Monday, 14 August 2017

Sometimes you don't know what's real...

I was 22. I was playing bad guitar in front of my tent.
It was very hot. It was siesta time on the campsite.

All I was interested in at that time was to learn how to play the guitar but I was quite bad at it. I did not realise that my approach to music was entirely wrong. I wasn't playing music. I was just desperately testing my levels of self worth, entirely invested in this instrument, and nothing else really mattered.

I didn't understand how music worked, and I didn't know how to learn. I wouldn't have trusted a teacher. I wouldn't have trusted anybody for anything that mattered, and the only thing that really mattered was being able to play the guitar as a proof of being worth something on earth...

I was doing my little things when I heard a loud male voice. "Stop it!"
I instantly put the guitar down and looked around. Nobody was there. No angry bearded fellow was to be seen...

I was not sure I had really heard it. It must have been in my head. Then a little boy came up to me. He was about 3 years old. He laughed and told me: "I told you to stop!"
I looked at him, I found nothing to say, and he went.

Sometimes you don't know what's real... 

Stories for nothing and everything: Mahikari

Stories for nothing and everything: Mahikari: When I was 25 I met friends I hadn't seen for five or six years. Loads had happened since I last saw them: they were married, had chi...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Psychiatric memories: Raymond

“Stop, Madam, stop!” 

Raymond was an old chap, not very tall with a kind of friendly bulldog face and shining white hair who looked perpetually satisfied, except when it was time to get into the bathtub, against his will, and have a shower aimed at his calves and the rest of his anatomy. 

He begged with his irresistibly friendly voice, it was too hot, it was too cold, it was too… wet basically. But he had to be kept clean. He was a marine officer in the past… Not washing oneself is among the most common first telltale sign of mental illness. Since I’ve learned that, I take a shower every day.

It was always nice and entertaining to have a little chat with Raymond, who spent his days, like the ten or fifteen elders of the wing, sitting on a chair along the wall of the dining room. “Hello Raymond, how are you? What have you been up to? Aren’t you bored?” And he answered: “Oh no, I am not bored. I go to the cinema and to the restaurant… I like walking; I walk a lot you see…” 

One day, I was doing a round; checking everything was OK in the rooms I had a glimpse of Raymond thought the ajar door, masturbating with focused conviction. I discreetly sneaked away, thinking: Enjoy my friend!" 

I’m sure she was beautiful.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Oh no there is nothing left for me!

Maria was a little grandmother with great eyes of an imploring dog, bent forward as is common at her age and perpetually playing with her tongue. She always kept the tip of it stuck behind her front teeth and made the main part of it bulge out and in… 

Her tune was: “oh there will be nothing left for me… Will there be a little bit left for me? Oh no there will be nothing for me…” 

Her overwhelming concern was about food. She used to lurk around the kitchen long before the time when the van would deliver the containers… We answered her regularly, with an admirable and absurd patience: “Yes Maria, there will be enough for everybody, don’t worry, you’ll get your share!”

 She looked surprised, she was silenced for a few seconds and then she started again…”Oh no, there will not be anything left for me…” –“Now that’s enough Maria, get out of the kitchen, we have to close the door, we’ll open it again at twelve when the food is here !” –“Oh no oh no oh no…” Maria went away, rubbing her anxieties between her hands, condemned to hunger for life… 

You’ve guessed I am sure: once the tables laid and the food served… Maria couldn’t stay put on her plastic chair in front of her plate. She kept wandering between the tables, claiming “Oh, there is nothing left for me…”

 Every now and then, a member of the staff brought her back to her seat. She ate like a bird and flew away…

Monday, 19 December 2016

Battle over a tin can

Alan had a big jaw that wouldn’t give much work to a caricaturist, and a naive and inquisitive, astonished and suspicious look. He was twenty nine and he had a heavy epileptic career behind him. 

I liked him. We spent hours together in the manual work workshop on the other side of the yard. Alan decided he wanted to make those kinds of pictures that were so successful at that time that they quickly became one of the cheesiest things ever in the normal world. That is, he wanted to make pictures with interlaced threads between rows of nails. 
 Alan was extremely anxious about failing. I had to be there, looking over his shoulder, checking nail after nail whether what he was doing was right. Is this it? Yes Alan, it is… Is this it? Yes... and so on, gesture after gesture, for hours, afternoons, weeks and months…

 I felt how he felt, I know how anxieties can cloud the simplest operations with a veil of uncertainty, I admired his determination… If I left him for a little while, he went wrong. I knew that it was not on purpose… I never felt the urge of using hurtful words such as “Can’t you use your brain for a change, it’s not that complicated for God’s sake!” When I was tired, I just said I was...

