Our mutual friend Charlie helped him move, too. Charlie's an interesting fellow.
Charlie has schizophrenia. Well, that may not be technically true, in that I don't know that he's been diagnosed with it, and I'm nearly certain he's not being professionally medicated for it. However, I know his brother has, and I believe one of his parents as well. The conversations we had in the car kinda cinched the definition for me, though. I've never heard him so far-out.
I say "conversations," but they were Charlie talking, stream-of-consciousness, while nodded and umm-hmmed. Stay with me here, K?
In one conversation, he talked about the movie Dogma, and about how the actors were giving line-readings that were boiled down to their simplest elements and it was like the actors were holding the pages in front of them and the words were just going up into the sky. He confessed that he had written Dogma years and years ago. He'd also written Full Metal Jacket and The Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy and Married with Children and, oddly, the bands Soundgarden and the Eurythmics and many other things as well. They were written in a notebook, which had picked up impressions from his paintings.** The Simpsons, particularly Homer Simpson, was based on what our bodies look like when we look down at them, and what makes funny voices funny. Married with Children had something to do with a commercial that had a half-finished jingle that was so annoying that nobody remembers it (though he wishes he could). The Eurythmics were actually related to the compicated definition of a swastika, which was far simpler than people understood. But he wrote them all.
My mind is having difficulty remembering all he said, since very little of it made sense in the way I'm used to making sense of things. It all made some sort of sense at the time, though-- I did follow what he was saying on some level. I'd be afraid to get into Charlie's head. I've grown too comfortable with normalcy. It wasn't always this way, though, and Charlie's a good reminder of that.
Charlie self-medicates. This usually involves alcohol, marijuana, large quantities of hallucinogenics, or some combination of the three.
I asked him, "Charlie, what's the most acid you've ever done at once?"
"Oh, 2500 micrograms. That's about ten times what you would find in a normal dose of LSD. I tripped for forty-four hours and slept for another twenty-four. To give you an idea of what an effect it had, in terms of time... well, acid usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to kick in. I was up within five minutes." He then spent over twenty minutes describing the experience. All forty-four hours of it. My head hurts just thinking about it. It's like he was trying to describe the colour blue to a blind man by comparing it to different scents and the taste of exotic cheeses. I would have given my right arm to have taped the explanation. It was that interesting. It involved subdivisible complex fractions and pixellated reality.
I've seen Charlie stoned, and I've seen him high, but I've never seen him like he was today. I'm pretty sure he wasn't on anything at all. Perhaps that's why.
Charlie and I go way back. Fifteen years or so? Yes, that sounds about right. Charlie's very intelligent, and quite talented. I don't always understand him. Sometimes I avoid him. But I greatly enjoyed listening to him today. Because after all, who am I to say what is real? For all I know, this could be Charlie's world. And I'm just a part of it.
It's not likely, mind you... but the thought does offer a refreshing change of perspective.
And he says I remind him of that woman, she has a travel show... what's her name again?
Oh, yeah-- Martha Stewart.
* For those of you unfamiliar with the W, he was the ex before XSO. I hope that clarifies things.
** His paintings, btw, are wonderful surrealistic things that I quite admire.
*** There's no real reason for the photo.