Fiction · noise in the room upstairs

Entry #1: A Question of Insanity

Musings of a Curious Mind: A Journal

There was a funny article in the paper today. According to an editorial by a Mr. George Bluthey, the best way to prepare for a hypothetical zombie apocalypse was to hide a fresh layer of dirt under your mattress every night. When the zombies decide to bless us with their horrible presence, you will be mistaken for a fellow zombie if you were caught laying stock still on your soiled mattress.

When I relayed this to the woman on the television, she huffed and responded that I shouldn’t believe everything I see in the paper.

I told her that she lacked a sense of humor. She got more offended at this and turned herself off with a click of her teeth. I paid no mind but I personally called up the local paper to give my compliments—just to rub it in her face a little.

As I settled into my seat to read the rest of the magazine, she hit me with a question that got me thinking:

“Do you ever question why you do certain things?”

I looked at her flicking form on the black and white screen. Her painted smile and crow’s feet lifted smugly in apparent victory. She knew I didn’t like to think of such things but here I am now thinking about it.

I never usually commit ideas to paper. Writing makes all concepts once unreal real. You can’t really take back anything that’s been writ immortal on a piece of paper. Even when you take the time to destroy the evidence through whatever means, the ghost of what you’ve written is still there—hanging in the air. They were once real—permanent—and now you’ve killed them. No one else may know your crime but you’ll always know. It will always haunt you.

But I’ve recently learned that ideas are powerful in their own right. Questions you try to ignore demand to be answered and so here I am writing about why I do certain things. Why my mind think the way it does. I want to interrogate my very being while I can still think of things critically.

One key question that I’ve been struggling with the most is the question of insanity. What defines it? Where is the line that distinguishes the sane from the insane?

I’m not saying that I believe I’m crazy—no, definitely NOT saying that—but I am troubled. Profoundly so. From history to TV to talk of an apocalyptic future with absurd politicians holding the keys to nuclear destruction, who wouldn’t be right? I perhaps think too much and thinking may be its own curse. It doesn’t help however that I do have a history of the more identifiable version of insanity.

My grandfather was a werewolf and part-time exorcist. As far as I can remember, he was haunted by intense delusions and visions. When I was around ten, he had fully convinced himself that everyone in the family were evil spirits that were taking yearly portions of his souls through holiday dinners. One year he started a sizable fire in the living room to purge us from the house. That was a wacky Thanksgiving, let me tell you!

When he was sixty, he came down with a sudden case of lycanthropy after he claimed a dog stared at him weird. On full moons, he stalked the neighborhood butt-naked and then gallivanted through a nearby forest park. My parents planned on putting him in a home but he ran away and died under a bush on the next full moon. Our neighbor, Ms. Gladwell, says that she is still haunted by the vision of his wrinkled ass terrorizing her precious marigolds and that we should be lucky that she hasn’t pressed charges.

I’m nowhere near that bad, I think. Other than my knack for finding weird articles and a hyper awareness of my own mental frailty, I’m no different from your typical average Joe.

Let’s hope a zombie takeover doesn’t occur in the meantime.

Last Edit: 14 March 2016

The above narrative is the first part of a fictional journal of many parts.



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