 After five or six month he was able to cope all by himself provided I was not far just in case he would need me. He achieved a few pictures without help at all. He was so proud, and so was I!

 One day, Alan came back from a walk outside of the hospital, he was allowed to, and he came back with a tin can of cassoulet. A cassoulet is a sausage and bean hotpot, that’s the best translation I’ve been able to find out in the dictionary however it’s much tastier than that. It was 4 pm, and in France, you don’t eat at 4 pm. Eating at 4pm in France, that’s something you don’t even think of.

 Furthermore, or moreover, a cassoulet is definitely to be eaten warm....

 Alan wanted an opener to eat his cassoulet cold and directly from the can at four pm, and I had absolutely no reason to refuse whatsoever. It was his cassoulet after all. I respect freedom more than food. I gave Alan the opener.

 Bad luck, a nurse arrived. She was the kind of person who believes that things have to be done the way they are supposed to be done, just because that’s how things are supposed to be.

 She started to waste Alan’s pleasure by calling him a pig… I don’t remember what Alan’s answer was, but it did not please her… She went on showering him with spiteful comments to which Alan answered back with exasperation…

 ”You’re disgusting! 

  "And you, you’re disgusting to, have you seen your face?” 

and so up and up to the point when she told him that talking that way to a member of staff was utterly unacceptable and he had to follow her in the pharmacy to get his injection done. That is, the injection that is done in case of disruptive behavior and sends the person who gets it sleeping for two days.

They disappeared, there was a noise and the nurse came out of the pharmacy with a black eye and quite hysterical. She went to call for help. I went with Alan in the kitchen. As a member of staff, I couldn’t tell him he was right! I offered him a cigarette instead and he got the message...

As a disciplinary measure he would be forbidden from leaving the wing for six months, which implied not being able to go to the handwork room located on the other side of the yard. From then on the nurse would be on sick leave for a year before she came back working in another wing.

 The so-called normal people may eat their food warm and at the relevant time, have manners and wear nice clothes, but their souls are disgusting. But no, no… they are just damaged people as well. They don’t know what they’re doing. They need to look down on sick people to feel ok...

Thank you for reading. Don't hesitate to leave a comment or share if you find this story valuable. I am also vloging and telling stories on youtube, I would be delighted to meet you there as well! 

Jean-Marc, raconteur, healer, philosopher

                                Here is my YouTube Channel. Click click! Welcome!

                                                 And thanks!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Invisible Quicksands. Roland

 When  I saw Roland for the first time he was freshly admitted for scaring his neighbors… He was walking nervously to and fro in the ward. He was speaking out loud into a walkie-talkie without batteries. 

 He was nineteen years old. He had a nice kid's face, he was tall and slender. Diagnosis: schizophrenia. He asked me to open the door for him. A helicopter was waiting for him in the yard; he had to join his regiment that belonged to the 114th Panzer division. He had to go fight in Lebanon. If he couldn’t go, he would be considered as a deserter and could be shot for that. It was extremely important… 

I could almost see the helicopter but opening the door was out of the question. He had been sectioned: He had been legally labeled “dangerous to himself or others”. Under this status he couldn’t go out of that door, even to go into an enclosed courtyard.

Roland believed he was a kind of hero in the military prevented from performing his duty… a couple of injections and pills later, he had become another self, though not much more himself than previously… He was now a friendly young man with a good sense of humor. He was always looking for his friend Francis.

 Have you seen Francis? Where is Francis? A nurse once answered to him “He’s in his shirt!” It was a way to say that we are not an information agency. "Oh replied Roland, I am looking for shirts then!" He could be witty. 
 However, he would get indignant if it was suggested that he should cut his nails himself, or trust a nurse to do this. Only his mother could perform such a task properly. The tentacles of madness do not necessarily smother those they stem from… 

Lieutenant, you’ve got a serious fight to contend with, jump into this helicopter and repel the barbarians! 



Friday, 21 October 2016

The most ridiculous breakup of my life

Maybe I should now write a few posts about the great catastrophe of my life: my relationships with women...

I will start with the narration of the most ridiculous breakup of my life.

I was living with France (that's not her real name) in the South of France (my native country). We loved each other. We had soul to soul moments, like when you look at each other without saying a word and you burst out laughing - You know exactly why, and you know the other knows that you know, and you know the other know that you knowst they know, but it's not complicated at all, you're just laughing. Such moments are heaven on earth. We had quite a few…
We also got on very well in bed; we loved talking, listening to music, dreaming, going to the little restaurant by the river...

