A long time writing
This story was long in the making. Those who know me say I put a lot of myself out there for you to read about. Maybe so, I can tell you that the dream sequences are all me, much to my chagrin. Below I've added the prologue of the book, and you can find the rest of it within the stories and poems I've added to the website. I hope you enjoy The Number of Man.
I find it funny that I feel I must title the beginning of this tale, but that's what the vast majority does, right? Why should I be any different?
People write stories for various reasons. Some write to share an experience, others to excite and arouse us. I write because I have nothing better to do. You can only spend so much time in one place before you look to find something new, and my something is to journal my thoughts, jotting down ideas and adventures of the folks around me.
I find myself stuck somewhere between here and there, right and wrong, all the good cliches coming together in a puddle of madness. We are here, and that's all you need to know. Before I continue, I would like to go on record by quoting an unknown but famous writer. He says it so eloquently in just a few simple words.
'We just burned down the church while the choir within sang religious songs. We're all crazy, we're all crazy.'
A beautiful sentiment, isn't it?
We are all dressed in white, and like a bride, we stand in judgment of purity and self-worth.
I could go on, showing you the right and wrong of it all.
I could, but I won't.
I will cup my hands, raising them to the heavens.
Letting the holy water run through the cracks.
Let the oracle begin its transmission.
Chaos is the message.
Let us begin with that then.
Once more, I will spin the wheel.
Once more, I'll land on the number of man.
We are made to see the psychologists on biweekly intervals. They claim it's good for our health, though I suppose it's to justify their existence. We each have our own experiences here, but one thing I've noticed after speaking to the others is there seems to be a uniformity in each session.
The doctors sure don't have much in the way of imagination or style for a profession that takes seven years or better to achieve. For instance, stepping into the office, you will exchange pleasantries. You will be asked how you've been doing, and then he will write down what he thinks is essential. He'll then begin his talking points, which will include the use and effectiveness of medications, your feelings of depression and anxiety, and lastly, cognitive behavioural therapy.
I believe that altering the way you think might work on a person who can absorb the idea or, at the minimum, understand its concept. I personally, in an overall kind of perspective, think it's a whole big load of shite. I was dumbstruck the first time I encountered this idea of reflection, at the absurdity of the concept. I believed that the physician was shirking his responsibilities. It shouldn't be up to me to renovate my subconscious. It's his responsibility to build me into a better me.
Before I go much further, I should explain that cognitive thinking is a way of training your mind to function a certain way, by changing how you respond to social interactions. I know that this is a very brief synopsis, but it's the best you're going to get from me.
So back to my initial thoughts.
The psychologist I see regularly has it in his head that I can reason myself whole. I understand that this is a way of looking at things, but it's true nonetheless. I could even get behind it if my brain would play nice with me, but seeing that it sometimes believes that the whole world is a giant prick, you might see how hard it can be for me to buy in. I've brought this up to him on numerous occasions, only to be dismissed as most of us have. I don't imagine he really wants to hear what I'm saying, but I struggle on in my limited war against the machine.
I put an argument to him. If I break an appendage, will I be able to think it better? For the most part, we all have arms and legs. Either of these can be used in my example. So, let's say the patient in question, which is me, has had a bad break. The doctor arrives and says to me, that by being positive and reasoning through the healing process, the bone will mend itself.
What do you think? What's the likely way that bone is going to heal? I'll tell you how. Support is how. Maybe by the assistance of a sling or cast. The bone cannot be allowed to move, thus speeding its recovery.
Resting is another way to restore a broken bone. This is just common sense, isn't it? A person needs support and rest, not some ridiculous idea of thinking yourself better.
If your state of mind can result in your being able to heal yourself, then with all this counselling, I should be coming up all unicorns and rainbows.
I can see that I've gotten off track here, but in conclusion, I believe that it's a lazy, cookie-cutter way of doctoring someone. Its bullshit is what it is.
I had another resident of the 'Hospital' describe his condition as to being a dick that everyone jerks around as the mood strikes them. In his words, there is no payoff, no release, just a hand that gropes around with little to no direction, frustrating you at its ineffectiveness. I found this a curious way to look at things, and after processing the idea, I urged him to describe it in more length. The reply surprised me in its directness. He felt that not only did he have the right to be a dick, but he had the right to jerk others around by being so. It was undoubtedly an interesting, if not crude, way of thinking. I can't say I agreed with him, really, it didn't even make a lot of sense, but it's his thoughts, not mine.
Mental health is akin to running into a stone wall headfirst, with no regard for your life or wellbeing. Now anyone can run into a wall you say, but that's not exactly what I'm trying to get at. It's more of a mental barrier that I'm speaking about; although, it could be a physical one, so don't completely close your mind to that idea. The likelihood of an individual actually running into a wall is highly unlikely; however, someone who suffers from psychotic episodes just might attempt it, thinking all the while that it's the most fabulous idea in the world. It can be a rinse and repeat recipe in which a person has no control, and likely won't remember. They only feel that it's rational to continue the exercise, much to their joy and horror.
We all likely have heard the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. Or, in some cases, putting a subject in a round room and asking them to find a corner. It's not really mad for a person to try to find a niche in a circular room. The shape of the chamber doesn't matter at all to the troubled one. While you only see an individual staring vacantly in one direction. They only see a spot on the wall that might lead to escaping the whole damn thing, and I'll tell you only once, that spot is more significant than you know.
I'll let you ponder that last statement as I go for a drink.
Okay, so here I am. Have you figured it out yet?
Being demented can be a hazy, confusing, hyper-aware, way of living. We all have some traits of madness. I don't agree with the term Mental Health. I find it degrading and insulting. It's such a broad form of defining a person's disability, a blanket diagnosis that insurance companies and corporations use to explain away an individual's life. The politically correct and the overly sensitive have no idea what it's like to feel like I do. They look at the words as a kinder, less hurtful way of identifying us. I don't have a mental health illness. I have a condition, a disorder, and that being said, I'm Hyper Manic Bipolar, one with higher than normal levels of depression. It's not the same as any of the other kinds of 'Mental Illnesses.' I'll go on record as saying that people like us don't need people like you. We got along just fine before you all tried to place us in your little boxes.
The doctors and psychologists, hand out our levels of normalcy. They do so by way of papers or writs that give others the ability to judge us. I don't think they have a clue, honestly. They read their books and spew out their words as vomit into an already troubled mind. Who the fuck are they to say that we're not healthy? The guy on the park bench, talking to his coffee cup, would say he's okay. If that same guy supports himself and does nobody harm, who's to say he's any less rational than you or me. He certainly seems to be enjoying himself, and the cup is getting more attention than it has in its whole existence. A win-win if I ever saw one. In my humble opinion, we all should speak to a few more things, and a lot fewer people, maybe a few animals and trees also. People are just more troublesome, and really, I've never once in my life seen anyone get in trouble for conversing with a squirrel.
I can't see any sense to carry on writing today, and for those of you reading this, well, fuck off. Honestly, I don't mean to be crude, but where do you get off reading my private accounts? I don't go through your things, do I? Hmm, well, maybe I do... Perhaps I know what you're hiding. For all one knows, I touched your thoughts when you weren't looking. Maybe I'll run my fingers through your things tonight... in the darkness... while you're sleeping... I'll let you ponder that for a while.
Well, I'm going out to feed the birds. Recently, we've had an excellent assortment of them: Blue jays, sparrows, and one very fat purple and grey pigeon. We have discussions, him and I, a little one-sided but engaging all the same.
I'm walking out to my place under the maple tree. The wind is blowing, and the sun is shining.
Everything's coming up roses.
Beware the number of man.