The Giant of Hampton Bays

Eight hours after leaving the hospital, I was sitting outside the bungalow of the inn I had checked into.  Across the street  was a single house with yellow crime scene tape streamed around it.  Down the road was the bay.  With  nothing much to do, I decided to go for an evening walk on the beach. After journeying about a quarter mile through the sand, I discovered an enormous wooden log lying on its side. Obviously, the town parks department had it transported to the beach for tourists and local residents to sit on while viewing the ocean. Most likely an old telephone pole, this piece of timber was about nine feet long with a circumference close to fifty inches.  Judging from the numerous beer bottles strewn around the log, I was obviously not the first person to take advantage of this man-made respite. As I tried to relax by watching distant waves in the moonlight, I knew Mitch was not going to make it.

 

*

 

The following morning I received a call from the hospital telling me how Mitch’s condition had worsened overnight.  I drove to the Vincent-Marcus Center and was greeted in the lobby by Dr. Vincent who explained that because Mitch’s brain was bleeding out, he would not survive more than an hour. She suggested I go sit with him until he stopped breathing. As I slowly, fearfully, made my way down the hall, I noticed a police officer standing guard outside another room.  From inside that room I could hear a patient holler, “You know why I fight and drink and rob houses?!”

The cop looked disgusted. “No, Simeon, why do you do those things?”

Simeon responded with words that would never leave me.  “Because it’s the most fun in the world!”

Upon entering Mitch’s room, I could see that he was unconscious and yet in terrible pain. he was writhing in his bed. Because of his immense strength, they had him securely bound with heavy duty straps. Arms that can hoist a thousand pounds are not ones you want flailing about. I’d brought Mitch to this center hoping to save him, but that is not what happened. I hung my head in sorrow and began to pray. Unfortunately, the loudmouth criminal across the hall made it impossible to focus. Losing all patience, I stomped over to the police officer, pushed him aside, and entered the room. What I saw ended my diatribe before it started. Simeon’s skin was such a deep yellow that it appeared almost green under the room’s lighting.  From my own medical training I could tell he was in the advanced stages of cirrhosis of the liver. Even the whites of his eyes had become yellow. He also had a large scar across the side of his face, a nuthouse grin, and a black metal spike in place of a tooth. As I stood before him, unable to express a word, the police officer grabbed me and shoved me out of the room.





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