Thursday, April 7, 2011

Raymond Rutherford Interview

I'm standing outside of a padded room in the Ripton County Psychiatric Hospital. This area of the hospital makes the Sunnyside Wellness Center look like a day spa. Standing next to me is Dr. J. Emerson, the attending psychiatrist for Raymond Rutherford.

Dr. Emerson: As you can see, Mr. Bellman, Mr. Rutherford is in no condition to be interviewed. He has had a severe psychotic break due to the incident.

Bellman: The "incident" where he killed his entire family and tried to dump them in the lake?

Dr. Emerson: Yes. Just look at him, Mr. Bellman, you can see for yourself.

There is a window on the door and we both look through to see Mr. Rutherford – thirty-two years old, dark brown hair – sitting on the floor in a straightjacket leaning against one of the padded walls. We can hear a little of what he is saying.

Rutherford: ...the lamb lies down, but it never lies down, the lamb lies down but it never lies down...

Dr. Emerson: Do you see now? I've tried sedating him, but the sedation doesn't seem to have much of an effect.

Bellman: I'd still like to try to talk to him, Doctor. If you don't mind.

Dr. Emerson: Very well.

He pulls out a ring of keys from him pocket and carefully chooses one, then unlocks the door to the padded room.

Dr. Emerson: You should stay at least five feet away from him. If he doesn't like you, he tends to attack, even in the straightjacket. I'll be right outside.

Bellman: You don't want to observe?

Dr. Emerson: I'll observe from right here, thank you. Some of the things Mr. Rutherford says...unnerve me.

With that in mind, I slowly walk into the room.

Rutherford: ...the lamb lies down, but it never lies down...

Bellman: Mr. Rutherford? My name is Frank Bellman. I'm writing an article on what happened to you and your family. Can you tell me what happened? The police report says that you shot-

Rutherford: Shot? So quick, so clean an ending? Oh that was right, lad, that was brave. Yours was not an ill for mending, 'twas best to take it to the grave.

Bellman: Mr. Rutherford?

Rutherford: The crawlers cover the floor in the red ochre corridor. For my second sight of people, they've more lifeblood than before.

Bellman: I don't understand.

Rutherford: The eager pack lift up their pitchers – they carry all they lack. The liquid has congealed, which has seeped out through the crack.

Bellman: Mr. Rutherford, do you understand me?

Rutherford: I understand. Right you guessed the rising morrow and scorned to tread the mire you must. Dust's your wages, son of sorrow, but men may come to worse than dust. Men may come to worse than dust.

I knock on the door once and Dr. Emerson opens it to let me out.

Bellman: It's just snippets from songs and poems.

Dr. Emerson: Yes, I know. Sometimes he'll seem lucid, but whenever we try to ask about the incident, he goes back to talking like that.

We both look back through the window. Mr. Rutherford has laid down completely on the floor, still muttering to himself.

Rutherford: ...the lamb lies down, but it never lies down...

No comments:

Post a Comment