The trailer to my upcoming book
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” – Bruce Lee
On the 17th March 2019, I escaped a hospital because I thought a higher intelligence was sending me telepathic messages to guide me out of the Doctor’s office and onto the streets of Los Angeles, where I could begin using my new vigilante super powers to save humanity from itself.
They say “crazy people don’t know they’re crazy.” Whoever they are…
Did I have a psychotic episode? A malfunction in my brain, which removed me, myself, I, from decision-making while what felt like an alien entity possessed my body and took control of my motor functions? Like a video game character scurrying around while a cheat code is being thumbed into its engineering. Left Right Right Left Square Triangle Circle Circle.
Perhaps, fabricating a fake reality was a comforting escape from being unemployed and going through a divorce, subconsciously telling myself a bedtime story so that I may sleep better. It’s much easier to escape in an illusion and sleepwalk through life, than to face the grim reality we might have trapped ourselves in.
Or did the stars align in such a way that fate opened a door in my brain and I was sucked into a vortex? A cosmic limbo where I stewed without a compass, contemplating my belief systems.
Not what others have told me something is, but my own understanding of it. A kid asking “why the sky is blue?” in a soundproof forest.
What is this? Can trees think? What is reality? When is time? Who is me? Oh oh, I’m floating. Note to self, attach sandbags to belt.
Questions without answers that I dedicate my life trying to solve. What a glorious waste of time.
“Hey, you know that puzzle you’re trying to solve?”
“Well, it’s never going to happen fool, you’re not God.”
Oh yeah? We’ll just see about that.
Eric winks to camera, then walks into a lamp post.
One day in this life, everything in my Universe changed. I was twisted inside down and upside out as I shared a brief but real moment, a kiss, with the very source of creation. A kiss, and a slap in the face, and then the middle finger, and then a kiss which turns into a laugh. The cute meet scene in a romantic comedy, where a human boy bumps heads with a Goddess, resulting in a supernova. Sparks scattering across the multiverse, a planetary bulletin to Her family, who are now all up in my grill because I hacked into their dimension.
“Oh you think you can play with the Gods huh? We’ll see about that you lanky Jack Skellington looking mother fucker.”
No need to be rude gentlemen. Your sister and I have just met and we are taking it slowly.
“Slowly? Have you met Chronos? He’ll be in charge of your schedule now.”
“Xiè Dào and Kamadeva want to have a word with the boy too.”
“They all do.”
“Oh shit, scatter, Bastet’s coming.”
“Send the puny human boy a test or twelve. We’ll see if he deserves to eat from our cornucopia.”
“Let the games begin!”
They all laugh.
Wait no, I’m laughing, aloud, to myself, in the middle of a busy park. But which park? Shit, how did I get here? I don’t have my phone. Or my shoes. What just happened?
I can’t stop thinking about the day I was strapped to a stretcher and taken to the cuckoo’s nest. Possessed by something still resonating under my skin.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life trying to escape trauma, and when it seems I finally have, a much deeper cosmic impact clutches onto my personality resulting into the me of today, who may, or may not, be insane; in a state of mind which prevents normal perception or social interaction.
Story of my life.
So, what is sanity?
It’s hard to identify what is what when people want a label.
What is what. No question mark.
Doctors suggest I suffered from Mania. Maybe bipolar? Religious people say I met God.“You tasted enlightenment, but lack discipline and control” declared the Buddhist. And my housemates ask if it’ll happen again, and “should we hide the bleach?”
A valid question with so many answers.
I’ve spent many years stumbling delicately along the edge.
Whatever it is that happened to me, for a chunk of time, I wasn’t myself. And it felt good checking out, or in. To not be me anymore.
I was exhausted trying to fix the World’s problems. There’s only one of me and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get peace on Earth. I could barely make rent.
So I checked myself in the rehab of my mind, for a massage and a brain wash, while auto-pilot was activated and carried on behaving as much like me as possible, a different driver learning about its environment through my eyes.
We’ve all seen footage of loonies, pacing up and down and up the hospital corridors, giving us the chills with their lost faces.
We’re thankful they’re locked in there, while we’re safe at home. Or is it the other way around?
Maybe you’ve walked past a homeless person talking to themselves, barking at something that isn’t there to anyone else, but clearly exists in their field of vision, as though they were wearing virtual reality contact lenses, and we’re actually the ones behind on the One truth.
We’re often eager to get away from their unpredictability, terrified of ever experiencing what is going on in their jittery heads.
For a brief moment, I became one of those people you fear, that I feared, now carrying that stigma.
I had the opportunity of sweeping the whole thing under the carpet and forget about it. For fear of embarrassment.
Or as I’ve come to discover, resurfaced by others if I do anything they deem to be unusual. An event I nay timeline used as a weapon to make me doubt my reasonings.
“What would you know? You once went to a hospital for the crazy!”
Doesn’t that mean I’ve healed?
