“I awoke this morning with the realisation that I am losing my mind.”

Patasola 2

I pulled back my curtains and, though the day was grey and drizzly, was blinded by the light. A four-horse removal van passed below my window; the cannonade of hooves on cobbles sent me reeling.  Instinctively, I groped my way back towards my bed and only just managed to stop myself.  I knew, somewhere at the back of my mind where the old analytical Daladier still lives, that if I returned to bed I would never rise again.  I therefore sank onto the upright chair I keep before my dressing table.  When I had recovered somewhat I slid the towel from the mirror and surveyed the damage I have done to myself these last weeks.

My beard is now some two inches long. I have never cared for facial hair, even when it was fashionable, but have decided to keep the beard for now.  It hides the sunken cheeks and slack neck of a man who has starved himself almost to the point of no return.  I will shave it off when – if – I regain a normal, healthy layer of fat.

The hair on top of my head has started to fall out. I now have a distinct widow’s peak.  My teeth are loose in their sockets.  My gums bleed when I touch them.  My tongue, when I examined it, was covered with a mottled grey coating which fortunately yielded to my scraper.

My ribs, of course, are plainly visible, as are my hips and sacrum. My lower legs are covered with a rash which I take to be psoriasis.  There is a similarly unpleasant infection on the skin of my scrotum.  But nothing, I believe, that cannot be cured by the resumption of a normal diet.

My mental condition, however, is a far greater cause for concern. The conclusion cannot be avoided that, temporarily at least, I have been clinically insane.  This was not what practitioners euphemistically call a nervous collapse nor, I can state with absolute certainty, was it the product of the base disease that destroyed G and his brother.  What it was – is – I am not qualified to say.  I am, however, resolved to do everything in my power to prevent a recurrence.


Patasola 4

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