who you are, maybe a poem you read, a movie? A song?"
He lifted his head a blank look in his eyes. "I- don't- know." he enunciated.
Dr. Johnson sighed seeing as he was going nowhere with this boy. "Well then while we're trying to figure out who you are why don't we just give you a name."
He shrugged. "Whatever." he mumbled.
The very distinguished looking doctor sat back and rubbed his hands together like a little kid devising a scheme.
"Okay then how about Richard?"
The boy shrugged. "Um Jason, Luke, let me see, Daniel, Chris-"
He sat up. "Chris."
"You like that name?" he asked.
The boy nodded. "All right them Chris it is."
Chris gave a small smile and then threw away the now distorted paper clip into the trash can.
"Are we done now?" Chris asked.
Dr. Johnson nodded. "Yes, we are if you need to talk or anything just knock on the door okay?"
Chris nodded and stood up. "Thanks doc." he said and left the room.
May 3, 1999
I have a name now for the time being. Chris. I don't know why I chose it. Maybe I knew a Chris. Hell maybe my name really is Chris! I just wish I could remember. Everything is such a blank. So far I know there is something with me and flannel pajamas, the name Chris, something about doctors, and medicine. Usually most of the patients here can't stand taking medicine but I just swallow it like it's no big deal. It's weird. I don't even know how the fuck I got here. From my first journal entry I got here April 23, 1999 from a hospital where I was unconscious for two weeks. I don't even know what fucking state I'm in let alone city. Damn. Well Gina should be here with my dinner soon. Bye bye.
-Identity Crisis (Chris)
"What is it dear?"
Chris nervously held his hands together. "Will they have to send me upstairs?" he asked quietly.
Gina placed the tray down on the table. "No, why do you ask?"
He began to blush. "Because I'm not even allowed out of this room anymore except if I'm with somebody to look after me, and they keep having to give me sedatives and today-" he clamped his mouth after that.
She patted his arm. "What is it darling, tell ole' Gina here what's ailing you."
Chris sighed. "I heard one of the janitors say that I was a crazy lunatic and that at the rate I was going they would probably have me strapped to a bed like a vegetable in no time." he blurted out tears beginning to well up at his cheeks.
"Oh sweetie!" Gina reached over and wrapped her arms around the trembling boy. "Honey nobody would do that, you just have a little problem and we're here to help fix that, sooner or later once you get a little better and you stop having these nervous breakdowns you'll be able to go outside by yourself and do whatever you want." she said comfortingly.
Chris looked up at her tears staining his cheeks. "Do you think so?" he asked eagerly.
"Yes, I do." she said. "I do believe so."
"Hey Dr. Johnson?"
"What state are we in?" he asked.
Dr. Johnson put down his eyeglasses. "California, why?" he asked.
Chris thought for a moment before he replied. "What city are we in?" he asked.
"That's far away."
Dr. Johnson jerked his head up. "Far away from what?" he asked.
Chris looked stumped. "I don't know."
"Chris, it's important that you try to remember as much as you can write it down or tell me, okay?"
Chris nodded. "Dr. Johnson?"
"How did I get here?"
Dr. Johnson bit his lower lip. "It's kind of complicated. Are you sure you want to hear?" he asked.
The boy nodded. "Yes, I want to know."
"Well then as you know you came here April 23, 1999 from the John Glancy Hospital. From what I know you were at the park wandering somewhere when you collapsed for no reason, somebody called 911 and you were brought to the hospital and you were unconscious for two weeks. You didn't have any injuries, no bruises, no bumps, no broken bones but-"
He stopped talking and shook his head. "Are you sure you want to hear the rest?"
Chris nodded eagerly. "Well then, the doctors there found your system filled with drugs. You had basically over dosed yourself of heroin and cocaine." he stopped and prepared himself for the reaction he would get from the boy.
"You had a bag with you also, they found other drugs like joints, a bag of Angel dust, heroin, syringes, bottles of Valium, tranquilizers, PCP, LSD, cocaine, a carton of cigarettes, and a lighter, rolling papers, some aluminum which we believe was used to snort lines, not to mention we found a flask half empty with some type of alcoholic substance."
The look on his face said all that he could say. The world seemed to freeze then at that moment. His pupils diluted for a moment before they constricted and he was hit with a rush of images.
He was putting several different bags and bottles of things in an old ratty black back pack. Voices were approaching. Quickly he snatched a wad of dollar bills off the table and crumbled them into his pocket....
"I'm a drug addict and an alcoholic?" he sputtered.
Dr. Johnson sighed and began to open a desk drawer. "Yes, there is a good chance you are a drug addict and an alcoholic."
"But, but then how come I don't want drugs? How come-?"
"You have amnesia, it's like not remembering if you had mashed potatoes or pizza for dinner the night before." Dr. Johnson explained.
Chris just kept shaking his head. "No, no, I can't be." he kept babbling and stood up and ran out the door.
"Chris!" he finally heard the doctor call after him.
"NO LEAVE ME ALONE!" he screamed.
Hands came grabbing at him. Screams could be heard... and in the back of his mind all he could think about was all the screaming girls.
