“Thank God, I’m normal!”, he said. The bulk of his form barely visible and inert. “It’s just that these damn times I’m living in that are flawed!” This was silently spoken aloud in the mucous membrane cushion cavern of his cranium, though at three AM it could have just as easily have been uttered at normal volume in the darkened empty room that he sat naked within. The bank of windows behind him allowing a combination of city street lamps and occasionally passing autos to provide a paucity of illumination softly playing upon the ceiling through the vertical blinds. A tightness seemed to grip him and the small amount of relaxation that he had just known laying prone in bed was defeated by the awkward design of the Barca lounger that held his bulk in a virtual limbo of a foot and a half above the dirty over worn carpet. If his feelings could have been surreptitiously polled the conclusion might have read paranoid and most probably depressed? Living in solitude without resorting to the fantasy of friendship via telephone had wrought a certain amount of deterioration of his personality. Had this been an interview of a clinician as opposed to the usual mental game of hide and seek with the actual situation he too might have concluded that whatever dilemma that he was referring to was most likely created from within. The world around him, day or night, was about as concerned with affecting him as any of the trillions of singular items whose usual conglomerate lay under the soft cloak of night. He could imagine what was occurring in those many rows of bedrooms in the subdivision of houses and apartments that surrounded his own oasis of personal thought. Given the time, almost everyone of them was prone beneath the covers sawing timber in the construction of somnambulant dream inspired fantasies. What were they but a fiction based on perception. He could walk down his street during any given day for a mile or two and be hard pressed to see just one. The fiction was that they were away somewhere their driveways empty the portals interrupted by firmly shut drapes or blinds. Perhaps they were still sleeping? Perhaps they were hiding. But, perhaps, they weren’t really there at all?
He himself was not at all the person that he could remember from that mental photograph that was set upon the dresser in a dimly lit portion of his own awareness. That strange fabrication of direct view unlike a mirror only recognized in distinct small apportioned sections like a hand a foot or a knee. The collection of the entire shape was only briefly scanned in the reflection of the bathroom’s medicine cabinet’s outer door and for the most part customarily unacknowledged by his consciousness. The bedroom door in the catacombs of his own being still confident with the more graceful impression resting upon that virtual doll house of his within. If queried as to the age of this persistent doppleganger it most certainly had stopped long ago at a point in the range of twenty to thirty years in age. That other awkward manifestation clearly deposed to a number of decades times two of the one within was an unwelcome lodger. At least this mental apartment that he lived within for so long had sturdy locks on its entryway to allow only that sense of himself that he felt most accurate or important to reside within! “God knows!“, what the rest of those surrounding mental fictions snoozing silently about him thought of themselves in that regard? The self-made man within was after all a careful construction of a sanguine universe of reasonability and respect. It had always been so. Or at least, in later years after he had taken to a more solitary existence, it had seemed so. He could turn off those laments evidenced by the woeful actions of others off like a light switch in his own expansive realm. Mental strife and indecision could be shelved for later consideration in a sane and orderly manner. Perhaps not in the way that those he occasionally ran into during the course of the day might have handled it.
Was he superior? No! “He was just lucky.”, he thought. The soft satin of swishing sound of distant car tires passing gathering up around him like a pillow and then departing. The world could be like the seashore if he thought it. He could feel its heat at the junctures of his limbs. A degree of coolness from the night air creating a contrast that accentuated this mental fiction. “It’s just the point of view that one is willing to accept!“, he righteously pronounced in his own echo-less mental chambers. The rest of the world seemed ever at odds with chaos. The return of an occasional Michelin wave returned in aural assent to his conclusion. The constancy of the refrigerators presence brought to waking consciousness by this counterpoint. It seemed curious how the mind could block out what was annoying and all too apparent? The lack of success so far in any acceptance for his many long studied gifts. The passing of so many friends and family into an irretrievable limbo of former barely recalled incrementally fading episodes. The silence around him seemed a cloak. Something not so obviously moth-eaten as the muted unlit wide horizon allowing only the organized firefly glow of the city grid to poke through. But more akin to the rumpled covers that one barely was aware of when ensconced within. Just where did the rest of humanity go each night? It was possible to recall those infrequent times when in a former era he had slept beside someone else. Their limp form inert and unadorned with waking consciousness beyond the slow rise and fall of their torso that was next to imperceptible beneath a low hush of air running in and out. An unexpected moan here or there and the possibility of this form automatically reconfiguring itself for a moment as if being manipulated by some master puppeteer from afar handling controls unseen. On occasion the voice of the owner droning in an equally soft pitch incomprehensibly for an equally short period of a second or two. This was about the most unvarnished type of truth that one could expect to receive from any other!
So why then did he prefer the solitude of his own realm? The resultant peace on demand that came of not having to contend with the need for polite excuse to awaken unceremoniously to drain the nightly liquor that had collected in his bodily reservoirs? Or noisily evacuate the excess accumulation of noxious air? Was it the ability to pick up on the same chapter of where he had left off in continuing to explore some dreamy adventure whose dramatic narrative seemed to outshine the daytime equivalent? it was not impossible to recall the pleasure of animal warmth come from a comfortable gentle embrace. Such things were rare even back in he disordered closet of long ago discard events. Rare intervals between more frequent bouts of edge of the bed brinksmanship where even glut to glut might summon an irritated comment claiming unnecessary interruption of one’s spouse in the kangaroo court of displeasures. If weighed upon the scale of doubts, these former times were cached for good reason! Better to let occasional wistful memories of good times waft through like the incremental interruption of gentle tires passing respectfully soft upon the distant roads of the world out there. No! He was normal and more mature than his former self. That unreasoning restless animal that never seemed satisfied always searching for a perfection that only existed when viewed from afar. Now that beast had grown old in the tooth. It’s fur mangy and gray in a curled up matte deposited somewhere unseen and forgotten in another part of the shadowy darkness of the early hour. Whatever stirrings that it could muster within were limp and ineffectual by this point of life. Where the rest of the world might have struggled with it insomnia he sat quiescent waiting for the approaching rising glow of day. Something else that’s constant cycle seemed forever equivalently arcane but expectantly routine. No! He pondered in the dimness of a rising visual awareness of the objects within the room about him. “He was normal!“, he thought. It was the mental fiction of humanity all around him that was insane!