Part 2: The Blackbird’s Tale: A Schizophrenic Fable

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Part 2 of

The Blackbird’s Tale: A Schizophrenic Fable



Praemble by R. E. Junesworth

Thunder. I lowered the patient file in my hands and looked into the night. Soft rain bickered against the dusty windows. It was the time of the year when summer was just over and the autumn rains were still a gentle tickle on the skin. Only the chilly night-hours heralded the approaching autumn.

My reading lamp threw a shimmer of light outside where it reflected on the blossoms of my lilacs. I could hear the wind howl. My eyes must have declared independence on me, or the file of J. Washington was simply boring. Joshua Washington, 47. Psychotic, married, depressed, and convicted.

I put the file down, opened the laptop and continued the report about Mister Washington. He was one of my many soon-to-be success patients. I just need to find the right pill for him. And let me assure you, I always do.

Psychiatry, modern shamanism, without the spiritual part. It’s all chemistry and logic, and its happening right in your brain. Why has the word shamanism such a negative connotation to it? Switch window, internet. I wrote in the search-bar: Shamanism. After spending two seconds on the first page, I closed the page. Bollocks!

I heard a car near the garage outside, probably my wife Azalea coming home from work at the hospital. Something heavy pressed on my stomach. Oh yes, the adipose Mister Washington at eleven tomorrow. I should up his dose . . . the grey days are coming.

I sighed. Years ago I was so excited, hyped you might say, for the job. Being a psychotherapist, it was my dream job. But I learned that if you wish for a dream, you might get a nightmare instead. In my early days, every single patient was an enchanted puzzle waiting to be solved. And I was so good at it. Still am. But the years of depressed stories, all so similar, had left their mark on me. First, I felt sad. Then, sadness turned into anger. I was angry at the people, and their stupid problems. How could so many people make the same mistakes? Cheating, hurting their partners, hurting their children. Generally everybody seemed to enjoy hurting one another. It was too much.

I thought about taking a break from work. Instead, I found the solution to my problem. I wouldn’t listen to their problems anymore, and try to get them to change their brain chemistry themselves, I would fix them.

I studied psychiatry and opened my new clinic. The pills worked brilliantly. Now, I could push my little sheep back into the same horrible lives they just escaped from.

Of course, not everyone was like that. And it wasn’t all that horrible and evil. But once you get angry you tend to exaggerate things a little.

After studying psychiatry I finished my doctorate. It was all easy, I understood how the world works, and how people work. You either get that, or you don’t. And those that don’t get it come to me, and I give them pills, and they forget that they don’t know.

Everything is explainable, and everything can be stopped if it goes out of control, even the human psyche.

The schizos were my favorites. You cannot believe how good it feels to see someone without any sense left in them suddenly make sense again. All thanks to the pills. It was exactly what I needed to continue my work. Helping those lost souls back into a clear and stable life.

Years went by and I have to admit that I couldn’t resist the sweet pills myself. Too much stress at the clinic? Or another seminar I had to attend? No problem at all, there’s something that helps make the experience bearable. Something to take the confusing colors away and give me a clear grey. Everything is grey, we just think there is color. Color is stupid, it is distracting.

I left my desktop, refilled my teacup and slowly moved over the wooden floor to the front door. The tea was still hot, leaving grey fading clouds in the hallway.

The door opened and Azalea threw herself into my arms. Immediately I knew that she had had a horrible day at work.

After a long and quiet hug Azalea asked, “Do you know someone called Arves?”

“No, I don’t. Why? Wait, let me make you a cup of tea first.”

Azalea and I went to sit in our study. She clutched her cold fingers around the hot tea cup. Her coat was drying over the fireplace. Then she began to speak.

“I was on my way home when I ran into this horrible nightmare . . . a man was skewered to some fence, like a brochette.”

I leaned forward and took her hand.

“That must have been terrifying.”

“Yes. But,” she stammered, “the man was smiling madly at me and was speaking some gibberish. He told me to tell you that something is happening. He fell unconscious very soon, and I stood there alone, a crowd forming around me. I called the police and work, but I was so shocked . . . I was crying. It took ages until the ambulance arrived. And then they took him to the hospital, but he was already dead.”

