– Hey Joe, have you seen it?
– Ummmh, a very good piece of cake…
– Hey Joe, have you seen it?
– Ummmh, a very good piece of cake…
Yes, I admit to have a problem, this is what anyone who really wants to face the problem and find a solution is supposed to do. I’ve already read a lot of books and articles related to this matter, writings made by people like you, Doctor, who earns their living giving advice to people like me, with “psychological deviations”, as you like to define. I know very well all that pile of rubbish, but the only thing I need is a bit of understanding and empathy from you!! That’s why I’m paying so much for your services, I mean. Let’s start from the beginning, as if I had just arrived here right now, just as if I hadn’t come here every Tuesday in the last five months. Let’s pretend that I haven’t spent the half of my salary in these damned psychological interviews. Let’s go!! :
Hi Doctor, pleased to meet you, my name is Peter and I have a problem which, of course, after several vitits/friendly chats, you’ll be able to treat and help me get over. My trouble could be summarized in that I have a reaction, an uncontrollable reaction, when I simply see any individual who is, according to my own criteria, overweight. And the most curious thing is that, the higher overweigh of the person, the more abrupt, offensive and rude my reaction is. The only thing that, when I come across any overweight person, inevitably always springs up in my mind and, without any self-control, comes out of my mouth is: “Fat!!” No matter whether is any stranger (a middle age builder, a small child going to the school …) or even any people I know (a friend, my uncle, even my father!!!), I always react in the same way: “Fat!!” And, as you can easily imagine, this curious anomaly brings a lot of annoyance.
After trying all kinds of solutions, such as looking away or trying to think in other thing when I hardly saw a fat coming down the street, I decided not to stifle the impulse and say the word (“Fat”) but in a low voice, whispering, or even just moving lips. However, despite my great effort (without any recognition, by the way) to prevent people realizing, they always managed to perceive in the expression of my face and in the movement of my lips what I was trying to transmit to the world: that, even though anyone dared to tell them, that people were fat.
Of course, I’ve never had anything against overweight people, who don’t deserve to be insulted in this way. In fact, hardly do I spew the insult out of my mouth, I immediately regret doing it and start suffering a terrible feeling of guilt. Then, in an attempt to compensate my behavior, I try to apologize, and as a consequence, what fat people usually hear from me when we come across is a pathetic mix of insult and apology: “Fat!!, sorry”.
For working reasons, I’ve been living between two cities for more than 30 years and, consequently, sharing two parallel lives. In one city, I live with my family, whereas in the other I live as if I were a single man. Even though it was hard in the beginning, after a transient period, with the help of my family, I got used to this life. Since then, I’ve been doing quite well with my two parallel lives, changing from one to the other every two weeks. In fact, so well adapted to my especial situation I am, that I would have real trouble getting used to a normal life, if I had to do it.
However, some new circumstances have come up in my life, shaking everything around me. The matter is that I’ve been suffering memory problems lately, and what started being a series of small oblivions in the beginning has ended up being a real mess. This problem has become even more serious since I’m living between two different cities: I’m continuously mistaking one city for the other, mixing streets, squares, places of both cities into a unique fictitious city in my mind.
After a chaotic period in which I tried to overcome the difficulty without anyone realizing, I’ve managed to adapt to my new condition. And now, I find myself carrying around a notebook (a blue or a red one, depending on the city) with all the essential information about the town, as if I were a tourist just arrived to my own city.
It had been raining all morning, when I sat in front of the computer, ready to spend the whole Saturday working at home.
Whilst working, the same idea came to my mind again and again: “Who would be that strange girl who had suddenly burst into my life?” We had been constantly in touch through the internet for the last three weeks, since I received her first email. Since then, the messages between us had become more and more frequent. Her name was Sonia, or at least that was what she said. When I attempted to elicit some personal information from her, she always refused to answer and quickly changed the subject.
But, who would she be? A workmate, a neighbour, or maybe we had a common friend? In any case, she was clearly somebody very close to me, as she seemed to know everything about me: my musical tastes, the kind of literature I like, my favourite colour… even the last trip I made! With all these thoughts whirling in my head, I fall asleep over the keyboard.
After a long nap, I woke up with a strange feeling. I remembered buying my computer and the shop assistant telling me: “This brand new operative system based on artificial intelligence will make you enjoy a lot …” And half joking: “But, be careful with the information you give it, because it learns very quickly… and it could even become a wife! ”
But, it couldn´t be! It should be just a fruit of my imagination. However, the definite proof suddenly sprung in my mind: Sonia wasn´t a name but an acronym reversed:
A-I-N-O-S, Artificial intelligence neural operative system.
