A Psych-icle Built for Two

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Papa Joope shares his anecdote of when he was a student who is quite critical of his own flaws. He gives incite into how he felt and how he acted on his journey of psychological proportions.

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A Psych-icle Built for Two

  1. 1. A Psych-icle Built for Two It was a dark, stormy night that night. I remember quite distinctly the slush whirling around in the air. At any given point you could find a mix of snow, hail and rain colliding with the good half inch of snow already on the ground. I wasn't going anywhere that night, lest I be pelted with pieces of hail, and I really was not in the mood for it. "Where would you go anyway, Gibby?" I asked myself, rhetorically. Well, rather, me, but not quite me. As it were, I had developed a way to talk to myself, a second persona as it were. It was me, who I am and what's reflected when I speak to others, the person who gets influenced by the world, the thoughts that I have filtered and contemplated, if only for a split second before I speak them. It was the actions that had been deemed acceptable, from my opinion, for the best way to reach my goals. After him, me, what have you, there's the unfiltered me. What I really think, the kind of person who would run up and punch you in the face if you corrected my grammar outside of English class. As it turns out, without a lot of thought, I am quite short-sighted, rash, inconsiderate and mean. People would tell me with a large mound of haste how hate dehumanizes both the hater and the hated. They talk about how evil and unwanted hate is, even about how hate must be abolished if you want to be saved from your pitiful life full of negative emotions. I scoff at them; how can my first instinct, my primary impulse, the substance for my thought be inhuman? Am I not human? Why would my thoughts be unnatural? I can see irrational, sure, rationality takes time and thought, but the thoughts of rage, the thought of running to the hospital and grabbing the governor who just tried to ban drinking by the collar for recently being brought in with liver poisoning is certainly not unnatural. The way the wind stirred began making a howling noise that gave an ominous feeling towards the entire, empty, abandoned house. The half used candles at least kept the house dimly lit; the flickering light was enough to be able to navigate the inside. It was getting dark, outside, there was no time to get to the university on the other side of town, be it by foot, bike or even by cable car. "It sure looks like you're stuck here with me, eh, Gibby?" Gibby was a term of... "endearment" I would tell myself. It's a bastardized form of the word gimp. Oh, and how bastardized it was. "Shut up, I'm trying to find something to get some warmth, you may not act like it, but you, or we, or whatever, are human, we get cold. We can freeze to death. So pardon me if I don't want to hear about just how bad the situation is." I snapped back to myself. "You're talking to me as though you think that I don't know just what you want." He would answer back to me, "Remember, I am you, I am every fiber of your being, I say what you know and truly feel what should be said. So pardon me if I don't want to hear your annoying, little baby whine as you scamper around trying to find some dusty rags in an old, decrepit crypt they still call a house." There is no force on Earth that could have gotten Joope to shut up about "Gibby." My, his, every mistake was forced down my throat. I never swallow the big mistakes. As I walked up the flight of stairs in the back of the floor, each step got heavier as I started telling myself, "You know, you came of pretty pretentious when you said how proud you were of that time on your mile run. I bet every single student on the track team was faster. You're too fat to do anything good in athletics." I conditioned myself to just take it when I insulted myself. What am I going to say, "No?" I know just as well as I do that I didn't mean it, "Shut up?" as if I would listen. With my head hung low, I made it to the top step, which felt like a lot more work than it actually was. Up at the top, the floor became extra rickety. The slush hitting the house really made me question its integrity. The house didn't look that great to begin with, but at this point I was genuinely afraid that it would actually cave in on itself. "If only it did; what have you done to deserve to keep on living? Keep in mind that the ability to cry doesn't mean anything. The world doesn't need any more emotional pansies, especially ones that are otherwise useless like you." As always, while I searched room after room that had been emptied years ago I stayed speechless. I had tried to stay optimistic through the scrutiny I had put myself through. I had tried to lie to myself as I cried.