I wondered what the man said to her, but I wasn’t sure if it was smart to ask. She looked very pale still.

“So, who was he? The man. You said his name was Arves?”

“I don’t know, that’s what he said. There was a witness, a student. He said that the man jumped out of his window. He said he was smiling.”

“So why did he ask you about me?”

“I don’t know, he said I should tell you that it is happening. And then he said his name again and some other word that I couldn’t understand.

“How did it sound like?”

“If I have to make a word or two out of it, I think he said something like Jala, or ce-ala? It almost sounded like a magic spell from a children’s book.”

“Hmm, that doesn’t seem too odd. He was probably in shock, and dying too. The brain can go bonkers.”

“He looked so aware, it didn’t make sense . . . his skull was pierced by . . .” she stopped and squeezed my hand. Then she sipped her tea and let her head fall down on my lap. She was asleep within seconds.

Later that night I returned to my own study. I prepared for tomorrow and thought about the man who committed suicide. Then I thought about Mister Washington. He told me he thought about killing himself once or twice. Now he seems fine. I wish I could’ve helped that man. Poor Azalea.

I left the study, went into the living room, and sat down on the smaller of our two couches. I switched the television on. The newsman was speaking about something.

“… following a drug induced psychosis. The man whose name shall remain anonymous was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric clinic earlier today where his sickness will be treated. The police assured again that the manhunt is over and the public order has been restored. However, officer Luoney emphasized the civil duty to keep an eye for suspicious individuals who are acting outside of our norms and behaviors. It is still unsure if the attacker was really related to the terrorist group –”

Better they kill themselves before they begin to hurt others. I was a bit shocked about my own thought, but soon realized why I had though it. The man on the fence.

What makes these freaks so mad? I switched the channel. Another news report. At this late hour?

“. . . contact between Washington and Moscow has been discontinued over the disagreements in Syria. US-congress had a meeting earlier today in which the possibility of bombing the regime was discussed. Russia warned that this could possibly lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia.” The television turned black. No time to waste on paranoid news. Instead of calming down my thoughts, I returned to the dead man on the fence. Somehow, I couldn’t rid myself of images of the unknown man that had tainted Azalea’s day.

The next morning I left early for work. Azalea took a day off and stayed home. My first appointment was Mister Washington.

The fat man was sitting in the cozy chair, and I was sure he had eaten egg and bacon this morning. The air in the room was soaked in the smell.

“So, Doctor Junesworth, I must admit . . . that . . . that I . . . lowered my dosage.”

I interrupted him. “Why?”

“I had the feeling . . . that it made me feel dissipated and disconnected. Empty. Even angry.”

“Angry? In what sense angry?”

“I wanted to hurt myself.”

“Mister Washington, I can assure you that those thoughts were coming from your mental disorder. Maybe the medication intensified it? We may switch, or try another dosage, that sounds reasonable.”

“Actually, Doctor Junesworth . . . I thought that maybe I should try . . . you know . . . to get off the meds.”

I laughed. Mister Washington was one of my two patients with criminal charges. When Mister Washington was in his late thirties he attacked his wife after developing delusions that made him believe his wife was cheating on him. I was to decide when he was stable again. And nothing he told me in therapy in the last years sounded like the words of a stable man. Mister Washington lived from disappointment to the next appointment, how a friend of mine once said.

“I don’t think that’s a good Idea, Joshua.”

“Sometimes I have the feeling you want me to stay longer, so you get those nice bills. You are here to help me, ‘m right?”

“But I wouldn’t be of much help if I release you on the basis of your paranoid thoughts,” I said half serious, half joking. “I will try a different medication, if you allow, and then we will see how you will feel with that.”

“I have no choice, I guess,” Mister Washington grunted.

When I arrived at home my wife already waited at the door. Our cat Abyss in one hand, and a small piece of paper in the other.

“Someone called. An old man. Said he was living at your old place now. A package got delivered for you. He said he is leaving for vacation tonight, so if it’s urgent you should pick it up today.”

I wasn’t expecting any package, so I assumed that it wasn’t important. But I was up for a small adventure today. The day at the clinic had been a depressed kind of grey.

My old place was in a small village some miles south from here. It was a colorful and beautiful area, especially in autumn.

“Are you up for a quick drive over there,” I asked Azalea and she nodded.

