This is a story based on true events of a man who had been a drunk since high school who began to suffer from a real medical issue that was missed in the ER due to some odd events. He goes into a severe delusion where he thinks his friends are chasing him with the idea they are going to kill him with near fatal results.
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This is a true story and it was the character that I have named "Ken" who told me this story. I've known him now for about 30 some years and he really was a life time drunk with his career in drinking starting in his senior year in high school. The shame of it all was that he had been given a full basketball scholarship to attend one of the bigger medium sized colleges in Michigan. He showed up to the first summer basketball camp absolutely plastered and they cut him and his scholarship on the spot.
Ken has since become a 'former alcoholic' in the best sense that anyone can be a 'former alcoholic.' He nearly did die in the episode that I am telling here and after he was rescued, he spent about 15 days in an extended care unit after spending about ten days in an ICU. They guy is actually pretty intelligent and he wistfully talks about how he had a chance to go back in time and do his life over. I told him that probably wasn't a human alive that didn't wish for the same thing, no matter the heights or depths they had hit in their lifetimes. There are no 'do-overs' in Life. You get but one shot and you hope you choose wisely the first time around. As Henry David Thoreau said so eloquently, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
It was about a year after this event that we talked about his story. As he was telling me this story, I had a digital voice recorder and was taking notes as fast and furious as I could. It was strange to watch the change that came over him as he began to relive that night. There were a couple times I tried to stop him to clarify a detail but he never heard me. I had to write my question in the margins and when he was done, I did manage to get him to go back and help me fill in the story properly. I was amazed at the clarity with which he spoke and the vivid details he remembered. I've tried to use all of his details as I work on this story.
When this delusional stroll was over, he later walked over the path that he could remember traveling and he had walked that night and decided that he had traveled about four miles. The night was in early April as I have written and the temps fell down to 37 degrees that night and why he spent so much time hospitalized. When we finish this tale, you'll better understand the full meaning of that detail. He was found wearing only a pair of practice basketball shorts and a short sleeved cotton workout shirt. In the long run, he was lucky to be alive. Short of the occasional 'brush stroke of color' to deepen the mood I wanted to set in writing this, I have remained true to his story.