Reverend Paranoia, for me, is an evil preacher who stands upon a pedestal in a church preaching lies to different parts of my brain, telling them the horrors of the world where "decent people" live.
Reverend Paranoia And His Psychotic Tales
It is December of 1999, soon before my death, and I am sitting with my roommates smoking what I believe to be marijuana. My roommate Dave, who at his point is my enemy, sits next to me telling me to inhale deeper. We have fallen for the same girl, and she sits across from me watching as I hold the smoke inside of my lungs. I exhale and giggle uncontrollably at the two of them.
I went to sleep not knowing that I had already signed my own death. A chemical cocktail of stress and substance X were simply too much, and began eating away at my brain. That night stews were being brewed that would change my life forever. I was poisoned, and my fate was worse than death. My brain died that night, and became possessed by this other.
Some call it madness.
Others call it insanity
I call it my possession by Reverend Paranoia.
Reverend Paranoia, for me, is an evil preacher who stands upon a pedestal in a church preaching lies to different parts of my brain, telling them the horrors of the world where "decent people" live. The different parts usually listen and marvel at the preacher's incredible speech. My optic nerve can believe what he preaches at times. My audio nerve can likewise become fully convinced of his sermon. Reverend Paranoia is so convincing that I can become his undying servant, and no naysayer could convince me otherwise.
That night while I slept Reverend Paranoia whispered softly into my ear.
Why live in a world so cruel? Why not create your own world? Here anything is possible. Here you will be king.
He tempted me, and I obeyed. Trance like I followed.
Three weeks later I was fully convinced of his sermon.
I would soon be running through the streets of Boston, in the middle of winter from imaginary gang members that were following me, while tears streamed down my eyes over my own death.
I would soon be hearing voices from dark alleyways that had never been heard from before.
It is soon my funeral. Most will experience their death in the end. I am special and will experience mine before the end.
My psychosis began with a question the following day.
What happened last night?
I knew I had been smoking something, but there seemed more.
Being confused as to the answer, there lie in front of me an infinite number of possibilities. Many things could have happened that night, yet to the rational mind there are bounds as to what could have transpired. Somehow I broke those bounds making anything possible.
My mind then began to play with forbidden ideas. I began playing with strange answers to these.
Was it possible that my former friend wanted to kill me? Was it possible that he has turned against me?
Rationality would demand a rejection of these answers, and yet to me this seemed somehow possible.
In my apartment, I was unable to sleep from the stress I was under. On my desk was a check for 200 dollars sent from my parents and a letter from my landlord about my missing payments. The world was collapsing in on me, focusing all its evil towards me.
I began obsessing about the visions I had of my roommate conspiring against me. At nights I would stare at the ceiling thoughts racing through my head, unable to sleep. Soon five sleepless nights passed. I dropped two sleeping pills and lied on my brother's bed, in a futile attempt to rest. Something seemed amiss and horribly wrong. I couldn't sleep.
Sometime within those five sleepless nights a portal opened and the Reverend was on the other side tempting me to step through. Something must have seemed better in this other universe, where I was God over all things. The universe where I could create many things yet could not control what they were. At some point I took that final step.
On the fifth night, I was on my bed staring at the ceiling, wanting only to dream. I was awake dreaming of an alternate world surrounding me. In this dream I could hear mafia agents outside of my bedroom window that my roommate sent to kill me. The trees ruffled outside to the sounds of their footsteps, they were coming for me. The only problem is this time it wasn't a dream.
These ideas I was playing with a month earlier were becoming a reality for me. My roommate was not only conspiring against me, but was executing his plan to destroy me.
I played with the idea my former friend was the head of the mafia and had his agents surrounding my apartment, monitoring my every move. It seemed an epiphany of reality.
I saw visions of them peering from rooftops at me and driving vehicles on my street. There would be headlines about my death from the mafia once it occurred. I knew this.
I was scared to do anything, and was petrified at the reality of being spied on and chased after. Everything I saw or did became a part of this storyline, which began with the unanswerable question that I had asked some weeks before.
What happened last night?
I finally found the answer. Everything happened last night.
I was the center of this universe and everything revolved around me. My life was of unique importance, unlike that other one where I always seemed so small.
The world I had created from nothing was dangerous. I needed allies to help me in order to survive. It wasn't safe for me now, and I knew this.
Worried about my safety I decided to tell the cops about my roommates plan to murder me. Walking through the streets of Boston to the police station I heard voices coming out of the alleyways that seemed so eerie and perfect only the devil could have created them.
I'm going to get you.
I looked down a dark alleyway.
Said the deep voice.
I caught the subway, and saw two agents waiting for me within and became frightened for my safety. Somehow they had found me even here. I pleaded with two passengers to save me from the agents whom now stood in front of me.
I then stepped off in the train and flagged down two pedestrians and told them of my situation in a panic. They looked at me in a very strange manner. The consternation on their face pointed to the fact that they were spies. I ran away from them upon this realization.