One and a half hour later we arrived in the small village named Zeven Heuvels, which was Dutch for seven hills. The new owner of my old house was not at home. A note had been sticked to the door ‘Back at 7 p.m.’

“It’s four o’clock now, let’s go into the forest for a bit,” I said, and we did.

Deep in the forest we had to pass a metal fence through a gate. A sign next to the gate warned us of the free roaming highland cattle inside the area. Excited we went inside to find a spot to picnic.

It was a beautiful area that was almost untouched by autumn. Merely the trees surrounding the large purple landscape of heather flowers were losing their color and leaves. Soon the whole area will be grey. Azalea unpacked sandwiches. They were delicious.

“Hey, look! One of them is coming to say hi.”

A large bull with a thick brown colored coat trotted into our direction. The animal looked friendly.

“Hmm, now it’s coming really close. Didn’t the sign say we should stay at a distance?”

“Yes, it did. Let’s go back a bit.”

We left our picnic and turned around to go back into the more forested part of this area. Another large bull neared from the other direction. He walked toward the exit gate.

“Do you think we should go into the field?”

Azalea kept quiet and shook her head. “I don’t know, it’s so open there.”

The second bull bellowed loudly. The first one – the one walking towards us – reacted with a louder sound. I could hear the heavy walk of the two animals speeding up.

“Is that the only exit?” I asked and scanned the area. The path was going from the gate into two directions. The left part surrounded half of the field and disappeared out of sight when it reached the forest. The right path led around the other half of the flowery field and it seemed to go further into the forest.

“Let’s go left, maybe there is another exit at the end of the path.”

There wasn’t. And worse, the bull was following us now. The other one was lingering around our former picnic spot. Another bull and two cows lay on the ground and blocked the way straight and to the right. Behind us was the large bull, and his eyes wouldn’t let go of us.

“Shit, shit shit. Wait, let me think. What can we do,” I took a look to my left.”

Fence, fence . . . hence escape.

“Maybe we can climb over the fence!” What do you think? Look, there’s a small post we can use to jump over the barb wire.”

“Okay, good idea,” Azalea returned with a similar nervous voice.

I grabbed a tree to my right, and lifted my right foot on the wooden post. Slowly I threw our bags over the fence. Azalea touched the metal line cautiously before she reached out for the fence. I reached out to the barb wire to push it down a bit.

Zzzzzkkkkk!

I saw black for the tenth of a second and then felt my heart pump in shock. “Ouch! The barb wire is electric, not the fence!”

Still in shock I jumped over the fence. Now thanks to panic and not rationality. Azalea followed me. Then, finally, we looked back. The bull trotted along the path into the forest. He wasn’t looking at us anymore, and he didn’t seem to have been interested in following us into the woods close to the fence anyways.

I proposed that we should walk left, into the direction where the path was. But instead of the path we hit another fence. The electric barb wire was untouched, and there was no sign of a tree or other helpful objects close by.

“I just had a thought,” Azalea began. “What if . . . what if the fence is not primarily to keep the highlanders in, but us out?“

“Do you think we’re in the military area? No that can’t be, it’s across the highway. What then? Can you check your phone?”

Azalea searched her handbag and gave me her smartphone. I looked at the area. “Oh . . . there is some water facility. I guess they must be getting water out of the ground here.”

For at least one hour we walked around the securitized area. There was no way of getting over the fence anywhere. Then, we found a large locked gate with cameras. To the right a path led down into a small forest alley. We went down and spotted a modern looking white building.

“That must be the water facility,” I whispered to my wife.

“More cameras,” she returned.

We moved around at a distance and reached the other side of the construct. While we were under the trees I saw a light flashing in the distance. The light was followed by a thunderous sound. “I hope we get out of here before it starts to rain.

On the other side of the water facility we found a small staircase leading to an asphalted street. “No cameras over there,” I observed. I hoped I was right.

Ten minutes later we were at the exit gate of the facility. The gate was too high, but the adjacent garden fence seemed like an easy climb. We jumped down into the neighboring driveway when the police car arrived. When I landed on the ground the cops were shouting Dutch commands at us. It took us twenty minutes to convince the police that we were not terrorists trying to poison the water in the earth, but lost wanderers.

