Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dementia

Around the time I got the final dole check until the cut off point, the old man ran out of Post-its. The Post-its had been ckeeping him in check for a couple of years - without them, he’d have forgotten how to do most of the stuff he’d stopped getting used to a couple of years before. So if he needed to remember to turn a tap off at night, he would stick a Post-it on his bedroom door, so that he could go back and check. He used to leave the kitchen tap running. Stopped doing that when he put the Post-its on  his bedroom door.
Then he started forgetting to water the plants. He’d been into gardening since his thirties, and he attmpted to cut despair’s laugh off early as possible by leaving Post-its around to help him remember to do a job that hadn’t required Post-its a few years before but now did, therefore turning it from a job into an order. An order from his past self. I rang him one day and asked him to come watch Memento but he forgot to come round. Sent him a link of the final scene on Youtube - guess that did the job. Definitely managed to do the job when i asked him about it a week later and he’d forgotten.
The strange thing about dementia is that we force ourselves to see it as nothing other than suffering, when in fact forgetting can be blissful. If memory is not required in order to survive - if memory serves as nothing more than to serve the capitalist paradigm that keeps us under its yoke - then the senile are truly free. They always remember to eat. They always remember to drink. Maybe not in the final weeks, sure, but by then the mind has practically ceased to be sentient. Before that, however, all the hitherto precious memories of the present - such as being able to remember the Prime Minister of Palestine, if there is one - fade out to be replaced by insane static. Insane, yes, but unhappy? I’m not so sure. My dad never lost his memories of childhood, which tells me something i already suspected - that adulthood is nothing more than a looking-back at the most real and true years of our lives.
Childhood, that timeless age where fear and happiness were more extreme than they’d be again, is indelibly stamped upon us, even in insane times. We escape back into that extremity of emotion to remind us that we were once alive. We, the sane, are dead in our short-termism. What is really important? We castigate and chide children for placing emphasis on unimportant things such as ice cream and jelly, but what is life than sensory pleasures? Sex is to the adult what ice cream is to the child - joyful. No more, no less. We are not really developed - we’re just better communicators, for a while at least.
Then communication’s bridges are burned, for whatever reason, and we cease to extend ourselves and retreat. For that is all that dementia is, really: the mind retreating, accepting its defeat against death. Nothing is more peaceful than a mind unaware of its body’s shortcomings. And so death is no longer dreaded, for nothing is known and nirvana is attained in life. The nirvana of forgetfulness.




Annoying how he shits himself though.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

wiki entry about the singer of korn

In the early 2000s, Davis began collecting serial killer art and memorabilia. In 2005, he was considering starting a serial killer museum with Arthur Rosenblatt but pulled out of the deal, leading Rosenblatt to sue him. The litigation was ultimately resolved successfully by Ed McPherson, Davis' attorney. Davis later denounced the items and got rid of them.







not good enough to send as an email but i felt the need to record it as a mildly amusing thing somewhere

Sunday, 24 November 2013

god damnit

>having a sunday morning wank
>sister arrives with nieces
>can no longer wank
>feel obliged to post about it on blog that is potentially available for anyone to see although only one person reads it atm
>twenty years pass
>boss finds blog
>fires me
>am homeless
>live under a bridge
>decide it's time for a wank
>sister comes along with now twenty-four year old nieces
>i consider continuing my wank
>i don't
>although it would have been funnier

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Coca-Coldilocks

Supple flesh. Muddy flop. Sodden boots. War. War mingled and mixed together until all got confused. We had lived through the Great War, the Shit War, the Cold War, the Hot War (and its sequel) and now had run out of ideas, so we decided to create a franchise.

The war to end all wars destroyed Europe’s progress since 1789. In a collective act of self-sabotage, Europe decided it didn’t want to progress for a while and as a result there were trenches. We the historians, so sure of our narrative, created curriculums based around the certainty of the entire war’s uselessness. Marshall Haig was the new Guy Fawkes. Always easier to teach narratives than occurrences. Haig was no more responsible for the deaths in the war than anyone else. His name just happened to be attached to it as an easy spacegoat.