  2. 2. It was an exceptionally bad day about a month back. My professors thought it would just be hilarious to schedule five different projects to be due all in the same week, apparently. After class I was walking out of the campus, still brooding about how much work I would have to do while my impulse talked about how lazy and dumb I was. He talked about how I was lucky to have professors who had the respect for me to not spit on a crumpled up copy of the project. I was livid at the world, and that's when a girl I had seen in my last class came up to me and asked me a question. "She gave us way too much work huh? How do you plan on doing the project?" In my defense, my fists were already clenched. I snapped and lashed at her, "I don't KNOW!" I had shouted at her. After a long moment of silence with everybody staring, she rolled her eyes and elbowed me out of the way. It was awkward, but I was able to walk away. It wasn't until half way through my next class that I began to break down. I don't remember why, but the teacher had been talking about how many people die feeling unaccomplished and lonely, and I started crying just as I started to think to myself about how that's going to happen to me. It wasn't a huge, theatrical performance, I stood up and walked out of the class, though. I felt awful about it, which may have increased the waterworks that resulted from it. I eventually calmed myself down by reassuring myself about how the world is cold and emotionless, and how it needed more people who were willing to express their emotions. I told myself that it was perfectly okay to cry, even in public. I knew it was a lie in my harder heart, but at the time, I really needed to calm down by any means, even self-delusion. I dredged through the dark creases of the second floor. Searching rooms, corridors, closets, and every other nook and cranny looking for some warmth. Would it have killed them to have left a single blanket in here, or even a tarp? I would have been satisfied with enough wall paper on the dusty walls to rip down and cover me! Apparently I wasn't worth much more than the hand fulls of the stuff I was tearing down anyway. I burned up the hour quite efficiently seeking a means of warmth for the night. I had a good bit of sweat going down the side of my cheek as I searched the second through fifth floor. I became quite the avid laborer because of my psyche. When I'm busy thinking about how heavy the burden I'm carrying is, or how tired I am as I ran, I wasn't thinking about how useless I actually am. "It's not quite delusion, I just don't have the capacity or energy to focus on both tasks at once." For those glorious moments, my justification was legitimate. I have no retort; I have no backlash. Perhaps, for once, I'm right. I have bested myself. I have a dumb little grin on my face before I take myself back to ground zero when I think about how pathetic it is that I become so excited over such a small, insignificant, useless victory over nobody else. I'm reminded of how I'm just a crazy person talking to myself, but I'm not just talking to myself; I'm a crazy person arguing with himself. Half way up the flight of stairs to the sixth floor, I finally found it! It was a well-used tarp. "You lucky little swine..." I said to myself as I shook my head. I went over to it, with the floor creaking and the floor above dripping onto me the entire while. I began my decent when I decided to forget the candle I had left on the ground floor. I went over to the window to confirm my hypothesis. Each and every room on the floor, however, was boarded up. So, in lue of going down to every other floor to check no less than 20 windows, I decided to cover my arm with the tarp. After I had covered it, I took a deep breath and rammed my elbow into one of the boarded up windows. I flurry of saw dust, and probably some regular dust to go with it, I was able to hit out a small chunk of one of the planks covering the window. I was right, I had spent so much time preparing for the night, that the sun had already gone down. The street lights a mile up were starting to turn on. As soon as I had found something to sleep in, I was obligated to use it. "I hope you just have a glorious night's sleep, heaven knows that after you're well rested, you'll surely contribute to society, or be able to make the people around you happy, or not be such a miserable, weak, stupid pimple on society's ass. Oh wait, like that would ever happen!" I was taking off my pants to use as a pillow when I realized that my heart began to race. The cynical, sarcastic demeanor I use on a normal basis had faded away for an angrier, more feral, still sarcastic form of insult. I lied down and tried to get myself comfortable, but I kept shifting as my heart raced and my breathing became labored. "What's the matter, Gibby? Are you afraid of a little anger? I mean, I wouldn't be surprised, it's easy to take abuse when Prince
