I’m Crazy, Can’t You See?
I look in the mirror
A reflection of me,
And I see a sort of madness,
A madness they didn't know existed.
I wear a smile on my face,
But inside I'm crazy,
I look at the world differently,
Then the rest so I must be crazy.
I pull my brown hair up into a ponytail,
And I flick it back and forth,
Trying to chase the sanity away from me.
I'm crazy, can't you see?
I'm the type of person that'll laugh
At a funeral if I think of something funny.
I'm the kind that can't be serious,
When it's needed.
Look, I'm the person everyone stays away from,
The type that lives on the end of the street,
Humming to myself a song,
In the corner.
For All the Mad Hatters
...Some things are halved,
others not seen but third,
and another quartered;
...'n if this verse ain't...
sufficient as dispersed
now list-it as if know'd:
i like InsANidty And...!
...i like Rabbid Hilarity !
& i like no less ChaositiE!
if still loosely constructed
recount it with meeeeee:
ChaositiE Once... &
s'ANidty is Absentee!!!
But Beneath Me Hats
i dunno this or that's
...i'm just as unreal
as a color...
Life is madness.
I get up each day and
I work for a boss I hate.
Doing a job I can't stand.
For less than I deserve.
I do this because I'm afraid to follow my dreams.
Because I might fail.
Because I was convinced in school I would.
Because I have a child whose needs
depend on me.
I eat food I know is poison.
Because I'm too tired to cook.
Too poor to afford fresh.
Too little time left in the day.
And because the self-annhilation gives me
To go on another day.
Until my heart packs in and my children mourn.
My partner grows bitter and lonely.
Still clinging to what is just a memory.
This is our life.
It was my father's life.
And his father's before him.
And will be my child's too.
Unless this madness stops.
A hot, hot thought in a fever pitch brain
A hot, hot thought from a fever pitch brain squeezes out like steaming sh-t and plops -- splat -- in the center of polite dinner conversation. Different strains and flows of discussion ebb to a stop, cutlery clinks in the remaining silence. There are murmurs and darted glances, awkward throat clearing while someone tries to figure out what to say next. You look at me from across the table apprehensive yet battle ready. I imagine I return your gaze with wide-eyed terror and disbelief.
I am having an episode in the middle of your fancy corporate dinner party
My brain is a frying pan sizzling each wild thought into choatic perfection.
I need to cool down.
I try to take a sip of wine, but my hands won't stop shaking.
Droplets of red bloom on the immaculate white table cloth.
The patches expand as the color seeps into the fabric, eating up all the purity it touches.
These stains can never be washed out.
The lady to my left asks, "What did you say?".
What I just said is of no consequence now -
the thought burned into oblivion as it escaped my lips;
what's really important is that I tell her the world tilted off its axis 2.4 billion years ago and we are all only the remnants of her remaining dreams.
I am tilted off my axis and I wish I were dreaming.
I am sure the man to my right needs to know we are all demons; that God created Earth as a haven for the damned who still long for heaven.
I am a terrible person and I will never find peace.
I look into your eyes and feel a desperate desire to reassure you, to inform you that every person you meet is simply a reincarnation of one of your past lives: the mailman, my mother, your boss. You were once them all, and they have returned to you.
I wish I could control everyone, every interaction, and every situation.
I wish I could control myself.
Instead, I mumble "excuse me," and stumble in the direction of the bathroom.
The conversation volume rises like wave behind me and I am overtaken.
I’m on a stage, only me,
There are cardboard houses, cars, trees, grass, and birds.
There is a audience of cardboard,
staring into my soul, haunting me;
Watching me suffer.
Im trapped, the trapped star of the show.
I don’t know what to do but scream.
I’m going mad, becoming like the
Mad hatter in my dream.
Maybe she isn’t so mad at all
I look at her, everyone says that she is crazy, but when I look at her I see someone oddly at peace. As though everyone else in the world are the weird ones.
“She laughs too much,” people say. But when I look in her eyes, I see an old soul, as if she has seen many things wrong about this world, but she has also seen beautiful things. Things that no one else in this world will ever be able to appreciate. The kind of things someone can only appreciate if they have been tormented.
