The most essential knowledge is certainly that of the heart of man, to be learned by misfortune and travel: one must have seen men of all nations to know them and one must have been their victim to appreciate them; misfortune's hand, in exalting the character of him whom it crushes puts him at the right distance to study men; he sees them there as the traveler sees the furious waves break against the rock on which the storm has thrown him; but in whatever situation nature or chance has placed him let him keep quiet when he is with other men; one doesn't learn by speaking but by listening; which is why chatterers are usually fools-
MARQUIS DE SADE- ESSAY ON THE NOVEL
It's one week until my thirtieth birthday, and for the first time in years I have writer's block.
My new novel (for once I have a publisher's interest) is set in a world where David Icke's theories of Reptilian Overlords and Global Brainwashing is all true. Set during the London Olympics, covering all major news events (including the Savile affair) it climaxes with Sandy Hook, and Obama's new quest to disarm America.
I am getting to the point (ninety pages in) where I have to write about The Dark Knight Rises massacre. I can't seem to bring myself to do it. In my second novel, Fear of a Tabloid Planet, it took literally years for me to write about 9/11. Bret Easton Ellis added the murder sequences in American Psycho after he had written the entirety of the novel by hand. He procrastinated for as long as he could before facing up to what the novel demanded of him. Apparently he was laughing as he wrote those scenes, possibly the most violently misogynistic in the history of transgressive fiction. So I'm currently trawling internet blogs and conspiracy theorists on the web, researching what the paranoid fringes seem to think is a vast web of MK-ULTRA inspired False Flag operations. It's monumentally depressing. I have watched a few Alex Jones videos, the lunatic who went on Piers Morgan and had one of his trademark nervous breakdowns. I would feel sorry for Alex Jones if I wasn't so concerned that he owns a veritable cache of firearms. Lee Harvey Oswald had his nefarious connections to various different murky worlds, but it's a lot scarier to think that he did work alone. As DeLillo once wrote: "Conspiracy offers coherence". Alex Jones is clearly mentally ill. Some people will do anything not to cure their mental illnesses. He's too far gone to seek help now, especially with North Korea kicking off.
It's snowing when I make it to Pynchon Ward, cold and tired and hungry. I head up the elevator, smiling grimly at the old woman in reception. I bump into the nurse who forced me to eat twelve Lorazepam from a cup with my hands held in stress positions by my side. I smile and she looks both guilty and cowed. The ward door opens and Oye, the nurse who once told me that I could never leave unless he let me, opens the door and I blank him. He says nothing, looks at his feet. A woman with half of her face covered in rusted brown bruises (skin cancer? A terrible accident? A vicious fall?) is wandering around incoherently. I walk down the corridor to the office.
"I'm here for my injection," I sigh. The nurse blinks.
"My injection," I repeat.
"I'm sorry, who are you?" She asks.
"Andrew Moody. Emm, double oh, dee, why."
"I don't know... why? What?"
This is always the worst part of coming to Pynchon Ward. The nurses are uniformly uneducated and this is not a difficult job to get.
"I have to have an injection every two weeks. Olanzapine," I say slowly.
"Oh. Take a seat."
I sigh, walk towards the smoking pod, bump into Vicki, the gnarled, witchy black Nurse who took great pleasure in telling me I was not legally allowed into America.
"You can't smoke. You're not a patient," she hisses. For years I was obsessed with the idea of writing the ultimate anti-psychiatry novel. I eventually self-published it as Smoking Is Cool, and managed to get a copy to Bret Easton Ellis at a book signing. I knew he was the most well connected writer in Hollywood. Two years have passed, and I have sold less than thirty copies. Holly sees me walking back from the smoking pod.
"Andrew!" she says. "I can be with you in ten minutes."
"Can I have a cigarette first?" I ask.
"Sure," she smiles. Vicki looks annoyed, sees I have a plastic bag with a copy of Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History and a can of Relentless.
"You can't bring energy drinks onto the ward," she says, plucking it from the bag with two fingers.
I wrote to God the other day. God has over 500,000 followers. He even went to the premiere of Tarantino's Django Unchained. Those that conquer Twitter are the new rockstars of our atomized age. He tweeted that the world was run by facile fools (not quoted verbatim, He has since deleted it) and I replied:
You're much funnier when you don't preach, God
Within ten seconds I'd had five retweets. Then God removed his tweet (thereby deleting mine) and sent me a direct message.
You're much more tolerable when you don't talk.
Left or right?" Holly asks, holding the needle between her fingers.
"You choose," I sigh, undoing my belt.
"I'm thinking right," she says. "Sharp scratch!"
The needle enters my buttock, catching a nerve.
"Nearly done," she sighs. This is the depressing truth about psychiatry. It's not particularly glamorous.
"You can leave in three hours," Holly smiles. I limp out of the medical room and take a seat. After I've been reading about the history of Germany in 1919, and the origins of Nazism, somebody takes a seat next to me. It's a man in his forties, dressed smartly, his eyes calm and slightly dilated.
"I can save you," he whispers. "I can make you happy again..."
Another Jesus, I think. I've met so many here...