I was released from the hospital with a train ticket to Philadelphia where my sister lived, but I did not want to bother them, so I went out to Long Island and visited John briefly where I could not stay either. I ended up wandering the streets of New York for a couple of days since I was not thinking clearly since I was on medication. I returned to the Greenwich Hospital for another week because my ankles had swollen up to three times their normal size from excess walking.
I was assigned a social worker who said I should apply for social security to pay for my hospital bill and to live on until I recovered sufficiently. She was able to find me a small room in a house in Greenwich, so I moved there from the hospital and began to read and rest and collect social security for my expenses. I had been letting my health deteriorate over a long period, so under the medication I slept a lot when I was not reading. I had to go to the hospital every day for my evening meal in the cafeteria since my room did not have a kitchen. I was also limited in my travels since I did not have a car. I spent a good deal of time reading in the library other than a month in February when I went down to my sister's house in Philadelphia and built a playroom in the basement of her house.
The winter was cold and when I returned from Philadelphia I bought my first television ever to see what was going on in the world according to the media. I made no headway on the job front particularly since my medication was making me drowsy. However, it was working and I was putting on weight for the first time in my life. I went from 135 pounds to a 195 pounds in less than three months which was too much weight, but I felt less nervous and hyperactive.
I kept seeing my psychiatrist, Dr. Hampton, once a week, and he said my health was improving. With all of the moving over the recent years, I had not had a stable environment and not only had my physical health, but my mental health had deteriorated. He encouraged me not to work and just get plenty of rest until I felt better whenever that occurred.
I started going to a church support group for people with psychiatric difficulties, and I immediately realized that my problems were not as difficult as a lot of the others. Still I enjoyed talking with the house wife who ran the group, so I continued with it for two years. I did not have the funds to visit friends in New York, so I became a recluse over the next two years spending most of my time reading and catching up on current events which I had never paid much attention to since I had never watched television regularly. I became addicted to the television news programs particularly the evening and late night news. I kept a late night schedule of reading, sleeping most of the day.
Although I had lived in Greenwich on and off for twenty years, I did not know anyone or had lost track of everyone that I had once known during many moves and my travels. Still it was good to be back to the safety and security of Greenwich and with access to one of the best hospitals around.
After six months I found a more expensive apartment down by the water which social security would pay for. The apartment was one furnished room with a view of the harbor and its own private bath. I was particularly pleased with the collection of books in the bookshelves from the land lady's grandmother who had help start the woman's suffrage movement. They added a lot of atmosphere to the room. The apartment was in a pleasing brick house which houses a number of other apartments. It was also within walking distance of town, the library, and hospital where I ate since the room only had a refrigerator.
That summer went by with much the same routine maintained, although I missed Nantucket I much enjoyed the warmer weather. The air conditioner in my apartment kept me cool while I read and watched the news through the night.
That summer I went down to my sister's house in Philadelphia and helped install a brick patio and prune some trees.
I was gradually accumulating books and clothes which I had not been able to do in my years of traveling. The next fall and winter came and I maintained the same routine. Although somewhat boring it was a healthy routine and I was very concerned about my health for a number of reasons.
I spent that Christmas down at my sister's house in Philadelphia, and my mother had visited me that fall on her way down to Florida. I had also been up to Yale once on the train to visit the university.
I was not allowed to work or I would lose my social security and I could not find any volunteer work that interested me. I decided to wait until I found a high enough paying job to make it worth my while to work and one that would not involve a lot of stress and that I was somewhat interested in. I even toyed with the idea of writing, but I did not feel competent enough, particularly the more I read. I had always read quite a lot during my school years and I always visited libraries and read where ever I traveled, but I always felt more overwhelmed the more that I read, I knew that there was much more that I had not read. The Greenwich library was an excellent source of reading for a town library. Although not as comprehensive as a university library, it was more than adequate for my needs, particularly since I was not specializing in my present reading.
The winter of 1985 passed in much the same way as the previous winter other than in April, I went down to Florida to visit my father for a week who was being treated for Parkinson's. My eldest sister and I visited him at the same time and we all enjoyed seeing each other.
After a week at my father's my sister drove across Florida to visit with my mother where my other two sister's and their families were staying in a cottage my mother had rented. All four of us kids were together with my mother for the first time in a long time. We had a good time visiting with each other, although I felt somewhat embarrassed being somewhat conspicuously overweight in my bathing suit.
We all spent a week together then I flew back home to Greenwich to resume my routine. I was feeling quite good and had become use to life on social security although not as prosperous as my neighbors in Greenwich.
That August I went up to Maine with my sister's family from Philadelphia to visit for a few days. I really enjoyed seeing Maine, although I prefer the isolation of Nantucket.