“She is too quiet,” people say. I see someone who waits to speak until she knows the facts, that does not want to say something that can hurt someone when she does not know all the details.
I see a girl that she stops in the moment, listens to the music that no one else notices, and decides which marigold is her favorite among a sea of marigolds. A girl that has seen pain but has survived. A girl that is quiet, so she can hear what someone is not saying. Others say she is weird, but she might be the most normal of all.
To where should I go; over there.. no no.
There is much too much over there.. yes yes.
I must go here! There is one less here, than there is there.
In fact there is five there., and four here.
Or.. is it three in there.
But that's only two places, here & there.
Oh, how many places should I Be..!
Should I just be in one place, since that's not here or there.
How do I get to one place, with out going there or here.
If I go nowhere that's closer to one place..
And if I stand everywhere, then I'm much closer to here and there and nowhere..
But that place is crowded, ugh nowhere..
Obsessive not by Calvin Klein
That particular fragrance has always smelled absolutely intoxicating to me.
The feel as they fan out into something indescribable and indestructible.
Nothing and no one can ever undo you.
You are permanently etched in the mind. Waiting for someone else to reiterate your most valid point.
You want us to explain what we’ve learnt from spending so much time with.
Cheating on our families with you in a torrid passions.
I cry in angst “NOOOOOOO” it can’t end like this.
Such a one sided conversation as you leave no room for anyone to answer back.
You just say your piece, quite selfishly but are deaf to my protestations.
My confessions of love.
I’m trying to tell you, you clown,
That you have my unfailing loyalties.
And you don’t even respond.
That is dictatorial behaviour.
I suggest we draw a line under this whole debacle.
Enough. I promise I shan’t buy another for a while yet.
An undisclosed amount of time so as to never fail.
I stand there and take the insults to my understanding anyway.
Who do you think you are?!
Leaving me on the knife edge.
And some smarty pants says under their breath,
Penguin classics if you must know.
Calm down girl!
Get a grip.
You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to.
It’s only a book.
That’s how it became a saga.
And you reply...
I was talking to the pages thanks
But I can’t help it . We have had the most solid Long standing relationship ever.
In your house I’d always hide.
Have to build a house with a library.
I have books in my bedside table. Books in my wardrobe.
Under my bed.
Books books everywhere and not a word to read.
Because there are too many words to tead
18 Blackthorne Lane
Tuesday started as normally as could be expected of any day that followed Monday. I guess it was the clock that did it, although you would do better not to mention it around Mrs. Clarkson. Memories of the incident still set her off into a righteous tither, rather like a wind-up monkey sans cymbals I have always thought. Tuesday became the last straw when the music wouldn’t stop and the bookshelf was short a note. That precipitated the avalanche of well-intentioned dread that had been growing like some sort of pernicious weed in my landlady’s heart ever since I moved in.
You would have thought she would have been glad to have me for a tenant: I’m quiet, pay the rent on time, and bring no trouble with me. The judicious Clarkson has long since declared that I need no entourage, encompassing all the trouble a soul could harbor within my tortured brain-pan. Be that as it may - her words, mind you, not mine - it was good money and a lodger who kept himself to himself. I had thought that out of the city I would at last be safe from the glances and mutterings that had dogged my footsteps. I was wrong, for my nature is clearly too full of the milk of human kindness, to borrow the words of yet another. The looks will never cease, not so long as the cogs and flywheels and cognitive processes behind these gleaming blue eyes is halted once and for all. I fear until then I shall live on as the pity and remonstrance of those I meet, those unfortunate souls who cannot see past the bushy red hair and tattered top hat. I rue the day I was born, to be so encumbered by well-meaning and milksop platitudes.
Mad as a hatter, they say; the whispers are behind closed doors and gloved hands, but I hear them nonetheless. Let them think of me as they will, so long as they leave me to my ways in peace. I cannot help who I am no more than they, cannot help the scraps and sketches and utmost importance half-remembered. I have played the fool for as long as I could, an organ-grinder’s monkey capering about in its pitiful vest, but I can keep step to that tune no longer. My work was so close to completion - years I toiled to bring about that moment, all snatched from my grasp in an afternoon. I fear without the music I will soon go insane; I fear because of it, I may already be long gone.
