Friday, December 26, 2014

From the Other Side: Can You Hear Me?

My voice is not in my words. It echoes around in my head, bouncing around, trying to find a way out. When I write, paint, draw, sing, and make film, bits of my voice leak out. And yet, I still feel like no one hears it. I shout and scream inside my mind, wanting to tell someone everything that's trapped in there. But human language cannot capture it adequately.

Society's expectations are like barbed wire surrounding the utopia locked past the gates of normality. By the time I reach the gate, I've spent all my energy, my flesh torn by the wire's edges. To open the gate is another challenge; it's much too heavy for my weak muscles to handle. And yet, I have to push it open by myself... but I can't. So I shout through the gate, at the people on the other side. But they dare not open it, and they dare not cross to the other side.

The people in the utopia know what the other side holds: the mentally ill, the crazy, the criminal, suicidal, bipolar, autistic, deformed, traumatized, perverted, demented ones of their race. Home of the outcasts. My only company is the broken, when what I really want is to be close to people who have enough of their heart left to be kind when I need them. But in this world, wanting things is futile... you can't change who you are and what's happened to you.

Society knows of the other side, and yet there's much they don't know. They don't know that there is still love and happiness, even though it may appear as delusion and obsession. Each citizen of the other side is a real person, even if they are merely shattered fragments glued back together. That guy with multiple personalities might have more friends than you think--within himself. The druggie is going on all kinds of great vacations without leaving the spot he's sitting. The autist is having the time of his life color-coding all the marbles that the schizophrenic lost. The schizophrenic entertains the clinically depressed fellow by repeating the silly things voices tell him. All the NARCISSIST needs to be happy is a mirror and his bipolar companion with delusions of grandeur.

These friends of mine hear my voice. If I'm condemned to stay outside the gate, at least I'll have company.