Voices tormented me the summer of 2001. They were unrelenting, a cacophonous echo inside my skull, like primates mimicking, mocking, making me desperate for relief.
On top of trying to silence the monkey mayhem–I felt utterly and completely alone, suspected no one could help me—that there was no way out, no way my mood would ever even out—no way to ever grab hold of reality, something concrete and tangible—nothing to anchor me in the here and now, the then and there.
I decided I needed treatment the community mental health system could not provide. My therapist there was pathetically inept. Though I was sure of very little, of this I was absolutely certain.
However, I knew I could not afford the Medicare co-pay to see someone in private practice as long as I had to pay the open-market cost of rent, what I’d been doing since moving home to Kentucky from Texas in 1999. It was in this context that I decided to return to government housing, hoping a rent based on my income would afford me the funds to pay a therapist.
I plan to do an additional post about this return to public housing, one that happened just days before 9/11. Today, however, I would like to share my effort, on August 22, 2001, to transcribe the voices I was hearing, as I was packing and preparing for that move.
One voice, in particular, said this:
We want to know if you can hear the music. You don’t know the way of the spheres. You listen and listen and hear only chaos, when we are in fact making harmony.
We do not think the way you think. We do not feel as you feel. The way to us is not straight—neither is it winding. The way to us is the “un” way—the way to us is beside the dark river, near the weeping willow.
You do not hear us—you do not listen.
The way is dark. The way is light. The way is not the way.
You must turn your mind inside out and do the monkey dance.
Please tell me what you would think, what you would do, were you to hear something like this. What would you make of this Zen-like exhortation? Would you consider it the voice of God, the voice of primate madness?
Can you imagine why I might have been confused and floundering?
And consider the context—my apartment piled high with boxes as I attempted to pack—planned to move in less than a week, hoping a new apartment would afford me the funds to get the help I needed, if only I could navigate the craziness enough to make the move itself!
Do the monkey dance, indeed!