Delusions / Delusions

The squirrel was laughing at me.

I was never more sure of anything in my life.

I hissed at it.

Then, I went back to my raking. filling up seven more bags of leaves.

I looked back up into the tree.

Strange, It was still there?

Only now? there were two more with it. watching me. I stared back at them. they exchanged sideways glances.

These three were up to something. No two ways about it.

“You Imposter.” I heard a voice say, “You fool no one.”

It sounded like Peter Lorre. high-pitched and nasally.

Then the other two started in on me.

“He’s holding the rake all wrong! Will ya look at this guy?”

“He’s not taking into account the wind? it’s out of the west.”

“No No it’s out of the north!”

“Hey man? get it together. rake away from the wind, geez c’mon!”

“If he’d check the weather he’d see the wind is going to pick up.”

Peter Lorre and his squirrely pals were judging me. criticizing my technique. my way of doing things.

I rubbed my eyes.

“If he waited two days? he wouldn’t have to rake em? they’re all gonna blow away!”

One of them put a finger in its mouth to dampen it, then held it aloft to test the wind.

“High pressure system is heading our way. winds definitely gonna change.” it said.

I dropped the rake and ran into the house.

That night, as I slept.

A voice, “Imposter.”

I was raking in the yard again,

I looked into the trees, they were filled with squirrels.

Every branch. Every limb was full of them. And every one of them was looking at me.

“Do yourself a favor and move back to the city, you’re out of your element.”

It was that prick Peter Lorre. I guess he was the lord high squirrel?

One of them threw a bus ticket at me. told me to “Beat it.”

An eerie silence fell.

A large herd of squirrels stared at me from the branches above.

I went into our garage, found the can of gas for the lawnmower and poured it at the base of the tree. then I lit it.

“How do you like that PETER?!? WHERE’S YOUR MOSES NOW!?!”

Flames raced up the trees trunk.

My wife came flying out of the house, grabbing our garden hose spraying the tree with water.

In the distance, sirens approached.

“Can you believe that Honey? Did you see them? Did you hear what Peter said to me? Look? they gave me this bus ticket.”

She looked at our charred tree, before turning to contemplate the love of her life.

“What is wrong with you? What Bus Ticket?”

“I Didn’t Do Anything? They Started it!”

A fire truck pulled up in front of our house. followed by the police. I was ticketed, and told in no uncertain terms not to set anymore fires.

I walked back into the house. and stared at the fireplace. confused.

The following morning, I got dressed and went out into our front yard to scan the trees.

Where’d they all go?

It began to rain. winds were gusting through the branches. I stood there an hour or so watching and listening. Until I heard the rumble of thunder. I had some chores to do before the game started.

Work, work, work.

That afternoon, I fell asleep on the couch.

I was in Hawaii. relaxing in a lounge chair at the pool. A squirrel approached me and asked me “If I’d like something to drink?” I said no thank you. Would it be possible to get something to eat? The squirrel shook his head and said, “No.” Then he hit me with his little drink tray and ran off.

Had a difficult time sleeping that night. keeping one eye on the tree outside our bedroom window. first I heard scratching. then murmuring? like an angry crowd had gathered.

It kept growing louder and louder.

I pulled the covers up to my chin and waited.

The next day at work things got a little sketchy. I had some sort of a confrontation with a parking meter.

At lunch, my co-workers saw me yelling at my sandwich in the break room. All they would say is, he seemed incredibly distraught.

They called my wife to come get me.

To be clear, if I may?

Just because she signed the papers to put me away. doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. it’s only temporary arrangement. ok?

She needed to do something I suppose?

Everyday for the past two weeks.

I would come home from work and run through the sprinkler in my suit.

Sure, I got a few strange looks. But what the hell?

Down the street, we have a guy who cuts his lawn at dawn in his pajamas while drinking a glass of wine.

Everybody’s dealing with something. you know?

Pressures either at work, issues with your kids, your spouse, maybe it’s a combination of things?

If that’s your only problem? Be Thankful. The stuff on the surface can be handled. You can work through it.