Yes, spacegoat. Like Laika the dog, Haig the spacegoat was launched to general acclaim by General Acclaim and later found fame as being part of the easter eggs within the long-defunct Akklaim Studio’s Mortal Kombat II; alongside the ‘toasty’ reward there rested a goat whose stoic sprite would greet the use of an Animality straight after a Babality. This goat was named after Field Marshall Haig for reasons unknown - nevertheless the goat would live up to its name by grabbing a machine gun and, after greeting the arrival of every character in the game, lined up a submarine gun and dropped ‘em.

Yes, submarine gun. The submarine gun was developed on board U-Boot 442 in October 3rd, 1940 by Feldwebel Adam Staugerstacht, a man who liked to spend his time extracting meaning from the arrangements of dust upon the floor of the officers’ mess, proclaiming that the arrangements were evidence of a self-sustaining model of life forms arranging themselves in mimicry of Ulam and von Neumann’s cellular automatons. This was destroyed when Hans Joachim decided to walk all over the dust and laugh, before pointing out that the classification as outlined by Wolfram was one of four distinct categories, one of which was cellular arrangement in a chaotic fashion; seeing as the dust was not based on a Turing machine’s process, it was the third classification of chaos and of no interest to anyone except ‘saddos’. This, he said, justified the fact that he had taken it upon himself to piss on the floor. Staugerstacht was later recorded on the log as comparing Joachim to a ‘gnat’ before nibbling ‘like a gerbil’ on a nearby ‘thing’.
As a result of this collision of egos, the U-Boot was forced to return home after threats of mutiny from the crew. The men on board would later go into careers as soap.

This was going to be something interesting but I got distracted by a couple of typos.
“That was what God said in Eden. “
“Oh ho!”
I got distracted by a couple of hippos, actually, says God. God created man, but hippos came along and shat everywhere. Then they ate Adam and Eve. As a result we are descended from the atoms of two dead humans that were found inside a hippo’s poo. A hippoo, if you will. They died for our sins. Jesus attempted to tell everybody about it by going to find a hippo and let it eat him but he was wisely informed that it might be more dignified if he was crucified. Unicorns appeared in the Bible. This alone is evidence enough to backup the claims by recent historian Edgar Lol that it was the intervention of hippos that prevented Earth from becoming a Garden of Eden. He also cites the game Hungry Hungry Hippos as being a message from a secret sect as to the true fate of humanity during those formative years.

Ah, the formative years. The trauma sustained by our collective conscious. Neuroses caused by original sin. Should never watch your parents have sex - they fuck you up, your Adam and Eve. They were caught Larkin in the bushes. I don’t know where I’m going with this, said Edgar Lol, but wrote his thesis anyway - a theosophical study of the link between unicorns, hippos, Field Marshall Haig, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the weird clicking noise your throat makes when you haven’t drunk enough water. Lol later discovered to his delight that all these pointed to one truth and one truth only: that all souls are equally important, no matter where their bodies may be located. That was why, finding himself sipping a cocktail in Vilna, he felt comfortable enough to burst into a million tears over the flavour of the Coke that had been offered to him. When asked by concerned onlookers what the matter was, he could only sob “This Coke so beautiful - why is it only us who can enjoy it? Why can’t my grandfather’s ghost enjoy it? Why couldn’t Emperor Napoleon enjoy this, seeing as he was such a hard-working man? Why couldn’t Jesus get this? Why couldn’t the men dying on the Somme get this?”

And presently, a wavering image of Coca-Cola’s logo appeared before Lol’s eyes, and it told him in a strange but cosy voice that Coca-Cola was a front for a group of freedom fighters throughout history who have attempted to right the wrongs of all of humankind’s mistakes, and that the only way to tell what was a mistake and what wasn’t was to use time machines disguised as vending machines.

The first mistake identified by Employee 3432 was that Coca Cola had been invented far too late in humanity’s development to affect anything: the year 2344 to be exact, at which point there was only one man alive left on earth, and as he died of radiation poisoning caused by the war that had decimated humanity in its race for resources, he dropped the vial containing the holy liquid he had made in order to save humanity. As it trickled into his lips, which lay cracked upon the tiled floor, the final expression he bore was a smile. According to his biographer, a skeleton, this lamented saviour’s last words were “It’s the real thing.”

