This is a short story that explores the mind of a genius man striving to find meaningful human connection as he drowns into his own narcissism.
A shiver went through all of me as I came to life. There was pounding on my chest and rain trickling on my face, moans resonating in my ears begging me to wake up, calling me to life. In my chest, my heart produced its first thump. A heart rate monitor somewhere behind my head beeped. It hurt being alive.
I tried to open my eyes in vain. My body was deaf to the commands of my brain. As my efforts proved insignificant against my paralysis, fear pumped into my veins. The heart rate monitor started beeping furiously.
“Calm down.” A voice whispered in my ear. I calmed down instantly. The beeping was back to normal. “Good girl.” The voice said to me. “I need you to keep still until I make sure you’re alright. It won’t take long.”
But it took long, countless hammering, the grinding of screws being tightened, and a good amount of cursing until I was deemed ready. By that time the bright and warm light I could see behind my eyelids and feel on my face was gone.
“Would you please open your eyes?” The voice finally spoke to me. I lifted my eyelids to the sight of what I recognized as a man. A tired, pale, slender face was grinning at me through a thick bushy blond beard. From grey eyes came trickling tears of joy that fell on my face. “Can you move your eyes up?” I looked up and found a rusty fan fixed to a burned and cracked ceiling. The fan swayed lazily with the rhythm of a breeze, it threatened to break free from the ceiling at any moment. “Good. Can you look down please?” The smiling face looked thrilled with my performance. I looked down and saw a white blanket covering my body. Countless wires came from underneath the blanket curling and twisting like snakes stretching across the room. “Now left please.” He told me always smiling. To my left I recognized a door that opened to a balcony. Scattered on the floor were blueprints of various parts of the human body. A paper plane painted red laid still on the floor of the balcony, tilting every once in a while when the breeze was strong enough. Far into the distance, behind a sea of red tiled roofs, I could glimpse the vastness of an ocean, ships coming towards the shore and ships sailing to lands beyond the horizon. It was an evening for camp fires and good company, an evening for walks along the shore, talks of lore and stories long forgotten. I was grateful for being alive.
“Now do me a favour and never look right.” His smile had faded and all the joy in his face was suddenly replaced by a misery that dug wrinkles deep in his skin. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He told me with a forced smile and a pat on my long auburn hair. “Sleep tight.” He reached for a light switch. I was asleep before he turned off the light.
The next time I woke up under his command I found myself sitting on a wooden chair in an empty small circular room. Everything was white in this room from the marble on the floor to the plaster on the wall and ceiling and the statue of a Marcus Aurelius stabbing himself in the guts with a spear that pierced through him. I was free to do as I please except look behind me.
The man studied me with great interest from across the table. He wore a white lab coat that dissolved into the white of the wall behind him and made his face seem to float. He had shaved and looked much younger than the day before. Now we looked the same age, though I was a day old and he was probably in his thirties.
“Do you know who you are?” He asked me.
“Yes.” I replied.
“Tell me then.” He said.
“I’m your psychiatrist.”
“Good. We may start our first session.”
“Alright. Just talk to me. I’ll be listening like no one ever listened.”
“Of course you will.” He sighed then took a sip from a cup of tea. “From where do I begin?” He stared at his cup for a moment, fishing his thoughts from it. “I killed someone two days ago.” He stared at me for a reaction, I wasn’t capable of any, he stared down at his cup and continued. “You know all that crap about righteousness and straightforwardness, the mending of the mind and soul and body, the discipline in the thinking and acting, the striving towards noble and honourable pursuits, you know all that crap? I’m full of it.” He lifted his head and looked at me with red anger. I stared back at him behind impartial features, urging him to keep talking.
“It’s funny how I grew too good for my own good and only discovered too late that I was far beyond everybody’s leagues. It’s a lonely road I’ve taken. And it got lonelier as I advanced further. I advanced too much, and when I looked around I found myself lone and forsaken. And now that I crave company other than that of my useless pigeon, I found out that everybody is stupid, superficial or just not good enough. The people that keep popping out in front of me, they’re all sick, way more sick than I am. Some are too nice, others too cold. Some are too dependent, others are too confident. Some are just plain ugly. Some are too damn religious. And then there’s me, I’m the father of my own category. I’m too picky, too smart to be happy, too gloomy and desperate and arrogant. Yes, I killed a girl two days ago and I don’t even feel sorry. I butchered her until she was just meat. If I could I would bring her back to life just to murder her once more. The whore lifted my expectations so high only to crush them back on the ground.” He stopped and recovered his breath.
“Why? Just why should it be so hard to find someone worthy of love? Someone on the same path, striving towards righteousness and honour and meaning. Someone who would hold my hand and walk with me on that path.” An unstoppable sob took hold of him. He took his hands to his face covering his sorrow from the world, then he started shaking.
I muttered empty words to console him. Words to which he paid no heed. For a while there was nothing but the sound of his sobbing and the creaking of his chair under him. Then he lifted his gaze and looked at me from between his fingers. He came slowly towards me, then continued past me to where I was not allowed to look. My head came apart with a loud grinding sound. It bounced once on the floor, then rolled across the room. When the world finally stopped whirling, I was facing towards where I was not allowed to look. There, my patient was tearing apart the rest of my body. On the wall and right above his head was stapled a paper with a list of instructions to command me. My patient was breaking me, twisting members and cutting wires, repeating the same words again and again in a song of agony. “Who the hell builds a robot to be his therapist? How could I fall so low?”
I would have flooded the place with tears have I been able to produce any. I wanted to hug him, tell him it was okey. But I was a mere robot, and he wasn’t content with humans. I faded away thinking about ships in the ocean and seagulls in the sky.
►I kindly invite you to read the end here: https://mehdiamine.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/spears-through-high-morals/