But, if you start to see things? Or hear voices? things that aren’t there? Well? You have my sympathy and my understanding Pal.

I really want to go home. I’m tired of all these restrictions.

I wasn’t talking to the squirrel. He was talking to me.

What was I suppose to do? Ignore it?

I should’ve, I could’ve, unfortunately? I didn’t, I just couldn’t.

So now?

I’m sharing a room with this guy who thinks he’s….Magilla Gorilla. Keeps calling me Ogee or Mr. Peebles.

I guess I shouldn’t complain, he’s respectful, picks up his stuff, stays on his side of the room. What more can you ask of a roommate? his goofy voice can wear on you. All this “Gee Mr. Peebles” nonsense. My Name is not Mr. Peebles. I don’t own a pet store with a Gorilla for sale.

Let it go man!

“Won’t you buy him? take him home and try him? gorilla for sale.”

C’mon? take him home and try him? That’ll never work.

I want to go home and run through the sprinkler.

My wife told me on her last visit that my friends and co-workers have been calling to inquire how I’m doing?

I’m feeling better. The dreams have subsided. I am sleeping better.

Although? I can’t be sure that they won’t come back?

I saw a squirrel outside yesterday.

Didn’t talk to me. Didn’t even look my way. Which is fine by me.

Doctor tells me I should make a full recovery. I just need some rest.

Things are a lot easier here, I have lots of friends. a nice bed to sleep in, three square meals a day.

I get visitors from time to time holding clipboards.

Everyone is always asking me how I am?

We get to talk about our problems every day. The people who work here are really friendly.

And the patients are mostly cool. Mostly.

Except for this guy named Larry who keeps asking everyone, “is it safe?”

“How the fuck should I know Larry?”

Tomorrow for grins. I might tell Larry it’s not safe, while staring at his forehead. just to see what happens.

I think I’m calmer? calmer than most people in here. I have lots of room to run and play.

As long as I promise to take my medicine and stay off the electric fence.

I can have jello for desert. And….Not the kind they put fruit in. I like my jello clean, and neat. Preferably Lime or Cherry. don’t even try to pass off that stuff you can’t see through. You know the kind I’m talking about? That pink or white shit. You never know what surprises they’re hiding in there? I like to see through my food when possible. Otherwise, I just keep picking at it until I’m sure there are no surprises. I won’t drink anything out of a can. Has to be a bottle or jug I can see through.

I use to love fast food. not anymore. Few years ago some cement head was putting severed fingers in the chili at Wendy’s after he purchased it? Then Blaming Wendy’s for it? and suing them? Wendy’s? The Guy hired a lawyer to sue Wendy’s? for, are you ready for this? mental anguish. Messed up the whole fast food thing for me. Can’t go near it anymore. Bums me out. Because I love chili.

I also love a good fish taco. extra fish. Grande Fishy Taco por favor. With a glass of water. from a bottle, no ice.

Sometimes, I hear voices.

Shock to the System.

It’s been said that with long exposure to extreme cold temperatures people will get a little goofy.

There have been documented cases of individuals wandering off to die in the woods if overcome by brutal cold temperatures outside.

Reports show the soon to be blocks of ice will just lay down in the snow and expire. dreaming they are on a warm sunny beach. completely unaware that their body is shutting down.

Going from cold stupid to cold crazy is a fine line. Delusions and Hallucinations are commonly reported. the ability to think rationally disappears.

Cold stupid you just don’t know any better. you aren’t aware of the effect the cold is having on your system, you get confused.

Cold crazy? is just that. you are off your nut friggin goofy. doing goofy stuff.

I swear. I had no idea what was going on.

The police filled my wife in after they found me and took me to the hospital.

It was right in the middle of the coldest weather to hit town in two decades. they called it a Polar Vortex.  -15 below zero, with the wind chill making it feel like -35 below zero.

Right before the freeze hit town, we had several snowstorms dropping close to a foot of snow in our area. the day the cold hit, the snow plows in our village kept plowing in the end of our driveway,

I went out several times to clear it so we could get the car out in the event of an emergency. my wife pleaded for me not to go out that night, that the temps were now being broadcast as dangerous.

