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september 2005

Numb Except12:27am wednesday, 28th september
One day, you wake up
numb except for this dull pain
at the center of your chest,
and this feeling like
you want to go backward,
and you want to move on,
and you don’t know
how it is, exactly, you can
do either. You wake up,
not exactly that you’d
been asleep before,
except maybe that you’d
been kidding yourself,
imagining a lot of things
that really had no chance at all
of working out. Somehow,
you can trace it all back,
find out exactly what it was
that was the turning point,
mark it down as when
— though it wasn’t exactly that,
but a bunch of little things,
none significant in itself,
but enough of them
collect, and the center of
gravity shifts, imperceptibly,
and then you do that
one little extra thing wrong,
and everything falls over.
And it was all a dream,
before, something
that never really happened,
because it comes to
one day, you wake up
numb except for this dull pain
at the center of your chest,
and you find for the life of you,
that you can’t move at all.

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Hamlet7:22am saturday, 24th september
I was Hamlet, once. The story begins with that play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, where in the beginning, Guildenstern flips a coin, and it turns up heads 90 times in a row. Well, I had thought it was tails, and that Rosencrantz hadn’t guessed them, either, and that figures in a bit. In the play Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are supposed to give this note to such and such a leader while they are off with Hamlet visiting somewhere, and this leader is supposed to then give orders to off Hamlet. Hamlet, though, reads this note, and writes another note, replacing it, saying to kill the bearers of said letter, instead of himself. Thus, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are “hoist by their own petard”. Killed by the very thing that they carry. Hamlet was always getting the better of them. Back in the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, R & G have this game they play where you try not to answer any questions, and they intersperse parts of Hamlet there, where they all interact, and in the course of their conversation, H destroys them at this game. H is always 10 steps ahead.

I always had vague notions of being a Hamlet-like character, even before my madness, and then when the psychosis was in full swing, I made up a character for myself: Hamlet, Prince of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, because, well, I was stoned off my butt, and really thought somewhere where pot was legal would have been really cool to be prince of. I also have the “to be or not to be” speech memorized, for real. Hamlet was always one of my faves. So, anyway, this last day before I was kicked out of this apartment, I proved (at least to myself and the voices in my head) that I was Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who in my mind was at the mercy of the coin, which I mistakenly thought had turned up tails again and again: I flipped a coin myself, slapped it on the table, and had my hand over it. “Heads,” I said, and I was willing it to be so. And in this little drama, I lifted my hand, and so it was: heads. Thus was I Hamlet for that day, that moment. Strange how elaborate these fantasies sometimes were, how strong sometimes the desire to be someone not yourself — one who just might be in better control of his destiny.

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Night Falls 45:14am tuesday, 20th september
Night falls, and wonder does not die with the light, but rather stares up at the stars.

Night falls, and it is as if the sky opens up to reveal the infinite, and its thousands of eyes.

Night falls, where awake the predators one never sees coming, the sudden strike.

Night falls, the mask of day peeled off to show the bare darkness underneath it all.

Night falls, and dreams shall come, to imagine day when day has left us all alone.

Night falls, and some desires only come when we forget ourselves in the darkness.

Night falls, solitude an easy thing when one needs merely find a shadow, and vanish.

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Tattoos3:13am friday, 16th september
I am scarred by tattoos I wear on the inside. They are just as indelible as the ones you wear on the surface of the skin, only that I may really know that they are there, trace their patterns in my mind. These are the markings in my soul that either I made in my desperation to get out of myself, or that the ghosts within me scratched upon my essence. I have images of the Great Spirit, and other gods and heroes — their autographs signed within me. I have sigils left by the Devil, and the Archangels Micha-el, Gabri-el, and Rapha-el; and I wonder what the strange shapes signify. Some are marks of love, others warnings brought out from anger and revenge, and no two would ever go together except that they both happened to me in some way. And there, too, are scribbles written in blood, that I sometimes wonder what they portend, or if they really meant nothing at all, just that in the Treasure Hunt, you always have to leave some blood behind.
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Hush7:00am monday, 12th september
Listen to the music that plays when all is merest hush:
there is a whole other world that exists only in whispers’ breath.
Hope sings at such a volume, if only one stops to perceive.

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The Rare Link6:15am thursday, 8th september
You know me; even though this is more or less a blog, I generally speaking never link. But I found something recently that I’d like to point to, for your edification as well as my exposition, a thinking that I’d like to pursue. It’s PBS.org, the website to go along with a documentary about John Nash — the “real” story, opposed to the fictionalized account that got played so very well in the movie A Beautiful Mind. What makes me link to it is about halfway down the page, where it starts, “The review found that a decade after an initial schizophrenic incident, one-quarter of schizophrenics were completely free of any symptoms.” Myself, I had never seen that statistic before: one quarter of us will get better to the point that there will of us be no symptoms at all. Yes, it would take ten years, but man, that’s such hope to many of us, I think, who generally think of the disease as something you never get better from except in the rarest of cases. Isn’t that what you heard about it, too?

Then, the next paragraph goes on to say, “Ten years following a first schizophrenic episode, another 25% are ‘much improved,’ meaning they still might marry, live independently, or hold some kind of employment, although part-time. These people almost always rely on medications to reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia....” And that’s me, folks. To a T (except that I work full-time). I still have the rare symptom at times, though it is always a transitory phenomenon, and I definitely have to stay on my meds — or bad things happen. But man, that’s 50% of us: one out of two people with schizophrenia will get better to the point where they can lead “normal” lives. Was anyone else aware of these numbers? Where did we get the idea that this disease was generally a permanent disability? Because this information shocked the heck out of me. So anyway, that’s why I link today. There’s more on the site, so explore. And be of good cheer, for there is hope for us, after all.

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I in I7:17am sunday, 4th september
I, the ashes of which form my body,
breathe in another last breath,
ending after ending neverending,
so many tunnels I’ve flown through.

I, the dreaming of which is my soul,
play at being awake these daylight
moments, when things happen,
and it is so very easy to pretend.

I, the crying of which is my heart,
shoot myself in the foot again,
which being a metaphor doesn’t
explain anything about me.

I, the desire of which fills me,
imagine things I can only say
fill me with fear if they should
happen, or in fact, if they don’t.

I, the oblivion of which drives me,
cannot say I ever wanted to
die, just wondered if meaning
existed somewhere... else.

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