Wizard of Normal

Category: Poetry Published in Ink Published: Sunday, 27 January 2019 Written by Richard J Bell

Wizard of Normal

 Published in Projecting Normal as part of the Projecting Normal Project in 2015

Seated on the couch I watch my life projected on the screen, wondering how I’m perceived,
I ask the Wise Wizard as he fills his pipe,
“What is Normal?”

“Normal is just a concept bestowed upon us,
enabling the majority to fit in by definitions of society,”
the Wise Wizard answers,
stroking his long grey beard on this thin face,
wrinkles showing his age.
“It is an imposed social structure we must adhere to in order to be accepted.”

“Am I considered normal?”
I ask him as the movie moves to the part where I’m having an episode.
“Even though I hear hallucinations of psychosis?”

“Go fuck yourself Richard,”
screams the speakers as the projector continues to roll.
“What were you thinking idiot?” a female voice yells.
“Desperate fuck!” an angry male hallucination shouts.

“Remember my friend,
you are experiencing everything a human would experience,”
the Wise Wizard’s words smoothly escapes his mouth with the aroma of old pipe tobacco.
“Their thoughts are based upon prejudice,
if they think you are abnormal,”
pausing to watch the film flicker across the screen.
He began again,
“The definition of prejudice is making decisions without realisations of all the facts.
It’s not you acting strange,
but symptoms of an illness making you seem weird.”

Eyes began to water as the movie rolls onto a painful part of my life,
explaining to the Wise Wizard I raise my hand toward the film,
“This is the part where my family sold my stuff at a garage sale,
to punish me for having a mental illness,
the family told me when they found out it was humiliating for them.”

I was scrambling to snatch bags from people,
as they walk away with my stuff.
The clip on the screen sent pulsing betrayal throughout my body,
remembering the day of broken trust that made me feel so devastated that I was disowned by my family,
and isolated amongst then even though they were near.

“They weren’t educated enough on mental health to understand,
that I was still a human being with an illness,”
I said shaking at the memory that destroyed my hope.

The Wise Wizard sighs,
“It’s unfortunate when the family doesn’t understand,”
Taking another puff of his pipe,
“Throughout time,
my friend,
what is considered normal changes.
What was normal is now strange,
and an old fashioned way of thinking.”

“Will the definitions of society and culture change once more?
To see acceptance even though I have a mental illness?”
I ask the Wise Wizard as I look over the projector.

He adjusts his pointed blue faded hat while seated in his arm chair.
“The grains of time falling through the hourglass,
will see change happen through advocacy,”
the Wise Wizard replies with the knowledge of lived experience reflects in his eyes.

© Richard Bell 20th December 2014

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