Let me start at the beginning, though, as befits the tale as you would see it (ah, Consistency, that insidious hobgoblin who sneaks into our lives and misplaces single socks). In the year 1820 I was born, no doubt red and squalling and ugly as nature intended. My parents kept me regardless, and raised me to be a proper gentleman. While not entirely following the English model - cricket was out of the question, and an accent would have been affected at best - I was nonetheless schooled and broken in to fit the mold provided by Society. Yet another scrawny schoolboy with combed hair and a white shirt, ready to participate in footraces but trained to politely decline wrestling. Thus continued the education of one Gilbert Truman, promising student whose professors praised the intellect while bemoaning its vessel. Academia might have held me, had I held myself to its stringent dignity. Unable to find solace in the stifled quotidien routine of cravats and chalk, I soon escaped to freer pursuits. My parents, ever supportive, were devastated by this decision. To them, I had thrown away a promising career. From my perspective, I had slipped the gilded cage just as the door swung shut. Thus began my travels, and my travails.
It is never easy being at odds with expectations, particularly not great expectations whose destiny it is to fall faster than a disappointed souffle. I had the joint misfortune of my unusual appearance - continually at odds with the fashionable, no matter how hard I battled to glean some dim respectability in their eyes - coupled with my inwards peculiarities of thought and habit. Had I been born in a rural milieu I believe I could have lived out my years in calm submission under the label of humbug innocius; having the misfortune to be borne about in the clouds far above the step-ladders of the working populace I could never seek such serene sanctuary. Thus I became a wanderer as it suited me, moving from one place to another as the whispers grew. It was akin to living in a forest choked by vines, such was my thinking. Hardly did I seem to have settled in before their stranglehold grew tight and I needs must escape once more. My entire life - and no small part of the fortune I had amassed, mind you - was spent in fleeing thus the injust persecution. If I could but have exchanged every penny to my name for a simple existence in the country somewhere, I would have gone to the ends of the earth itself. But I was drawn intangibly back to the rows of brownstone and bustle that would one day be my undoing in the same way a moth is drawn irresistibly nearer the flame.
At last I found a residence that appeared to suit my purpose, an empty house in the quiet quarter of the city. Near enough to the pulse of the city without being vulnerable to its teeth - or so I thought. The first time I laid eyes on 18 Blackthorne Lane, I knew its grounds would one day host my deathbed. I am no longer a young man, and could ill afford more nights on the hard ground or in trees. While adventures are a marvelous thing in youth, comfort is a privilege well worth its dues in age. With this in mind, I required nothing more than a bed, a study, hot meals, and a fire when the weather turned bitter. Mrs. Clarkson received quite a fair sum for her furnishing of the aforementioned, and was more than able, I am sure, to live solely off the income I provided her. It was thus my undoing that I forgot human nature, and went to post the mail on Tuesday.
Tuesday, for a creature of habit such as myself - not ordinary ones, I will grant, but habit nonetheless - normally consisted of breakfast at seven, work until one, lunch, resume work until seven, supper, work until eleven or twelve, and bed at last. It was a dark day indeed that I realized I was missing a piece of my invention, some small brass plate that I had ordered custom some weeks prior. Agonized by this oversight, I hurriedly scrawled out a note to that effect to the company agent with whom I was in near-constant correspondence and left to post it. Tuesday is the day that Mrs. Clarkson, diligent housekeeper for a bachelor such as myself, dusts. She knows full well that my study is not to be entered into, or the door tampered with in any manner, under any circumstances. I have made this abundantly clear to her on multiple occasions when I thought I caught her skulking around the landing, but I fear I may have ignited Pandora’s fire in her womanly breast. I had neglected to lock the door upon my hasty exit, and, as was her wont, my landlady granted herself a taste of the forbidden fruit.
