Living Downtown, I have encountered so many mentally ill people that they all just blend into the background. They are just the "local colour". Never have I met one that I felt was dangerous, or one who was violent. One or two have been a little aggressive verbally, but nothing serious. Just recently, one mentally ill person has gotten my attention.
This person has been around for a while, but I never noticed him until I saw and heard him more. He frequently comes around my apartment building, and there are times when he does, that I step out onto my balcony, and I observe him across the street.
This young man looks like he could have been in a '80s Heavy Metal band. He has that similar look, long hair, and skinny. He has personal battles he fights everyday. He may have schizophrenia or psychosis, but I am not the one to say.
My description of him in this state would be an actor randomly speaking lines from a variety of plays. It is mostly disjointed speech. He might see things, I am not certain. There are names of people he speaks. Sometimes he talks to them, sometimes he talks about them. Scraps of what I heard him say might be revealing who he is, or at least, who he was. He voice is always raspy when he is alone, but I have witnessed him speaking with a young woman once who seemingly knows him, and his voice is clear, strong, and pleasant sounding. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
His ramblings can go on for hours at a time, and he comes and goes as he pleases. I had thought about video recording him, but I changed my mind. I have decided just to listen from my balcony, observe from a distance, as this young man leaves his recordings in my memory.
In about one week, the Forest City Comicon 2015 will be here at the London Convention Centre. This is not very far from where I see this young man. At the London Convention Centre there will be thousands of comicon fans, many dressed in costumes as fictional characters. A world of make believe and fantasy these people can step into and out of at will. And there will be this young man who may have no control over being in reality or in a world that isn't real.
© Trevor Dailey
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good- natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?'
`In THAT direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,' waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
Source: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, 1865.