Conversation with a madman
It is important, I think, to explain more fully the circumstance that has brought me to this strange and terrible place, which up until a year ago, was an unremarkable life.
There are gaps in my memory – of this you know – but more – there are gaps in the story and so I shall do my best to bring you to this weary place I find myself in now. Perhaps the place to begin is in the place where I first realized that salvation was possible for one so wretched as me. It happened after many months in the asylum and it went something like this…
Here in my room I sit. It is a special room, in a special place, for those of us that are criminally insane. Yes, that is what I am now. Here and now, in this room, I am at home.
Here in this room I sit. The room appears to be much like a fancy hotel suite. It is true too I have felt my way about it and there is a soft bed to sleep in, a soft carpet to walk on, and a dresser to keep my few clothes in; there is even a separate room with a sink, shower stall and toilet. I am one of the lucky ones I guess, my wealth from my lawsuit has enabled my lawyer to provide me with such comfort not afforded others. Though, I care little for any of it.
Here in my room I have searched, inch by inch, for a way to kill myself. As each day lengthens, and the medicines they give me wear down slowly like an unwound clock, my mind gives in to remembrance of the excruciating details of that terrible night. I see throttled little faces; I see crying and screaming. It was a night with one arm deep in my tool box and the other deep in my children’s blood. I am a monster! But, NO! I was possessed by a monster; the beastly dark enraged lost soul of the murderer Scudamour! He was the monster all along — now gone to Hell! But, it helps me not to know of these doings — I am a simple man – and here I sit.
Here I sit in this room, not dead but dying each day, I want it to end. I must end it. Even Hell would be a pleasant respite from this miserable state. Even the blindness and deafness is not the cage I thought it would be. We humans are strange beings, this I know, for no cage can truly keep us. My blindness opens me up to certain senses of the mind. It is hard to explain but the mind is capable of sensing minutia from the world about us and expanding it tenfold, what organ it uses to accomplish this task, I do not know. But, I do know this, when the nurses come to my room to administer my medicines and such, I see them – not in people sense but in blob sense. I know exactly how many of them there are, and where they stand in relation to me, and to each other. It is bizarre – but so too is my loss of hearing and the new sense that rose to the occasion in its absence. My suspicion is that my skin or my nostrils are the new conduits of the world about me – amplifying the world for my brain to interpret. But, Oh! What interpretation! I am not completely deaf – this is true – so a little of the old me is still present in the world outside my head. Sounds come to me on a purely electric level – they play and dance across my skin. If the sound is loud enough the miniscule hearing in my right ear will backup that visceral interpretation to my brain. Sound is substance but of that substance I cannot discern any real details. The doctors gave me a hearing aid for my right ear but the louder I turn it up the deader the electric sensation. Over this last year I have found a happy medium of volume and actual hearing when communication is necessary. The doctor visits me once each week – he only wants to talk of one thing – and this is of me as murderer of my wife and children. This is not the conversation I want to have — and so here I sit.
Sitting here in my room there are times when I become so lonely; so inconsolable, and so desolate in myself that I search for ways to die. But my room was cleverly designed, obviously by a madman, because each piece of furniture is made just so that it cannot be used to ease my pain. There is a window – but too high to reach. The furniture is bolted to the floor and cannot be moved. The lights (not that I need them) are inset and sealed. While I have no TV, I do know that some of the other inmates, in the rooms about me, do have them. Oh, just to smash my head through the glass and feel the sharp edges shave my neck and to feel the coarseness of the National Grid as it runs rapidly and violently through my body – luxury! Here I sit; and this is one of my better days.
In my room I sometimes remember things that I either imagined or forgot. I remember that night in June of last year. It was hot. My head hurt. But my nail puller felt cool to the touch of my hand. My hand, yes; but wielded by another. The children were already dead and I had them laid out neatly before me. I soon realized that the wall cavity was not large enough to fit them all. In my toolbox I found my saw – but it was too slow. I needed to get this rental property ready for occupancy! It had been two weeks now and this room was the last of it! Time was of the essence! I went to the truck and dismantled my big band saw. It was unwieldy and cumbersome but I managed all the same. But the noise I made bringing the thing into the house woke Mrs. Exnzpat – coming to complain no doubt – “OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING…?” But the nail puller was close at hand and she was dead before she hit the floor; and so with the careful skill that comes from years of redoing houses for the rental market I went to work; cutting and chopping, slicing and scissoring everything into its proper place. It was a long hot stinking night; the smell of blood stung my eyes and nose. In a daze I found myself at the computer typing – and then a strange thing – a creature of some unknown genus was in the room with me.