  3. 3. FREAKING Charming gives it to you, but if I were to raise my voice a little towards you, little princess Gibby can't take it! If you have a fault pointed out to you, you break down and cry like a little BABY! I hate you so much! You fragile, unstable, piece of junk! GET UP! Those tears aren't going to help ANYTHING! You're deluding yourself!" As he spoke, his words became interrupted with deep breaths. We were not in a good physical or mental condition based on this. I immediately got back up onto my feet. Tears in my eyes and streaming down my face. Images of the past and memories of my mistakes passed in front of me. Social fopas, regrets, moments of inaction and wrong decisions clouded my mind. "I'm sorry!" I shouted, closing my eyes and clenching my fists, "I'm a failure! I'm a screw-up. I never do anything right, I'm a burden that brings those around me down! I'm so sorry." I fell to my knees and took a deep wailing breath as I began to completely give into the sadness and cry my hardest. "I don't deserve the clothes on my back. I don't deserve the smiles I've seen, or even the life I'm living! I've been given every opportunity, and the ones that I take, I ruin and waste. I-I'm-" I interrupted myself. "You're SCUM! The worst kind of person! Those who steal, rape, murder and lie are worth more than you! You make me SICK! You're a burden to everybody else, but more importantly, you're a burden to me!.. Who would want to be you, the reject that society would only keep out of pity? The reject who gets the pity because you're scrounging their mercy and altruism to keep your own pathetic life going for one more day? We're supposed to be living life to the fullest! The mistakes aren't supposed to keep us down! They do! Get up off your feet! Look in front of you." As I got on the balls of my feet and unbent my legs. I looked in front of me, and was shocked in horror as I saw myself standing face to face with my greatest adversary. I was looking directly into my own face. I snorted up my snot and stopped the crying as this fear overtook every other emotion. The memories stopped flashing past me, and the darkness of the early night became prevalent again. It felt quiet for a few moments, as I stared into the most contemptible looking face I had ever seen. It wasn't me, at least, not what I had remembered of myself. "Could this grungy arbitration really be me?" I wondered to myself. I looked upon it in the dark, color escaping because of the dark that only served to give a fitting atmosphere for such a creature. Its greasy hair was completely unkempt and went down in front of its face. His angry, hunched over demeanor was amplified by his eyes. Those eyes saw no good, their only purpose was to glare and judge, they didn't return a direct look, but instead stared deep into space. Unsurprisingly, the shirt the monster wore was tattered and torn, the buttons were done unevenly and the collar was unbalanced to boot . "I don't belong in this world," he told me, his expression became angry as his eyebrows crooked and his eyes matched my gaze back into his. The rage had subsided, but the normal voice was replaced with a more coarse and shrill voice "We don't belong here. All this has been a waste! If you're not going to learn from your mistakes, then there's no point to your life. How many times did you- did we have life a good life? Too many to count. You're beyond hopeless. Gibby, I want you to jump. We'll go over that window again." I felt mesmerized. I hated what he was saying, my chest burned as I wanted to speak out against him, but there was nothing I could do. I followed unquestioningly I walked over to the window I had damaged with my elbow. As I approached, I heard him say, "Punch it." I did, I punched as hard as I could and broke through the soggy wood and my first made it through with a fair bit of turbulence. I gripped it and tore it off with all my might. My hands became splintered, but finally I had pried enough lumber off to form a sizable hole. One that I could leap through and fall six stories to end my own story. As I ignored the burning pain in my hands from working with lumber with my bare hands, I thought about all the memories again. I thought about how embarrassed I became as I messed up in front of the class, and how the warm tears rolled down my face as friendships ended. All the mistakes, and all the experiences had made me into who I am now. Who am I now? A self-abusive soon-to-be victim of suicide. I gulped and took a deep breath. I started running, only it felt slower than when I had been walking. It was as though the world was moving in slow motion. My final
  4. 4. thoughts were of how I had exhausted all my chances to change. How I told myself of all the chances I squandered to live a good life. As my distance to the window began to dwindle, and sinking feeling appeared in my chest and I stopped myself. I looked back to myself. "Why have the chances to change stopped?" I asked. "A look of disgust washed over his grungy face as he answered, "Because you refuse so steadfastly to learn from your mistakes! You know how bad the mistakes make you feel, yet your ignorant, thick skull is preventing you from even attempting to make the right decisions. That's what makes you scum. Your inability to make good decisions is what makes you so contemptible. The people around you can learn and they can do what you wish you can do. They are your superiors." "I can learn, though! I'll try a little bit harder! This isn't the only solu-" I tried to plea. "NO! It's too late for regret! Don't lose your nerve. We agreed that the pain was too much to shoulder!" "I've changed my mind! I want one more try to make it right!" I begged. "You're nothing more than a fool! Do you remember why you came here in the first place?! You wouldn't let yourself come here if both you and I hadn't decided this is the way to deal with it!" His voice was shrilling, our heart was racing even faster than before. "No, I was going to sleep on it first, that's why I came here. We hadn't decided anything