What do you feel?
I’m not sure.
Can you tell me about it?
Yes, I can try.
Trying is good.
Yes, you say that every time I’m here.
So tell me, what do you feel?
I feel them every time.
Them? Every time?
Yes, everywhere too.
What are they?
Ppfff! Don’t be like Mother. She says that all the time and she’s wrong.
I’m sorry you are upset.
I know. You are not like her or the others so I’m not angry with you.
Was it something I said that upset you?
Yes. You called them a what. But they are not whats.
They are not whats?
No, they are whos.
I don’t understand, what are the whos?
You are saying what again!
I am sorry, who are the Whos?
I don’t like your couch.
What?! What couch?
The one I’m sitting on. It’s too brown.
Please try and stay with me here, try and focus. Who are the whos?
They are the ones I feel every time and everywhere.
The ones you feel?
Yes, their eyes, I feel them as they follow me everywhere.
Even now. I feel their eyes burrowing into my skin, just like termites would do.
Yes, and I feel the termites as they crawl in my head. It’s worse when all of their eyes look at once.
So, you see their eyes follow you?
And their eyes burrow into you like termites?
And the termites crawl in your head?
Alright, but if I may ask, do you know or recognise them?
Yes, I already said sometimes!
Okay, you said sometimes.
I’ll tell you a secret, I hear them too. Mother would be upset if she knew I said that. But I like you so I’m telling you.
So you see their eyes following you everywhere, and every time and you hear them too?
Yes. But I really don’t like this couch.
What do they say to you?
I don’t like your couch, the brown colour is disturbing.
What do they say to you?
It’s like when soldier ants congregate on a spot.
What? Soldier ants?
Yes, your couch is the colour of a colony of soldier ants on one spot.
Hmmmmmmmm. Please what do they say to you?
I said, Nothing. They follow me with their eyes but they talk to themselves and not to me. I only just hear them.
What do they say to themselves?
Why did you buy this colour of brown? I still don’t like it.
I’ll change it. Please just answer me, what do they say to themselves?
I’ll tell you only if you promise not to tell Mother.
You trust me, don’t you?
Yes I do, that’s why I tell you things more than everyone else. But I don’t trust your choice of colours, make sure you change this couch or I won’t sit on it next time.
I promise I’ll get you your own special seat. So, what do you hear them say?
You really want to know?
Yes, what do they say?
Hahahahahaha. My Doctor wants to know what the voices say.
They say that I am mad and everyone knows about it. But please you mustn’t tell Mother. Please, don’t tell Mother.
– Written by Aida Scribbler
Dedicated to those precious people who struggle every day to make sense out of the many things that bombard their minds, and to their family members and caregivers who walk alongside them in that journey daily.