It was thus with utmost dismay that I returned to find the door ajar, and her goodly person nosing about the contents of my workbench, having already done the damage of disorganizing the piles of paper upon the desk. She had in her hand a beaker of sulfuric acid which I had been remiss in putting away with proper caution, and was handling it in so careless a fashion as to present an immediate danger to both herself and the delicate machinery she was holding it above. Fortunately after a heart-stopping few seconds - for only mere seconds could it have been - she replaced the beaker to a position of relative safety on the edge of the bench. As soon as it was safely out of her grasp I cleared my throat, having in the interim come more fully into the room. She started so violently that for a moment it appeared that she might actually faint, but soon recovered herself.
“Professor, I am so sorry- the door was open-” she began, wringing her hands and turning to me with supplicatory gesture.
I tried to stop her, but alas! I was too slow to prevent the sweep of her sleeve from carrying the beaker over onto its side. I admit, I forgot all notion of propriety in my push to the chemical bench. The acid was devouring the scarred table, the clockwork mechanism, and the unfortunate lady’s sleeve.
“Move!” I cried, rushing past and reaching for the hydroxide with which to neutralize the bubbling pool. I poured the contents of the jug over the vile liquid which hissed and frothed in reprisal before turning my attention to her disappearing sleeve. The light of righteous indignation glowing brilliantly in her eye, the poor fool stood in utter ignorance of the danger to her person. “Your sleeve, madam,” I said politely as I could manage, gesturing to the dissolving cloth.
She looked down with a shriek of terror and thrust the offending limb at me. I would have liked to have been able to say that this concluded the day’s incident, but far from it. In her haste to rid herself of the evidence of her trespass, the lady pressed the soaked hem of her sleeve to the bare flesh on my hand. Acting quickly, I neutralized my now-hysterical housekeeper’s sleeve before emptying the rest of the jug over the already ruined skin of my hand.
“I did make it clear, did I not, Mrs. Clarkson, that you were under no circumstances to enter my study?”
“Yes sir,” she quavered, before the indignation overrode the hysteria in a rapid about-face that blindsided me. “You have no right keeping dangerous chemicals around, certainly not ones as could kill a body.”
“I mentioned that I am somewhat of a tinkerer by nature when I moved in,” I reminded her in as calm a tone as I could reasonably manage. “You saw no problem with the fact then. And as I recall, the advertisement mentioned a private study free, I quote, ‘of all noise and trespass as might contrive to disturb academic endeavor’.”
“I advertised a house, sir, not a laboratory!” the lady protested. “I have a right to safety, I do.”
“And I a right to privacy,” I returned, gesturing to the workbench. “Thanks to your carelessness, I now have five weeks’ work to repeat, not to mention the peace of mind which I took for granted while in residence.”
“Sorry, I’m sure,” she murmured, but the light was already kindled in her eye.
I might have known then, had I not been blinded by intent. She did her best to mask the devious look under demure facade, but now that the wool has been lifted from my eyes I might have forseen the end. Instead I turned back to the inner workings of the clock and began to repair the damage as best I could, ignoring her footsteps as they slunk out the door and down the stairs. It was no easy task with my injured hand - she had certainly seen to it that my task would not be an easy one - but I managed to salvage most of the workings. There were spindles to be eased back into their proper shape, cogs to have their teeth realigned, but by dawn the worst of the damage had been reversed. Had I been a smarter man I would have packed up my bags and fled once more in short order, but I liked to believe the best in people. Like the cat who has eight lives behind him and but one before, though, I had run out of escapes.
Wednesday dawned bright and clear, plenty of light coming in through the window in my study. It woke me where I had fallen asleep on the desk, sprawled forwards over scraps of paper. I immediately resumed the task that I had dropped off during, the fervent scrawling of notes across the page. Hundreds of pages of lined paper lay stacked and piled and drifted across the surface of the desk, representing my magnum opus which was nearly complete. I had but fifty pages left, open lines on the right and flowing ink dashing up and down across the others. As I worked I tilted some of the books on the shelf up or down according to which part I was writing, to help me better keep track as the music roared and wove its way through my head. Just short of noon I reached for the squat green volume on the end - the trombone was making its blazing entrance - but my fumbling hand found only empty air. I sprang up and searched the room for it, peering under the desk and all about the floor and benches. It occurred to me that, being conspicuous in its absence the day after my landlady’s intrusion, I should enquire after its whereabouts from her venerable personnage.