“I am SHE, I am Eve, Mother to this Earth – COME TO ME!” it commanded – but not to me – but to that thing that was Scudamour, inside of me. Light was everywhere. It poured through the windows like water; it was thick, viscous and pearly — practically tangible. Red light tinged with blue stitched a tapestry of purple into a bright clear torrent of shocking white. It was not day but day like no other fell upon the Earth that night. Comfortable was Scudamour inside me. Tricked was he from his hiding place in the attic above — and into my body. Scudamour was no ordinary man or murderer he was a vile thing from the future — a future wherein the Human Race was supreme and all men were Gods in their own image, making, and of design; Scudamour was a beast and a villain of the Universe. Like the dark breath and stealth of an owl the great winged arm of SHE reached towards me, not me, but Scudamour, and grasped my bloodstained shirt and ripped Scudamour’s peculiar and indefinable ghost from my body. A sound so deafening, so like thunder and much like the screech of chalk on a chalkboard was one of the last real sounds I heard; it was the howling chorus of a delighted Hell! And then the two were gone — but not before I felt the Earth heave with satisfaction beneath my feet. And there I sat — at my computer – alone. Much like I sit now.
Here as I sit — on nights like this — when these memories or imaginings come flooding back to me I weep. Sometimes I scream and howl. If I am not restrained I run headlong into the walls or door – I am not trying to hurt myself — I am trying to kill myself — but sometimes I laugh too; the walls are padded I barely feel a thing. Imagine if you will a torment like a winter without snow: barren leafless trees stand on rock-hard frozen tundra; a grey unyielding leaden sky above – this is my life – until the day I die. Oh God let it be sooner than later! And still I sit.
Tonight, here in this room, I remembered something I had forgotten. That is: the feel of the sweet curve of the nail puller as I gently pushed it into my right eyeball; It didn’t hurt. Not at first. But, I levered it back so hard that I chipped the bone about my nasal cavity. I think I screamed at the pain. With the other eye I was luckier – it was cleaner but there was some pain because I dropped the nail puller and it tore at my cheek as it fell to the floor. I quickly picked it up again and this time, without thinking, slammed it with all my might into my left ear. My head was spinning with the concussion and the pain of it – but I continued to strike at the side of my head. Blood flowed freely and stickered my neck and my arms; by the time I went to work on my right ear I was weakened and pained to a faint, shortly thereafter, I collapsed. And now, as if my story was not strange enough, an even truly stranger thing, if not miraculous thing, occurred. I felt my body lifted up. I was embraced by something of particular grace and of particular beauty. It held me – it cradled me – it nursed me – it carried me into the attic. After a time, when I became more aware of myself and the company I kept, I realized that I sat upon one of the sheets of pine board in the attic of my rental. In front of me; speaking to me was the creature that called herself SHE. What it said to me, at least tonight as I write, I do not remember. I do remember though, that after many days in hiding; strong hands — human hands, reached up for me and pulled me down. My hands were bound and my legs were shackled and I was taken away and eventually I came to be in this place where now I sit.
Sitting tonight, I lament this last year and the foolish choices I took that led me to this tormented place. A dead family and my soul lost to Hell. What did my wife, children and I do to be enjoined to this horrible state of being. Where was God in all this? It was true that I had been taking incalculable risks in the property market. We were in serious debt – but no more than any other player or gambler. Do such financial risks normally pervert the laws of the physical universe and manifest themselves into such a dastardly evil plot as this? Again, where was God? And who or what is the strange being that called herself SHE?
These things I ponder as I sit in my room. I am loosely bound tonight. I sit on my couch blank to the world. I had, earlier this evening, as my medicines wore down realized a truism. That truism is that I still have teeth. I raised my left wrist to my mouth and licked it – tasted it – and then with a violent rapidity sunk my teeth into it. I bit, I tore, I wrenched and ripped. But, Oh God, I was too slow. Three nurses were in the room before I could do any real damage. There are cameras you see – I’m alone – but I’m really not alone. Blank eyes stare at blank me. Oh, God – why have you forsaken me! So, here I sit, alone; the nurse’s wrapped me safely into a straightjacket and injected me with something – it will help me sleep – it will help me forget — but only for a while…
And then! Something! My senses quicken – there are vibrations about me. Something is in the room with me. My door was not opened – of this I’m sure – and still there is electricity in the air. My skin is alive with sensation. Something is here – it is coming closer!
My arms are bound, crossed in my jacket, my hands are exposed. This keeps me safe; safe from myself – but also – defenseless from others. “Who’s there?” I call out. There is no answer.
And then something soft and wet touches the back of my right hand. I can feel small suction-like disturbances upon my hand. And then something long and wet curls about my exposed fingers…