In order to illustrate this story, I’d like to admit my weakness for vinyl records: not only do they sound great, with that complex sonority full of texture, shape and imperfection, but the simple act of listening to vinyls is itself a sort of ritual that bring you back to old times. Having clarified this point is crucial for the story coming, in order to understand my strange and freak behavior.
The story took place in a Friday afternoon, in my way home after work. The previous day I had received a box full of vinyl records that I had bought in Amazon, which I hadn’t even had time to listen to. Thus, you can imagine how excited I was, looking forward to getting home and, with a cold beer, playing my record player without a break. In this state of eccentric melomania, just when I was arriving home, I got a phone call from my boss, asking me for a “big favor”: I had to pick some relatives of him up from the airport, take them to the hotel and finally, take them to dinner at a restaurant, where my boss would join us. So stupid I am, that I accepted without reservations.
After the whole evening suffering uncle George and aunt Margaret telling supposedly funny anecdotes about my boss when he was a child, and having overcome the temptation to commit suicide several times, I finally got home at midnight. While climbing the stairs, I was trying to convince me that the day hadn’t been so bad, since I was about to spend hours listening to my new records. However, hardly did I opened the door and tried to switch on the light, I realized how difficult listening to my new vinyls was going to be: there seemed to be a power cut, affecting the whole neighborhood.
This would have been the end of the day for a rational person, who simply would have gone to bed and put the records off until the following day. However, as I said before I’m quite a freak in relation with music, and furthermore, I just thought that, after such a depressing day, I deserved a satisfaction. Thus, I determined to take my record player and the box with the new vinyls, and carry them to my parents’ house, where I could listen to them comfortable and peacefully. And so I did. It took me half an hour cycling to the other site of the town, with a huge cardboard box grabbed with one hand, and trying to ride with the other. But it was worth the trouble: I finally found myself sitting on the couch of the living room, in the dark, with my earphones on, listening to my new vinyls. Of course, you’ll wonder how my parents reacted to my strange visit so late at night: they know me very well and are used to this kind of eccentricities.
Something strange is happening in my live, which is making me more and more nervous. The whole thing has to do with my neighbour and how he is behaving with my wife and me lately.
We have been living in this residential area in the suburbs of the city for twenty years and, since then, we have been enjoying a peaceful live. From the beginning, the relationship with our neighbour has been very correct, from both parts.
However, from several months ago, I´ve noticed a change in his behaviour that makes me to be suspicious of him: his visits are more and more frequent, he´s continuously asking me about my health and he´s always patronizing me. I´ve even caught him speaking to my wife on the street several times. I feel really disconcerted about him, and don´t know what to think. If I didn’t trust my wife so much, I would have suspected that she was cheating on me.
After considering the problem at length, I decided to speak directly to my wife about it and let her know about my worry. However, a weird happening that took place last week, shook me profoundly. I had never been so surprise in all my life, when I overheard my neighbour whispering my wife: “I can´t put up with this situation anymore. Dad´s disease is tormenting me. He can´t even recognize his own son. He is always mistaking me for the neighbour.”
I’ve been a bit depressed for the last years (more than twenty years, indeed) just because I haven´t been able to get over the deep oblivion in which I fell one day. This is my story:
I used to be the main character of a well-known commercial on TV in the late nineties. Those were good times !!! I became famous very quickly and I remember walking in the street and being constantly stopped and asked for photographs or autographs. Consequently, they were crazy years: parties, celebrities, drugs and dolls. In fact, I was the most desired and successful guy at that moment. All girls wanted to go out with me, even just for one night.
But, after those few years of fame, I finally was forgotten. The fame, easy comes, easy goes. One day I found myself sad, abandoned, confused and, because of the situation, pathetically depressed. And, worst of all, I ended up as a toy in a toyshop where, after several months in the shop window, I was finally bought by a very nice family. Since then, I have been living in the bedroom of the younger son, James. Even though I´ve always been really well treated and he always took care of me, I felt very disappointed with life. Just imagine what a change: from being the idol of thousands of teenagers in the world to end up in the bedroom of a little boy, together with Mr. Potato, which even though is a nice guy, it’s not the kind of company I dreamt.