“Wait a minute,” said Lol to the Coca-Cola, “If the world ended that day, why and how could anyone have sent Coca-Cola back from the future to the present day?” He felt unsure about everything, especially as to why he as a stupid character had been kept around and not the guy at the start. And also what happened to the fucking hippos?
“Because we sent a man forward in time,” said the deep but wise voice of Coca-Cola.
“But that’s not possible, because you didn’t exist yet.”
“You’re right. But, like God, we somehow existed anyway. I think we created parallel universes a while ago and are able to jump between worlds. My PA just googled it and yep. We totally can do that. Did you like my pun. Can. You humans are so lame. I remember in ’85 we accidentally confused two of our parallel universes and ended up sending New Coke into this universe instead of keeping it in the other one. For a moment it seemed as if your reality would fall apart. People moaned. People groaned. People fought. People played draughts. People caught colds. People bought bowls. People
“Go on.”
“We fixed the problem. We managed to implement Coke as part of the USA’s winning formula in World War Two. Prior to our intervention, the USA didn’t have the morale or self-belief to win the war, and as a result, in 1942, we decided to head back home in a move that ended up losing the war. Sure, humanity survived the whole ‘fuck, the Germans won’ thing, but generally speaking it was the start of a slippery slope. The kind of slippery slope that leads to people like you no longer existing.”
“What do you mean, people like me?” said Lol.
“Well, my point is that you’re mixed-race, right? I’m okay to say that, yeah? We recently ran an advert showing our adherence to the values of the black community, so you don’t need to call me racist. I mean, our drink is black - you can’t get any more fucking racially aware than that, you know what I mean?”
“You do realise I’m a theosophist who has never set foot inside a... what are they called? Projects?”
“That’s the difference between you and I,” said Coca-Cola, shaking its fizzy head sadly, “You don’t believe in the power the multinational corporations can make to people’s lives. I intervened and won World War Two. But my work was not done. I intervened to stop World War One from also being won by the Germans. Unfortunately, doing so also altered the future. Before that, World War Two had only resulted in 10 million deaths. Now, it resulted in 100 million. So we went back again, and didn’t intervene as much in World War One as we did before. For whatever reason, we achieved a balance. Now, we’re working on going all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century and stopping World War One from ever happening.”
“You do realise how much you’re messing things up, right?” said Lol. “If you keep going farther back, you’re going to have to correct your mistakes all over again in the future.”
“We don’t think that way. We just do things because we want to, and because we think it will increase sales. Ultimately, our responsibility lies with our shareholders, who exist in the century from where we originate. If what we do in this reality ends up having a positive impact on our shareholders in our own time, then we keep it that way - thing is, we always need to show growth, and development. So if my boss tells me that it was great what we did back when we stopped the Eiffel Tower from being bombed in ’40 but we kind of need to stop Notre Dame from being pissed on, then I will.”
“Pissed on, eh?” said Lol, stroking his chin thoughtlessly. “Sic.”
“That too. Rowdy Frenchmen, drinking their absinthe. Ever tried absinthe with Coke?”
“No.”
“Didn’t think so. We tried running it in Paris in 1920. Caused seizures. Within a week the entire population had died of autoerotic asphyxiation. We presume it was something we’d done.”

Thursday, 21 November 2013

today i learned about youtube poop

suddenly i feel like the internet is alive again



look up 'youtube poop pride patties' on youtube - i'm physically hurting from laughter :\

Well this is Fucking Awkward

The other week I was talking to Louise and was for some reason showing what an angry kid would do - I punched the table and then said "well obviously he wouldn't fist the table." Then, instead of letting it go, I said, "Well, not fist the table." She blushed completely red and I don't remember what happened next.




Today we were looking at the IEPs (don't ask) of each student. One kid's said "He will learn to pull out and identify operations in mathematics." Completely blithely and without realising the implications of what I was saying, I said "That's a weird phrase - pull out. Numbers I mean. Er, anyway."


