Friday, August 12, 2011

More Manic Memories

Soon after I had my ceremony with the ash tray/trash container, Suzy was summoning me to come with her to our hotel room. She hoped to get there and find a way to relax me and calm everything down. But I was impossible.

I started down the hallway, suitcase rolling behind me. I settled into a rhythmic march that syncopated with the clicking wheels of the suitcase. The hallway shape shifted in my mind, and I sensed a curvature that I was walking around in a grand maze, as if a slave chained to his routine. The trip to the room turned endlessly for awhile, and then I noticed a change in scenery.

Suzy came to the end of the hallway and turned to the right. Right about where the hallway changed direction, there was a room, and the door was open. There were people inside. My mind raced to the opening.

I went inside the room and approached the individuals there. "Is everything alright?" I said with utmost concern and expedience. It was as if I was running a triage of some sort, behind enemy lines. The people in the room stopped what they were doing and just kind of gawked at this total stranger that had waltzed into their room. "I'm a doctor," I assured them, as Suzy caught up with me again. "Michael!" she chirped. "Let's go!"

"If you need anything, let me know," I said to them, with authoritative panache. Again, empty looks, mouths agape. I was in doctor-in-the-war-field mode. They would surely confide in me if needed. As I turned to go, I muttered something about my wife's name being Suzy. Suzy Buffet.

After the flagrant doctor posing and name dropping, I floated down the hall again, in time with my suitcase.

We got to the room, and I can still hear Suzy exhaling, ten years later, like we had reached an oasis. Suddenly, I was struck with how much stuff we were carrying around. "Look at all this stuff!" I exclaimed, and proceeded to open the closet cupboards. I pulled blankets and pillows from the shelves, flinging it into the room. All the while chanting, "Stuff! Stuff!" My mind raced on the baggage, of all kinds, that I was carrying around with me on this trip. Lots of stuff to be reckoned with. Lots of stuff to think about.

After I rampaged aloud about stuff for a few minutes, I became exhausted and plopped down on the bed. My physical self came to rest in that position, slid somewhat between two beds shoved almost together. But my mind raced on.

I began to think of myself as an artifact-- a sculpture carved in marble. I imagined myself as still for thousands upon thousands of years, stuck in the same shape. I traveled faster than the speed of light. I imagined myself light years into the past, light years into the future. I saw rivers carve canyons into the earth, mountains ebb and flow. I let my imagination do the traveling, and I could go anywhere at infinite speed. The laws of the physical world melted away, as I obsessed on an algorithm that took infinity and multiplied itself factorial, exponentially. Infinity, infinity, infinity... faster and faster and faster I rode on this lightning bolt thought. Other things popped into my mind and I pressed them into the replication algorithm-- Shamanism, shamanism, shamanism... faster and faster and faster. Mt. Shasta, Mr. Shasta, Mt. Shasta... all of it is connected by a single thread of thought. All of it makes sense. All of it makes sense...

In trying to write this book, I keep feeling like I'm rewriting things I've already mentioned. Like I've already told the story so many times. It all overlaps. But I still have the sense that there is more to be told. That I haven't gotten it all out yet.

Man, do I need a cleansing.

There is so much more out there. To think that I had it all figured out, that there was a part of me in the whole that felt it was it, and that there was nothing else to know... I don't know if that's what happened, but it kind of looks that way, upon further review. What I forgot to mention to myself while I was full of it was that there's more than just "me" at work here.

And I am working. Honest.

When I stopped ranting and raving about "stuff" and let my mind wander, it took me to places so astounding, so rapturous that here I am, ten years later, and I still can't describe it distinctly.

As I was walking down that hallway, pulling my stuff, trying to catch up with Suzy, I was in psychological turmoil. And the reasons for this are why I continue to try and explore my recollection. And try to get it down in one place where I can look at it with others and get a sense of what was happening.

Because I don't want to go back there, where I'm living like that. But I want to go back and make sense of it. I want to make peace with it. I want to somehow solve it.

And maybe that's not possible. But it's what I want to do. I want to recount the thoughts, images, concepts, and see where things went wrong AND where things went right. I want to see the good, too. Just labeling me as bipolar and affixing a tab that says "manic episode" doesn't go far enough in healing me, in seeing what transformative processes took place during those moments. I was lucid enough to listen to Suzy, to take cues from her and keep following her. I was very creative in my thinking, was making some fantastic connections between thoughts. This is not all good and not all bad. I want to parse it all out.

1 comment:

Deb said...

It's fascinating to me that you recollect what was happening. I always imagined that you sort of "blacked out", but I can tell that you really can still see the same images-- almost like an out-of-body experience. Do you recollect what was happening in other manic episodes as well, or is this the most vivid? Good stuff, my brutha.