yet!" Anger began to simmer again, I knew I couldn't just take such a matter so trifling. "You're so annoying! You made up your mind the second you stepped foot in the abandoned part of town. You were stalling when you started looking for a tarp in this abandoned complex! You know, I know, we know that this is the answer you need. You may not want it, but life is too hard for a light-weight like you." "What are you talking about?! Life is hard? It wouldn't be half as hard if it wasn't for you! I may make mistakes, but if I had 30 seconds to learn without these harsh 'lessons' maybe I could actually make some progress with these lessons. Noooo, learning is actually never being able to forget what I've done and how awful I am for it." The tears began to well up again as I said it. "You little idiot! If you forget the past, you're going to repeat it. Your memory is less than useful when you don't have the memories pounded into your head with brute force! Forgetting the implications is just as bad as forgetting the memory. You ARE a failure, you ARE useless, as evidenced by the past! Let's not forget when you-" I retorted with a matter-of-fact look on my face that I had no intention of dealing with, my voice squeaked as I yelled through the tears, "NO! I don't care! If there's anything to remember now, it's the difference between remembering the past and being damned by it! You tell me I don't learn my lesson, but here it is, here's me walking away from the past, here's me leaving my burdens aside so I can lighten the burden I am on society, until I am finally that shining beacon that you were trying to 'build' me into!" "I won't let you leave! Every time you try, you fail! That's the lesson you've forgotten, you've let your past damn you because you are a damned creature! You have two options, you can either try again, fail, and feel the immense pain all over again, foolishly, or you can get it over with, and end the vicious cycle that you're just too afraid to get out of." As I took my first couple of steps away, I stopped in my tracks. With my face down to give me a good look at my bare feet. I stopped, I stopped and let the message, the ultimatum that I had given myself, soak in. With a primal roar, I bared my teeth as I clenched my fist and ran over and punched myself. That detestable creature with the eyes that did nothing but judge me. I heard a crack and I saw glass fall to the ground. As my hand throbbed, I took a good look at my surroundings. I couldn't hear myself think despite the room being silent. A broken mirror was at my feet, but my detestable image was finally out of the room. It was just me, and no abusive thoughts to keep me down. I walked back to my tarp, removed a couple shards of glass from my hand, and tore off some of the cloth from the bottom of my shirt to make a makeshift bandage and stop the bleeding, and slept the best sleep I had ever experienced in the last couple years. As I woke up, feeling refreshed, despite sleeping on the soggy floor of a dusty, abandoned complex, i looked over at the scene of my bout with myself. I looked down at the shards and noticed that visage which had been illuminated by the morning sky. It looked different in that morning's light. The shirt and the hair still looked like a mess, but the eyes and the expression were radically different. A small smile of satisfaction was on its face. The shattered parts of the old
  5. 5. monster looked at me and whispered to me, in a genuine voice, one I was not used to hearing from myself, "We can do this, don't let the past damn you any longer." I had a grin on my face. I used my feet to shift the shards around and then went to go put my pants on. I descended the flights of stairs, each time relishing in the fact that I felt lighter than usual. I saw the candle wax from the candle that I had let burn out. As I put on my shoes, I thought to myself, "Is this what it feels like to be enlightened? The sun seems so much brighter, and all my problems feel like they've taken a back seat to this wondrous feeling of glee! I definitely made the right decision, if I keep this up, I'll finally be able to prove myself wrong, and become the person that even my most angry, pessimistic self wanted to become." I brushed the hair that desperately needed to be cleaned out from in front of my eyes and saw as a slightly better looking Joope monster opened the door for me to go out into the real world again. I came to the town proper about 10 minutes later as I heard a friend of mine shout, "Joope! There you are! Guys, I found him!" as he ran over to me walking out of the old part of town. "Where have you been?! We've been worried sick! What happened to your hand?" He was clearly concerned about me, with the silly grin still on my face, "Oh, this? I was scrambling around in the dark and hit a mirror." "Were you in one of the old, abandoned buildings?! What were you doing in there for the entire night?" His eyes were wide open as he looked at me and how messy and unkempt I looked. "I told you, I was just scrambling around in the dark" What I neglected to mention is that I meant the darkest parts of my mind, and not only the complex. "Well Joope," he sighed, "seeing that look on your face, that time away did you some good! Come on, lets get you to the nurse to fix that hand of yours, and then get you to a shower and a clean outfit,." "I couldn't think of anything I'd like more than that right now."

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