For a while, I spoke openly about the time I discarded my mind, so that people knew what page I was on. So that if I disappeared again, they didn’t have to worry. I probably just got distracted by an insect and had to go out for a few hours to see where it lived. And depending on the mood, eat it, its family, the plants around me, the things that I found on the floor, a coin. If I eat my hand, what would happen next? Could I get a bionic hand? How much does that cost?
Depending on the delivery, the story was heard differently. It’s a comedy and a tragedy. A romantic, sci-fi, horror.
If I was in comedy mode, the feedback was laughter.
But I don’t feel funny all the time, and so, on the nights when the moon was bright, the fog was sweeping in and merging with the mist from our cold breath, an owl in the distance is heard asking “Who?” as if accompanying my account of the events, I would sometimes see the micro-expressions change on the listener’s face, assessing the threat, trying to remain unfazed, so they don’t potentially trigger me with whatever they think might send me bananas, and transform into… who knows?
I got a taste of how the other side lives.
I was reduced to a hospital uniform and a number around my wrist. I stood in the shoeless positions of a patient mental, climbing up and down and up the walls.
And I realized why we pace like ghosts in white gowns, hovering about with unresolved issues. There’s not much to do in a hospital but wait, walk, wander and wonder how I could have let this happen? I swear I’m not hallucinating.
Fuck, where am I?
Who am I? And am I right about who I am?
Do I think that I am what I am because that’s what another me wants me to think?
Oh consciousness, the final frontier?
I was stripped from my clothing and belongings. My belt and laces, now weapons, were locked away so I could do no harm to myself or others. If they could take our hands, they would’ve.
They have to play it safe. How do they know I won’t hurt someone? How do you know I won’t do that? How do I know you wouldn’t do that? Questions questions. You might think of suicide and murder as impossible to your timeline, but you haven’t met yourself in ten years. Who knows what war we might suddenly find yourself in the middle of? And what you might have to do to protect your family? Your definition of family.
An air raid siren blasts us with her warning.
“Eric, we have to get out of here! They’re attacking from all sides!”
I can’t. I have to learn my lines. Got a casting tomorrow.
Plans change for the seasons varies the harvest.
Whoever I become in the future will certainly look back to this day as the beginning of his story. Or her story. Or whatever possibilities lay ahead in the infinite kaleidoscope abyss.
So what happened that day, that so badly fractured your sense of self? Perhaps the catalyst which sends the hero on a unpredicted path, usually found around page twelve of a screenplay.
I saw the flow of everything around me like strokes from a Van Gogh painting. It was so beautiful I became transfixed, an unfinished marble statue observing the choreography, sipping a second so slowly that time almost stopped, and I was shown everything’s movement. But briefly. It had to be brief for it blew my mind.
Every thing was clear. Every pedestrian politely plodding along the pavement, the clouds strafing along the cyan sky, the birds, the bees, the branches of bushes tickled by the wind, the broken bits of fibers which have separated from my retina and are floating around the vitreous body of my eyes, flicking along my field of vision like little wormholes, forever interfering with my 5D vision.
The irides were wide open, light flooded in and I am drowning in sensory overload.
I was breathing everything in as though I had never seen it before. Heard it before. Touched it. Tasted. Were my senses asleep and they finally woke? Was I desensitized to being alive all this time?
My World used to be so loud. An incessant soundtrack of self-doubt looping in my head, Depression and Anxiety clawing themselves in my brain, whispering and tempting me to fall off the ledge.
And now, for now, the ambience is one single noise, separated in audio files I can focus on if needed; people’s jibber jabber, cocktails being made at the counter, ice machine dropping some cubes, the doppler effect of traffic swooshing by the opened door, humming of the ceiling fan, the tinnitus I likely have from standing too close to big music festival speakers when I was young, my unquenchable curiosity feeding me more puzzles; all these sounds could be dimmed, all sight could focus and almost zoom, on a target.
Here comes danger.
In the midst of this mental breakdown, I thought I was becoming a super hero. A vigilante.
Vigilante; a self-appointed person who undertakes law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.
From the 15th Century word ‘Vigilant’, rooted in Latin meaning ‘Keeping awake’.
And that’s exactly how I felt. Awake.
And now I’m scared to go back to sleep.
So I decided to write my story, in case I need to remember.
For on that fateful day, I woke up and no longer existed.
I only learnt my name when I gave my ID at the hospital’s reception. Eric Lampaert, born 4th October 1986, in Hirson, France.
It was day one, the birth of a consciousness at its most fundamental level, who am I?
Here is a beta version of chapter one of my book, told through the perspective of a person whose job is to constantly step in other people’s shoes. An actor’s guide to the Galaxy.
I’d like to share my results with you on the aforementioned questions. So I can move on. And so I may one day read my story, in case I once again, forget who I am. It hurt me to live it, helped when I shared it, healed me to write & explore it. Perhaps it’ll do some of the above to you as we move forward. If not, at the very least, I hope to entertain you as I tell you a pretty wild story through spacetime. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading.
Now… where do I begin?