you're a star
november 1995 - hill end psychiatric hospital, st.albans
it was the end of a beautiful friendship that set me off, that and my stupid,
stubborn, vain & curious brain. i stopped looking out and i stared wide-eyed and painful
deeply into the void. my rampant imagination put flesh on the the bones of this
place. the place where spirits go to die. what the hell is he doing here? i guess
they were wondering. how the fuck did he get in here? i had sent myself to hell. no
wonder they were angry. stupid dumbass kid.
brave attempts were made to break me out. henry rollins had good go. the universal
vibration flowed through me and i realised that universes wax and wane and come and
go, but that time is a crude and sketchy map of existance. i guess that visit
probably saved my life, providing a pinprick of light in the blackness. the morning
after it was back to the grind, the snake in my head, the voices berating me from
the street, the knocking on the walls (one for yes, two for no, three for maybe)
sounding like the cries of the damned, giving me a taste of their medicine because
they knew i could not help them. i was just a tourist. you can't blame them really.
they slowly wore me down as i tried to chain smoke my way out of it. until i was a
hollow shell brimming with hell. i managed to muster enough sanity to phone my folks. help.
hell followed me back. there was no escape.
in the depths of my misery i was possessed by the lovely spirit of a small child
(5-6). he wanted me to walk out over the fields. i got stopped before i melted
completely. another light i forgot to remember when attempting to argue the toss
with the allknowing dead.
so i find myself here. in the madhouse. bedlam. the men in white coats came and
took me away. ambulance for one.
and now i know what it is to be deprived of one's sanity. at the moment i'm very
much a public being or a state being, i don't know which.
lights out at 11.30pm so i'm writing this by the light of a luminous squeaky toy
that seems to be the mascot of this place. it appears and reappears in various
different places. who knows where it will be tomorrow. colin was watching it on the
table yesterday. colin is the man who waits and stands and hovers and moves around
the place so slowly that it's only when you go away and come back again that you
can tell he's travelling at all. kind of like the hour hand. hour hand colin.
having said that, colin escaped tonight, but as irony would have it he managed to
escape to another mental hospital a mile down the road.
then there is madeliene or chi chi as she is known. she purposefully strides around
the day room giving day long speeches about something (with jokes) in chinese. the
jokes must be very funny because her laugh is highly infectious.
kathy declared to all within earshot that the world had ended, time was going
backwards, and that it was all her fault. she then collapsed on the floor. i know
how she feels. something to do with an overactive responsibility gland i reckon.
the other day she accused herself of murdering her dog. her dog is alive and well.
chistina sings and dances to the synthesizer hits of abba and cliff richard. she
also does a nice line in christmas carols and songs from the sound of music. i was
thinking what a strange place the world would be if people communicated by singing
songs to each other. it might work. trouble is though christina also tends to
scream rather a lot as in edvard munch's infamous painting.
pill > meal > rest > pill > meal > rest > pill > meal > sleep.
that's the routine of the day here.
the ghosts in this huge victorian place are palpable. they swish around the common
room like nurses. sorting the truely mad from the merely disturbed.
anyone who arrives here is first put in the cell, in case they are dangerous. the
cell is crackling with psychic energy. i sit and chainsmoke until a doctor arrives
to test my reactions. normal apparently. i don't feel normal. i feel decidedly
abnormal. there is an ancient war taking place in my head to which i'm merely a
hapless spectator. occaisionly one of the protagonists will turn and look straight
into my soul and i feel the cavernous ache of this timeless hatred again. the
detrius of an arms race that had gotten way out of hand. moths flying desperately
i was saved in that place by i don't know who/ i don't know what. but i'd know them if i ever felt them again, if you know what i mean. i named them lilac. they brought peace. they were lovely.
they soothed my savage mind. i've never really thanked them for that. thank you lilac,