It’s been a while.

One night staring at the roof in darkness, feeling his thoughts dart and halt like a dragonfly. He couldn’t be present, couldn’t think a thought that didn’t pulse out in fractal patterns of flickering light. The medication slowed that part of him down, for better or worse. They made his spirals linear and leashed his darting dragonflies to single moments.

Pain medication doesn’t stop pain, it stops your perception of it, and that night he realised his mood stabilisers worked the same way. His chaos, his nebulousness didn’t go away thanks to his pills. It was always there, just gagged and chained to a rock. But that night it hovered just below the threshold of consciousness. He felt it in the trouble he had focusing. He felt it in the time-and-a-half dose of anti-psychotics he needed to take to fall asleep, which still took two hours to sedate him. He wondered whether the far-off drone of manic-depressive insanity was coming closer, whether the thing inside him was straining against its chains.

He lay in the arms of his lover, trying to anchor himself to her. He walked to the bathroom and masturbated to exhaust himself, wondering whether the minute flashes of light around the room were lightning or some faulty wiring behind his eyes.

The drugs throttled his panic, and he went back to bed, staring ahead, waiting for exhaustion to finally mean something.


He raised his head and stared at the roof, wondering whether something was out there, watching him with idle interest, like a game of Sims they had a cursory interest in. He began feeling acutely conscious of something watching him, something from above.

He couldn’t see it, but he could intuit it, and maybe he could surprise it by looking back. Maybe, when it had gazed long enough into him, he could gaze back into it.


Eventually, he did fall asleep with a passing thought about how insanity could just mean being open to too many unconventional thoughts, and he wondered if he’d ever be able to recognise if he was, in fact, crazy.

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