“You don’t look like wanderers to me,” repeated the officer in charge and pointed at our bags.

The police wouldn’t believe that we jumped over the fence to escape a bull. But there was not enough evidence to arrest us, so we were allowed to go after receiving a massive fine and a warning that we should not leave the country in the next 24 hours.

“I felt retarded. Arguing with them,” I said in a complaining manner. “Why did they freak out so quick? Not leave the country? Are they serious?”

“They wouldn’t believe us, no matter what we said. Everything I said was turned around against us. As if we were some kind of irresponsible children.”

Azalea nodded. “Yes it was horrible. I felt helpless. We weren’t doing anything wrong. We just tried to get out again.”

“Let’s forget it, it’s a good story to tell, and once the fine is paid there won’t be any more consequences.”

“Can you just hug me really hard?”

I laughed. “Of course!”

The sky was cloudless. I was unable to detect even the smallest sign of bad weather. Yet, the closer we came to my old home the foggier the air got. The unmistakable smell of fire reached my nostrils. I knew immediately that something was very wrong.

The driveway was lit into a bright orange light by the flames that were twitching out of a round hole in the roof of the house. Azalea called out to me. “The house is on fire! Oh my!”

The front door was shut, but the note had been taken away. My mind was racing.

The right side of the house is burning. Front seems still okay. What if the old man is inside? And the bloody package! Fuck the package. Now breathe in and get to the house!

I ran to the left side of the house and looked into the window of what used to be the living room. It was still a living room, but the furniture looked different. Like old people.

There was little smoke on this side of the house, so I was able to take the jacket off my mouth.

On the ground behind the window I could see a carton box, which looked like it must be my package. A white delivery note had been attached to the top, but I was unable to read the letters due to the smoke that was spiraling up into the room. The smoke was meandering into the room from under the door to the kitchen. I couldn’t see any sign of movement in the house. I took off my jacket, wrapped my hands into the cloth and smashed the window. The hot smoke entered my lungs immediately and I had to cough.

“Are you mad? Do you want to go inside?” Azalea had jogged over to take cover from the smoke.

“I just want to be sure that no one is inside, and I can see my package is untouched by the flames. Maybe we can safe some of the old man’s belongings.”

“By breaking into the house? That will just increase the airflow!”

It was a stupid idea, but in the heat of the moment I abandoned my rational thinking. Instead, I was thinking a new kind of rationality, a much more instinctive one. Quickly, I kicked out the rest of the sharp glass and entered the house. Inside I grabbed the package and threw it through the missing glass panel. After assuring that it landed safely in the grass my attention returned to the fire situation.

I called out for the old man, but I heard no response. Behind me Azalea was shouting something, but I couldn’t understand her. Then, I heard the sirens.

The policemen slammed the doors of their car and jogged to where Azalea was standing. In comical apery of our first meeting I climbed out of the broken glass frame right when the policemen arrived. They did not make the impression to have become lenient since our last interaction. Luckily, they had a fire to solve first.

The Brandweer, the Dutch fire brigade, arrived with the old man who lived in the house. Fortunately, the major part of the house was saved, only the still empty library had been destroyed by the fire. Mister Oberschlonger explained that he heard a loud bang in the house, and when he followed the noise’s direction he found his fireplace destroyed. The ashes had been thrown out of the fireplace and had kindled the emerald colored curtains. From there the fire spread quickly into the next room, which was the library.

The grimmer one of the two policemen speculated about possible terroristic backgrounds and glanced meaningfully at me.

“And was the window broken before or after that loud explosion?”

“Bang. I said bang, not explosion. Something came through the roof. Don’t you see that hole in the roof? My telephone line was dead, so I ran outside to call. I don’t know when the window broke, but it’s an old house,” Mister Oberschlonger said and winked at me when only I could see it. For a man who had just lost half of his house he seemed extraordinarily calm.

“And what were you two doing here?”

“They are here to pick up Doctor Junesworth’s package,” Mister Oberschlonger interrupted the policeman

“Exactly. That’s why I went inside through the broken window. I saw the package, and I wanted to make sure that nobody was still inside the building.”

“So, you’re the hero now? Anyways, you’re not pressing any charges Mister?”

“Charges? No, of course not.”

