"Sometimes the little voices in my head that can't be heard but can be felt are a hazard to my health. I am totally aware that it is just me talking to myself; like sitting on a couch with an invisible "me" right beside me saying all sorts of nasty things about whomever and whatever may come up.
For instance, I will be driving home from work, a little bit later than normal (stopped to get gas or whatever) and I start feeling this little "bump" for lack of a better word.
This is usually the beginning of a nasty little conversation starting with "you have so bitchy lately, you really need to control it".
I usually try to ignore it. I sometimes manage to. However there are times when the voices get harder to ignore or more demanding. That is when I just wish I could blow them away.
I do take medicines for the problems I have. I'm not a threat to society; just to myself. I would rather hurt myself than any other HUMAN. Notice that word-HUMAN.
I also have animals and when I get into these "spells" they run for cover. Hell, I don't blame them. If I could I would run for cover too. Except the voices would follow me and pick me apart-piece by piece.
I once glanced through a book about this very subject. The title escapes me but in it I remember it mentioning the berating voices and how they are just your conscience talking, a way to figure our things that bother you or maybe you are stressing about something and the voices are just trying to help. Ignoring them makes them worse and after awhile, it's either listen or shoot yourself in the head.
Which brings a story into my head. Stop me if I bore you. Or not!

I wrote this story in a creative writing class I took several years ago. I originally took this class to help me in my job; being a little more creative on how to fix things at work. Instead, I found I really liked to jump into that little hole in the paper. So, with MY permission (since you are the one reading this and can stop anytime you damn well feel like) I would like to try to rewrite this very short, very comical story.

     The two guards undid the leather straps around the old mans hands expecting anything to happen up to and including a smack from his very filthy hands or feet. The truth was, the old man stank. When he had wandered into the police department late last night and started cussing and fighting anyone who touched him or his friend, the sargent gave up and put him in a holding cell to sleep it off. Problem was, the man just didn't like anyone touching him, not that many people wanted to with the stench coming off of him in waves. So they put those brown leather cuffs on him then put him in a padded cell all by himself.
     In the morning, just before noon, he was released to go on his merry way. Back on the streets amongst the rest of the mentally challenged.
    "Hey, Ralphy", one of the guards yelled out. "Take a bath soon, will ya?"
     A firm flip of his finger told the guard what he thought about that idea.
     Ralph crossed the street and headed for the newest soup kitchen for some food. "You want something to eat George?" Ralph asked?
     "Good cuz I can stand something too. Like sardines. You like sardines, don't ya George? All slimey and salty. Yep, I hope they got them there but they probably only have soup and prayers. I get so tired of the prayers but the soup sometimes makes the prayers worth listening to."
    The first soup kitchen wasn't taking anymore people and was shutting down.
     "Damn. Gotta go to the one clear across town. Getting really hungry. What about you, George? Do you have any spare change?" No answer.
     "I guess that means we gotta walk. Let's go."
     Ralph started ambling toward the end of town, talking to George, sometimes gesturing to other people who looked at him like he was crazy.
     "What cha lookin at ya old fools? Leave us alone. We ain't bothering anybody so just leave us be. You don't see us googling you, do you?
     "Hey, old man." One young punk kid with orange spiky hair called out. "Who ya talking to? There isn't anyone with you jackass."
     "Go screw yerself you ugly rooster. I can talk to anyone I want."
     "You are one crazy old man. "
     "Says the rooster with the orange hair." Ralph turned to his right. "Ever think we would see such a thing as that. And they call me crazy."
     The wind rose and the smell of car exhaust and garbage rose around him. Ralph sniffed.
     "Ya know something George? Maybe I could use a bath. How bout we stop off at the lake down the road and take a dip?"
     "Yeah, I know it is kinda cold out but it might be worth an extra piece of bread if they have any at the food bank."
     With a new destination in mind, Ralph headed to the lake about 2 blocks away. Though the water was cold; colder than he really like, he quickly stripped out of his torn dirty clothes, threw them into the water, and jumped in.
     "Holy Shit, George! It's fuckin freezing. Come on and make it quick. I can feel my balls shriveling up."
     "Hey Ralph!" A new voice came out of the bushes. It was Sam, the patrol officer of the park. "Ralphy, what cha doin in there? You'll freeze your sweet bibby off, and you know you can't be in there, now get out, right now?"
     "Turn yer back, Sam. My privates are privates and I don't want you to look."
     "Get out of there before I arrest you for indecent exposure." Sam turned his back.
     When he turned around again, Ralph had his wet clothes on his body and was trembling with cold.
    "Where's George at?" Sam asked.
    "He's right over there." Ralph nodded towards some bushes beside the lake.
     "How ya doing George?" Sam said to the bushes.
     Ralph giggled. "Not THEM bushes. THOSE bushes. Can't ya see anything besides that caterpillar under yer nose?"
     Sam looked at the other bushes and said, "Hey there George. Didn't see ya there. How's things with this old fart?"
    Ralph looked at Sam with exasperation. "Now he's beside me and NOT in the bushes, you crazy pig."
    Sam had enough of this. "Ralph, George does not exist. There isn't anyone there?"
    "So why were you asking him how he was doing a minute ago if he doesn't exist?" Ralph smiled.
    Sam was getting kinda flustered. "Ralph, George is all in your mind. There is no one here but you in your wet clothes and me..."
    "With your caterpillar and George standing right there in front of you."
     "Then why can't I see him?" Sam asked him.
     "Cuz yuz is stoopid."
     "You call ME stupid and it's you that sees someone that isn't there. Ralph, go find a dry spot in the sun, warm up and head to one of the halfway houses or find a place to sleep tonight. I'm sure 'George' doesn't want you to freeze tonight.
     "You don't worry bout me Sam. George and I have been together for a long time and we can handle things all by ourselves, can't we, George"
     "Yea, sure ya can. Take care Ralph. Next time I find you in this lake I'll arrest ya. Now move it." Sam shakes his head and walks away. "Damn hospitals for letting these sickos out. Damn it all."

     Later on that night, Ralph is still shivering. His clothes are still damp from his bathing and he isn't feeling too well.
"George, maybe we ought to go find someplace to sleep. I ain't hungry anymore, but I feel hot and cold at the same time."
     Slowly Ralph makes his way to a shelter that he hopes will take him and George in for the night. He's lucky. He gets the last bed. They give him a p-nut butter and jelly sandwich which tastes like heaven and he splits it with his best friend.
     "George, I know people can't see ya, and you been with me for a long time now. I just want you to know... Cough, Cough..." Ralph suddenly can't breathe. He clutches his throat automatically but no one pays him any mind.
By the time a volunteer notices, Ralph has already turned blue. The volunteer tries the heimleigh manuever but pauses to think about giving him the kiss of life. It is too late anyway. Ralph has gone.
     The head supervisor comes running over and tries to bring Ralph to life by pounding him on his chest to no avail.  In the corner of the room, George and Ralph watch as they blow into Ralph's mouth. Ralph chuckles to George. "If they knew where my mouth has been the last couple of days, they probably shouldn't do that." George and Ralph laugh together and go out into the night.



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writing mercyme
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