Following are my band mate's notes left for me to look at while drinking coffee at Atlantis. My band mate is Drummer and he has Schizophrenia.
First perfect write is symbolic of DE from Live going 2 on rest who at forces growing religion from way after fit all fore water the light departed dust souls dirt shadow star our Bones style now here when righteous file won mile Brain pray existence activate.
Why worlds doorman entity of humanity realizes towards above stretches far away treasure secrets remove masked destinies sure magical wishes within shape Making words reality licks wipe out mouth color important as a tornado twisting of powerful before you rude crude evader future throw away spitting souls fire striking over done now questions mystery no answers mumblers for target faster dominates through divider Truce Guest beyond timeless factors becausing to store victories laughter in conclusion 2 gay witness gods worship tasty forevernous Legendary atheist scriptures away Believe throne water.
According to the medics and academics, the notion of exhibiting a split personality by those suffering from Schizophrenia is a myth. But is it really? A myth, that is?
I think not.
Drummer scribbled these notes (above) when he was raddled and clearly not himself. When Drummer is himself, he stands tall, poised, relaxed. He is eloquent and fun to be around. He is an orator of reason. He is a busker with authority. When he is not himself, he speaks in salads, constantly rubbing his hands together, and smilingly drifts off. These notes he left behind sound just as he speaks; they represent a babbling fool.
(Drummer’s parents once told me that their once lovely and lively Drummer left, a different Drummer assigned with Schizophrenia, sadly took his place.)
Schizophrenia, in German, translates to a split mind. And what is the difference between a split mind and a split personality? I don’t know.
I do know that Drummer the busker is different from the Drummer exhibiting signs of Schizophrenia. The Drummer with Schizophrenia truly doth becomes his doppelganger self.
A doppelganger, another German word, translates to a double goer.
I first heard the term, doppelganger, from Canadian poet, Eli Mandel (1922 -1992). He was reading his works, annotations included, and he discussed a chance meeting with his doppelganger self. He was walking ‘neath the Brooklyn Bridge in the early 70’s. He looked up and saw a likeness of himself waving at him. He knew that seeing one’s doppelganger meant that he would soon die. Twenty years later he did die.
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886) had a doppelganger plot. Henry Jekyll was a quiet introverted medical doctor; whereas, his doppelganger self was the evil and murderous, Edward Hyde. This particular plot has been replicated hundreds of suspension times since.
Metaphorically, I do suppose not on occasion, that we all have within us a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde. I do suppose always that all of us have the power to bestir the beast within ourselves.
For example, I shall pose the question: Are you the same person when you are at home compared to the person you are at when work or at play?
In other words: Is the wife-beater at home the bully at work and the hostile aggressor at play?
In other words: Is the hen-pecked husband at home the door mat at work and the pine rider at play?
(Forgive me, reader, for such sexist illustrations but … I am a guy and can illuminate more with male examples, than those female or non-gendered.)
And now the psychological answer: The closer you are to being consistent on all three fronts, the more likely you are to be having harmony in your life. The farther you are from being consistent on all three fronts, the more likely you are to be having dissonance in your life.
Back to Drummer and his/our dilemma. The regular Drummer is an athletic and logical epicurean. Drummer is a regular in the weight room, and a cool calm uber-soccer player (full-back). The Drummer with Schizophrenia can be a lethargic back-alley bin diver. Most times though, the Drummer with Schizophrenia seemingly seems glued to the smoke bench behind his apartment, babbling in salads with those people who are real and those who are imaginary.
In his alterity, Drummer quite physically resembles his antecessor, but after caffeine (from coffee, coca-cola, or energy drinks) becomes his paranormal double goer, his doppelganger self. After just one hit of caffeine, Drummer is insane, as compared to the rest of the ruck. The doppelganger Drummer is a braggadocio, the best poet, the best drummer, the best growler, the best of the best.
In his doppelganger alterity, Drummer loves baubles. The gimcracks he collects, including the snap caps off aluminum beer cans, become trinkets extraordinary power. Drummer will attach dozens of these to his shoe laces. The plastic carriers off the six packs of beer cans he attaches as wristbands representing strength and identification.
In his doppelganger alterity, Drummer is an agitated walking jabberwocky, stopping only when he crashes. And when he convalesces, Drummer becomes tristful in his awakenings, shameful in his demeanor, and evangelical in his resolve. In his sobriety self, Drummer becomes synonymous with weltschmerz.
In my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week I have but one serious marcher. I was busking with my twelve-string and Blues harp in front of Shoppers when this elderly gentleman hobbled over.
You must love God, he said, because you play such beautiful music. I love your music as much as I love my dog. He brings me such great joy, just as you now are bringing me such joy.
What’s your dog’s name? I asked.
His formal name is King, but I call him Baby.
A baby king, I responded, a prince!
Yes, a prince! He replied.
And to conclude, at the header of this blog is Bobby Orr (wearing the Boston Bruins uniform) and Bobby’s doppelganger (wearing the Chicago Black Hawks uniform). Sadly, Bobby’s doppelganger self, though a ghost, is now hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup!
(NEXT YEAR, BOSTON, THAT CUP BELONGS TO US!)