Jonathan Ree’s Journal
Religion feels the necessity to be loud. This exigency for amplification is borne out in the sacerdotal functions of religious practitioners, amateur and professional, through every segment of the day. Every segment must belong to one religion or the other and if their timings clash, well then starts the violent and deafening battle of greater sonority.
I will not deny the potency of this bone jarring sound- it certainly seeps in, hardly a week of listening to a particular chant and I find that I’m hooked and it plays in my head with an obstinacy that characterizes bad music. The brain washing these tunes are intended for is carried out with military rigour and effectuality.
It often frightens me to think that heaven is the eventual destination of this clamour. The relative possibility of silence in hell, even if interspersed with the occasional piercing lament of the condemned seems desirable in comparison.
I feel victimised by this overload of acoustic prayer. Every morning I am compelled to awaken to the noisy ablutions of one community or the other. And if it isn’t hymns that wake me up then it is roll call from the prison close by, which is preferable for the lack of vain attempts at song. The sound hunts me with houndish diligence. Every portion of my day seems underlined by an inescapable monotonous hum. It is frightening and the possibility of schizophrenia or something similarly hallucinogenic seems imminent.
I decided today to finally get some professional help. The threat of my head being the birthplace of a variety of religious chants drove me to it. The highlight of the counselling session was the physical magnetism of my shrink. She seemed to possess the grace of someone who will remain eternally ravishing. She had luscious dark hair, full blood red lips, a pretty face, long tapering legs highlighted by the tight brown pant she wore and fangs. She also had a Transylvanian accent but claimed Russian descent.
She empathized with me but the counselling wasn’t of much use. The chants persisted.
Towards the evening the voices in my head started playing “god is dead to me”. That was relieving compared to the earlier content. The chant however soon progressed as I nodded off to sleep, into an alarming speech on god’s untimely demise. The arguments seemed erudite but were partly incomprehensible, since they were muffled by a German accent, which probably accounts for the scholarly tone. A nasal and gruff voice kept rambling on, occasionally touching a high, operatic crescendo when it said “eternal return”. At this point I woke up from my sleep, bathed in sweat and convinced that something dangerous had hatched in my head.
And so the next day I proceeded to the shrink’s office. Her charm struck me again. I felt more concerned suddenly with knowing this attractive woman better. Thus far all I knew about her were her qualifications and her name- Lou Ann Sal. I asked her for her unabbreviated name. However even after a considerable amount of wheedling she refused to reveal anything more and insisted that we get on with therapy.
“You’re paying for your time you know”, she said reproaching me. “We shouldn’t waste it.”
I tried a pick-up, “I wouldn’t call getting to know you better wasting my time.”
Initially she seemed unaffected by my venturesome dialogue, apart from a sudden convulsion that overtook her. She seemed to be holding something back. I took this as a covert acquiesce to my move. She asked to be pardoned for a moment, during which she headed to the toilet. I heard some muffled retching noises. She was out after a few moments and had regained her composure. We proceeded with therapy.
I described the “god is dead chant” playing in my head. Its erudition seemed less ominous as I sat next to her and I did not find my ailment as compelling. But at the mention of the words “god is dead” her eyes seemed to swell. She seemed unexpectedly tense and as I described the scant details of the song I could recollect she seemed to grow more rigid, till I feared she would pulverize her teeth with the tension of her jaw.
“Is everything all right?”, I asked rising from my reclining couch. “Maybe you’d like to lie down”, I said.
She recovered herself. “Oh no, no, I’m perfectly all right.”
She concluded the session soon after this and requested me to come the next morning by which time she said she would be ready to treat my ailment.
Today, Lou began by telling me that she was going to treat me with hypnotic suggestion.
I told her that I was already hypnotized by her beauty. A convulsion seemed to grip her again. I could see that she was moved. Her face began to twitch. But she quickly soothed herself with a deep breath and picked up a gold pocket watch attached to a chain.
With this she proceeded to hypnotise me. I soon lost consciousness.
I woke up to find myself in the throes of an orgasm with Lou going wild on top of me. I was shocked but didn’t dare say anything lest she stopped. Suddenly she asked to me say “god is dead” real loud. As soon as I did however she froze. “Oh!” she seemed surprised, “It’s you.”
“Well who did you expect”, I thought, “Sigmund Freud?” but I didn’t say it aloud.
She got off and apologised for her behaviour and assured me that she wouldn’t charge me for the session or any sessions we have from now on. This was a relief though when I asked her about the hypnotic suggestion and how it went she said she needed more sessions with me. I said she could have all the sessions she wanted. This time she didn’t convulse.
She simply smiled and said something about life being full of paradoxes and then told me to meet her for another session the next day.
I feel apprehensive about what happened today. It’s true that I have dreamed wistfully about it. However I can’t grasp why she had to place me under hypnotic suggestion to make love to me when I was already willing to do so. Maybe she still doesn’t get that I’m attracted to her. Maybe I need to make it more apparent.
And moreover the chants in my head aren’t getting any milder. The song has changed though. Now the voice keeps singing, “I’m better than any psychologist”, with a petulant pride of a school boy singing his school song. Oh well, I’ll leave that for Lou to solve, I guess.
