A Day in the Life of a Paranoiac
I almost took this day off. Decided not to. Went to the print shop, got “signed by local author” stickers for my book. Headed to Urban Shaman to apply said stickers to my book. They’re selling it for $30! Hot damn. Really?
Stopped in at the Marijuana Political Party Book Store and vapor lounge. Love the stairway, with its yellow walls, plaster-blasted with mid-century anti-cannabis propaganda posters. You can barely see the yellow.
It’s Friday, not a weed-smoking day (not Wednesday or Saturday), and I had to work. I didn’t plan on partaking, but something happened, and I ended up partaking. Soon the darkness was upon me. Ever careful I bicycled back through Chinatown, back to my quarters on Main.
I get into my room and there’s this bag there, a black bag that I didn’t put there. I can deduce that a space has been rented out to a new party. It’s the new party’s bag. But the paranoid brain starts doing flips– making the fantastic deduction (see appendix A)– that if I video record the paranoia, it will act as a kind of encoded detonator and I will be blown up by Them. I’m honestly afraid.
Here’s the video:
Thankfully (genuinely)–I didn’t get blown up. But I’d rather be bits and pieces than let mass-magnified narcissistic fear drive my life/mind.
I can’t think or sit still, so I go up to the fifth floor for a glass of water (no kitchen on the fourth floor). There are sharply dressed young men talking film tech in the corridor, erudite, starch-collared, well-witted thirty-somethings, way out of place for my hotel. I engage them. It goes well. They’re making a movie, considering the hotel as the venue. I return to my room and make the following video:
Still paranoid, I begin to wonder if this Vancouver film crew is already up and running with their project, Canadian style ubiquitous cameras have been tracking my every move for weeks now. But can they legally do that? Perhaps, I make the following video to explain this new scenario (more explanation available in appendix B):
I make another video:
I suck it up and go to work. Three hours, business is non-stop, I sell two books and pad my email list. I pay a homeless guy I know to go and find me some markers to help me design a killer marketing promo. It goes well. He appreciates the gig and calls me boss. He comes back later and gives me a banana, the homeless guy, and I’ve never been more grateful. I was hungry.
A strange and glimmer-eyed young man approaches me and asks if I know anything about GMOs in our food supplies going unlabeled in Canada and the US. I don’t know about this. He invites me to meet him and a group of other activists at 5pm at a certain location, on a bridge. This makes me paranoid. But my rational mind thinks it may be a good networking opportunity for counter-culture community-types.
I’ve sold enough books. I knock off early and go to the meeting place. It’s on a big bridge. Let’s call it bridge X. Not sure I’m going the right way on X street, I ask directions from an insane man who is yelling at thin air. I feel badly for him. He’s glad someone’s talking to him. He starts following me. I confront him. He gets aggressive and says he’ll walk twenty feet behind me. “But why are you following me!” He explains that there are two towers built atop the bridge I’m going to, bridge X. and that there’s no entrance to these two towers yet somehow, the lights turn on on the upper window and there’s signs of activity. He seems angry about this. He follows me to the bridge. The GMO acquaintance is waiting for me underneath the towers midway across the bridge. He smiles at me, sets me at ease. I tell him I’ve got a tail but I’ll get rid of him. When the crazy man approaches I point out the ladder entrance high up on the wall, leading into the towers. “All you gotta do is get an extension latter and you can get up there.” I’m hoping that this will alleviate the crazy man’s paranoia, and that he will leave me alone and refrain from thinking that I’m a member of some secret tower society that flies up into the air when no one is looking so we can turn on some lights and fuck with people. That damn “Makes You Paranoid” sign. It attracts a lot of attention, a lot of attention.
The meeting was ok. Not very organized. They want to organize a protest or something about unlabeled GMOs in food. I tell them I’ll read up if I get a minute.
I also went grocery shopping today, cleaned my room quite thoroughly, organized a bunch of paper-work and wrote this blog.
This whole day has really been an amazing experience. I strongly feel I’m better for it. I’m grateful to be in such a wonderful and progressive city with so much support and to have my parents cheering me on as well. I really couldn’t sustain this project without them. Thank you!
appendix A) this particular delusion was based on a narrative of a secret cabal that had an interest in my not recording/broadcasting the substance of my paranoia, They were out to get me. Using expert technical sophistication, They’d left a bomb in my room, then hacked the wireless network and programmed my Samsung Galaxy Y cell phone (video camera) to act as a detonator, whereby as soon as I began video recording (or perhaps as soon as I said the taboo word “Bomb” during the recording) I’d find myself in physical (not just mental) pieces. “Stoner suicide” refers to both the psycho-sensory act of “killing” myself AND, ironically, to my refusal to live my life in fear of my own psychotic delusions. I am still here. I will die one day. But for now, I’m glad to be alive. Glad I didn’t take the day off.
appendix B) this particular delusion is based on the factual reality that Warner Brothers (in partnership with Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Apian Way) has recently acquired the remake rights to Wolfgang Peterson’s 1984 movie, “The Neverending Story.” Upon hearing this news, I’d sent Warner Brothers and Apian Way a treatment (narrative sketch of a partial screenplay) illustrating a unique way in which TNS could be remade/reinvented. They sent me back a note that said they would not read anything I sent them unless it came by way of an agent and furthermore, they advised me not to use the title of the movie or any of the characters in my own work as they were the property of Warner Brothers. In the video, I’m entertaining/fearing the notion that I’ve somehow slipped unknowingly into this film, the legal (and branded) property of Warner Brothers. The thought was not comfortable.