I left my study, locking the door carefully behind me, and proceeded down the stairs. The good Mrs. Clarkson was to be found in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and reading from the green volume propped insolently against the stockpot. She startled when I came in.
“If you would be so good as to return my book,” I requested. More a demand than a request, in all probability, but what right did she have to invade my rooms and help herself to my personal belongings?
“What use have you for it?” she cried. “Why, you had not so much as bothered cutting the pages. At very least I read the books I have the luxury of owning!”
I have to admit that I lost my somewhat tenuous grasp on my temper at that.
“Have you no respect for my privacy?” I bellowed. “First you intrude upon my most private space, from which you remove an item of my personal property, which you proceed to deface in as shameful a manner as would be expected of any urchin lounging on a street corner! For shame, woman, to accuse me with such insolence.”
I snatched the damaged tome and marched back up the stairs to my study to assess this new transgression. Locking the door once more behind myself, I sat at my desk and worked up the courage to inspect the book. Only the first few pages had been subject to the woman’s ravages, sliced no doubt with the same dubious kitchen knife she now wielded against the potatoes. What goaded me was not as much the indignity of the action - the violation of my right to privacy, certainly - but my surety in the knowledge that she could hardly have passed the inscription without sullying its sanctity with her prying eyes. I pressed the open spine to my nose and inhaled the faint scent that still lingered in those beloved pages, not entirely deflowered by my landlady’s cheap perfume and unwelcome odor of cabbage. Ignoring my rage at the brutally slashed pages - anger would hardly aid my efforts, my work must be finished soon, at all costs - I reread the faded ink. I knew it by heart, but read it nonetheless, as I had done so many times over the years.
Gilbert - much luck upon this wonderful journey. I know you won’t lack for any adventures to get into, nor things to explore - be it the flight mechanisms of parakeets, the most efficient method of spinning wool, or abstract ideas I can but guess at - but remember me sometimes when you’re wishing for an accomplice. I would find an island with my name on it an acceptable substitute. - Your friend, Merle
Seeing the familiar angular script catalyzed the music into a fresh fury, as it never failed to do, and I bent to the task at hand with new furor. It seemed I had barely refilled the inkpot before it ran dry once more, as notes soared and danced across page after page. It was then that the knock sounded, and I ignored it. Ten pages left. Whoever was at the door knocked again, louder and more insistent. Nine. A whispered conversation was taking place on the landing as I scribbled feverishly. I knew then that my time was up, that I had only as long as it would take them to break down the door in order to finish my life’s work. Eight. More whispers, less hushed than before. Tempers flaring up, tensions building. My landlady’s croaking undertones coming through it all, spreading poison like the toad she is. Seven. A command to open the door, more pounding. The shuffle of footsteps followed by the thud and grunt of a shoulder making impact. Twice more, and the hinges protest. The door was meant to prevent casual trespass, not survive a siege. Six. Another thud, another grunt. More words, another shuffling. Down to the wire, I feared; I had the sinking dread that my landlady has furnished them with a battering ram of some ex tempore variety.
My dire prediction came true to the rhythmic ramming of the door being thrown violently against its hinges. The music poured on in its final crescendoes, raising to a new pinnacle of flying counterpoint even as the hinges rattled and the door creaked. Five and a half. I was writing as quickly as I could, notes birthing themselves across the page as my hand seemed to float before them. The lines faded into scratches, and I fumbled to refill my pen with termbling hands. The shaking ceased once the notes stopped piling up in my mind and resumed their flight across the page. Five and a quarter. Was it possible to write any faster? Perhaps a hair. I increased the fervor with which I wrote, hoping that it might somehow be enough. The part of my mind not occupied with the music indicated that the chances of this were meager indeed, but I pushed the thoughts aside. For Merle, I must finish what I had started, what I had spent years - the entirety of my life since his death, in fact - toiling over. To think that these buffoons might interrupt me, might prevent me from realizing the splendour I saw even as in a different city his ribs failed under the frenzied hooves of the runaway cab - the thought was too much to bear. I reached for a new sheet, nearly throwing the completed one aside with the others. At last the door gave way under the onslaught to which it was subjected, the sturdy bench the intruders had conscripted for their purpose dropped unceremoniously to the floor.