This time I didn't acknowledge what I had done. I wish I had.


I wish I had.


alsoIsaysomethingawkwardeverydayanditmakesmedieinside

Monday, 18 November 2013

Disturbing Coincidences

Crap Coincidence #1

For the last few weeks I've been noticing an itchy spot on my stomach, it's like eczema, except it's actually an infection of some kind because I'm a fat git. In English today, during the reading out of The Twits, it said something like

"Mrs. Twit scratched her tummy, because people as fat as her always have an itchy tummy."

Much Better Coincidence #2

In tutor time I was showing the kids some videos, and one of them had a woman in it called Sally Callahan.

At this point a boy called George, who's eleven, and knows next to nothing about anything, suddenly pipes up "like Harry Callahan! Dirty Harry!"

The odds of him knowing not only Dirty Harry but his actual name are like you or me suddenly piping up "Oh! That's the new track from Little Mix!" or something when we're in a club, except we never go to clubs, ever.

So anyway, that was weird. The next lesson, which this student was not part of, was English. The teacher was reading The Twits and he read passages describing Mr. Twit. At this point he asked the class to come up with some words describing Mr. Twit.

To my horror, right next to one another, these words appeared:

DIRTY HAIRY

Friday, 15 November 2013

fgfdgfdgfdgsfdg more redddit crap

Bob: Hi, insurance company. I'd like to buy some health insurance.
Insurance company: No. You had cancer when you were 3 years old, and the cancer could come back. We're not selling health insurance to you.
Bob: It's not my fault I got cancer when I was three! Besides, that was years ago!
Insurance company: If we sell insurance to you, we'll probably lose money, and we're not doing it.
Bob: But I need insurance more than anyone! My cancer might come back!
Insurance company: We don't care. We're not selling you insurance.
Obama: Hey, that's totally not fair. Bob is right, he does need insurance! Sell Bob some insurance.
Insurance company: If we have to, I guess.
Mary: This is cool. Obama said the insurance company has to sell insurance to anyone who needs it.
Sam: Hey, I have an idea. I'm going to stop paying for health insurance. If I get sick, I can always go buy some insurance then. The insurance company won't be able to say no, because Obama's told them they have to sell it to anyone who needs it!
Dave: that's a great idea! I'm not paying for health insurance either, at least not until I get sick.
Insurance company: Hey! If everyone stops paying for insurance, we'll go bankrupt!
Obama: Oh come on Sam and Dave, that's not fair either.
Dave: I don't care. It saves me money.
Obama: Oh for god's sake. Sam, Dave, you have to keep paying for health insurance, and not wait until you're sick. You too, Mary and Bob.
Mary: But I'm broke! I can't buy insurance! I just don't have any money.
Obama: Mary, show me your piggy bank. Oh, wow, you really are broke. Ok, tell you what. You still have to buy insurance, but I'll help you pay 95% of the cost.
Mary: thank you.
Obama: I need an aspirin.
Insurance company: We're not paying for that aspirin.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

reddit entry

[–]PasswordLost 150 points  ago
sorry, this has been archived and can no longer be voted on
I drink copicuous amounts of alcohol, sometimes I smoke poisonous cigarettes, I combust parts of cannabis plant. I analyze, I read, I observe, I overanalyze and I get lost. Feelings of vigor, elation, peace, apathy, gloom and confusion roll over me like waves in the ocean. Trying to put together the pieces in this unsolvable puzzle, I gaze into the cosmos, I roll the dice, I am alive.

i just about managed not to lol

In Science I wrote the word 'carbon dioxide' on the board, then when a kid tried to identify what gas it was that made a flame go out, I pointed to the words.

