There’s a doctor in the city I live that people only talk about in passing, and only the only people that have this passing knowledge of him are junkies or vagrants that I meet under the railroad trestle, huddled around a trashcan fire.
I met the man once, though, and I guess you could say it was by accident. The junkies call him the ‘Dark Doctor’ and through the garble they incoherently spit , you can hear the term slip out, like his memory is the only one worth remembering in the chemical cesspit of their minds. I guess I share that with them. There’s never been a day in my life I haven’t thought of him, or what he did to me. He taught me how to revel in my own insanity.
I’ve been searching for him for many years, mercilessly, without rest. The junkies and homeless under the railroad trestle think I’m one of them, because I live with them most of the time, but that’s just because I have no need for a material life. You don’t need anything when you spend your life searching for Him. All you need is your freedom.
I’ve come close, since the day I met him, to finding him again. I take nightly walks in the places many are afraid to go. I walk through the abandoned houses, take vigil in the secret passages that hold such hostile spirits. I don’t fear, because I’m free.
The sewers hold the most for answers for me. In the sewers that run under the city, sewers that I’ve trudged through and explored, you can see traces of him everywhere: his sign. It’s a simple sign. It’s a X in red, and knowing the man, the red is most likely blood.
There are certain places the normal human mind is not supposed to go, and I accept that, I accept and understand the boundaries of the sane. It was my own conscious decision to tear down the limitations of morals, the limitations of society, the limitations of the sane. To be insane is to have the ultimate freedom, and I understand that. I’d say that I even foster it.
I wouldn’t have been able to do this without His help, however.
He showed me the truth.
When I trudge through the sewers, I see him everywhere. I know his signs. I see the plastic heads of Mannequins, thrown into the excrement, and see them to be allusions, a breadcrumb trail. He has walked this path.
And sometimes, on these nightly expeditions, I see a man with his eyes stitched shut, standing in the iridescent glow of floodlights in the long abandoned arms of ancient subways. With his have naked arms outstretched, he beckons to me, and I know that thousands of him are in the shadows, that we makes up the shadows.
I know not to fear him. Because he is what I want. His mind has the ultimate freedom.
His eyes are stitched shut so he cannot see, and his ears are cut cleanly off, the wounds filled with tar. I know what the Dark Doctor does to the noses: he staples the nostrils as one and seals the wound with piano wire.
The transformation, really, is quite beautiful.
Insanity is a commodity. The Dark Doctor is a commercial surgeon of freedom. And I only wish when I saw him the first time, I held the same love for his work, the same appreciation I do now.
The first time I met the Doctor, I was 13 years old and I was with friends, wandering the streets of this fine city at night, running into alleyways and throwing rocks at tenement windows, the like. We decided to lift open a window to one of the said tenements, and climb inside to satisfy some reckless childhood courage. And once we entered, it was dark. We walked around in the house, and we didn’t notice the shadows start to move. The insane slink into the paper like darkness. We didn’t see the stitched eyes watching us in the corners of the dark house, our flashlights didn’t catch the faces. But they surrounded us, all the same, and delivered us to him.
He smiled at me as he pierced my best friends eyes shut. he smiled at me, through slits in his pale skin, as his long fingers wrapped around piano wire.
He smiled at me as he let me go.
I ran. I couldn’t go home, because the people of the dark were my family. They were everywhere. They were everything. So I kept running, And once I was done running, I got to thinking. About how free they must be. The people that lurk in the shadows, the people who make up the darkness.
And I decided then that I want to be just like Him, that I wanted to show people this liberation.
I’ve been practicing. I’ve been showing people how lovely this freedom is, whether they volunteer or not. When you make up the shadows on the wall, it’s easy to stand over the sleeping, easy to snatch them away.
In my search for him, I’ve dragged others along with me.
And people like you...well, people like you are nice practice for people like me.