story teller: crazy

blue bubble calamity clean

Crazy: Before

disassociation. mental health. question of reality. home.

“I’m not crazy!” C.J.’s forceful shout shakes the walls and the chairs as his father, Charles, tackles him to the floor and muzzles C.J.’s mouth with his hand. “I’m not…” C.J. flings his fists to the air and that’s the last thing he remembers.

The colours are beautiful as C.J. falls into the outer world. The world without borders and end. One may call it psychedelic. The realm of purity and goodness. No evil shall find C.J. here and he’s at peace with that. ‘No evil. How wonderful.’ He thinks. The magic to turn the world to his whim. The blackbird becomes a parrot. The tiles underneath him become a soft bed of grass.

But that’s not the reality because C.J. still senses his father’s grasp and his father’s weight pinning him to the floor. He still senses the clock on the wall ticking with an equal beat to his pulse. He still senses the veins of pipes running between the basement ceiling and the kitchen floor underneath him and his father. He sees his father’s terrified eyes. He sees that blood smudge on his father’s cheek. He sees…

C.J.’s memories become a blur and he’s not exactly sure why his father would do that. Recollections are at times bizarre and broken as if someone took a chisel and started to chip at them. Or was it C.J. holding onto a chisel, waving it around, and screaming to his father that he’s not crazy. That’s the thing with C.J.’s memory. He’s unable to tell the true story. An unreliable witness to account for his life because C.J. is swimming to the shore away from the whale that just spat him out.

“Nothing’s real. Everything’s a fairy-tale,” C.J. whispers after the film in his head ends with a black scene.

Out in the real world, Charles keeps a hold on his son until C.J. calms down. Then sits to his son’s side drenched in worry and fear. Where has his son gone now mumbling some nonsense? But it’s never really nonsense. It’s some encrypted spew of reflections. The illuminations of C.J.’s mind and Charles listens to his son’s breaths. They finally synched with the tic-toc of the clock as if C.J. was imitating it.

‘Time is wasted. Time is wasted.’ C.J. thinks without uttering a word but his father’s cool palm on his forehead revives him and he unfastens his fists and lays his hands to the floor, palms up. Deflated and confused. No chisel to drop. No knife to harness. At least that is a relief.

The bloody smudge on his father’s cheek is the smear of red-tinted cake topping that C.J. threw into the air in a moment of disorientation. Black balloons on C.J.’s request, now free tapping the ceiling. The black inner tube of a tire; the rubber doughnut; used as cushions for his birthday, shoved under the table as C.J. kicked during the struggle with his father.

C.J.’s chest hurts as if someone pounded it with a sack of fists. His fists… and that’s how it happened. The reason for his body on the floor. It usually begins like that. C.J.’s fingers curled up to a fist. Raising his voice. Raising his fists and jamming them with force to his chest and then shoving anyone who stands in his way, anyone who’s trying to stop him.

“I’m not crazy,” C.J. whispers.

His father nods, remaining seated to his son’s body. “I know.”

“I’m not crazy,” and with his words, C.J. finally captures his father’s face. ‘You look like your father,’ many have told him, but C.J. doesn’t see it, or at least he’s unable to see the resemblance. Maybe because C.J. hides from mirrors as he’s unable to recognize himself. Unable to assemble the shape of his face, his eyes, his nose, his mouth. Everything looks distorted and uneven. Mirrors are his enemy. So are the photographs.

“I know,” Charles echoes and covers his mouth holding back the tears.

© Jacob Greb — 2022

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3 thoughts on “story teller: crazy

  1. edythasjourney says:

    A trip indeed into one’s psyche. The turns definitely make it compelling and brought me to tears. Especially the father’s situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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