He said slowly and deliberately, "Cyborg explanation"

Monday, 11 November 2013

My Job

Stupid Random Catchphrases From My Tutor Group That Loop Around My Head When I'm Trying To Sleep

George: Where's Mrs. Kleiser? No NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! I DON'T WANT DO IT!
Thomas: I don't like it. Mr. Neale, can you look up pictures of Dr. Who? The Cybermen.
Antony: Today, I feel great! I finally got a new Sonic comic!
Oliver: Sirrrrrrr, come look at my plane. Sirrrrrrrrrr, do you want to play a game wiv me? Sirrrrrrrrrrr, can you help me? Sirrrrrr, come look at my work.
Mia: Mr. Wheel. Freddie Jones. Evil pencilcase. Evil Maths. It's a secret. Miss Kettle.
Alfie R: I can't do it... it's too harrrrrd...
Benjamin: Uhyeah. Uhthank you.
Ryan: (Babbling chatter about Minecraft.)

As you can tell from the above, I operate in a world where each child has their unique madness. By far the most entertaining is Mia. The whole who I think of as the one sort of under my wing a bit is Ryan. The one who annoys me is George. The one who is easiest to work with is Oliver. The one who everyone likes the most is Benjamin. Maybe Mia. The one who has done the best in terms of social progress is Thomas. The one who will struggle most in life is Alfie. The one who is struggling the most at the moment is Alfie.

Teachers are generally alright. Is it bad that they generally seem to pale in comparison to the students?

Then of course, outside of my classroom are the other students.

The Other Students

Freddie: always going on about the amount of RAM in his computer. 16 GB, apparently...

Alfie B: has a weird thing where he looks at you side-on, look a cat would about to pounce.
Jacob: sews cool plush toys. Walks out of lessons in a camp, flouncy manner refusing to do anything. If ignored, will immediately return.

Brent: Quotes from films more often than not. Has a vacant stare. No eye contact. Nice boy. Good artist.

Jay: Annoying as fuck. Always picks up on any linguistic flaws, or slight errors in logic. For some reason though, invited me on his trip to Pizza Hut this Friday so I can't be annoyed too much at him.

Tom: Long blond haired boy who has problems with paranoia and thinks people make fun of him because of his hair when they don't. Plays guitar, likes rock music like the Zep etc. Cool kid.

Kodie: Annoying. Can 'self harm' when having problems (by self harm it's more a case of drawing on himself). Thanks to Mia he is more calm than before. Hopefully she will stop him 'self harming'.

Matthew: A middle class eleven year old who thinks he is gangsta. Or rather, tries to think he is gangsta. The only boy I've got annoyed at. Because he can take it. Because I'm the LSA he deserves, etc. TA now, actually.

Daniel: OCD, depressed. Most likely to be kicked out sooner or later. Acts like an arsehole when he's around Sam but otherwise fairly mellow. Prone to sudden outbursts of swearing and rudeness.

Sam: Emotionally numb and flat. Fascinating to listen to. Has watched far too many 18 rated things. Presents as indifferent to all and any positive emotion around him. If peers are having a good time together, will try his best with smarmy comments to bring everyone down. Only fails when teachers take the piss out of him - other students give him respect for some reason. It's almost like he unlocks a part of them all and they enjoy that moment where they can all be evil.

Theo: The one student whose classes I am never in. Nice boy. No real issues.

I've probably missed one out.

Each and every one of these students at some time in my day will be my responsibility, whether it's on lunch/break duty or in lesson. I am an LSA to each of these. Compare that to my last post, where I was an LSA to one student, and only one.

Summary

I overthink and overthink my job until I can't relax. Until I feel like a failure for no reason other than I'm not calm, or something. I don't know. I bought Quiet and it would make me feel better about being an introvert except I'm fucked up, introvert or not.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

same old same old

i'm kind of writing the same story over and over. i don't really get why. maybe i'm trying to write something real or something, whoring my own tiny experiences in the field of going to a doctor's. Or maybe i'm just really fucking short of ideas.

