One night in Florida
I was about 14 and our neighbor in his 60’s went crazy one night. In retrospect it was probably a psychotic break. This neighbor, his wife and daughters were friends of ours. His youngest daughter (a surprise baby) was 18 and she and I were friends. She confided in me that she planned to become anorexic because someone famous was. I diligently researched this and decided I liked food way too much but wished her well on her quest. I think the first time I heard Jack and Diane was on their stereo. I spent a lot of time at their house and treated them like an Aunt and Uncle, they treated me like family too. We all thought a lot of one another. This is actually kind of painful and frightening to remember. The only way to look back on this is with some humour. (No I do not think mental illness is funny so don’t whine at me about being rude) I cared very much for these people and they cared a lot for us.
Miss Kitty isn’t my name but she was the coolest lady on TV back in the 70’s; so I chose to use Miss Kitty as my name in this story.
Ok, back to the night the lights went out for Mr. Crazy pants. Near 10 pm there was this banging on the door my Grandma and I both just stared at the door because NO visitors worth having came after 7pm, nor did they just pop up in the evening without phoning first. Lawrence Welk was on!! Anyway…the banging was loud and made the door shake. This was pretty scary for a widow and a teenager. Then the hollering started…”Oh Miss Kitty I need you so bad” …”Oh Miss Kitty open the door!” We were terrified! Needless to say we didn’t make a sound and did NOT open the door. At first I wanted to because he was my “uncle” and he told me to open the door. It's good manners and all to do as you're told, but he didn’t sound right. My Grandma told me to sit down. She told him through the closed door to “go home!” He started running around our house screaming “Oh Miss Kitty, I want to…(grandma put her hands over my ears and walked me to my room). The screaming for “Oh Miss Kitty” continued. He started running up and down the street screaming my name. I was scared to death and wondered if this was what small town life was really like. I also began to wonder if I would really stay in this small town. I also wondered if the door would hold because he was back banging louder than ever. My Grandma made the mistake of peeking out a window and saw much MORE than she bargained for. It was then that she called the police, she hadn’t before because his wife was due home soon from bingo and would surely reign him in. Also it isn’t exactly the neighborly thing to do, calling the police on a friend and all. The police came to pick him up about 10 minutes later. The sheriff called my Grandma to make sure she was ok; he was still screaming my name. Since the sheriff was a relative of ours they told her that they found him running up and down the street stark naked screaming my name. At his house he had tossed chairs through the glass door. There was raw meat all over his table. He had also emptied the freezer. The last we heard he was taken to the mental institution nearby……we never saw him again. His wife and daughter moved away shortly after this fun evening. Apparently his wife knew of his obsession for me, she also knew he was bat crap crazy, he was on medication for it, but she decided he probably didn’t need it anymore since he hadn’t tried to rape any young girls in years.
In order for this to be remotely funny you have to understand the effects of living in a small town and how it can lead to psychotic breaks.