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The voices


Yeah, I hear voices. Us psychotics do shit like that. Not all the time. Well, OK, most of the time. For me at least.

Mostly they’re the normal voices everybody hears. But no-one else can. Like transformative ear worms, where the lyrics of some awful pop song or ad jingle get stuck on internal repeat and slowly change into something else. Usually puerile humour. You get that too, right?

Or when there’s lots of white noise like in the shower or near power tools and you can just barely hear someone shouting to you at the edge of the racket. But there’s no-one there. It must happen to everyone.

Or that voice that fills your head with words whenever you’re writing or reading or talking or planning to or recalling doing it. The one talking to you right now. That blabber mouth. Does anyone know how to shut the fucker up?

Sometimes they’re the voices I’m not supposed to tell people about. The voices that mean I’m crazy.

Like when people on the radio start saying personal things about me. Or when there’s just voices coming out of nowhere. Not of folk with bodies and stuff, but still with distinct personalities and speaking styles and opinions about what’s going on. And about me.

Sometimes they talk to me and sometimes they talk to each other and sometimes I talk back though I know I don’t have to. They already know what I’m thinking.

They’re not usually nasty but their insults can be cutting. It’s not like they tell me to kill people. They don’t even tell me to kill myself, except as a joke. They thought it was pretty funny when I used to get suicidal. And why should I do what they say anyway? It’s not as if they can hurt me if I don’t. They’re a bit like family, with all the usual pros and cons. But smarter. And they know me better.

I don’t mind them. They’re not as bad as noisy neighbours or sitting through a meeting or gossip on public transport or talkback radio. Or half the novels I read. Or most of the journalism. They can be pretty interesting actually.

They often say things that surprise me or make me laugh and sometimes they give me amazing insights. Generally into what a wanker I am. I haven’t got an opinion as to whether they’re separate beings or just me acting out. Asking myself what’s me and what’s not has never offered much in the way of sensible answers.

I hear them a few times a year, usually for less than a day at a time, though once I was subjected to non-stop ‘poetry’ for over a week. Poetry that was a running commentary on anything and everything that caught my attention. Including the poetry itself.

I’m not into censorship. I don’t need to no-platform them. There’s worse things about being nuts. And better things. I guess it’d be rude to try to shut them up. Wouldn’t it?


From → autobiography

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