“Hearing voices, delusions of grandeur, a tenuous and intermittent hold on reality. Verbal abuse and threatening behaviour towards nursing and medical staff. Family relations disrupted and culminating in a total rejection by his parents.”
It’s been a long, long time since I saw my medical notes. We’re allowed to see them by law but the staff make it so difficult at times. Even when I do get to see them it’s hard to understand anything I read. My fogged brain just can’t cope.
There’s tons to read through; two years of crap. I’m 19 so over 10% of my life has been spent in this tomb of a psychiatric ward and there’s little hope of freedom: ever.
I don’t read my notes like the other patients – to find things to strengthen their case for discharge or litigation. I read to find the truth. Those moments where the doctors and nurses have written what I actually told them; the reality that the medication drives from my mind.
The truth may be my way out of here; my madness could be my salvation. Nothing else has worked. Fragments of what the nurses and doctors call my psychosis hang in my mind. More vivid, more real than anything else in my world. I need to tie them together, fill the missing spaces, see the whole picture.
It’s lucky, so lucky that I’m reading at a time my head is clearing.
On the last drug round the staff nurse was distracted. I pretended to wipe my mouth on my sleeve. Actually, I spat nearly everything into my fleece. I’ve never managed that in all the time I’ve been here. There’s a chance that I can get back to normal or, as they would say, insanity.
Pencil, paper, here goes… Dig through my mind as it wakes for the first time in ages. Where did this all start?
Yes … at school. I was online during an exercise, supposedly to research MIT for any ground-breaking news. I found a forum where they were discussing the possibility of a nanotechnology arising in which you could throw a handful of dirt into a machine that could make anything you wanted. I typed in ‛Could it make a wish?’ I thought I was being clever, throwing in a metaphysical paradox.
But one person took that seriously. OK, two. One was an MIT scientist. The other one is the reason I’m called schizophrenic and dumped in this unit for chronic mental disorder.
Umniyah, the girl in my head that talked to me. Probably the only girl that ever took me seriously. I never hit it off with girls. I think I fell into the categories “Sweet, cute, short, and way too weird” long before any of this happened.
Searching the notes is slow work; most of it is minor drug and dose changes or minutes of case conferences.
Ah, now I’m getting hot. Apparently Umniyah told me that after a massive world war. The argument that magic and technology could exist in the same reality took off because there seemed to be no limit to what science could achieve. Science already looked like magic and used physics way beyond most people’s understanding.
An invasion of aliens meant the ideas were scrapped for a while but after the aliens and humans made peace and merged into one race … really? She said that? I said it to the doctors? I don’t remember that at all.
Where was I? Right … the technology of magic. I told the doctors that someone in the future thought technology was just to replace the real magic that existed before humans became rational and put away silly ideas like that. So we didn’t burn witches any more, didn’t believe Heaven was above the sky and Hell not far below our feet but we still needed to see wonders and clever tricks.
OK, when I first saw Google Earth it did blow my mind but you want new mind-blowers all the time. Yesterday’s magic is boring reality.
Here’s more. I told them Umniyah is my age, lives on the shores of Manasbal lake in Kashmir. She’s both the creation of Krishna and mix of alien and human: magic and non magic combined.
Hang on … there’s an entry from shortly after my admission here. “Jack only seems happy when hallucinating. I suspect his imaginary friend, a telepathic alien girl priestess from a thousand years in the future, is a construct to replace all that he’s lost, friends and family etc.”
Then why bloody take her away from me by giving me medication? As if living in this crap place and feeling drugged, unable to think clearly, trapped without any hope, looking at my whole life going to waste… Bastards, they’ve taken away my happiness and replaced it with misery and feel they’re doing the right thing. What happened to the Hippocratic oath?
I get a flash of insight. Yes, my brain is so sharp … was … still is – without the medication. The doctors aren’t out to heal me. They’re only doing their job in a way that keeps them well paid and above criticism.
Another flash of insight: it’s never going to change.
Shit, another drug round is happening. I won’t get away with my spitting scam twice. Must press on.
No time to read more. I must act on what information I have if I’m going to achieve anything in the moments I’ve got.
If Umniyah exists, then the technology could be already made and working in her world. If that’s the case, she can…
I close my mind to everything around, even the nurse calling me to take my medication. I think, ‛Umniyah, talk to me’.
‛Jack? Jack! Where have you been? I’ve missed you so much. I ache to hear your voice in my mind, to feel your laughter running through me … your warmth, your clever jokes, all the lovely things you used to say…’ I can see her, shining green-blue skin, happy face, pretty smiling face, happy tears.
She’s in her temple, as she always used to be and surrounded by greens and golds in those wonderful perfectly balanced designs the Indians get so right. I remember every detail; it’s like coming home.
I say, ‛I’ve been drugged so I can’t talk to you. I’m going to be trapped for the rest of my life like this. Umniyah, can you make a wish for me?’
‛Of course, my darling.’ She says it “daleeng”, I love that. ‛What would you have me wish?’
I say, ‛That I could be with you … if you wanted … live with you in your temple, get out of this hell I’m in.’
She closes her eyes. ‛That has always been my wish, my dearest wish, but now I can make it real. Yes, please come, please. Make us whole.’
Now I’m confused. I say, ‛Nothing’s happened. Do I have to do something? How does this work?’
‛I have wished but you must remember that what we call reality and magic must both be served. To live here you must first die there.’
Someone’s tugging my arm. It’s the nurse. He’s saying to someone, ‛Oh-oh, he’s talking to himself. Did he get his medication this morning? Chuck, set up an injection and get some help. This may take restraint. He’s been violent in the past.’
I open my eyes, leap from my seat and sprint the full length of the corridor. Arms back and head down; at this speed a dive will crush my skull against the door lock. The lump of metal that sealed my tomb for two years is the key to my freedom.
© 2013 Gary Bonn