“Then, we’re done here,” the policeman said and nodded to the firemen who were standing next to the police car. One of them had burned his fingers during the operation and he was cursing ‘kanker’ and lit a cigarette.

Azalea wasn’t talking much with me on our way back home. I wasn’t blaming her. “I’m sorry,” I said multiple times, but I knew she simply needed time. Later she said that she wasn’t angry that I smashed the window, but because of the shock that I put her through.

“I just want a less risky life. All that stress from work already, and your work too.”

“I was acting on impulse.”

“I know, it’s fine.”

With a heavy feeling in my stomach and heart I took a shower. Azalea hopped in after, and I moved to the kitchen to make tea. I left her a cup and took mine to my study. The crescent moon was hanging low in the night sky. I switched the light on and picked the package from the floor where I had put it.

Dr. R. E. Junesworth
Orionlaan 17

4412YX

Zeven Heuvels

There was no sender information. It was a large and heavy package. I cut the tape with a scissor and opened the top. Inside was a stack of wadded newspapers, and a smaller carton box wrapped in duct tape.

A small letter fell out of the carton when I managed to open it. I unwrapped the letter and saw that it was addressed to me.

Dear Mister Junesworth,

I saw you have a doctor’s degree now, congratulations to that! I hope this is still your address. First, I wanted to send this to some big author, or a publisher. But then I didn’t care anymore. I told you about the stories I was imagining in therapy, do you remember? I think I understand myself a lot better now. That’s partly your achievement. You helped me so much. I have to admit that I have broken many rules that I learned in therapy with you. Probably all of them. Now I’m paying the price for that, but I have to say it’s not that bad. There are so many good things. I’ve finally found real love. I am off the meds, just like you told me to. I remember how you warned me that they would take the best of me. You were right, they did. I wanted to thank you. The only thing I have to give is what I wrote in the last years. I have been writing a lot, it was like therapy. Four books . . . And thousands of pages full of notes and other things. It’s the things I actually cared about in all this time.

Do you remember when I gave you that document that one night? I needed to be honest to somebody. No one truly knows me if they don’t know my writing. Now, I need to do that again. I wasn’t really honest to you – or anyone for that matter – back then. But now I am. So. . . I can’t just let all this stuff stay unread forever. And who else could I write? I wanted the book to be marine blue, but green was cheaper. I hope you can make some sense out of it.

I have enough of this world. I don’t hate it, I actually love it. But that’s why I have enough. I have enough of walking into supermarkets playing ever the same Queen songs. Isn’t it odd that a guy shouting that he “want’s to break free” is considered normal today? It’s almost as if any critical thought has lost its power, and everyone is just nodding along to nice melodies and mind numbing entertainment. Whenever it all was too much I escaped into the stories of a world that lies in that small package. Now I am one with it.

Sincerely,

Jupiter

Even before reading his name I knew who he was. He was one of my first patients, back when I just made my license to treat young adults. Back when I was doing behavioral psychotherapy.

He was my first schizophrenic, though it took me a while to make that diagnosis. He came to me in the midst of a high school burn-out, deeply depressed and frustrated. It took me two years to get to the core of his problems, and the deeper we went down into his mind the less I knew what diagnosis I should give him.

One night he called me during a psychotic episode, and the next morning he gave me a document full of paragraphs about hallucinations and delusional beliefs he had never entrusted me with. Shortly after he quit therapy and declared that he found himself to be healed.

Over the course of the years we had remained in touch, though the last two years I haven’t replied to his emails anymore. The last thing I read was that he stopped his study of psychology and was pursuing a different career now. After that I rarely opened one of his confusing emails. His last emails were full of what I identified as pseudoscience.

I opened the smaller package. Inside, delicately placed into a satin bedded wooden box, lay a forest green hardcover book. Silver engraving on the front showed a leafy twig in circular shape and a blackbird that was sitting on the twig. When I opened the book I got the feeling that his letter was a suicide note.

Immediately, memories of the many unopened emails he sent to me flashed through my head. Sometimes I saw an attached file, but at that point his emails landed in my spam folder already. The guilt that was about to leave returned. I sipped my tea and began to read The Blackbird’s Tale.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blackbird’s Tale: A Schizophrenic Fable

THe Blackbird Sigil

For audiophiles: Click here for the free audio-book version on Soundcloud (including music and extra content not published here.