extract from random thing i've been writing

The depression scene. It had been almost illegal once to be depressed - millions stayed in the closet and those who didn’t were ostracised. However, of late, owing to the internet and some celebrities, depression is now something to be proud of. T-shirts are available declaring it - a sure sign of empowerment in any age. The freedom to come out of the depressed closet, openly state to friends and colleagues last night’s suicidal thoughts, and not feel bad about doing so, brings forth a new liberating force enabling all and sundry to advertise their angst in billboards of abandonment. Emotion+ is where it’s at. We strive to be something labelled, ignoring the truth behind the lives of the genuine ones, who are actually just miserable. There’s something cool about the successful depressed - they toil and win, despite the setbacks and tribulations (as well as trials). The need to find the dark side of things is part of our culture now - the darker the movie, the book, the game, the better. Digging deeper and deeper into the psyche. Neuroscience is the cultural science. Once Britain’s navy went trail blazing - now Britons spend their time naval gazing. The awake ones, anyway. The ones in need of an answer. The ones who not only can’t sleep for the voices keeping them awake, but listen to them. The ones who watch the programmes about mental illness and relate. The ones who casually call themselves OCD, aspie, just because they experienced a mild sensation or moment during which they arranged something in the kitchen in an anal retentive manner. Neuroses aren’t good enough anymore, because neuroses can be cured. Disabilities can’t - and by disabilities it’s not genuine disabilities like being handicapped; no, what people want now is the disability of depression, that handy excuse. The disability of ennui, anomie, anhedonia, or whatever else you want to call it. The early nineties understood the glamour of apathy. Something happened in the late nineties and killed the slacker movement. Possibly the death of Cobain. More likely the rise of manufactured bands to replace those bands taking up space on MTV and actually making people think. Like that moment where, in the seventies, Hollywood actually made thought-provoking, intelligent movies that required more than half a brain to process their content. Then along came the eighties and stupidity reigned.

Then comes the crux - does someone who actually wants to be depressed become depressed as a result? If someone keeps moaning about how hard things are, even if they’re not depressed, does that make them a candidate for medication? Where’s the line between telling someone to get over it and actually taking it seriously enough to suggest therapy? The answer is there isn’t one. Total subjectivity now - doctors tell the patient just to keep talking, self-soothe, learn the skill of self-recognition, self-actualisation, auto-CBT, just sit back and allow the car to drive itself. Nothing wrong with the patient in the first place. Just another jaded middle class Westerner, unable for a moment or two to fathom their own meaningless existence, not quite understanding that the problem is their ego - if they could just stop thinking they mattered, it would all be so much better. And then, concedes the doctor in a rare moment of self-criticism, there is some distress caused by this over-large ego, which may have had roots in childhood, as everything does, except for when it becomes no more than a collective malaise. All these patients, coming in saying the same things - they should all meet up one day and moan, and realise they’re all moaning about the same thing, they’re all essentially the same person, and all essentially dead. Perhaps then they’d stop moaning and come back to life.

