Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Filter Drift...

14 December 2016

Filter Drift...

My body is flooded with chemicals, I am fully harmonised, I'm not worried.
"Have you started going to gym again?"
"Not yet. But I've started seeing a therapist and this might be extended to a second meeting."
“What's she say?”
I went off the record.
“She says technically I’m fucking lazy. I did learn something interesting, though - the word psychology, you know what it means? The study of the soul. Very deep, right?"
"I don't think it means that, not any more. And she's explained what you are, a minor writer of minor standing?"
I nodded. She's aware I've sold very little of my work, particularly my best, most recent work reviewed and well regarded by many people other than my wife and close, personal acquaintances, The Sundial Salesman. I was talking to myself in the mirror, in the 3rd person. I often talk to myself, tell myself things are going to be alright. But then another voice interrupts and says:
"Bullshit! You’re gonna die, asshole - prepare the fleet for invasion ...!"
I’m just an old man getting older the longer I stick around, tarnished grey, the colour of a very sad old man's hair. I’m actually watching wrinkles climb into my face whilst the years go by. Getting older, you have all these dreams but also complications - you become disagreeable, you suffer dementia and refuse to accommodate anyone. You're going bald, you need your eyebrows shaved, tidied up, things you'd never of thought of when you were younger.
But there’s advantage with age, too, an amazing feature, we take more liberties and live to never have to remember them because not only was I getting older and more decrepit, but someone was stealing my memories of minutes before - the debilitating madness of dementia, the euphoria of déjà vu, the limelight of never having to remember or give a goddamn shit. A demonstration of old age’s built in obsolescence and depreciation, in a few years more I’ll be unable to cross the road without assistance. And in a few more years time I'll eat my own shit, forget my name and where I've been.
It's not that I’d chosen to become irritable, have extreme mood swings and hallucinations and possibly need a little psychiatric hospitalization, I'd a mental health problem. I’m honest, I say what I mean even if its hurtful and makes people uncomfortable. They call it a "filter" and I don't have one or it's broken or maybe someone stole it. They're not sure but either way without treatment I knew something was badly wrong with me. I go to counselling (primarily it's for the serious psychosis disorder often referred to as Filter Drift) and wait in the waiting-room and stare at all the mad people, these odd balls, this menagerie of anxieties and phobias and rabid mental disorders gathered for diagnosis. There was one old guy sitting down back there with a beard of the biker variety hanging dirty grey-white from his much harder to discern chin, if he had one, it was that hard to see under all that beard. And he brandished a sign: THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH! I'd felt it was a bad sign, an omen, that and the receptionist had me sign a form in case I took my own life but I'd refused on the grounds that under the mental health act you're not qualified to sign any forms.
Besides, looking around the packed reception area - what bereavement, what despair! - I could try commit suicide but there just wasn't enough space.
A sudden sound grazed my forehead and - usually of quiet disposition - there was a sudden outbreak of hilarity behind me. Staring disbelievingly, someone had thrown a plastic medical vagina at me. Based on the current information I had to hand I spun round and accused each one of the patients individually, irrespective of age. Speaking through a directional, high-powered, electrical loudspeaker or bullhorn, the small scuffle of uneasiness growing, I began the process of accusation and shouted at them, "Was it you, crackpot? How about you, crazy pants, was it you? And what about you, four-eyes - you throw this vagina at me?" I demanded shoving the plastic vagina under their noses. When nobody wanted to confess I accosted the receptionist with the loudhailer: "There are other mental health professionals I can see, you know!"
She seemed pretty dubious and said, "Are you some kind of an idiot? I mean, I've checked your file and while I'm no doctor it seems you could easily be, Filter Drift, what the fuck is that? So I think you'll find that plastic vagina you're so desperately clutching, looking for someone to blame, fell off from the shelf above you?"
Bullhorn at the ready I'd a pretty sophisticated comeback but there’d seemed no real point engaging her argument and grievances and no further action was taken at challenging what had happened here in the waiting room. I could’ve just reached in, ripped out her thoughts and read them to the world, made her safe from the never-ending stream of bullshit TV advertising the world was full of promising to make her look as if she were feeling a whole lot younger than she really was. I resumed speaking to myself in the 3rd person - I'm sure if you were in my position (which you're not) you'd have done the same.