Friday, November 10, 2017

The Unexpected Spanish Inquisition: My Descent into Madness

No Brainer

"Well, it makes me feel insignificant, buster!" (Retorted one man to another as they gazed up at the starry heavens.)

When I came down with pneumonia some weeks back, I found myself in a strange frame of mind. I had been on strong flu medicine for a week, and the same medicine, in larger quantities, was used to fight off my pneumonia. Whether the larger quantities did the job, or my own immune system finally kicked in, and kicked butt, I still had to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover completely, and this was partly due to some over-the-counter medicine I was taking to clear up my sinuses and relieve pressure headaches.

Unfortunately, this medicine reacted with some other medicine I was taking, and I descended into madness for three or four days until one of my kids checked the bottle's fine print on THINGS NOT TO DO, and determined that I'd better stop taking that stuff immediately.

What kind of madness?

In a dream-like, but conscious frame of mind, I imagined that a woman - from Southeast Asia, maybe from the Philippines, but the southernmost part, where Islamist are in rebellion - was claiming to be my wife. I thought and talked about this issue endlessly, arguing that I couldn't be married to this woman because I already had a wife, but the woman's family seemed to be Muslims, indeed Islamists, and they had no problem with multiple wives (though I didn't recall 'reverting' to Islam). Anyway, the family claimed that I owed a bride-price of two oxen and four missiles.


I wondered how I had ever gotten into this mess - you must understand that I was taking all this very seriously - and I even feared for my life. (Those missiles!) As I was going over the details again and again, I suddenly remembered that I had never been to the Philippines, and with great relief, I concluded that I could not be married to that woman.

Sun-Ae, however, decided to test my romantic attachment with two questions, which she recorded.

She first asked me, "Do you love your wife?"

I immediately replied, "Of course!"

She then asked, "Does your wife treat you in a kindly manner?"

I hesitated, but then replied in honest words, "Usually."

That seemed sufficient. In fact, I appeared incapable of lying, as if I'd been injected with truth serum.

The Spanish Inquisition (yes, really) seemed to play some role in my madness (though no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition). Still, there they were. They had apparently approved of a brain operation to be carried out on me in the interest of truth, and this had been done before my difficulty with the Islamists. I looked at the images of my brain, before and after, and I was so upset because my 'after' brain was diminished, clearly smaller than my 'before' brain (the neocortex having been shaven thinner). As already noted, I was very distraught, and I complained that thinking had been difficult enough before, but would now be impossible.

This story might sound rather tame, little more than a bad dream, but I thought that everything was really, truly happening, though in my final words of madness, during my first night in the hospital, I did scream out the following:

"I admit that I edited for clarity, but I didn't write the document!"

Which sort of puts the madness in perspective . . . and sort of doesn't . . .



At 12:44 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

You were in deep, it seems.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Not quite that deep . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home