And Then I Thought I was a Fish

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: Peter Hunt Welch is a 20-year-old single Caucasian male who was residing in Bar Harbor, Maine this summer. He is a University of Maine at Orono student with no prior psychiatric history, who was admitted to the Acadia Hospital on an involuntary basis due to an acute level of confusion and disorganization, both behaviorally and cognitively. He was evaluated at MDI and was transferred from that facility due to psychosis, impulse thoughts, delusions, and disorientation.

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Observations of a Straight White Male with No Interesting Fetishes

Ever wondered how to justify your own righteousness even while you're constantly embarrassed by it? Or how to make a case for your own existence when you contribute nothing besides nominal labor to a faceless corporation that's probably exploiting children? Are you clinging desperately to an arbitrary social model imposed by your parents and childhood friends? Or screaming in terror, your mind unhinged at the prospect of an uncaring void racing to consume the very possibility of your life having meaning?

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This is the story of a boy, a girl, a phone, a cat, the end of the universe, and the terrible power of ennui.

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The Episode, Part 13: Crazy Love

Composed on the 5th of August in the year 2011, at 7:22 AM. It was Friday.

As already described, there’s no sex like crazy sex. There’s no joy like crazy joy. There’s no fear like crazy fear. And there’s absolutely no love like crazy love.

I’ve been in love exactly five times while sane. I don’t believe in fate, meaning, or even free will; I think love is a poetic illusion built around pheromone triggered chemical addictions. But it’s my favorite illusion, and I dive in at every opportunity. I’ve been so in love, pre- and post-crazy, I’ve sacrificed everything I could think to sacrifice for just another day of it.

A piece of my mind, written under the influence of psychosis, extra theta waves, and whatever drugs they had me on, is still in love with Pocahontas. She drifts through my dreams to this day. I’ve never spoken of it in any detail to anyone, and this is more for me than anyone else.

Part 13, or “Crazy Love”

I don’t know why I fell for Pocahontas so much harder than any of the various other women I decided I was in love with. She was the only person I remember who was always herself; though she represented different things or beings at different times, she had the only stable identity throughout the time I knew her. I never thought she was a dead friend or a relative from the future. Maybe it was because I was around her the longest.

The first time it became obvious to everyone that I was in love with Pocahontas was during the first week when I rolled onto her yoga mat while she was exercising. She left it for a moment to do a stretch, and I hit it like catnip. Everybody laughed at me, and she politely asked me to move, so I rolled off it, with a grin of perfect and insane contentment on my face.

In my more disorganized periods I would just smile at her and hope she talked to me, virtually wagging my tail every time she entered the room, since I had the emotional control of a heavily sedated puppy. In my less disorganized moments, I would actually engage her in conversation, and she started opening up to me a bit at a time. She mostly talked about how she missed her kid, and was trying to write a book about her experience, though the details were never clear, even after I found the first couple of pages of what she’d written.

I played the piano a lot, since I could almost play like a real piano player back then, and she listened. Everybody listened a bit in the beginning, but I was either playing one of the handful of things I’d learned, or hitting the notes very slowly and carefully according to some crazy math in my head, to avoid upsetting the celestial balance with bad vibrations. So it was less entertaining after a while, and I got bored of it, but she listened the longest, and we started talking about music. She offered to teach me to play guitar once we got out, and that sounded good to me.

Once, she said she was going to church with ShittyFriend. She may have been kidding; I wasn’t allowed out of the ward at the time, so I couldn’t verify. She told me to play for their souls while they were gone. I immediately complied, and they came back five minutes later.

“That was quick…” I said.

“Yep. We were saved.” And she winked at me.

I have no idea what they actually did, but I assumed I had saved their souls with my playing.1[1]

As a pretty forty-year-old who had spent a solid chunk of her life addicted to drugs, she was probably about as mature as a twenty-five-old, so she still had five years on me. Once she decided she liked me, she flirted expertly, with dry wit that I completely misinterpreted, and sly smiles and winks. I have no idea what it meant to her. While I was crazy, nobody was crazy, and looking back, I was so crazy it seemed that everybody else was sane in comparison, but there were definitely some people who’d flown the coop. Later, I would get evidence that she was one of those people, but I don’t know for sure.

All I know is I still remember her long black hair, her delicate fingers and tired eyes. I remember seeing through layers and layers of personalities and angels and demons and aspects, every one of them more beautiful than the last, and light pouring out of her dark eyes every time she looked at me, as if there was a galaxy of dying stars behind them. More than once, the world was nothing but a void around me, and the universe was inside her and she had brought me out to look upon it, her, all creation, the goddess and the form of the cosmos.

Near the end, we were sitting across the table in the TV room, talking. She seemed more nervous than usual, and was playing with her ring. She took it off and handed it to me. I tried it on, and it fit my pinky perfectly. I smiled, took it off, and handed it back. She looked sad for a moment.

“If you were indian, you would have kept it.”

“Oh. I’m not.”

She smiled and then we had to go to some meeting.

Enough of that.

More action tomorrow.



1 I’m not a good piano player. If I practiced for the rest of my life, I still wouldn’t be able to do this even metaphorically.

This is actually a picture of an old boss.

Hi there! You should totally go buy my book for the low low price of 6.73! It's like buying me a beer at an out-of-the-way dive bar in Brooklyn! Not in Manhattan. Manhattan prices are ridiculous, though there are a couple of decent Irish dives where you can snag a drink for five bucks. Otherwise, you're looking at a two or three book beer.