We were tormented though. We made a lot of drama between the heavenly times. France was jealous. The idea of not being loved was branded on her mind... On my side, I felt trapped, imprisoned, smothered as I always end up feeling when closeness happens.
From the depth of our unconscious minds, bubbles of old stuff blew up to the surface of our love, wasting it.

Our common craving for permanent, absolute and safe bliss wasn't assuaged. We were as close to Nirvana as you can be when you know intimately what Nirvana is, because you feel, with intense and precise clarity, that it is not there. And sometimes it is, but on earth everything comes and goes...
If I really loved her, she said to me one day, I would not feel unsatisfied. I have always had bouts of depression and anxieties,... I didn't understand why and how I felt the way I felt when I felt bad... It panicked her.

I wanted to live this great love and at the same time I couldn't accept the idea of being trapped in a single relationship to the point of not being able to love beyond. The idea of being emotionally connected to only one special one, and to refrain from merging with the rest of the world still seems weird to me. Merging is part of my nature. 

I have always wanted to make love with all the fairies, beautiful women, trees and dogs I could be aware of; I have always wanted to make love with all minds and musics, fires and smokes, clouds and whatever floats in the air, with the earth and the rivers, the ondines and the mermaids..
. The beauty of women is an invitation to merge with the whole universe. Women resemble doors to other dimensions... Why should I be allowed to only one door when their multiplicity and variety sounds like a symphony that wants to be heard?
I know. This is not how things work on planet earth…
Neptunian dreams will never die. You may believe you are in love with women for their beauty, as if they were the masters of the magic they conjure up by means of hormones and make up, but it's God who is craved for...

A friend of mine told me he had fough
t hard to convince his long term partner that monogamy was just a bourgeois concept imposed on the masses by Church and State as means of control, and that love and freedom can't be separated. He told me that when he eventually got her to accept that he could make love with other women... the desire of it simply vanished. I am pretty sure that this would have been the case with me as well.
The right to desire whatever we desire is more important than actually getting drunk with other perfumes. I had never been unfaithful to France in reality, only in fantasy. But it showed…
If the person you love demands you not to feel what you feel... Suddenly a gap opens between the two of you.

To be free is essential. I would readily spend my life in a prison cell if this was what made my love happy, but the door must remain open.
When the other wants you to freely want what they want you to want, it is called a “double bind”. It is the road to madness. You can only negotiate about behaviours. Feelings and wants have to allowed to be whatever they are.
France didn't get that. She wanted a fully committed boyfriend with all his cravings in good order, who doesn't even notice other women.
One day we were watching TV, on the sofa, in each other's arms, like when all storms have calmed down. There were advertising clips. A beautiful woman dancing her way through the crowd, free of perspiration smells thanks to a deodorant, appeared on the screen. Suddenly France jumped off the sofa, shouting at me. She told me the rhythm of my breathing and my heartbeat had accelerated at the sight of the deodorized female. I believed I was just bored at the advertising interlude...

Not far from where we lived there was a nudist camp, with a swimming pool. We all went there: it was free! We just had to be naked. The first time I took my pants off under the sun I felt a little bit self conscious, but not for long. Everybody is naked and nobody thinks anything of it, so I quickly got used to the situation and enjoyed the swimming pool.

One day, instead of the nudist camp, we went to friends. They were cultivating organic vegetables for a living, there was basin for irrigation as big as a little swimming pool. We went naked as usual. There was no crowd around. Our friends weren’t there. There were only two very beautiful young women sunbathing, their heads hidden from the sun under bath towels. Apart from the towels, they were as naked as you could expect. France was swimming. I was sitting on the edge of the basin admiring the scenery. The two beautiful women being part of the scenery, I couldn't really help my gaze from lingering about their lovely shapes. Time hadn't had time to wear them out yet. Their breasts were works of the art.
Breasts are fascinating. It's fascinating how fascinating breasts can be. Breasts look like the elixir to all pains. Breasts look like you could get to heaven if you could only eat them. Oh, I know the theory, I have studied! A long long time ago, breasts actually were just that. And they were big, so big because we were so small…

I wonder how women see other women's breasts. Whatever our gender, we've had the same start, haven't we?
"-But he is having a hard on!"

France was shouting. Before I was even aware of any physiological reaction in my body (nothing more than the slight beginning of not much yet) France already knew more about my intimate mood than I did, and it made her very angry. She exploded. She made a big drama, as you can do only when you have an audience. My indictment was wildly and ruthlessly uttered under the sun, in the irrigation basin in the middle of the fields…

It was more than I was able to cope with. I grabbed my clothes and left without looking at the girls. Once home, I packed my things.

Nudism, my dear friends, is good for old people.