"Shhhhhhhhhhh...." he said as he gazed up into the trees on one side of the hotel. "Do you see them? Look! In army camo, with binoculars, they are watching this hotel."
The husband stands outside at the back of this hotel to have a smoke and is accompanied by another guest. A thin young man, this fellow watches the trees. Later when the husband recounts this story to me, I thought he said he had seen the soldiers too so I tiptoed to the window and reached up for the wands that are attached to the sheer draperies. I pulled them closed and stayed away from the windows.
I mentioned this to a friend whose husband was career military. He said they don't do maneuvers outside a Holiday Inn. I just smiled.
When I went outside to sit on the bench in the sun with my coffee, my eyes would wander to the trees and I would watch for them, those spies. In conversation with the husband a few days later, I asked if he had seen them again. His answer .."Seen them? I've never seen them. It was that guy that saw them, not me!" Ah....and the light flashed through this old brain. "Wasn't real was it?" I asked the husband. He just smiled and shook his head.
Later, when I encountered the hotel staff, I begin to hear more stories. The bugs crawling on this fellows arms, the request for Lysol, the scratches on his arms that he says are messages of the religious sort and his claims of people from space watching him. Delusional claims? A break with reality? A schizophrenic?
Apparently the story goes, this young man had been homeless and living in the woods, a drug user locally known. When hunger drove him to find a church and beg for food, the minister there settled him into the Holiday Inn for some R&R. He is allowed to stay a few days, courtesy of this minister. He is then checked out only to return a few days later and today he is back. He creeps to the front desk to whisper to the desk clerk about someone watching him.
There is someone watching him. I'm keeping an eye on where he wanders and what he is doing. He needs medical attention, not a suite at the Holiday Inn.
I pulled the sheers back to let in the sunshine and I no longer watch the trees for men in camo with binoculars! I now know where to watch and it's not in the trees.