Whilst on a brief sojurn in mental hospital this year I encoutered an interesting individual called Emmanuel. I can’t really say that I ‘met’ him as although Emmanuel talked constantly. it was never to anyone that could be seen.
Now while people who talk to themselves or hear voices is nothing new and a is common symptom of mental illnesses. particularly schizophrenia. Emmanuel struck me as a little unusual.
His converstions (although conducted at rapid speed) were topical. logical. interesting and thoughtful and would seem to have at least three participants. sometimes more.
He could often be heard debating politics (it was around the time of the general election), current and religious affairs, attacks by ISIS, LBGT issues, cycling deaths in London, so forth and so on.
Now while this might not seem particulary strange I have to tell you one more thing.
I never, ever saw Emmanuel with a newspaper, magazine or book. This is not too surprising as I questioned a nurse and he told me that (as far as they were aware), Emmanuel couldn’t read. He also never watched the TV or listened to the radio, at least not in the public areas.
I walked past his room one day when the door was open and it was as bare as a monks cell.
As he was under section he also never left the ward unless he was accompanied by a RMN and even then it was only to walk around the local park for fresh air or to buy essentials from Costcutters.
SOoooo, where was he getting the inspiration for his ‘chats’ and how were they so up-to-date?
He can’t/won’t provide the answers as he never looks directly at people and rarely responds to even a simple question such as ‘How are you?’.
Is it a preternatural phenomenon or is he absorbing facts and news through the ether by osmosis?
However he was doing it, he was a lot more in touch locked in a hospital than a lot of people I know in the ‘real’ world…