Lou carried out today’s hypnosis with the help of a drug. She assured me that it was perfectly safe. I woke up this time in a far less startling position than the last, on my couch with Lou sitting on her chair. She told me that the session had ended and I was free to go. When I asked her about my progress she waved me out asking me to be patient. She drove me out before I could eloquently describe my affection for her.
It’s been a week of therapy and now I’m really worried because the chants aren’t getting any better and Lou is still ambiguous about my level of improvement. The fact that I’m not paying is the one saving grace. But my psyche appears to be degenerating. Several of my friends have complained that I often seem distracted. One of them alleged that I had gone into a trance and lectured him on the necessity to reconstruct religious morality, right in the middle of an entirely whimsical discussion on the change of menu and admin at Le Wuf, our favourite diner. But I doubt his reliability.
Moreover I’m beginning to wonder what Lou does during these sessions because I came out from my trance a few days back with a stinging pain in the right side of my neck. On running my hand along I found it was bleeding. She told me I had inflicted the violence on myself but refused to divulge more. She scolded me for being too inquisitive and commanded me to wait. On returning home I examined the point of injury on my neck and found a pair of bloody and deep, rounded marks, like those administered by a fang. I cannot understand where these came from.
For some reason I no longer feel as enthusiastic about confessing my feelings to her.
The portents are ominous. Something dark and mysterious is going on inside that room and I need to find out what it is first.
I have purchased a small tape recorder to record all that goes on in those cryptic hours of my unconsciousness. With the grace of god I shall survive these morbid days.
I managed to record the session. The evidence is frightening. She has asked me to go back again tomorrow but I don’t think I’m going to, ever again.
The initial portions of the record are irrelevant. We hear Lou screaming
“Rise Freddie! Rise!”, repeatedly.
Then she screams “It’s alive!”
Suddenly the German voice in my head is heard, speaking aloud,
“No, it’s not! I need my pills first. Vots the hurry, I just got here. Jezuz!”
“Hush, don’t take the lords name in vain.”, cautions Lou’s voice.
“Vell he dasint exist das he.”
“All the same.”
“So shall ve get to it?”
“We’ve been doing it for over two weeks now, let’s try something different. Too much id isn’t good.”
“Ju and jor id. Can’t you get over that damned shrink!”
“Well at least shrinks make some dough.”
“Yes but shrinks can’t keel god! I keeld god!”
“Oh get over yourself. Damned vain philosophers”
“ Aah but my love, ju know zat ju need philosophy. Come on! You know you can’t live vithout it! Bite this fool and suck on your life blood! My thoughts shall bring ju to life.”
After this a fearsome rasping noise is heard and the German male voice begins his scholarly chants again. The sounds that follow defy comprehension and the images conjured by them in my mind were those of a love feast of some ferocious animal.
As the record rolls to its end I can feel cold dread clutch my body.
The punctured region of my neck throbs with pain. I feel diseased, infected by a plague that is not of this world. The chants play louder than ever in my head and my body urges me to go for my therapy tomorrow. But I will resist, I must resist! Oh no not I! I will survive!
I have avoided therapy for a week but my body atrophies from the lack of it. I have come to hate light and I waste away in ill lit corners of my apartment. The German voice in my head now speaks directly to me urging me to go and meet Lou, but I do not respond. Recently it compelled me with sheer violent noise to go pick up a copy of Plato’s republic from the decrepit bookstore across the street where all the addicts hang around.
The voice in my head quietened for sometime as I read the book but as soon as I finished it began an acrimonious discourse on the book and the only way to make it stop was to pick up another philosophical volume and another and another. Reading philosophy has become a habit now. Perhaps I will be condemned to this existence forever.
Another week away from therapy.
I was overcome on Tuesday by a feeling of nausea. But that turned out to be due to an excess of narcotics.
I continue to read philosophical texts although the voice doesn’t have to urge me anymore. I have become an addict. I know that if I stop I will surely cease to exist. My body has given into the disease. The only time the voice returned this week was when I was reading interpretation of dreams by Sigmund Freud. The voice kept saying “bullshit” while stifling the word with a pretentious cough.
I don’t how long I shall be oppressed by this existence.
It has all come to an end.
Today as I tried engaging myself by pushing a large rock from one end of my apartment to the other to overcome the recurrent feeling of nausea, I heard a knock on the door. Thinking it would be the weed addicted owner of the book store, Aura B Roquentin, who had taken a liking to me due to my recent obsession, I opened the door.
And lo! Behold there was the monster itself. Lou had found me.
“Thought you could hide huh!” said the beast. Then observing the pile of books I had recently collected she said, “I see that you have been consumed by the plague too.”
“It’s time for you to sleep now”, saying that she stabbed me with dart, in my arm. I lost consciousness in a few moments.
I do not know how long I haf stayed unconscious. It may be years from my last entry. I cannot see the beast anywhere. I feel strange, transformed somehow. My apartment looks the same. The voond on my neck shtopped throbbing. And I haf a moustache on my face. It is rather large. Even though my replication of German accented English seems as terrible as ever I still feel like something about me has changed. I need a mirror.
THERE IS AN INSECT IN THE MIRROR! IT LOOKS LIKE A ROACH! I cannot understand it! I look like a roach and yet in know that on the inside I’ve changed into a largish Caucasian man, with brown hair and an immense beyond-walrus moustache. I haf metamorphosed! I am no longer I! I stink therefore…no..no…Who am I? I’m Superman! No…no…I’m not Superman!