Bipolar Disorder: A Cautionary Essay
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By Kevin Limiti
I read a book called Fight Club once.
And Harry Potter.
It was really good.
Totally, indescribably articulate.
And not funny at all.
I read it over the course of two days. It made for good bedtime reading.
What young, auspicious, angst-ridden teenage writer wouldnít take up reading a book about guys beating the crap out of each other for fun as bedtime reading?
I slept pretty well during that time.
After I read the book I went back to my normal life, which isnít really saying much.
Iíd already seen the movie.
The one with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton? Ever heard of them?
I guess thatís the problem.
Not the solution.
We all know who Tyler Durden is. He makes soap.
He also uses soap to blow things up.
Thatís the solution, not the problem.
If you know what I mean.
Letís go back to the past. I canít sleep. Iím an insomniac. Iím a writer and Iím writing constantly. Iím obsessive. I write every little tidbit down in my big 3 subject notebook and I scribble down every little thing that pops into my mind. Iím afraid of my thoughts. Iím afraid of losing them.
I read, I write, I donít sleep, and I write again. That is my life. Was my life. Probably will be my life again at some point if I canít find away out of this mess.
Several days later, Iím in a hospital and I think that Iím gonna be famous. Iím Harry Potter, the boy who lived. Iím Naruto-kun, the writer. Here me roar.
Strike a pose.
Give me unreasonable hope
But before that, things get a little messy. I remember Sarah and how her sister got hit by a car and lost her leg. I remember how Sarah used to cut herself because of it. I remember how I was in love with Sarah.
Give me unconditional love.
Give me an achy breaky heart.
She never loved me and never will.
Good olí Sarah. Whatever happened to her?
What happened to everybody. What happened to my best friend Chuck, who used to smoke weed with me all the time and now wallows in his own misery over the loss of his underaged girlfriend?
What happened to Joe?
What happened to Matt, who shot himself because he got caught selling pot brownies?
His name is Matthew Bechara.
What happened to Matt, who got hit by a car on New Years eve because he ran away from cops?
His name is Matthew Valenza.
I met a lot of people in the hospital. People that I liked. I stopped thinking about Sarah, even though I saw Sarah everywhere. Not just Sarah, but Joe. They both disappeared and I never saw them again.
I also saw Matt. Both of them. The oneís that died.
Sarah was in my head, just like Tyler Durden was in everybody who became infatuated with that movies head.
Thatís when I remember the rules.
Youíre not supposed to talk about Fight Club.
Youíre not supposed to ask questions.
Only I broke that rule. I asked everyone if they ever read the book called Fight Club. Mostly nobody did but occasionally someone would say that they saw one of the movies.
Flash back to my insomnia.
Itís the fourth of July and my Dad got his face all fucked up from a biking accident and he had to go to the hospital. Meanwhile I think Iím going bonkers because my mind doesnít stop thinking about stuff.
Donít worry, itís just the bipolar talking.
Thatís what I told my friends afterwards.
My uncle Richie recognizes this and he gives me some tea and it makes me calm down and I think Iím lucid dreaming.
But before that Iím stoned out of my mind at my friends house and weíre listening to Pink Floyd and weíre playing Stairway to Heaven backwards.
Iím kicking the shit out of someone in my favorite Japanese fighting game.
I love Japanese imports.
I bring Fight Club to Richie and he looks at it and he says that he is glad he showed me this book but he doesnít explain.
We have a bit of a therapy session. Richie does something in the psychiatry field, though Iím not sure what it is exactly.
I notice how beautiful the flowers are.
Richie tells me to hold on to that.
He also tells me that sometimes to understand Finnegans wake you have to read it from back to front.
So I do.
Am I a madman? Or a genius?
I guess I was both.
Either way, I pass on Fight Club to a friend (who still hasnít read it) and a 200 dollar recording system that I was given as a birthday present., with the promise that one day he will return them if I ask for it.
If youíre reading this now, you are not wasting your life. Wasting your life is in fact a good way to not waste your life. So go ahead. Read Finnegans wake backwards. Try and learn something you donít yet know. Think you know it all? Drop out of high school and see if you do. Think you can stop smoking pot? Do it, and show the world that you can. Think youíve got a really good idea for a book? Try and market it and see if it sells. But most likely, if youíre reading this still you probably donít think it is marketable. But Iím here to tell you that if you have read this from back to front and decided you like it, itís probably worth selling. Sometimes, tedious prose gets in the way of good writing. But whose fault is that? The writers? Itís your obligation to read this all the way through and consider what you read. If you skip over parts or skim the pages of lifeís stories, you will miss important details. That is a lesson that not even a blockbuster movie can tell you.
But anyways, to get back on target what Iím trying to say is that you should read Fight Club. Itís a very important book, and will remain so for generations to come.
Fuck the movies.
Read a book.
Tell everyone about it.
Read this again.
Thatís the solution.
Insert amusing anecdote here.