"See how he scribbles as one possessed?" my landlady hissed in disgust. "I wonder I didn't notice his madness earlier, but one dismisses eccentricity when it pays the bills."
I continued scrawling notes feverishly, entertaining no doubts about the new interlopers. I didn't need to look up to see the men from the asylum closing in with their heavy bass-drum treads resonating in the floor, or Clarkson's barely contained glee at having given me my comeuppance. I reckon I had always known it would come one day, when I finally outlived my welcome on this earth and was shut away for good. It's because they can't hear the music, Merle had told me. After all, "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night." I had always assumed that I would have the chance to finish first, as though it was some right bestowed upon me by the same God who had cursed me with such an appearance.
"Sir, we need you to come with us," the nearer of the men in what was intended to be a soothing voice.
"I need to finish this first," I muttered, waving a hand distractedly as I scribbled across the page. I knew what they would think of me, red hair poking out at all angles from under a much-abused top hat and not having slept for two days, hunched behind a desk in a locked workshop of what would look like odds and ends to the untrained eye.
"When do you propose to be finished?" the other asked carefully.
"He's trying to turn you off the scent, buy time for his plans to come to fruition," the witch cried from the doorway. "Who knows what havoc he'll wreak then? Quickly, before it's too late!"
"A day for the writing, perhaps a week for the machine. A fortnight at the outside."
"Sir, we have received numerous complaints. We cannot allow-"
"Allow what? A man to finish his life's work?" I cut in. "Five pages. Four, now. Is that really too much to ask?"
"Look at yourself for a moment," the first asylum worker said in a tone bordering on gentleness. "Nobody deserves to live like this, surrounded by scraps of paper and bits of machinery. What could you possibly hope to make from this in the next week?"
"It will be my greatest achievement," I said. "A work unlike any other, superb in its craftsmanship. I just need time."
"You don't have any left," the second worker added, one coming around on either side of the desk. "Maybe you should have thought about taking a break from your work, enjoying life, relaxing. Pushing yourself too hard only ends in misery."
"Please," I begged. Could these fools really not see the greatness that lay before their eyes?
One pulled out the chair as the other lifted me bodily from my seat and started walking towards the door.
"You can't do this to me!" I cried, struggling feebly. I had missed more than a few meals recently, but the matter had been of little import. I was close, so very close. I broke free with a frantic effort and made it almost to the desk before I was once more in their grasp. Reaching out with a desperate lunge I managed to secure Merle's book, and the combined efforts of both men could not pry it from my grasp. "Can't you see I'm almost done?" I repeated.
"This isn't a life that deserves to be led," the man restraining me said firmly but gently, "Cooped up like an animal with nothing but your scraps and daydreams. We're taking you to a better place, somewhere with friends, where you can get the help you need."
"I don't need help, I need to finish!" I cried. "Can you not see it, can you not hear the music? 'Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music' - think for one minute. Have you no mercy, to give me a week to finish forty years of daily toil?"
He exchanged a glance with his colleague, and I saw the pity in the look. Mad as a hatter, this one, it said, clear as day. "What shall we do with the papers?" he asked Clarkson, as though to return balance by seeking the devil's own counsel.
"They can be burned," she replied, the light of malice shining brightly in those odious eyes. "They are of no use to me."
If their minds had not already been made up, there would be no more room for doubt. I could not allow this conniving miscreant to condemn my magnum opus. I raged like a fiend, shouting and writhing and at last breaking free with a strength I didn't know I possessed. I dragged a trunk from under one of the benches and began shoving drifts of paper into it, ignoring the disarray. I would never be able to mistake the order of those pages, not so long as I still had use of my eyes. The asylum workers were soon upon me again, pinning my arms ruthlessly to my sides.
"Please, let me bring it," I said. "It's all I have left."
"That's true enough," my malefactor commented viciously from the doorway. "He doesn't have anything save his precious papers and trinkets now. Best keep them away from him, though - you've seen the influence they have over him."