This is the prologue to my novel The Blackbird’s Tale. The story takes place in two worlds: The first world is a fictional version of our real world, with a focus on Europe. Most of the chapters in this world are ‘seen’ through the eyes of psychiatrist RE Junesworth. The second world (in which the majority of events take place) is a fantasy-themed world by the name Astaria.
I began writing this book after many failed attempts to put my perspective on complicated topics, such as consciousness, mental illness, and the human condition into words. I underwent an episode that many would describe as “psychotic” or “disordered.” However, I found such shocking and overwhelming altered states of consciousness to be rather enlightening and liberating, and a process of recalibration began in my mind. This book is an attempt to transform this process into art.

The Blackbird’s Tale

A Schizophrenic Fable

by Jupiter Stormwell

edited and annotated by R. E. Junesworth

 

Based on a true story. Based on true human emotions. Inspired by true events. At this point we might as well call it fiction.
Shall we then?

 


Prologue

This is not normal, Jupiter thought and stared at his uncle who was currently talking to his brother – Jupiter’s father – about the natural order of things. He was of the opinion – since his daughter married into a rich family twenty minutes ago – that there must be rich and poor, that it was rightly so that some had nothing while others had it all. He belonged to them now. Naturally, he could leave his leftist background behind now, though his stained suit was reminiscent of his rebellious background. Weddings . . . It’s like a trip. A connecting experience, a bond you may call it, and then you come out a changed man. Just that it doesn’t really do any of that.

Jupiter let his gaze travel along the restaurant. His mum danced with his father’s sister, Olga. His aunt was completely wasted, and his mother wasn’t real. It was quite normal after all, Jupiter concluded. A normal day. Almost. . .

Jupiter’s real mum was still at home in the bathtub, he knew that. Not the new home his parents bought, but the old one, the one Jupiter grew up in. It was weird being at the new house, seeing a new bathtub, without his mum inside staring emptily back at him. Many things had changed. For once, his parents didn’t try to poison him anymore. So many things have changed, indeed.

Jupiter wasn’t stupid, he was a rationalist, and a perfectionist. He was used to walking around through the world – or how he preferred to see it, space and time – listening to the pre-made conversations, and responding with manufactured rational responses. He was very good at the game. And so it came that he never told anyone about the way he experienced reality; that he heard a mysterious voice, and that he could see people’s infected souls. That his mother was a monster, and not his real mother anymore. That he was being watched, being followed. And, generally, that they know.

But, as mentioned earlier, things were different now. Jupiter had went into therapy, and it helped him a lot. He couldn’t tell how it helped him, but he was getting along quite well for a while. For some years after therapy he was hooked on a medication that numbed down his feelings and suppressed his weird experiences to the point where that newfound clarity became weird.

Jupiter had stopped psychiatric treatment, and began his own therapy. Then it was all back, but this time different. He saw the good in the world now, and in himself. He saw that while he was very convinced that his mother wasn’t real, he could also accept that she was real, and his mind just made up things to explain why she behaved like a monster when she didn’t know better. The delusions were still there, but now they were different, they were good. And they weren’t delusions anymore, Jupiter knew that. And so he enjoyed his positive outlook on life.

It was hard seeing it here – the good – but it was there . . . somewhere. There it was! Dressed as Dieter, the new pimp friend and lover of Jupiter’s aunt. Currently, the good was acting pretty bad. But it’s always just a matter of perspective, Jupiter got reminded by the voice.

“Deep down maybe, yeah,” Jupiter said to himself.

“Did you say anything, dear?” was the rapid response from his aunt who had hurried over to him. She sat on his lap and grinned drunkenly.

Fuck, Jupiter captured the moment without meaning it as a proposition.

Then she began to talk about the same things as always. That life was beautiful, and that she didn’t want to grow up. That she lived the good life. And all the other things.

Two years ago, maybe one and a half, Jupiter would have nodded and agreed, hugged her, and kissed her on the cheek. Then she would call him a cab so he could get home safely. Drunk times.

It felt so awkward now, so unreal. Almost as unreal as . . . He could smell the alcohol in her breath. But there was another smell. The smell of a days-long empty stomach.