I walked into the Cambridge police station and preached my sermon, about how things had transpired; how the mafia was going to kill me, and my roommate had hired them to do so. I wanted protection from these villains who were trying to destroy my life. The two officers stood shaking their heads at me. They said they didn't have time for me and that I should go back to Allston where I came from. I was shocked, and couldn't understand how two officers could not investigate these crimes against me. I knew my life was in danger, yet they did nothing. Perplexed I ran back to my brother’s apartment.
My father soon called the apartment wondering what was going on with me. He had heard from my brother that I had gone mad. On the phone I spoke with him for some time telling him my predicament with the mafia, desperately trying to get him to believe me. My brother’s roommate sat close by listening in on the conversation frightened for her safety. On the phone I asked my father if I was going insane. He said I probably was. Scared I hung up the phone. An argument then broke out between my brother and his roommate over me staying at his apartment.
Apparently he won as I slept that night to the sounds of his crying, while I lie in the next room listening to imaginary conversations.
The next day I decided to visit a psychologist so that he could ease the pain that was inflicted by this preacher of death. Somewhere within Reverend Paranoia had not fully convinced.
I walked into the doctor's office in the middle of the winter with nothing more than my pajamas on asking to speak to him so he could give me some valium; I just couldn't take the anxiety of having people following me and spying on me all the time. Into his room I went realizing that this man in front of me was a CIA agent posing as a doctor. He spoke with me and afterward handed me some poison and tried to convince me to take it.
Walking back home through the snow in my pajamas I saw agents taking pictures of me in their cars passing by while the cold winter wind blew against my pajamas. Still I felt nothing. When I arrived at home my unbelieving brother tried to change my undying belief in this world of endless possibilities. I sat there in bewilderment at his false sermon. He then told me to take the poison the CIA agent had given me.
That night while in bed I heard voices created out of nothingness conversing with each other that were so clear, perfect and terrifying only hell could have created them.
This world was mine, yet simultaneously there was a parallel world to this world, the world in which most live in. It was occurring at the same time on a different plane and somehow these two worlds collided, allowing these two very different places to view each other. Both were baffled, one cursing at the other, wishing each other dead.
On the plane that most live in I was dead and replaced by this other. I was a demon, a curse on decency and normalcy, a travesty to all that is moral. That is what many thought, even those who were once very close to me. My existence was out of place in a world of logic, reason, boundaries and scientific reality. This reality did everything to discredit my existence, to deny my being and humanity. My existence is an existential dilemma to this other world; my experience was that beyond the human condition. People are paranoid about what they don't understand. I was paranoid about the real world, the one I didn't understand.
My life was falling apart around me, yet I felt and thought nothing of this world. I didn't care about my friends and family's lack of understanding, my former lover's abandonment, my falling grades. These things meant nothing to me. No one could hurt me as I had no longer anything to loose.
Something within me must have decided to destroy my old life in order to create a new one. I soon set out committing crimes against myself, starting right were it hurt the most; the heart. I called my ex girlfriend and still friend in Sweden who was attempting to come and study with me in Boston. I told her about my delusions of rape and murder. I told her of the CIA following me, of my roommate's plot against me and she listened to my sermon, believing I spoke the truth, still convinced I was of reputable character and sound mind. I sat on that phone for an hour scaring and harming one of the people I was closest to at the time, speaking only lies.
Soon after I called the woman I was in love with in Boston, and spoke of my delusions I had been having at the time. I told her that Dave was out to get us and that we should be careful around him. She became terrified and scared at my bizarre ideas I had been having at the time. It turned out that she thought I was a bigger villain than Dave.
The preacher wanted to torture me longer showing me my own demise, destroying everything I had lived for and bulldozing my entire existence. His sermon was strong, and my mind was weak. I cried wanting only for him to show mercy.
Rampaging through the streets, torturing the souls of my comrades, my friends started to think horrible things about me. They began to think I was evil, and had no conscience and was deserving of my fate.
After my execution, people became annoyed at my new existence. I was not of the physical realm any longer instead I was of the mental one. The one that others don't see. A world of spies, plots, mafia agents and endless persecution surrounded me. Everywhere I went I was in a story, where I was the protagonist fighting an army of antagonists.
I would go outside for a cigarette, a van would pass by and I knew it would be following me. I could see agents sitting inside with their machine guns waiting for the proper timing, so that no witnesses would see my slaughter.
Returning to the apartment I lived in was like going to a haunted house where imaginary crimes were taking place. I was always on the lookout for clues that my roommate Dave was trying to kill me, and how I could defy his plot to destroy me. To counter his plan I had taken countermeasures. I went to the hardware store and purchased two deadlocks for my upstairs apartment door, so that Dave could not enter and kill me while I was sleeping. I had on my coffee table, next to my bedside a knife that I obtained from the kitchen in case an intruder would find a way to bypass the locks I had put in place.
I thought of ways I could trick the cameras and agents that were spying on me everywhere I went. I changed my clothes many times a day so they wouldn't recognize me when I left the apartment to go to school. A hat with a visor low to the brow was the best way to avoid cameras that were overlooking me from the building tops, I had decided.
I would then go to class early so that I could inspect the classroom thoroughly, checking beneath the seats for bugs and small cameras that could be watching my every move.
I had yet to find a camera, and became convinced this was because camera technology had become much better over the years allowing for very small devices that could easily be hidden.