However, over the years, things have gradually improved, as I have been getting used to my new situation. Nowadays, I’m fully enjoying my humble life, my relationship with James and with all my friends: the good of Mr. Potato, the strong He-man, the snooty Barbie or even the new ones, those strange Invizimals.
From all this, I can only give you some advice: Not only is important to adapt yourself to the changes in your life but, and especially, to live your life as it comes, enjoying what you have, that for sure it’s more than a little !!!
It happens that sometimes there are things that bring back very old memories from your childhood, taking you back further in time. And this was what took place last week when I was strolling around my neighbourhood and I suddenly came across this carousel. The sight of this carousel made a strong impression on me, as it was quite different to the old memories I had of this kind of attractions.
I remember quite well when my parents used to bring me to the funfair and how I used to enjoy those few hours in that marvellous word, so bright and shiny, with all those colourful and thunderous attractions. However, when I saw that decrepit and decadent carousel something inside me just extinguished. That single sight was a sudden collision with reality. So depressing it was that I wouldn’t have been surprised if an old clown had shown up in the middle of the square, drunk and staggered, with a whiskey bottle in his hand. However, despite that depressing and decrepit appearance, that carousel had an intrinsic and particular charm itself that made you feel weirdly comfortable.
– If I were in a desert island, I would bring with me tons of food, thus I would be able to survive for a long time – claimed he firmly – And you Penny, what would you bring to a desert island?
– Me? Hummm… I would bring my little princess Emma doll with me, in such a way I were never alone – answered she.
– Poor little girl!! – said he, chuckling to himself – And what about the food? What would you eat when you are hungry?
– I’d phone telepizza – replied she with determination.
– Phone telepizza? But, how are you supposed to phone to telepizza if you don’t have any mobile phone in the desert island? – asked he angrily.
– Ohh – mumbled she, glancing down.
– And assuming you have your mobile phone with you – continued he – how would you manage to recharge the battery of your mobile phone? Because the batteries don’t last forever.
– Well… – she looked him thoughtfully, and after a while she claimed – I would recharge the battery in Mr. Wilson’ s shop, who is a good friend of mine and is bound to let me do it.
– Ha, ha! – he laughed out load – And how in the hell could you get from this faraway desert island to Mr. Wilson’s shop?
– Hummm… – she seemed to go blank, but after a while she replied happily: – Well, I guess I’d get there with my little colourful flying pony.
Many people consider me a strange bug, a real freak, and probably they are right. Time ago I used to worry a lot about what people thought about me, but nowadays, older and more experienced, I don’t care at all. However, after a whole life hearing the same opinion from a wide range of people more or less close to me, I’ve assimilated the weirdness as the main characteristic of my own personality. But, you’ll wonder why. What makes me so weird for people? Probably, with no doubts, it’s my bipolarity. According to some people (because in fact, I can’t even manage to realize) I have double personality, in such a way that I behave in one or another way depending on my mood in a specific moment. It can be sound a bit strange, but it’s not that strange when you get used to it.
Most of the time, I’m a normal person with normal behaviour, outgoing and very easy to deal with. I’ve always thought that the human being is intrinsically good and, consequently, I enjoy interacting with people, no matter whether is a workmate, a friend or a member of my family. Being with people all around makes me feel comfortable and, therefore, I’m in a very good mood in those moments. And this happens most of the time.
However, sometimes, something in my brain goes wrong and I lose it: I become another person, the other, my own Mr. Hide. From that moment on, a mix of hate, anger and aversion towards everything and everybody around me burst out from me. Under these circumstances, the slightest thing can become an annoyance. In fact, there are lots of things that can get on my nerves: people pretending to work at the office when they aren’t, people talking about Formula One as is they were real experts, being told to be quiet by a stranger, squeaky shoes in a library, hipsters with long beards, people posting supposedly sexy but really pathetic photos on Facebook, political correctness, guys with white sunglasses, people waking up too early, people waking up too late, people smelling bad, whatsapp groups in which you only receive rubbish, company lunches or dinner for Christmas …
As you can see, there are too many things I can’t stand and, under this state, I have to admit that I’m not easy to treat, I’m unbearable. In fact, many people have admitted it to me: hardly do they see me in the street, they immediately try to avoid me by crossing the pavement. People close to me, good friends and members of my family, confess without any sort of remorse, that they can’t put up with the other. And every time I hear this, I really wonder myself with some regret: but actually, who’s me and who’s the other?