I struggled and flailed, but couldn't manage to summon the desperate strength of earlier. Toting my exhausted self easily to the van, my captor deposited me in the back and locked the door.
"We'll be back for his personal effects," the driver called as we pulled away.
My last view of the free world was of the villainess smiling like a cat who has gotten the cream, rid of me at long last and no doubt planning to burn my manuscript before the workers could return. It would also be the last I ever saw those gorgeous, anguished pages that told my story of what had been and spun a fancy of what might have been for Merle. I had managed to keep the copy of the book that fiend had so defaced. By the time the van reached the green lawn and pale stone buildings, I had ceased caring for any thing beyond those pages.
Entry in the Death Ledger for one Gilbert Truman, declared of unsound mind on November the 12th, 1872.
Cause of death: heart failure.
Family or Other to be Informed: None.
Notes: Accused of assaulting his landlady, Mrs. Lavinia Clarkson, Truman was placed in the violent inmate ward. Clarkson claims he lived like an animal, and when she challenged his precious work he threw acid at her, displaying the sleeve of her ruined dress as evidence. Corresponding acid burns were noticed on the inmate's hand as well as the workbench, the substance having eaten through miscellaneous items thereupon and leaving the inmate without the use of the last two fingers of the left hand.
. Clarkson recommended his effects be burned or otherwise destroyed, but such recommendation was overridden under the circumstances; namely (1) she is of no relation, nor holds any legal power; and (2) appeared to have a personal interest in such proceedings. The inmate was soon moved to the nonviolent ward after he made no attempts at violence towards either himself, the other inmates, or staff during the first six weeks of his stay. The aides who answered Clarkson's call describe him as seeming almost normal, save for his obsession with his work. By the time he arrived, the inmate was of unsound mind, addressing his book as 'Merle' and refusing to part with it at any cost.
. Although lacking in ink or writing utensils, he nonetheless discovered a way to cover the walls of his room with music, and whenever art enrichment was provided it was noted that he took precisely four sheets of paper, containing the identical music note for note, each time. Inmate appeared to be struggling with overbearing grief and depression, and passed away the morning of April 5, 1873, from a broken heart or other heart failure causes. After his death two sealed trunks were discovered in storage, contrary to policy which states that every effort should be put forth to maintain inmates' possessions in order to foster a sense of normalcy.
. Upon review of the contents, the four pages of music have been discovered to be the ending to the vast manuscript contained therein, what we gather to be his magnum opus according to his mutterings in his last weeks. It contains some thousands of pages of music, all handwritten with evident care and showing no signs of mental abnormality. The second trunk contained the materials from his workshop, a seemingly miscellaneous assortment of gears, springs, metal combs, piping, and other paraphenalia of the tinkerer. Along with several plates of glass and cleverly jointed sheets of brass, blueprints were found and Truman's ravings explained. Together, the contents of the trunks contain a mechanical cathedral of unsurpassed workmanship and the music contained therein; the cathedral features a scaled choir, organ, and harpist, all ingeniously wrought to play the manuscript. The music is a mass to rival the masters', titled simply Missa Merlis. Upon some slight research on the institution's behalf, it was discovered that Merle Stryker was a companion of the deceased who fell victim to a runaway carriage shortly after their days at university. It appears that Truman spent the next forty years composing the masterpiece of the century, only to be cut short by a week of work. His magnum opus will be published posthumously, and the cathedral displayed in one of the most prestigious museums. He shall be remembered as an unsung intellect of the 19th century when his Missa Merlis debuts in the Gillman Opera House this fall, joining the other masters whose work blurs the line between insanity and genius.
He's bouncy. Bounces on tables, desks, chairs. Nothing stands in the way. Says profound things with little surface meaning. What does that mean, you ask. Coy glance, never an answer. He moves on, seldom teaching, always storytelling or coaxing people to speak. To voice ideas. Just when you think you have him all figured out BAM he's top of a table doing an impression of golem BAM he's sulking because the class won't speak up BAM he's singing Enrique Iglesias because he fixed the projector. Master of the arts. Teacher, storyteller, actor, writer, poet, playwright, artist. Don't know if he's any good, but he truly does it all. Mad but means well. Confusing but dependable. Chaotic good.