5150: A Transfer
A fictitious medical memoir
about juvenile mental health
by Duncan MacLeod
Set in San Francisco's Tenderloin district in the 1980's, 5150 depicts a failure in the rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. When young, gay Ethan Lloyd awakens to tremors he is first convinced they are little earthquakes. They turn out to be a forewarning of a psychotic episode that lands him first in jail, and then transferred or "5150'ed" to the mental hospital. Told in the first person with an extremely unreliable narrator, the book drags the reader into the world of madness and mental hospitals, with only the occasional gasp for air in the agreed-upon common reality most of us share. Ethan's struggle to regain his sanity is pockmarked with psychosis and cigarette smoke intertwined in a coffee-ringed world of hairspray, dyed black hair, hobos, and hospital gowns. Were it not for society's waterlogged safety nets, he might never have returned to share his tale of survival.
About the Author: Duncan MacLeodDuncan MacLeod is a native Californian who was transplanted to the East Coast for boarding school and a failed semester at a prestigious Ivy League school. He returned to California to finish his education at San Francisco State University, where he majored in Film and Italian. He directed a feature documentary "La Lucha/The Struggle," performed lead autoharp in the band "The Acres," and is author of the semi-autobiographical novel "5150." Currently, he lives in greater Los Angeles with his partner Rafael and his dog Patsy. He is working on "1/2" - the sequel to 5150, due out in 2015.