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Free Event

[Free Event, 793 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

Josh was schizophrenic. He had just had an appointment with his psychiatric nurse earlier that day. That’s how his day had begun. With the psychiatric nurse waking him up at a quarter past one in the afternoon. Knocking on the door to his house and calling his name out, “Josh! Josh!”

Josh had answered the door with his shirt off. Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he yawned. He looked at the psychiatric nurse from head to toe, before his mind snapped together and he realized who it was, “Oh, it’s you.”

“Yes, it’s me.” After the initial acquaintance, they talked within the four walls of his home for some time. The psychiatric nurse then took him out for a mild spot of shopping before returning Josh back to his home. Back to his home where he would be confronted with the loneliness of life that a mental illness naturally begets.

And so Josh was once again stuck with nothing to do. Nothing to do but surf the internet. Looking for the odd spot of content. He was a reader and so he decided to check out the Penguin Random house Australian website. That’s when he noticed it. A free event. Now, when one considers such things as free tickets to a rock concert one will be only too willing to oblige and accept the offer. He booked his free tickets and made his way to the event.

It just so happened that Josh had booked himself tickets to see Peter Greste, a Latvian-Australian journalist, who was promoting his new book. It was an odd thing to see when someone wasn’t following the individual or regional conflicts specifically. However, oddities and peculiarities do occur in the random sequence of events in life. Especially in consideration of the life of a schizophrenic man.

He had arrived early to the event. And in the time leading up to the event he took out the book that he was reading. The book was, ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. Which, coincidentally enough detailed the life of a schizophrenic woman. He was reading a section in which the main character shared her considerations on the daily routine of showering and cleanliness. Her mind had somehow concocted the existential dilemma of the continuation of such activities day after day. It was something that Josh felt that he could relate to.

He had noticed some other event that was occurring in a parallel time frame within the same locality. A wordpress meeting. It was going to start before the Peter Greste event began and so he thought, ‘Eh, what the hell, may as well.’ He ventured into the wordpress meeting and found it full of developers. Coders, that is. People who write the software for others to establish their own websites and then sell it to them. Sell it to them, profiting from their work through two cent advertisements, all at no cost to themselves. There was more to it than that. Josh noticed the free pizza that they were offering and then satiated attempting to make sense of things. He sat amongst them while they held their meeting and ate the pizza. Nodding and agreeing with whoever would talk to him.

Before he could be caught up in somebody asking too many questions, and as soon as he had had enough pizza, he had to leave for the main event.

He went up to the auditorium and took his seat amongst others. Not knowing exactly what to expect, he took his seat and waited for the discussion to take place.

It turned out that Peter Greste had been jailed for vanilla journalism in Egypt during the time of the democratic uprising and riots that had occurred. The one where they had elected a Muslim Brotherhood in one of their first ever displays of democracy. He had been jailed and incarcerated; first in the police prison cell, then in a dank cell shared by sixteen other prisoners and then again in solitary confinement. He discussed his time in the prison, keeping hold of his sane mind throughout the ordeal. He did mention, that once he was stripped bare of his possessions, in order to maintain his sanity he found meditation useful. It seemed that mediation was an invaluable tool for maintaining sanity. As a schizophrenic he took a mental note of this.

As he was questioned by the head of the Communication department from a university, the information grew more accustomed to the world of journalism and worldly politics. The Orwellian period of time that we had found ourselves living in. Josh didn’t really understand it so he just sat there and twiddled his thumbs.

And then the event finished. Josh left the auditorium and caught the bus home.

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