His aunt tripped off his lap, and slouched away. Jupiter had not said a word. Say something idiot. He smiled comprehensively at her. She smiled back coerced.

Jupiter wasn’t drinking anymore. Alcohol doesn’t teach a lesson other than that you should quit. But many need to trip first.

Jupiter did other things, mostly cannabis. Sometimes a psychedelic trip. His aunt wouldn’t understand. She would understand, but she wouldn’t understand. He remembered how she talked about smoking marijuana and how she lived her rebellious Sturm und Drang. Most people are just too far removed from any mystical experience to get out of the dark.

The crowd started to get noisy. They wanted bride and groom – or how the German part of Jupiter’s family assured him it was called, bride and broom – to kiss. What else would they want on a wedding?

Normal people just want the standard experience with kisses and stuff, Jupiter thought and looked at his cousin. She looked dreaded and tormented. But, that doesn’t really mater. Myths and lies and of course pictures will correct those memories about the happening and suddenly, ten days after the wedding, you remember that it actually was the best day of your life.

Jupiter left the room when the awkward kissing was over. The baby cried in a funky rhythm when he strutted to the lounge and into the gentlemen’s bathroom. In his pocket he turned on his vaporizer. This is the 21st century, you can get high without smoking, and millions of strangers on the internet assure you it’s healthy.

In the toilet he took four deep drags and left again. He went out to the terrace and waited for the effects to kick in. The moon was full and out to greet him. But it wasn’t the moon that spoke to Jupiter.

“It’s all good now. This is a mere temporary situation.”

“I know, I know. I just wish I could make contact, truly, with any of them. Wake them up. Talk from human to human. From one to one. Make them see their true selves, and their potential.”

“I know. And you will. But not now.”

“Why not?”
“Art thou ready?“ he said in a funny voice that reminded Jupiter of the times when he heard the voice for the first time and it still sounded like a child’s idea of an archaic noble. “To walk in there? And start being who you really are?”

“No . . . I would sound crazy. Mad. Or worse, like a conspiracy theorist,” he laughed, “I can’t make them understand it in the words they already know. All those claimed words and meanings.”

The voice nodded, however that was possible. “So you want people to read your book?”

“It was you who told me I’m a prophet, so yeah.”

“No, that’s not what I told you. I said you will be like a prophet to them, because they won’t understand what we really are. People need that image in their head, to get triggered.”

“All that prophet bullcrap,” Jupiter said and scowled.

After a while he felt the cannabis.

“And you are certain . . . that I am . . . that I did the thing?”

“Yes, you’ve done it. It is impossible for you not to do it. Because you are it.”

Jupiter stared into the night-sky over the river. The sky was illuminated in a mysterious orange light. It was light pollution from the harbor a few miles west.

There they all sat, just like his friends all knowing what they want. Actually, they didn’t know a thing. They knew how to abuse their bodies and minds, and how to pretend that they weren’t. They were so good at their roles, so good that you would seem a fool to try to approach them outside the framework of their act. Completely unaware of the myth they are living. Yet, it is so obvious. All those fabricated behaviors and responses, as if you’re watching the tv-character they’re quoting. They are terrified by the Nightmare, and yet they wear it as their shield against it.

And then they came . . . the weird questions.

“What are you doing at the time? What do you want to do later?”

And there was his best friend, and her sister who was eighteen. She had just got a nose-job. Poor soul, Jupiter thought and felt bad. Her friend couldn’t understand why Jupiter thought of this as sad. Jupiter wondered if the young girl would have ever done this if she was just by herself. Did she really make that decision herself, or were it the voices in her head? All the outside-opinions. Imagos, Jupiter concluded. But of course, the sister of Jupiter’s best friend wasn’t hearing voices. Jupiter was, according to modern psychiatry that is.

He continued his gaze. The questions were over, but Jupiter hadn’t given an answer, yet. His friends were gazing back at him in expectation. Jupiter didn’t like lying, so he had to learn to tell the truth without telling the whole truth. It’s easy, he thought, you just need to leave out some minor details. It’s all a matter of perspective if you really get down to it anyways.

“Stuff,” Jupiter said and went out again. The moon was still there.

Jupiter was different than most. He was magical. He had special abilities. Or in the language of western psychiatry-students he was a retard. A schizophrenic.

