The first time I had a hallucination, the very first time I saw something that wasn’t there, was twenty years ago today. To the day. I was nine years old.
I was living in an orphanage at the time although something tells me it’s not called an orphanage anymore. I think the proper term for it is “foster care”….hang on a tick
::Googling “foster care”:::
Yep, foster care. Anyway, I was nine at the time The building had about four stories to it, three of which were actually used. I was a rambunctous lad back in those days and me and this one other kid, Barney Knuble, used to run around that place like mini criminals. Even though many of the places we hung out were considered off limits, such as the boiler room, the caretakers, especially Mrs. Winsledale, didn’t care too much where we went. Too many kids, not enough orderlies, that sort of thing.
Side note : (and sorry, but I’m going to do this alot) We used to call Mrs. Winseldale “Skeletor”. Both Barney and myself were huge Masters of the Universe fans and she looked just like He-Man’s nemisis, except she was more like a skeleton wrapped in skin as opposed to being completely devoid of flesh. She may have even had a cane but I can’t remember.
Anywho, Barney and I were playing some damn game, probably not hide and seek as we used to think that was for braindead retards but probably something close. Come to think of it, it may have been Cuban Missle Crisis. Yeah, that really might have been it. Odd for a nine year old to know about the sixties, but one of my teachers had a hard-on for Kennedy. That, coupled with a lack of proper medication, caused her to show us a film strip intended for high school juniors every Friday afternoon. The same freaking movie.
Side Note : Sorry for the “freaking” but but I’m not sure if you can say fuck on this thing. That being said, if this goes through, expect to see that word alot. I’m a potty mouth.
Back on task. So Barney and I were playing, twenty years ago today and I had been doing horrible in the game. My role was the one of Khrushchev and Barney was Kennedy. If memory serves, the game worked like this:
1) Kennedy would pick a US base somewhere in the building and I would pick a Russian base.
2) We would agree on a central location that was to be Cuba, usually the boiler room, as that was in the basement.
3) My goal was to get the nukes (old rolled newspaper with the word NUKE wirrten on it) to Cuba without Kennedy stopping me. I could also win by invading the US base.
4) Kennedy’s job was to either stop me by catching me in the act or invading Russia.
5) If I was caught, I was to be arrested for war crimes and the game was over.
Fun little game, right? And we took it damn seriously, to the point where we would ask other kids to be spys for us. If I was planning an offensive front via the southwest staircase, I would send a decoy to the northwestern staircase, especially if my intelligence indicated that Kennedy had his spies there. With the decoy in place I could sneak up on Cuba plant the nukes and bwa ha ha, nuclear superiority!
On this particular day, though, my spies sucked ass. Billy Goldstein completely messed up his postion, James Toucarian got left the game ten minutes in due to boredom and some fat kid named Pat left to get a snack. A snack! In the middle of the Cuban freaking Missle Crisis!
Being I was already up shits creek, I knew I couldn’t mount an offensive, especially if Barney was holed up in the library, which I knew he would be. Single staircase access, two entrances, one with a guard to be sure and deadly quiet. He’d be able to hear me from a mile away. As a result, I decided to be bold and pull my ace. If I couldn’t attack, then I’d stalemate the game. Russia got set up on the 4th floor.
The fourth floor of the building was pretty much abandoned. Back when the building was a public school, the fourth floor was used for the fringe classes. You know, music, art, etc. The floor was a long rectangular hall with grimy glass doors and windows to each room. The floor was cluttered with decades worth of crap; old basketball nets, plies of rotting books, a floor hockey goal with the nets rotted away. A graveyard of days gone by.
And that’s when I saw him.
I say him, but it wasn’t gender specific. Just a figure held tightly to a beam in the far left corner of the hallway, its feet dangling maybe a foot off the floor. The thing was clothed in a wrap of some sort but it’s arms and hands were free, busy tugging at a Pee Wee Herman mask that was attached to it’s face. I could hear a muffled sound of distress but it wasn’t coming from the far side of the room. The sound was coming from behind me. Or inside me. Or maybe both at once. Then the hallway started to shrink.
Once about one hundred feet long, the hallway started closing in on me, like a contracting acordian. I remember the windows and doors and walls rippling and folding, making the creature creep closer and closer. And the closer it got, I could see it was desperately trying to take that mask off, but couldn’t. Closer still and I could actually see the skin from the things face streching out like Elmer Fudd in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, streching and pulling as the thing tried in vain to remove the mask. But I didn’t want too see what was behind that mask, what god damn terror was lurking.
Suddenly the thing ugged with all it’s might, a scream rose from somewhere or anywhere and that’s when my feet reconnected with my legs which reconnected to my spinal column which reconnected to my brain and I tore down those fourth floor stairs. I never looked back, screams caught in my nine year old throat. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I pissed myself.
So, why am I telling you all this?
It’s because, twenty years later, I’m still seeing things that are not here. Some days I’m fine, some days I’m not but I still have hallucinations. And not in a Beautiful Mind kind of way or an, “I See Dead People” kind of way. No, they’ve become completely intigrated with my life. For example, today I was on the 6 train heading downtown, sitting in a seat and my shoes started to melt into the ground. And whats worse, I can’t seem to tell my mind to stand up. Part of my brain knows it’s all fake but the other part, the broken part, completely believes the fantasy.
So, here I am, starting some god forsaken blog nobody is going to read just to hopefully make some sense of it. Of me. Of what the hell is wrong with me. It’s getting late, even for me, and I’m not going to get into my I just don’t see a shrink, but suffice to say, I’m not exactly in a position to seek medical treatment. So here I am. Hopefully, the more I write about it, the more it starts to make sense and hoipefully stop. I’ve been living with these figments of my imagination for twenty years. Maybe it’s time to understand them.