So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

18 September, 2007

Have you ever gone mad?

If I talk to you about madness, will you take it as a rhetorical exaggeration, a little dance for effect, something said to shock and startle into understanding some lesser point?

Have you ever gone mad?

If I talk about madness, will you understand?

Let me talk about the edge of madness, the contours of it, not quite funnel shaped, not that even, but still the slicked-down grass, wet with sweat, tears, and blood, the way the feet of the mind slide on it, edging downwards even if one never loses balance, the slow circling around and around the abyss in the center, never quite sure whether the event horizon is still safely below, or something somewhere a few steps up, now crossed and unreachable, leaving one only able to orbit and slowly descend on the oozing turf towards the hole in the centre.

Let me talk about the last gasp, the recognition of the slow circling progress towards unbeing, the gathering of all the resources left that could be spent circling, circling, circling until the horrible mud makes it impossible to do anything other than slide. Let me talk about hoarding that up, pulling it all in for the last leap for freedom, hanging all the breathing left to have on "I will just do this, and when I have done this, it will be okay", the running lurch up the slope to catch at a tuft set in solid ground, something to hold on to, something that could be used to haul up out of the emptiness with maybe a little help, something secure.

(I told myself I'd have a glass of milk and it'd be okay, and went over to the little half-fridge on the floor, took out the milk, got my mug, pulled the twisty thing off the cap, tried to pour ...

... discovered it was frozen solid.)

Have you ever felt your mind break, a crystalline explosion, that last expenditure of all the resources of sanity spent grabbing for that tuft, that rock, that low branch, the brushing of the tips across the surface, too little, and gone. Have you ever watched the pieces of cognition spiral down and into the gap as one goes with them, surrounded by them, swirling, suddenly bloodstained with the effort it took it to break free of a head so shattered it feels like wind in the cranium, bloodstained with that and the effluvia of the descent, and then all of it, all the pieces, gone before you, around you, on top of you, a pelting of little fragments of a life?

Have you ever sat there, marvelling at the realisation that you are a being of light, a being of light, and everything around you is a shadow? That perfect clarity of sharded mindbits, where, look, some of the shadows are concerned about the shadow that is the body, talking in their shadowworld about shadowthings. Maybe one of them is concerned about suicide, but that's silly, death is a shadowthing, the body is a shadowthing, these shadowthings are irrelevant, there is this clear, blinding, agonisingly clear reality of existing as a being of light?

Have you ever spent days, weeks even, curled up in bed, watching life go by around you, wondering what happened to that beautiful clarity of perfect separation from all these things, aware that the sweat and body oils are building in a stench, are grinding so deep into the fibres of the sheets that they are turning black, and being distantly bothered by this, as if somewhere, in some other life, maybe it might once have mattered?

Have you ever, once you had managed to pull yourself together into something a little more resembling, happened to be one room over from someone whose sole concern in any of this was the shameful state of cleanliness that comes of two weeks unmoving on off-white sheets? Who wished to express how horrible that housekeeping was to a person who had witnessed the descent into the abyss, milk and all, and helped me claw back out again? To keep that overheard thing and never mention it, because if I was supposed to overhear, well, I'm not going to grant the satisfaction, and if I wasn't ...

If I talk about madness, will it be the eyerolls and the mutterings of "drama queen" from people who have never run their fingers across a grease spot on the sheets in detached indifference, knowing what that means without managing to know how to care?

Have you ever gone mad?

2 comments:

Annwyd said...

I think the fact that I could read this while desperately drunk (which for me means "I can't stand very well, but I'm only slightly nauseous") and make perfect sense of it speaks to how well it conveys the state of mind it's meant to convey.

Yeah. I used to have miniature nervous breakdowns when I was forced into social situations at unfortunate times--once, at a town-wide New Year's party, once, at a religious event...and no one else would understand, and they'd try to shame me for feeling that way...

...and sometimes when I go too long without my antidepressants and my brain starts inventing more ways to hurt me...

...for some people, that kind of madness is always rather too close.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Yes, yes, but I suppose massive amounts of LSD don't count? :P

Thing is, when you take enough, you can forget you took it... and the madness is as real as any other...

And hey, even knowing you took it, doesn't make the 10,000-realizations-a-second any easier to process! Jupiter and beyond the infinite!