The old demented Lithuanian is upset because I wanted to get an EKG for his heart block and bradycardia. He gets upset. He gets ornery. He raises his voice.

'Ah, you,' he says, 'you're a communist, aren't you?'

'You forgot your Red Star.' 'Where are we?' I ask.

'Where are we? Hah! You know! Where are we!?' OK, so it wasn't the most delicate way to ask about orientation. I think I know where he is; thirty years ago, in some Gulag. It dawns on me that this may be very real for him, and the EKG pads, Lord knows what he thinks those are.

I go sit next to him. 'How can I make this easier for you?' I ask, since he's been roaming the halls, and since we can't give haldol to someone in heart block.

'I don't have to talk to you,' he says. 'You're nothing.' It makes me wonder about his story. But since I don't have my Red Star with me, I suppose I can't very well interrogate him.

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