By Alex I.
I open my eyes, and instantly my brain ignites. I gain peak momentum by the first step out of bed. Surges of motivation sling me from dancing like a worm ninja to meditating in a headstand. A divine spark of lightning illuminates my peripheral vision as I kneel in the middle of the kitchen – a beacon of fate. My destiny and I were always parallel, but now we are one. I am fearless and supremely aware of my surroundings. I am connected to a special sector of the universe with a vacancy of one.
A mid-day movie feels just right. I pop in an older Alfred Hitchcock film. The dusty negatives create a clear pattern of communication. Alfred is deliberately trying to speak to me, in this room, right now. My brain waves respond in a glitch format to unlock the spirit of the director. He floats angelically around the room as I helplessly slip off the couch. The main character’s voice fades into an ambient background, becoming remotely audible and scrambled. As I lie on the floor in a Buddhist stare, a ringing phone accompanies my concentration. It’s my mother and she’s picking me up. Perfect timing.
I march to the porch and sit in a cold iron rocking chair. A steady tempo accents the anticipation of my mother's arrival. I know why she’s coming; I hear her reasoning like a conscious thought. She is coming home from work at 10:00 A.M. to tell me how much she loves me. If I concentrate hard enough I am able to transmit brainwave signals to let her know that I am ready to reciprocate. This rocking chair is a perfect antenna.
Two vehicles race into the driveway in unison. I react with a moment of silence and sprint toward the garage to greet them. We embrace for an extended time and their eyes penetrate my soul. “We love you, son, and just want the best for you,” they both say in their own way. “We’re taking you to Ann Arbor for some support.” I softly smile and accept the proposal like a sage. I climb into the van as if I’m about to embark on a tour of Jupiter.
We take the winding, scenic route - devoid of traffic and abundant with wet aged leaves. I sit motionless and meditate to the beautiful sound of open windows. Few words are spoken between us, but the happiness speaks in a language of its own. I close my eyes and begin to float. The vehicle vanishes around me, and I unite with the stars. My thoughts connect the dots with various constellations, and my mind hovers seamlessly. I open my eyes, and we arrive – perfect timing.
I am purified, and liberated by the calm air as I exit. We approach the building together and the massive automatic doors open like an industrial space station. The receptionist informs me about the necessary papers and questionnaire that must be filled out. The waiting room television spews banality, and I contrast it with quips in my writing. I record each response in a novel font and encrypt every sentence with allusions to my destiny. This paperwork is my manifesto, and it encapsulates my entire belief system. I can feel its influence on future readers when I hand it in. My name is called, and my parents and I are escorted into a room the size of a walk-in closet.
A woman enters the cramped space holding a clipboard. She asks me if I know why I am here, and I respond with a focused smile. The interview is performed in hyper-speed as I parry a barrage of detailed questions. She departs after obtaining desired information, and my parents and I sit across from each other.
We do what seems natural: cry and hug. The embrace is charged with emotion and emits a radiant beam of peace throughout the confined space. We absorb the moment until two genial men in scrubs manning a wheelchair arrive. I’ll take a little stroll through this sanitary mansion.
The assistant wheels me around like a celebrity. I pass employees and charmingly greet everyone, like it’s my sole purpose for the visit. The experience embodies all of my being: a magnetic mind on a conveyor belt, attracting beliefs without question. We take the elevator to the 9th floor and a keycard is needed to enter a special section of the building. The door opens to reveal a fleet of interns clad in white coats; they were waiting for me. My guided cruise ends at a room near the end of a hallway and the drab scent of recycled air consumes me. Like a kitten, I familiarize myself with all nooks of the room. A specialist walks in during my research, and his expression implies honesty and credibility.
The specialist conducts a personal interview with me, and I sense an immediate bond. His visual disability creates detached eye contact; I’m speaking directly to his head. In conclusion, he informs me that I have a Bi-polar disorder. As I am left alone to reflect upon the diagnosis, it doesn't compute. I am at the pinnacle of my existence, not ill or compromised. My mental state is sound and legendary, far beyond sickness. I shake the epic possibilities out of my head like a dusty rug, and explore this unique place which I temporarily inhabit.
My short investigation of this sealed area leads me to a vacant kitchen. In the far corner, I notice a languid man staring out the window, and sucking on a nicotine inhaler. Our eye contact regenerates his vitality. We chat like old buddies, and completely dismiss our surroundings. He emphatically escorts me into his room to show me a project. I examine it and see discrete drawings of jet fighters and sentence fragments chaotically drawn all over a sheet of paper. The format is a clear manifestation of his mental state – the mind’s eye fixed in a viewfinder. As I depart from his quarters I overhear that he is suffering from schizophrenia. I must show him a path of enlightenment; only I understand him.
I move to the next patient’s room and sit down with a middle-aged male. He looks like a confused professional dragged here by an invisible force. Our conversation leads us to establishing the basics of his job via pen and paper, like he’s rapidly re-mapping his education. He thanks me as “Dr. Alex” and I leave realizing my purpose. I am here to help people gain awareness and establish inner harmony. I am the link. I am the cure. I am the ubiquitous panacea. I am the invincible, spiritual arbiter.
After two weeks of reluctantly taking anti-psychotic drugs at the mental institution, I found myself lost. I was confused and resistant to the notion of harboring a delusional mental illness. I was powering down, as if someone pulled the plug behind my back. I had traversed through a solar system of awareness only to get trapped inside an atom of despair. Reality crept into focus, and a gradual avalanche of emotions poured down on me. The consistent ecstasy and universal connectivity morphed into a sludge of depression and detachment. I had gone from destiny to derailment.
Thankfully my family was there to save me when I had spiraled out of control. Although I willingly take a dedicated dosage of medication today, part of me yearns for the sickness again. The connection I had with God, fate, and the universe felt completely authentic. The space between my mind and the world was uniform; everything was intelligible and connected. My mind finally found home when in reality I was light years away from it.