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Everybody around me celebrated. Everybody except me. They said it was the point in time when the balance tipped, when I finally agreed to let them help me. They told me on that day I woke up with red eyes, red as the Devil’s, Gregory said, like fire might burst through them, my pupils the craters of two angry volcanoes. Their description of me sounded like something rabid, wild, as if I had been set loose. For a time afterwards I imagined myself as a snarling dog, lips foaming and teeth on show. I imagined them holding me down to stop me biting those who were unlucky enough to get close. If I had been an animal I would have been euthanized or shot, put down out of my misery. But human misery is tolerated. It is allowed. It is necessary. Humans have a mandate to suffer their pain and work through it. We cannot be killed like dogs.
They used to discuss this moment with a reminiscent smile, sort of like, oh how it was back then. They would talk whilst I sat, inanimate like a discarded slipper tossed to the floor. They would discuss me idly, like they might deliberate a good wine or movie, the chatter chirruping around my head like birds in a spring sky. They would recall how willing I was back then when life was simple and good, before anybody had tried to die. Now their heads stay dipped, heavy with sadness at how far we have really fallen. At how far I have sunk. Now they see how pointless it all was.
I do not remember this moment in time. There was no light bulb moment or eureka as I came to understand the solution to the problem. To their problem. But I can imagine it. I can imagine what it must have been like. The words leaving my mouth at a rate so fast, that I would forget the meaning of the sentence before I had finished saying it. My heart beating me in the chest like a jackhammer, a rhythmical reminder that life was a punishment. I know my hair felt electrified and my skin crawled with bugs that felt like a million static shocks. Even the wind against my skin must have felt like an enemy, there only to break me into submission, to push me backwards. I know because I am starting to feel this same energy again. I believe that in my proximity to death, I had never felt so alive.