May 2, 2012

Seventy-Two Hours in the Life of my Friend Bobo McDonald

by James Riva (author's profile)


James Riva W38533


April 19, 2012

Dear Jim,

I must apologize for losing two of your letters without reading them. I am back in the Veteran's Hospital because of illegal tactics, and people lying about my so-called strange behavior.

You see, it was a driving snowstorm, and I was somewhere near the Cambridge and Somerville line. As you know, my leg bothers me and I can't walk far. I got evicted from the group home because of lies and conceited conspiracies. So they even would not cash me my usual $75 check at the cashier's window. So I was homeless walking the streets of Cambridge, as I said it was somewhere near the Somerville Cambridge line. I couldn't carry my canvas bag too well because of my leg. The canvas bag has an American Veterans of Vietnam logo on it. I am not a Vietnam War Veteran. I am a Vietnam War era veteran, meaning I was on active duty while the Vietnam War was going on, but I did not get sent to Vietnam, but the bag doesn't explain that, so I am telling you the reason.

I gave some guy a dollar to carry my bag with the Vietnam War Veteran logo on it because my leg hurts. I told him to carry it up to the Albany St. bus stop. Then I decided that I would quickly go into the store and buy a good bottle of sherry. Sherry has lots of vitamins in it like iron. They used to give it to young girls in the 1800s in Massachusetts to keep them from fainting while working the textiles machines for 12 to 16 hours a shift. My leg was hurting and I also bought some tobacco in a tiny cellophane pouch with the rolling papers. I don't smoke the store bought cigarettes because they add poison to it. I hand-roll all my cigarettes with natural tobacco, so it isn't harmful to my health in moderation.

Momentarily I forgot about the guy who carried my bag that had all my things in it, among those things the two letters from you I had not read yet because of dramatic events as they unfold in my life.

I found a bench to sit on and it stopped snowing. I took a rest and drank a tiny bit of sherry along with a smaller bottle of vodka – domestic – I can't afford Russian vodka. I had some coins in my pocket and I was cold and hungry. I walked a little way down the street and into a store and bought a jar of marmalade with the coins and three bagels. I tried to make a sandwich right there in the store because it was cold out but the store clerk explained that I had to leave. I think he might have called the mental health people at the Veteran's Hospital. I asked if I could use the bathroom and I told him I felt a little sick. He asked if I wanted him to call an ambulance. I said no. I explained that sometimes I throw up a little. He pointed towards the back of the aisles where employees wash up and there are a few metal lockers. The door in the bathroom had no lock but the two stalls did have latches. I sat on the toilet with the stall latched shut and made two bagel with marmalade sandwiches. They were delicious. I felt bad about others who don't have any food on a cold night like this, so after I ate the sandwiches I left the remaining bagel and what was left of the marmalade on the little shelf next to the sink for the next hungry person. I don't know if any homeless person went in and ate it, but I did see someone else go in there just as I exited the store.

Just as I left the store a bus stopped in the street just in front of me. I climbed on and used my bus pass. I remembered my canvas bag with my things and your two letters inside it. I signalles the driver to stop at the Albany St. bust stop, but he just kept driving all the way. It might have been half an hour later I was finishing off the bottle of sherry in the back of the bus and the vodka because the seat was uncomfortable and the heater was warming my legs and feet. The bus driver told me I had to get off the bus because there were no more stops. It might have been after two in the morning. So that's why my canvas bag is missing. I am going to put an ad in the paper offering a reward for its return.

It was cold but not snowing. I had no money left. I found a bench outside a closed supermarket and sat down. I still had plenty of tobacco. I rolled a cigarette. Some young tought guys were rough-housing nearby, punching each other and pushing each other around in the snow. I still had on my Vietnam Veterans hat with the visor like a baseball cap only without the name of the baseball team on it but Vietnam War Veterans on it in front, even though I am not a Vietnam War Veteran, but a Vietnam War era veteran. Some of the young guys were talking about how "We can't do that to him. He's a veteran." One of them handed me a beer and they left me alone.

I just removed the cap from the beer when all of a sudden, a white can pulled up and that bastard Vince Lamonte jumps out (he's the one I told all the other veterans at the group home to tell him I want him to challenge me to a duel to the death), and he yells "That's him! Get him!" But I was too cold to move and my leg hurts so all I could do was stand and try to throw my bottle at him but it didn't hit him. They put restraint straps on me and illegally took me into custody. They took all of my clothes and made me take a shower at four in the morning with water that was somewhere between cold and slightly warm. I shivered for hours afterwards.

The robbed me of my tobacco and made me stay in a small room with a metal bed that was bolted to the floor. I didn't sleep and in the morning that bitch Karen Jones came in without her nurses uniform on and told me I was getting committed for the rest of my life. She handed me some pills and told me to take them or I'd be sorry. I told her she was violating the United States Constitution. Two young guys should up with big arms and were laughing at me shivering there. One of them told me that I better take them. So I took the pills.

They did give me a generous breakfast though. I had four pieces of toast and three of those small boxes of sugar frosted flakes. Then they took me to a mental ward where they don't allow smoking. I informed them that I know some lawyers and that they were violating my rights to smoke under the United States Constitution. Nurse Karen came by still not in her uniform and told me they don't allow smoking on this unit.

Then I had a choking fit. Sometimes for no reason my throat gets tight and I cough and it gets tighter and I can't breathe. This time my bladder let go while I was choking on the floor. They came in and looked at me on the floor, and I don't remember too good what happened. I was in the shower again with hardly any hot water. They gave me a set of pajamas to wear. I asked for clothes and one of the guys with the big arms gave me a used bathrobe made out of terrycloth. It had pockets.

Then around supper time that bastard Vince comes in and tells me I am getting committed to the Veteran's Hospital for life! he says HE is my legal guardian! He is not my legal guardian! I don't need a legal guardian! I told him I want my weekly check. He said I don't get to have money on this unit. Then they brought me more pills with my supper. I woke up with a blanket on top of me the next morning.

I told you I got evicted from the group home because of a landline phone. I ordered a landline phone not a cellphone, for my room in the group home. That whore Jennifer found out and told me if the phone company comes to install a landline in my room I am kicked out. I informed her I have the right under the United States Constitution to have a phone in my room. She told me only cellphones, no landlines. Then she had me thrown out. All my things, your two letters I never read, all in my canvas bag that got lost at the bus stop because the driver wouldn't stop at Albany Street.

Inside the bag along with your two letters that I did not get to read was a large candle I bought for someone as a gift, but she said she did not want it so I kept it for someone else who might need it. Almost the exact same thing happened with another canvas bag I used to have.

I was again homeless after being evicted for lies by people at the group home. All my books and letters, some of them from you, were in that bag. I was tired and my leg hurt so I set it down next to a lamppost. I went into the store to buy some legal spirits and tobacco but I got into an argument with the cashier and he kept yelling at me to get out and I kept insisting I be given the bottle of sherry and the pouch of tobacco with the rolling papers. He came around the counter holding a large flashlight like a club. So I left. I was so angry and disoriented that I walked several blocks down the street to find another store to buy sherry and tobacco. When I came back my bag was gone.

I am now on the better unit where they allow me to smoke. I can't figure out how to use the phones. Can you help me with my illegal capture? I will write more later when I can get stamps.


Your friend,

Bobo McDonald


Replies (4) Replies feed

LisaHeard Posted 6 years ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 12 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I worked on the transcription for your post.

LisaHeard Posted 6 years ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 12 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished working on the transcription for your post.

SAH Posted 5 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 4 months ago   Favorite

James Riva Posted 5 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
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