They threw me in a cooler. They said perhaps that would calm my head and clear the blockage in my ears. The kind of blockage you get after being submerged in the water for too long.
“Why you talking to yourself?”, they asked.
I never knew why I always talked to myself. Not too loud nor inaudible. Mumbling to myself was the norm most of the time. Maybe I was accustomed to being on my own. My thoughts gave me great company. I’m much more at peace that way. I never spoke much, they always said that too. A man of few words perhaps? I never know the answer to that either.
I couldn’t define sadness nor happiness.
Yes, All I knew was madness and the chaos that always erupted in my head. My soul long seized to be the peaceful sea shore that I’d go to whenever I had problems of my own. It was much more of a Northern Star Trawler caught out in a sea which always had wild storms brewing.
The moon always shone bright through the tiny window in the rehabilitation cell. It was place a few feet higher than my normal stature.I hated colour white. Yes. The clothings don’t look like any normal prison clothing. They put me in some psychiatrist facility center. Everything in that room had a white color. The door had a tiny window that accomodated passage of a small dish which was accompanied by a sandwhich and some yoghurt. In the middle of the room they put a table, a chair, a book, a pen, a pencil and an eraser. There was a bed which was attached to the wall. The fluorescent tubes always flickered. I hated it. It messed up my thoughts.
Everyday they would come and check what I’d have written in that book. I always left it open. A pen and a pencil would always be put in a manner to show that I tried working my deepest inner thoughts in that book but I didn’t. Who would believe me either way?
Every night she would come. She would serenade me with her sweet song, she would kiss my lips. A feeling that always left me longing for her. She would make good love to me, she would be riding and moaning, her soft voice and moans coming from deep within her. Then she would change into something grotesque, and I would always drown. I would see them, her ilk, her people, her species. Each trying to get a grasp of me as they pulled me deeper into the dark murky waters of the ocean. I would struggle to catch a breathe so that I could stop myself from drowning. And it all comes back to me; the screams, the wails, the confusion, pain and agony of not understanding what was going on. What attacked our boat while we were on the fishing expedition. All died. I was the only soul that remained alive. I never knew the reason why they attacked us. But all I knew was that they were shape shifters. They would change when need suited them.
“Let him live”, she said. Blue eyes she had. She seemed like the matriarchal female. Whatever these creatures were, they followed the matriarchal order. She had nice long brunette hair. Her voice was something else. She sang to me. I don’t know why. But it was like a drug. One couldn’t sleep, nor eat, nor think properly. Every time I would want more and more.
I woke up washed ashore. Wet and confused. I recognized the place. It was far from my town. I didn’t have shoes. I walked from the beach to the main road. It was cold. I was shivering. I walked for miles. It didn’t matter any more. All got lost at sea. How was I supposed to report the incident?
This was how it played in my head.
“Excuse me officer, I’m here to report several cases of murder”.
They would then take me in for questioning to try explain how I found out the murder. I’d tell them that we got attacked by mermaids and I’m the only one alive.
They would then laugh and say that they don’t believe that the little mermaid, aquaman and his cronies would emerge from sea and kill everyone apart from you on a trawler.
I would look like a fool. And they would make more fun, saying perhaps Squidward would have played the murder tune? They’d say I’ve had one too many and that I should go home. But where is home? When I’m washed ashore 250 miles from home?
“Go home son, you understand such stories are for kids”, the questioning officer would say.
They would let me go.
It wouldn’t make any difference if I stayed shush about it or if I said what I saw.
I ran away from her song. From her serenade. It would torment me more and more. Call it one drink too many, or the pride of a man. It all ended in trouble and began with a grin. If it weren’t for those cursed creatures, and the lost departed souls, we would do it all over and over again.
I shifted towns. I walked down the valleys with whiskey rivers. I was always running. Running from my darkest fears, grief and loss. Where the whiskey rivers burst its bank, you’d find me there. I wasn’t scared of its turbulent waters. I welcomed it all to wash away the past. It took me to places I’ve never been to.
One day while I was wallowing in the brown muddy waters. After I had given up hope.
I saw the sun. I’m glad I’m on land. I fell, I stumbled. Others didn’t live to see the day. I walked up to the nearest police station and made a statement. Ofcourse they never believed me. It all happened as like I’d imagine it would have played in my head. They booked me an appointment to a psychiatrist.
She checked me and they said that I was mad. No fishing vessel was reported missing they said. Of course it was covered up. But none of my pleas were heard.
Solitary confinement in a mental psychic rehabilitation center. They called it the cooler.
All I prayed was for the Lord to put their souls to rest and forgive their rough and rowdy ways.
I was back to where I started. With no whiskey. Everynight she would sing and it would torment me further and further.
Her song was like a sign on the door that read out loud to me.
Just like the grass, sun and the water. I don’t think they’d let me out anytime soon. Perhaps I’ve began believing that I’m also the mad person in my own story.