Absolute, sheer, utter, pure madness; Andrew had learnt these collocations time and again. Hearing is one thing of course, but experiencing, quite another. He had always tried to listen intently, sympathetically; never with half an ear. To truly listen, Andrew knew, wasn’t simply hearing the words and waiting for his own turn to speak his mind. He knew that really listening was all communication was cracked up to be. Communication: that familiar word. Andrew knew it like his own name; had heard it even more. And this had made him a very good listener; a truly attentive listener. He would listen, really listen and try to communicate. he wouldn’t much care about what others thought of his words, but he did care, to an extent, for what they had to offer. Andrew simply loved sharing, communication; a concurrent communion; a stream of thoughts; pleasant thoughts, appalling ones. This endless, steady stream. This madness was so real though; He had never feared self-alienation. At least that’s what he said. He loved change and creativity, innovation and any kind of rebirth or death for that matter. But this craziness was beyond him and all that he had faced. He hadn’t ever known it; he hadn’t ever expected it and please note that Andrew was always one for surprises, big ones at that. But this was so far, the maddest! Too much for him; He got mad. He was screaming at the top of his voice. His screams were high-pitched, loud, piercing, shrill, very hysterically blood-curdling. They were ringing out, echoing right through my head. For the first time since I had known him, I was terrified of him and his actions. For a second, it made me ponder:
“Is that really Andrew?”
It really was not. I did not know this guy. Who was he? I wondered if he even knew…he was petrified as much as I was. Oh well, how would I know? Maybe even more than I was; Doubtlessly.
He just kept shouting:
“ I’ve gone mad! I’ve gone mad! I’m insane! I am insane! I’m seriously crazy! Help! I’m crazy! I can’t take it! I’m mad!”
I could barely imagine what he was going through; barely. But the terror in his eyes, was one of absolute authenticity; it was original, so real. You cannot possibly mistake that kind of fear for anything else. He transferred part of it to me too; And then more of it to the atmosphere. Then fear was dominant. Fear was all that was felt. In our souls, in the air; inevitable. You had to face it, there was no alternative. And then we all started fearing, being scared to bits; real terror this was. Only fear.
A few days have passed since then and the whole thing seems like ages ago. Yet I so vividly hear his shrill screams, his shouts, the blood-curdling echoes in his feared tone. Andrew was really scared that day. He only saw a glimpse of the truth and almost gone mad, almost died…almost.