Jupiter was smarter than that, he didn’t believe in mental illnesses. He used his condition for his benefit. At least that is how he experienced it. From the observer’s perspective – that was absent, contrary to what Jupiter’s paranoia made him believe – his opinion of the disease schizophrenia itself was delusional. They always win with their definitions. The secret language authority. He got sad and looked into the distant horizon, hoping for some message. Nothing came. Time to go, he thought and left without saying goodbye to anyone at the wedding.

Hah,” Jupiter laughed and removed the blanket. “Isn’t it funny? I felt so horrible yesterday. And just now I woke up, my eyes still closed, everything seemed so calm for a moment. And then I remembered: I still feel terrible.”

Jupiter jumped out of the bed and into the shower.

“And then, I wondered. Why is it that I need to feel all the time? And then . . . and then you know . . . I laughed. You remember? We always find it again.”

He shampooed his hair.

“And, you know, it’s so funny. Because it is the same thing. It’s raw emotion. And you know that we can just turn it around. But I forget it all the time, because that’s part of the feeling, or how it comes to be. Forgetting that emotion is neither good or bad, it is me who makes it good or bad. And likewise, I just had to remember that suffering is useless, if there is no suffering now. All that is past. I see that now.”

Jupiter finished showering and hopped into a soft bathrobe. “Oh man, I’m telling you I knew it all along, but it was stuck in me. That’s why I wasn’t writing anymore, you know? Because I forgot. That it’s all bullcrap. Oh man.”

Jupiter filled the water boiler in the kitchen and sat down on the table under the window to wait. Immediately he was on his feet again. “Tea” he said and started to rummage around in the closet above the kitchen counter.

The water boiler clicked to signal that it was ready. Jupiter had finally decided what tea he wanted: Black tea with a hint of cardamon.

Tea was ready.

“So when you’re on the other side, you also just forget? Just like I now forgot the sadness that filled me? Like . . . I just forgot it, but I have the memory of it. Isn’t it fascinating? I don’t feel the pain anymore. When I was on the other side, I couldn’t feel happiness. And then I just felt deep into the feeling, and wondered why I couldn’t feel any different. And then, I felt you.” “Swoosh. I was happy.”

Jupiter lifted the glass and sipped the tea. He opened his laptop and began to write:

Hah,” Jupiter laughed and removed the blanket. “Isn’t it funny? I felt so horrible yesterday.”

. . .

Jupiter giggled when he opened the window, still typing with his right hand.

“Who’s gonna write this down?” He said and jumped.

It was a poor attempt of suicide. The building was three stories high, and he jumped from the second floor. Three, if you count the entrance stairs.

That counts for half!

Two and a half, fine.

Jupiter fell, time slowed down. He watched over to a small window in a tiny house where a giant boy stood and stared back. He looked confused, maybe shocked, and Jupiter could understand that. It’s not that you see someone jumping out of their window every day in this city. However, oddly, you could see giants in tiny houses on a daily basis.

That’s why Jupiter loved the Dutch. If you are the tallest people in the world, and have less space than most, you have to have a strong sense of humor.

Shit, someone should write that down, Jupiter thought and smiled at the stranger. What else should he have done? After all, he didn’t want to mess up the poor guy’s day.

Reality hit, or to be more precise, a spiked metal fence hit. Jupiter felt dizzy and nauseous. He couldn’t see. Then he realized that his head was pierced by the fencepost. I think something is in my stomach too. Damn look at that.

He opened the one eye he had left. A piece of skull, flapped down and covered his eye. Jupiter pulled at the piece of bone, or at least he thought he did. I’m done for anyways, might as well play with my own skull before I go. And right he was, only on rare occurrences you could do things like these. Only in moments of dying.

The bloody piece flopped off, but Jupiter didn’t feel the pain. When he could see again, the world had changed.

Before him stood a young woman, she smiled beautifully at him.

I am Arves,” Jupiter mumbled, “nice to meet you. Tell him it’s happening. Tell Junesworth. Arves Siala.”

Someone should close my window. I don’t want the cat to –

Before he could finish his thought a blackbird flew down from the sky and started to sing.

Want more? Read part 2 here: Click me 🙂

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