Full disclosure, I was institutionalized. For two years after I was found on some desert roadside. What do you do with a person who has no memory? Amnesia is possibly one of the most terrifying things a person can experience. Not pain of the body but the soul’s torture.
In 2006, this guy wakes up in Denver, no wallet, no idea who he was. He had just the English language and the clothes on his back. After much on-camera pleading and other media coverage, someone came forward to claim him – his fiancé. Two years as a ward of the state and no one claimed me.
My memory of the Psych Hospital is blurry. I know there were private sessions and group sessions. Probably lots of drugs and the occasional shock treatment but not one kernel of my previous history dropped from the crazy tree. What memories I do have are of my friend, the man who found me on the side of the road. He was actually an attendant at the place.
First morning I woke up in a very white room. At the end of my bed was this Indian in doctor’s green scrubs.
“How you doing?” He asked.
“Can you read?”
“Yeah. I guess so.”
And he dropped the biggest bundle of newspapers I have ever seen on the foot of my bed.
“Start reading, then. You’ve got a lot to figure out.”
He started to leave but stopped just at the door.
“I named you Moses.”
“Moses? Why Moses?”
“Because you came out of the desert, man. What, I’m gonna’ name you Geronimo. I’m Cherokee not Apache and you’re no Indian. So, Moses.”
And then he left me to begin my first project – catching up with a world I couldn’t remember being a part of.