Monday, 2 May 2016

The Patient


Patient exists in a constant state of existential flux. Only the acts of sensory pleasure invoke an entrance into the arena of humanity. The creation of personal masterpieces - kept hidden and stored as talismanic representations of the ideal self - these are the only traces of evidence to the patient that he exists. He studies these solid blocks of self at night before he goes to sleep in order to maintain an anchor in a sea of uncertainty. He must exist because this creation exists. It does not matter how crude the art, how inconsequential - what’s important is that it exists. Time is taken out of the equation: the artwork stands up to decay. Space is limited to its own construct: it creates its own universe.
The artwork, a depiction of a man and a woman engaged in carnal acts, lie under the bed inside a special box. The box is the ego distilled. The box is where he is really kept, and he feels a sense of superiority when engaging with humans in real life because the humans don’t know about his box so no one can really touch who he is really. This makes him a real person because nobody can alter what’s inside the box.
Each night when he checks he dreads that the nature of the art inside the box will have changed. It doesn’t. The piece from three years ago is still his favourite. The pieces recently fashioned have not been as good as the earlier pieces, but that does not matter because the box exists outside of the rigorous tests and scrutiny of humanity. The piece made three years ago and the piece made two weeks ago are inside the box which is outside because it is outside people and so age does not matter. Here space is compressed, and time is a circle.
Nothing beside remains.
Under the bed is the real room. Under the bed the dust is the only witness, and dust is intrinsically dead, dust is the remnant of a long-shed skin, the reminder that as much as we hate the idea, we are already dead and will soon become that dust which we try to clean away as much as we can. We are the dust, except inside the box when the lid is shut there is no dust. Even if there was, the artwork doesn’t mind. Paper lasts longer than human life if it is stored well. This bed will be here after the patient is dead, because the patient is planning on dying soon. Any day now his death will come to him. No point chasing after something that’s always a lingering thought, a fatherly hand on the shoulder.
The lid goes on the box and it is closed away. The patient closes his eyes and dreams of people fucking. He is one of the people fucking and it feels good because in the dream he doesn’t have to think about time, and space, and death.
I am not the patient. The patient is another possible me. I carry the echo of the ideas that float inside the head of the patient and those who find themselves thinking like the patient on occasion. In the moments when you consider the possibility that nothing is meaningful. The moments where you look at your child and imagine how after they die their body will decay. The moment when you’re eating food and think about what exactly it is you’re doing. When you vomit and see the reality behind the artifice.
The world as we know it is a botched plastic surgery operation. The universe as we know it is incompatible with life itself. In terms of the universe, our existence on Earth is so unimportant that to think too much about it is enough to drive you crazy. The patient had spent most of his time on Earth thinking about it and that is why he was possibly crazy. But it is not the thought that is crazy, it is allowing the insanity of the situation to enter your head that is crazy. You have to be able to shut the monsters out.
The wriggling crawling black shapes with white eyes and no mouths infiltrate every artifice. You talk about depression like a word is enough to summarise it. You talk about depression like it’s an illness that can be cured. But it is not as simple as that. The truth is that depression is the natural result of pure and complete thinking outside of the man-made manacles of time and space restriction.
Without work, we lose the sense of time and space because we no longer have to measure them.
Without time and space, we no longer have any humanity because humanity itself is defined by quantification.
Existing outside of time and space, stripped and bereft of his humanity, the patient is no longer haunted by the wriggling crawling black shapes, for he is one of them.

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