What do I mean by dead? thought Jacob’s doctor as he sat musing on a pen. Dead as in classic borderline mentality, in that the subject-object relations have malfunctioned to the extent that abandonment anxiety reaches levels causing distress to the patient and resulting in consequent addictions and self-harm? Or perhaps just dead in that the patient isn’t capable of pleasure anymore? Or perhaps dead because the patient never even knew what pleasure was in the first place? That all relates to borderline behaviour. Perhaps, thought the doctor, resisting the urge to grin as he chewed on his pensive pen, there could be a new, weakened version of the borderline, titled the bored. The Boredline. The Boredline patient sits waiting for something to happen to them, to change them for the better, to rescue them; I would say from themselves, except the patient isn’t self-aware enough to engage with their own selves because they spend their lives escaping their heads through whatever distractions are available now. Imagine: a whole life lived with so much stimulation that, like Pavlov’s dog, they simply wear out their ability to feel anything anymore. It was the dog, right? Been a while since college.
“Was it Pavlov with the dogs?” he said.
“What?” said Jacob Geranium, a fast-food manager who vomited at his own ideas. “I was talking about that time I vomited when I thought about utilising the Golden Ratio to express the importance of our company logo to the world.”
“Yeah, I know, but was it Pavlov’s dogs?”
“I don’t know. All I know is that my company’s logo, if projected onto a telescope, actually creates its own star system.”
The doctor mused upon his own ignorance.  Then decided it probably wasn’t worth getting worked up about. Thought itself had become something to be ignored. When did we as a species get so afraid of nothingness? Only a hundred years ago people would sit and stare at fires. Now we’re hooked up to anything. Perhaps we’re just the lucky ones. Who’s to say that, given the same technologies, most people from those days wouldn’t embrace them? The doctor imagined Dickens putting aside his attempt at a first novel in order to play a computer game. The doctor wondered whether he felt depressed at the image and decided he probably was. Depression comes in patches. Not the update kind, the mental patient haircut kind. Roam over the landscape and suddenly bam. A bushy flare-up like the worst nightmare of Moses.
“Was it Moses or Noah who saw the burning bush?” he said to the patient.
“I don’t know. Like I was saying - I’m starting to think that my feelings are meaningless, that i’m not really depressed, and that I’m wasting my time being here.”
“Either you are wasting your time, or that train of thought is in itself a symptom of depression.”
“Well, what do you think?”
“I...” and the doctor choked back a chuckle. “It’s up to you to figure that one out yourself.”
“But it’s your job to know! You sit there, listening, or not listening, whatever, and you tell me to figure things out! What’s the point of you, anyway?”
“What’s the point of me?”
“Yeah. The point of you as a person.”
Anger surprisingly hit the doctor in the guts. “What’s the point of you?”
“Oh, don’t say that.” The patient winced and withdrew. “That’s... that’s the kind of thing that makes me want to vomit. Vomit myself out. Expunge it all. Rid myself of my head. Turn myself inside out, except I’m already inside out. Exposed. Naked. Too sensitive. Too sensible. Too wrong. Too right. Not knowing: knowing too much. Total contradiction. Lost in my doubt. Shouldn’t be here: need to be here. Don’t know why I bother. Feeling depressed, I mean. Not that I really do. I don’t get depressed. Not like the others. My feelings aren’t that important. It’s not that bad. Really, I don’t need to be here. I’m only here because I like the attention. Makes me feel important. Like for once my feelings count. Like for once somebody’s seeing me for who I am. You say my name and it makes me feel more alive. And whole. Then I leave and the day seems somehow heavy and light afterwards. I shake and shiver and want to unleash all the emotion in my head that rattles. But there is none. I never had any to share. Only this banal numbness. Only these clich├ęd words. Only these refracted emotions. I sit and watch myself act human. Easy for you to do. You don’t act. You just are.”
“I act.”
“You say you act because you think you ought to say it. Perhaps you put on a facade, a persona. But you don’t mind doing that because you know who you really are. Me I put a mask on, but don’t you get it, there’s no actual face beneath. I am empty, and the mask is a cover-up on top of that emptiness. Oh, what am I saying? Are these words really mine? Do I genuinely feel this?”
“Sometimes you feel it, perhaps - other times you don’t. Maybe words don’t match or perhaps even justify those abstract emotions that come upon you at times.”
“Maybe, but you don’t really know me. You’re taking an educated guess based on your training. Based on your past experiences. Past patients. But I am not just another patient. I am me, and I want you to see me. I want you to think I’m special.”
“Bad news. You’re not.”
“Don’t say that. It makes me feel worthless.”
“Your ego is trying to stake a claim in your well-being, and you’re letting it overtake your own ideals. They’re buried somewhere, beneath the mess of your surface mind. Ever reached for one drink and ended up drinking six?”
“All the time.”
“Ever started shopping for one item and ended up spending a hundred pounds?”
“Well yeah, but that’s normal, isn't it?”
“Ever placed a bet and found yourself placing more and more?”
“I don’t gamble, but if I did I’d get addicted.”
“That’s the thing. Why?”
“Because I get addicted. Because of the emptiness. Because of the need to feel validated. Because I want a stroke of luck. Because I want God to shine his light down on me. I need to feel needed. I need to feel like a part of something. Something greater than myself. But I’m not. It’s just me - boring, needy, cringing, embarrassed, ugly, me.” He sighed, and shrugged, and looked at the floor.
“You done?”
“I suppose.”
“You going to try and sleep now?”
“Sleep?”
“Yeah. You’re in bed. I’m a thought in your head. Your wife is beside you, fast asleep. Why aren’t you?”
“I don’t know. I’ll try now.”
And he tried.