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Monday, July 13, 2015

'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'

So, I remember the first time I saw the film. I read the book later on.  It's only just become clear.  Perhaps I had an understanding before, yes I did.  Just the other day, I was thinking about who I know that is bonkers, and what that I see is as well.

Who is the loon? Some folks think they are, but they're not.  Some folks pretend.  Then there are the real, but they've not a clue, I think. They can hide right in front of you. Act as you'd expect so that you don't suspect. Sociopaths? Psychopaths? Whatever the name, I call them dangerous.

If I step aside a minute, think about what's going on around me.  It's unnerving.  A great deal more than that, really.   I can go on about life. Paint my shutters, mow the lawn, tinker with machines. Time goes by, it's all good. Then I look up.

A suicide two doors down. Young woman, beautiful. What despair called her to take her life? So much pain.

It's never a good day for Banana Fish, though I have thought about it from time to time.  As to the heat and the flame I am drawn.  Always strong enough to pull back.

Three young people, I know their families, dead from heroine in the past about 18 months.  One had had some other problems, no less tragic. The other two seemed 'fine'.

Several people close to me have come unhinged, so it seems. Some refuse to talk, others think they have it all figured out and want to let me know how it is.

Once upon a time my job was chasing the crazies.  First full time gig out of college.  Knock on their door, wherever and whatever that happened to be, check on their well being. 'You alright?' Strictly a relative inquiry. 'Taking your meds?' 'Food in the cupboard?' 'You need to see the Doc.' Typically, or so my recollection goes, the response was something of an indirect "Fuck you! Go away!" Sometimes it was exactly that. I came again. Some of them became friends of sorts. Against the rules, you know, but what the hell.

Mental wards.  I've been on many.  Just like prison except with sweet nurses and not so much violence.  Bars on the windows, just like in the film. Pop through a locked, steel door and everyone turns to see.  Who are you, who you are.  You making a break for it, or just checking in?

Got to keep the loonies on the path.
No, I will weep no more. In such a night
To shut me out? Pour on; I will endure.
In such a night as this? O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all—
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.
King Lear Act 3, scene 4, 17–22

The wrong people are stepping off.



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