"I LOVE YOU!" an all too hysterical teenage girl screamed.
"Smile this way boys!" a photographer yelled.
They only continued to nod and make there way to the big blue tour bus.....
May 5, 1999
I cannot be a drug addict. You hear me! I AM NOT A FUCKING DRUGGIE! Let alone an alcoholic! They never found me thank God. I hid in the storage closet downstairs for a few hours before I went upstairs. Dr. Johnson told me never to do that again. What a bastard. I always thought he was such a nice guy. Gina was genuinely concerned and not mad at me. She's the only I can trust in this hell hole. I have to escape. I just know I have to somehow. I keep having more of these images. It's strange. They last for like five seconds but they're just so vivid. So far I have a list of things that could be connected with who the hell I am.
-the name Chris
-a big blue bus
-lots of screaming people (mostly teenage girls)
What the hell could this all mean?
-Identity Crisis (Chris)
He walked aimlessly into the recreation room bored out of his mind. They were threatening to send him upstairs. He knew it. Upstairs was where they kept the crazy people. He wasn't crazy. No not him. He was normal. Perfectly normal.. he had to be....
"I wish for once life would be normal, you know back the way they used to be." the boy said.
He just stared at him blankly. "There is no such thing as normal." he finally said and took a long drag of his cigarette.
The boy shook his head. "You used to be normal, but now you're just some rock n' roll cliché. You're a damn drug addict." he sneered....
"Dammit I am not crazy." he told himself furiously.
Shaking his head he sat down at the piano in the corner of the room. Slowly placing his fingers over the smooth ivory keys he began to aimlessly play away at a song. A song so familiar. A song he had no clue about.
May 6, 1999
10: 25 p.m.
I found out I knew how to play the piano today. Weird huh? I just started to play this song. It was real pretty. I started to write a poem today. I have no fucking idea where it came from. Maybe I'll turn it into a song. That would be nice. I'm just feeling slightly less than normal. Feeling a little bit weird. I'm tired as hell. I'll be going now.
-Identity Crisis (Chris)
The moon shone brightly through the blinds as he slowly opened the door. Quietly he entered the room and wandered over to the desk. He opened the bottom drawer and pulled out a dirty black back pack. He set it on top of the desk and opened it.
It was empty.
Scowling he was about to put the bag away when he noticed an array of items in the bottom of the drawer. All in plastic zip up bags were bottles, bags of powder, a silver flask, a carton of cigarettes, a few joints, a lighter, aluminum, and a syringe.
He carefully opened up one of the bags and pulled out the silver flask.
"Dammit you're to drunk too sing."
"Shut up ass hole, I can sing just- just fine." he slurred as he took another mouthful of vodka.
Opening the flask he was met with the same familiar scent of harsh straight liquor. Unconsciously he swallowed some. Then some more. He didn't notice as the liquor burned as it traveled down his throat. He kept drinking until the flask was empty. Feeling a bit light headed he opened up another bag of the powder. He took the aluminum and poured some powder on there and prepared to snort a line. He snorted until it was all gone. That familiar buzz was starting to get to him.
He laid back on floor as colors began to mesh together and the bumble bees started to dance with the butterflies.
More, he needed more.
He opened all the bottles and swallowed all the pills. He didn't care what it was as long as it gave him that buzz. That feeling he had been craving for. More and more. He had smoked, snorted, shot, and swallowed everything in the bags. It was a wonder he was able to consume that much let alone stay conscious. A sinking feeling started at his toes and worked his way up. He coughed a little as his brain fogged over and he closed his eyes listening to his shallow breathing slow down.
Dr. Johnson walked into the Kramer Mental Center at approximately 7:01 a.m. May 6, 1999.
"Good morning Liz." he greeted the receptionist.
"Good morning Dr. Johnson."
He walked approached his office the door slightly ajar. Not taking notice of it he walked into his office and stopped like a deer caught in headlights.
"LIZ! SECURITY!" he finally screamed.
"He OD'ed himself."
Gina's eyes widened. "He what?"
Dr. Johnson sighed. "He overdosed himself on drugs. They found a large amount of alcohol and all sorts of drugs in his system. His body couldn't take it anymore. His brain shut down." he said his voice choking up.
Gina looked down at her hands. "Oh, where did he find the drugs?" she asked.
"He must of found everything in my desk drawer, every bag was empty, every bottle empty, everything." he shook his head and took off his glasses wiping a tear from his eyes.
Tears began to fall from Gina's eyes. "So sad, he was such a nice boy too."
Dr. Johnson nodded. "Did they ever find out who he was?" she asked.
He shook his head. "No, Gina could you get me my paper?" he asked.
"Of course, I'll be right back."
He sat there trying desperately to process what had happened. He was lying there on the floor. They had called 911. The tried CPR and everything. He was dead. He was now in the morgue waiting for someone to claim his body. He looked at a picture of him just taken days before. He always liked to have a picture of each other his patients. He looked confused, a blank look on his face, yet he was smiling.
"Here's your paper."
"Oh thank you Gina." he said and accepted the paper and opened up the New York Times.
He flipped through the newspaper and stopped when something caught his eye in the Entertainment section.