“Please don’t go outside, it freezing out there.” she said.

“Aw Baloney!” Came my brilliant reply.

This was nothing more than the media making a big deal out of nothing again. that’s what the media does these days. Every single time a weather related story comes on.

Run for your Lives!

It’s the End of the World!

Every storm now has a name. It’s not just hurricanes, tropical storms and typhoons. now it’s winter storm this and winter storm that.

It’s just a snow storm, why does it need a name?

“Bunch of bunk.” I said.

“Sweetie please.” she pleaded.

“No, I’m going out to shovel the end of the driveway. they’ve plowed us in again!”

They found me a couple of hours later.

We traced my steps the best we could after the fact.

Mrs Anderson down the street told the police she heard a noise on her front porch that sounded like growling.

When she turned on her front porch light. A man was standing there pointing his finger at a plastic Santa Claus decoration in an accusatory manner.

Upon seeing her standing in the window, she reported I slowly turned and pointed my finger at her, growled and ran off between the houses.

Munk McPherson told his parents he was watching TV in the living room instead of doing his homework when he heard a scratching at the window. He opened the blinds and spotted me standing there looking in at him. I held up my index finger and mouthed Shhhhh.

Terrified, Munk yelled out to his parents in the next room.

I disappeared into the darkness.

Footprints in the snow had revealed I’d tried to jump a wrought iron fence a block away, I didn’t quite make it.

Apparently the last time I tried to vault myself over. I only got half way. getting impaled by a spike on the top of the fence.

It pierced through my pants stabbing me in the right cheek of my buttocks.

The following morning they found a small piece of what looked like gristle stuck on the top of the fence.

A block away, John and Margaret Mulligan’s Dogs started barking. After I tried to break into the locked shed in their backyard. a motion detector that turns on a flood light to deter small critters went on.

Alerted by the light and hearing the commotion, John Mulligan immediately called the police.

I crawled into the Mulligan’s doghouse trying to hide.

Mulligan opened his back door yelling outside, “Who’s there!”

A strange buzzing noise was coming from inside their dog house.

So he yelled out again, “WHO’S OUT THERE!”

A pained voice yelled back.

“GO AWAY!”

Sporadic Buzzing continued to emanate from the doghouse.

The police arrived, cautiously entering the backyard and dragged me out.

They placed me in the back of the squad car, trying to warm me with a blanket until paramedics arrived.

I was then transported to the hospital where I stopped buzzing.

I had a cut on my forehead that didn’t require stitches. a gash on the right cheek of my rear end that did.

Thankfully I didn’t lose any fingers or toes to frostbite. it took several days to get the feeling back in them.

I lost my wallet, the keys to our house, and no small measure of my dignity.

Having to get nine stitches in my ass while the nurses giggled, was a wee bit embarrassing.

They brought me home from the hospital today.

I tried to contact Mrs Anderson. though she hasn’t returned my calls as of yet.

I apologized to The Mulligan’s for the damage to their shed and doghouse, offering to pay them for any repairs needed.

I also apologized to Munk McPherson. which was tough, cause I can’t stand the little brat.

Nevertheless, when you’re wrong? you say you’re sorry. even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Mostly? I feel bad for scaring The Mrs. An Amazing Woman with The Patience of a Saint.

If only I’d listened.

Once again she was proven to be correct. And for that, among other events in the evening, I feel so incredibly foolish.

We still have a lot of unanswered questions about that night.

The very last thing I can remember besides being really really cold was going next door to help an elderly neighbor shovel her driveway.

There were signs that I sat down in a pile of snow, to rest perhaps? Most likely overcome by the below freezing temperatures.

After that? it’s anybody’s guess.

Not very smart I’ll admit.

The mind works in strange ways when your body is being taxed.

I just wanted to keep the end of our driveway clear of snow?

I was really fortunate to survive.

Mother Nature is not to be trifled with.

The elements are unforgiving.

Not everyone gets a second chance.