Published by Bill Braga in Memories, Psychology, Psychiatry, Shamanism
As I was saying, I was trying to learn to play the game. The best way of resistance is a peaceful one, as Gandhi taught. Here, inside of Pinel, I just need to get into the game during my meetings with Dr. Lucas. The nurses have already entered my game. With a guitar in hand I have won over my colleagues. I feel like a leader in here. Everyone comes to my room and tells me of their qualms. Maybe I could help them more than the men in white can. I could trigger a revolution in here, but no. It’s not time yet. I needed to get out, prepare the outside world, to then release my friends from captivity. It was my part to play. It was assigned to me, not by God or by destiny, but as a mission I felt inside of me. I felt and witnessed the reciprocity within this place. I am actually receiving admiration, in their eyes, gestures, in the cigarettes that they give me, but in their looks, essentially. There is always something to unveil in someone’s gaze. Not everyone can tap into the secrets of the soul through one’s retina. I could. This set me apart, ever since before being deprived of my freedom and fullness.
Before, or after all the psychiatrics, temporalities don’t matter, I was at my grandmother’s farm near BH. Maybe I was led there by the hopes that reencountering with Mother Nature would bring me back the person I was before the trip. Nature truly does have the power to transmute men, to bring them peace and harmony. But I would not go alone, the voices, as always kept pounding in my ears. That’s where the voices’ owners must be, and this whole endless search went on.
When all my relatives were all standing there looking at me, I felt through the reflected gleams, through their dilating pupils; their sadness, their fear and anguish. It was a difficult thing for me, to be in a lost paradise which had always been a peaceful refuge and feel all those eyes staring at me, which at times were so fearful they became threatening. I tried to play the game, to not let it all affect me, but the torturing voices, potentiated by everyone’s looks disturbed me, a lot. I needed to switch myself off, to get out of myself. No, I wasn’t the monster being reflected in those eyes. No. I needed to slip away.
It was just me, a soccer ball, and my whole chaotic upheaval, running back and forth, playing, alone, handling the ball with an incredible potential which I never had before. I discharged it all right there. But there was more. I played against the voices and with my own partitioned selves, playing and trying to dribble myself out, and the forceful kick at the end was the highest expression of my suffering. I put into the ball the potentiality of my unquenched desires, of Sandra in Rio, of my girlfriend who wouldn’t confess to her betrayal, little did she succeed in helping me. Of Tatiana, in the end an ethereal muse who always eluded me, despite whispering sweetly from behind my ear. Poor ball, companion ball. It was not to blame, but it will have to take the blame. I collapsed, exhausted, depleted, still restless, but without physical strength enough to continue that game of me against myself.
From that moment on, I realized the role that was destined for me: leadership, and how much it bothered everyone for me to know and assume this role. First it was the book. My mom had one under the title “The Sweetness of the World”. I was outraged, how could you read my book? It was written by me. Someone stole my writings and published them without my permission. Of course! They are invasive, and then didn’t put my name on it, not even a pseudonym. But I wrote it. In reality, I condensed in me all the sweetness of the world and which is why I became such a bother. I fought with her until she gave the book to me.
Then it was a soccer match on TV. Each player, upon stepping onto the field would send me a message. They were on my side, they had felt inspired. They gave me the signal. I was in command of the match. I opened the book, “The Sweetness of the World” and made a tactical drawling of the two teams. It was like playing a videogame. The ball would be wherever I designed, the plays happened according to my desire. And it worked. I commanded the match, with the support from the players of course, who saw me as a leader. How could my relatives not see this!? Of course, they are “sane”. They don’t have the necessarily heightened mind. This is why they condemned me. But I was having fun commanding the game anyway. Sometime the players would error, they didn’t follow me, which was obviously only to psych out the others, but I was in control. The entertainment didn’t last long when the torture of the voices, my necessity to get out gripped me again. “The world condemns me and no one feels pity”, Paulinho da Viola once sang. But I felt that the world was changing, and starting to lean in my favor.
I started to free myself from all the weights, I gained wings and wanted to set flight. But there was always a repression. I only understood a long time afterward why they couldn’t understand me. José Ingenieros could deal with this a century before me:
“You live only because of this particle of dreaming that overlaps the real you. (…) Not all exist, like you, against the twilight, nor dreaming before daybreak, nor quiver before a storm. (…) It is given to few, this restlessness to eagerly pursue some chimera (…) The sanction of others makes it easy to agree with routines practiced secularly; it is difficult when imagination puts greater originality in the concept or in the form”
So I assumed myself in my multi-potentiality and began to enjoy the benefits that my position guaranteed. The more I assumed the leader that I was, the more repression I felt at home. In fact, I shouldn’t have one anymore, the world was my address, people were my workplaces. Today, despite being momentarily confined, I still feel the world crying out to me, and from here inside, I practice with my pars what’s to be done with the odds. Soon I will be out there, to heed my calling. I felt like my ideal companion, D. Quixote: “Imagining himself as preordained by the worth of his arms and his noble purposes, he hastened to begin the incomparable journey”, or even as Joan of Ark, incarcerated, hearing the spirits tell her: “Have courage! You will be freed by a great victory!”