"Missing Hanson Brother"
Dr. Johnson stared in horror at the article and at the picture. He looked from at the picture on his desk to the picture on the newspaper. His gaze finally settled at the phone. Slowly he picked up the phone.
A young fifteen year old girl sat down on the couch Friday May 7, 1999 and flipped on the TV just in time to catch MTV News 1515.
"Hi I'm John Norris and tonight is a special MTV News 1515, it's been a day since the world has been informed about the disappearance of oldest Hanson brother Isaac. Today he's been found dead. As we all know Hanson was in Los Angeles interviewing producers for their upcoming album when Isaac was reported missing the morning of April 4, 1999.
(camera cuts to the face of Taylor Hanson inside a studio)
Taylor: It's not like it was anything out of the ordinary to wake up one morning and see that he's missing. Usually he would show up a day or two later and it wasn't getting to be a big deal you know?
Interviewer: Were you aware of his drug and alcohol problem?
Zac: Oh yeah, of course. We all did. It started out back during the Albertane tour last year. At first he would just be smoking and taking pills for stress and headaches. Soon it led to more and more drugs and alcohol. And he was constantly partying once we got home. He would come home completely drunk or stoned, or sometimes even both. We constantly told him to stop that he had to quit. And our parents threatened to take him to a rehab center if he didn't clean up his act.
Interviewer: Why didn't you ever stop him?
Taylor: Like we said, we tried, we begged, we prayed, we threatened, we took him to a few doctors and all they could recommend was those AA meetings and a rehab center. Our parents were going to admit him to a rehab center once we got back from L.A. but he ran away. (tears begin to roll down his face, his voice chokes up) I'm sorry please shut off the camera. (he puts hand over camera lens)
(camera cuts back to John)
"And there was a very emotional Taylor and Zac Hanson. Evidently Isaac had gotten up to Alameda, a town nearby San Francisco where he collapsed in a park from a drug overdose. He was then taken to the hospital where he was unconscious for nearly two weeks. He then woke up having amnesia. Not at all aware who he was, where he was, and why he was there. He was then admitted into Kramer Mental Center where he was under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Johnson.
(camera cuts to Dr. Johnson inside his office)
Johnson: When he first came here he was this kid who swore too much and had absolutely no clue who he was. He had a few nervous breakdowns. We gave him plenty of sedatives for those. Funny thing is nobody recognized him. I myself have a niece and nephew who are crazy over Hanson. It was a wonder I didn't recognize his face. We gave him a journal to write in and he would sign as Identity Crisis. It was all so strange. (Dr. Johnson looks down at his desk and sighs) That's all.
(camera goes back to John)
"And there was Dr. Johnson. But what about Identity Crisis? Was Isaac Hanson going through an identity crisis?"
(camera cuts back to Taylor and Zac)
Interviewer: Do you think Isaac was going through an identity crisis?
Taylor: Um yes and no. He definitely knew who he was but at the same time he didn't. He was confused about a lot of things.
Zac: Yeah and the ironic thing is he started to write a song called Identity Crisis. He never finished it. He just had some of the lyrics on a sheet of notebook paper that we found in our room at home, and at the mental hospital they found the finish lyrics and music to the song in this journal he had there. (he holds up open journal to lyrics to Identity Crisis and a sheet of notebook paper with unfinished lyrics) I think he remember the title of the song because in the song it describes everything he's pretty much going through (starts to read out loud lyrics)
Identity Crisis by: Isaac Hanson
Life doesn't seem the same anymore,
It's so different today,
Feeling like the world's staring at me,
Laughing at all my mistakes,
Feeling slightly less than normal,
Feeling rather strange,
Maybe I'm just going through an identity crisis,
Going through a change,
Can you tell me if tomorrow will be the same?
Can you tell me if my life will ever change?
Just sitting here staring at the sky,
Waiting for the answer I need to hear,
Can you tell me if I'll be the same tomorrow,
Can you tell me who I am?
'Cause I'm going through an identity crisis
Going through a change
Today the world laughed at me,
But I didn't know who the hell I was,
I'm having an identity crisis,
I don't even know my name,
If only somebody would reach out their hand,
If only somebody would understand,
Maybe I wouldn't be so confused anymore,
Maybe I'd even know my name,
Maybe I wouldn't be going through and identity crisis
(repeat chorus until music fades out)
(Zac's voice begins to waver as he finishes reading the lyrics to the song, he wipes a tear from his eye. Camera cuts back to John Norris)
"Taylor and Zac say they don't know if they will continue making the new album now because of the death of their brother, they don't even know if they will continue on as a band. They said 'A part of being Hanson was being three brothers who loved to make music, now there are only two of us' quote unquote. Well everybody here at MTV give our sympathy and condolences to the Hanson family. They will be holding a private funeral on Sunday in Tulsa. Thank you and stay tuned for MTV News 1515 next week."
(ending credits roll by. After ending credits screen dissolves into picture of Isaac Hanson playing his guitar. Written below is:)
Clarke Isaac Hanson
November 17, 1980- May 7, 1999
The world will be missing you
*Identity Crisis written by Tammi Kim