The fall came and my mother said she would buy me a used car, so I started looking in the classified section of the paper for a used car. I had not owned or driven a car for about five years, and I worried that I could not make the transition to driving again.
Finally in October, I found a used 1977 Dasher wagon like my sister's car in Philadelphia which was the best bargain I had seen in the paper in three months of looking. I purchased it, and then immediately had to deal with a number of expenses of maintaining it such as tune ups and insurance. My mother helped me cover the expenses, and despite the expense I enjoyed owning an automobile. It suddenly made my life considerably easier, all of the walking although healthy was time consuming and exhausting.
Within the next six months I would have to buy new front tires, exhaust system, radiator, alternator, battery, struts, brakes, not to mention routine maintenance. Although the car was not necessarily a lemon, a lot of repairs seemed to be due about the time I bought it, moreover I had to pay the insurance premiums. I had my mother's and elder sister's help with these additional financial obligations.
Still the car began to help me pick up the pace of my life and not be such a recluse. One really needs a car in the suburbs. I decided that it was time to try and make some new friends, so after exploring the immediate area, I decided to explore some of the local discotheques which are a convenient place for meeting other young single people. Gradually I began to meet a few people.
In February I drove down to Philadelphia to help my sister and brother in law paint their new house. After three weeks of non stop effort the job was completed and I returned to my routine in Greenwich with some extra funds. My routine remained basically the same in Greenwich other than I had the added convenience of the car. I worked on increasing the amount of time that I spent reading.
During this period I decided to assume the additional expense of having a telephone. After giving my number to my family, I contacted George my college friend from Buffalo. He was surprised to hear from me, and it turned out I had lived three miles away from him when I was at John's on Long Island. George had not changed and was still working with the horses, although now in the New York area. I went out to visit him and he was as congenial as ever. I wish I had stayed inn touch with him without the ten year gap.
About this same time I made friends with a skier from Bedford who worked in landscaping in the summer. Richard became a good friend and we spent a good deal of time adventuring out in the area until he started work that spring. We made one trip up to Stratton, Vermont on an early spring weekend which I enjoyed.
I would not make many trips out to Long Island to visit John or George since the traffic was extremely congested, but we would communicate at least once a month over the phone.
Richard would come down or I would go up to his house a couple of times a week. He tried to get me interested in skiing, although I was quite hesitant after having been nearly killed skiing in Italy fifteen years before.
My routine continued to expand and with the arrival of June, I started going to the beach in the afternoon several days a week. I greatly enjoyed reading and lying in the sun. I also would take the three mile walk around the beach park, particularly enjoying watching the wind surfing although I never attempted it.
My summer was quite enjoyable, and I did not spend nearly as much time in the library as I should have. I began to feel that I was falling behind on my reading, but my routines were keeping me busy. Richard would come down on weekends to go to the beach. George visited a couple of times, and Richard and I drove out to visit George for a rather over indulgent evening during the middle of the summer.
On the fourth of July on the spur of the moment, Richard and I decided to drive up to the Cape. We caught the early morning plane from Hyannis to Nantucket after driving all night. We were able to find accommodations and rent a jeep without reservations. We spent the day touring the island.
We drove out to Great Point and watched the fisherman surf casting. I had not been out there in ten years despite my frequent visits to the island. The island had changed somewhat, mostly the people, but it still looked the same as when I had left two and a half years before. We spent the afternoon at Nobadeer beach with a couple thousand other young adults. There was a whole different generation working during the summer on the island.
That evening we had a delicious salmon dinner at the Harbor House and explored the local discotheques and bars. The atmosphere was still the same on the island. The next morning we wandered around town and eventually caught the noon boat back to the mainland. After a pleasant ride on the ferry we went out to the airport to pick up the car. We saw Teddy Kennedy arriving at the airport, but neither of us were particularly excited since we were both republicans.
We made the drive back through considerable traffic. I would spend the rest of the summer going to the beach more often as the days got warmer, or indoors reading by the air conditioner.
During Labor Day weekend, I met a young Brazilian exchange student Hernado, who was working over in White Plains. During that fall I spent weekends showing him around the Greenwich area, going from the beach to ice skating rink as the season changed. Hernado has a great sense of humor and enthusiasm for America. We made one trip together into Manhattan where I showed him the World Trade Center, Mid town, the Metropolitan Museum, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. After about twenty miles of walking we were greatly exhausted, but we had greatly enjoyed the city. Through out that fall, Hernado would come over once or twice a week for dinner, and I enjoyed his company. He came over for Christmas dinner and returned to Brazil that January.