The smell of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has a distinctive smell of metalic acrylic colours. It is sharp and penetrates everything; cotton, fur, skin. It smells like the world ending, like two bald soldiers marching a long narrow road through nettle-covered fields – towards me. The sky above as grey as a clockwork.

Long ago I found myself lying half naked next to a soldier of this kind, on a bed fitting in the hallway, between his art room and the living room.

I could not sleep. I could not sleep because I could not bear this familiar stench. It went through me like shock waves, causing all my senses to vibrate. With minutes going by, hours when the cat jumps up the bed, and down to take a piss next door in the kitchen. Even at night light flooded the corners, reflections from the gold fish in the aquarium, half transparent curtains in black, a digital clock flashing 4:06.

In the end, I ran. I ran not because I disliked him, his art or the play ground nearby but I ran because I knew this world would draw me in. I knew the risk was high with every second, that I would never be able to cross the line again. A line where the sky falls, flat onto people’s heads in this other world.

The cats is dead now. Still every year I send a birthday card to the soldier who confronted me for the first time with the boundaries of where my psyche was born. He never sends one back but then I don’t want to be reminded now.

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