On top of the rose coasts the wombat. (A true story)

Is there anything in the world as genuinely unsettling as mental illness? I’m not just referring to the fact that there seems to be an unpleasantly high number of idiopathic (which sounds so much more professional than saying “I’ve no effing idea what caused it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for my afternoon dose of hot On-Call room lurvin’.”) cases of acute, late-onset street-rat-crazy, although that is a hearty kick in the metaphorical mind-junk.

No, I’m referring to that blissful moment when you’re going about your own business, and your day comes to a screeching halt as you realize you’re center stage in your own production of “I Prefer My Organs In Their Present Non-Stabbed State, So What Can I Say To Make You Leave?” (also referred to as I.P.M.O.I.T.P.N.S.S.S.W.C.I.S.T.M.Y.L. for short, or “ipmo-it-pen-siss-wuh-sist-mill” as the kids call it.)

There’s really no describing that ‘off’ feeling in the moment when you’re sitting at your desk, watching someone sign a document in all the appropriate spaces, except for the fact that it’s upside down, and you’re weary to say anything, partially out of an unwillingness to break them from their state of… whatever, and partially due to an overriding curiosity to see ‘how things play out,’ and they’re carrying on about whether or not you belong to any clubs that “do specific things, if you know what I mean,” and asking you if you’re in college because there was someone parked at a college with “a car like yours,” and “You should take a class; Spanish, or something innocuous like that,” and how, pray tell, is Spanish innocuous; are there other classes that are really all that subversive, but then before you can really follow that train of thought, they’re launching into the beginnings of a rant, apropos of absolutely nothing, about the “men with bucks,” and how we’re all at their beck and call, and you’re thinking maybe these men teach those dangerous classes, but whatever, this person is still looking at you with that look, that gaze that betrays no emotion, no motivation, nothing to give any real indication of the mental popcorn chaos underneath, except for the slight uncanny valley effect that you’re looking at something that appears on the surface to be a functioning member of society, but is fundamentally somehow wrong, then they’re mumbling something about “do you want that scanner?” and how it isn’t in the right place, and before you can think to say anything to discourage them, they get up and walk behind your desk to turn a box of envelopes on its side while telling you that it should really be propped up for proper ventilation except that there’s absolutely nothing electronic within five feet of them and the ‘scanner’ in question really appears to be the box of envelopes which bears no resemblance to anything in the world other than a box of envelopes, and then you think they’re walking out of your personal space and around to the correct side of the desk, but then before you know it they’re behind you and their hand is on your shoulder, and you can’t think of anything but where that hand is and where it may have been and what is it doing there and why aren’t they moving it and oh, God, this must be what an anxiety attack feels like, and they’re saying something, and you try to listen again, and they’re asking what you’re doing for the summer which isn’t… really a logical question to ask because, when, in the history of the modern world has anyone who isn’t rich or a student ‘done anything for the summer,’ because my plans still include living hand to mouth, which doesn’t leave a lot of leeway for tooling around the French countryside, but then they’re sitting back down and realizing that they’ve signed upside down in all the places so they giggle the most unsettling giggle ever heard outside of the asylum or horror film set, and begin to sign it correctly, each line a funhouse mirror image of the reverse underneath it, and as you’re looking for the hidden cameras or some other sign that this is an elaborate prank, abruptly, they’re up and out the door, repeating the phrase “You know. You know. You know,” slowly, mechanically, as though the very utterance of this terse sentence holds the world tight against the forces of entropy and destruction… or maybe it’s pleasant as it rolls off the tongue, who knows, but then as the door shuts, the trance is broken, and the muttering changes into something indistinguishable, like the sounds of a party next door to which you were uninvited but which carries on just loudly enough to pique the imagination, then in the instant you’re about to breathe a sigh of relief, the door creaks open again and they’re back, mumbling something about tiny bugs that fly and bite the skin and cannot be killed through normal means, and they’re pointing at their raised leg with one hand while balancing against the door frame with the other, saying, “you have to get an aerosol mister,” and you’re thinking “Well, this is it, mind. We’ve had a good run, but clearly you’re having no more of my shit, and have decided to leave me for more temperate climes. None of the events of the day have happened; I’m just hallucinating on the way to the psych ward, which is positive, because it means my car didn’t really overheat on the way in this morning, and I don’t have to have that oral surgery tomorrow, and ooh, I’m probably due for a round of psychotropic drugs and a sponge bath soon, but it’s a bit of a downer that I’ve finally gone off the deep end, and if I have, why aren’t my hallucinations more Caligula and less Psycho meets Office Space” but then the door shuts again, and the telltale footsteps are carrying them away, quickly and with increasing softness, and the phone rings and it’s back to business as usual.

So that was me, thirty minutes ago. In a Shyamalanian (wow, that’s fun to say out loud) triple-backflip-540-mctwist, I’m actually the desk in that scenario, watching the whole thing unfold, except I’m really a ten year old autistic boy who’s dead and haunting an anachronistic township in Madrugal, Spain while controlling the world’s stock markets with my ectoplasmic bowel movements. If that movie comes out next year, I’m suing the everloving shit out of someone.

The title of this post was generated by the random sentence generator.

P.S. In the past month, I’ve received multiple search engine hits for “moonpie dachshund.” The internet never ceases to amaze me.


~ by tazehim on May 28, 2009.

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