Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Day in the Life with a Schizophrenic

Woke up to Walt singing at the top of his lungs today. He had a kinda' harsh rock-anthem-ish / heavy-metal-ish thing going on...

He was pacing already too, the cadence of his slow, lumbering gait marked in the creaking of floorboards. I could hear him moving steadily from room to room in his hazy ever-vigilance.

Still, it seemed better than yesterday, when he was emphatically whispering racial epithets, and smacking one hand, hard, into the other at regular intervals.

Maybe this is better, the angry singing instead of the angry muttering, I thought; but after just the first few hours, it had become so wearying to hear....

(...and yet, Mom had handled Walt's schizophrenia, off and on, for over 30 years. Suck it up.)

I was on a music website, sampling new-age-y albums at a soft volume, looking for something suitable for my office. Just filling time, something to focus on, something to do....

I was listening to 30 second samples of Native American flutes melodies when I noticed Walt had fallen silent in the other room. On impulse, I pulled up my Jukebox program and loaded Deuter's 'East of the Full Moon'. Boosted the volume a bit.

Walt stayed silent (please... finally asleep?) After listening for him for a few moments more, I turned back to the monitor, started surfing again.

It was a while later before I looked up, and there was Walt, standing a few feet away; just standing, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, 'not-looking' at my computer. As the song faded into silence, he asked if we could play another one, or maybe the same song over.

He sat at the kitchen table and listened to the whole album twice, before the need to stand, to pace, came over him again.

Now he's sitting on his bed in his room, singing a love song to our cat, Sheba, The Queen of Kitties. (He's even 'keeping it clean', in spite of what rhymes with 'kitties'!)

He's got a nice bluesy-ballad thing going on....


  1. I read your entry. I think it was beautifully written. (I almost just left because this was so long ago, but I know I like to hear from people. Even if they don't say much.)

    Take care of yourself,

  2. Oh, wow... THANK you! (It's nice to know SOMEone even read it!) ;)