The Maze Runner
“We all go a little mad sometimes.” That’s hotel manager Norman Bates quietly conversing with beautiful secretary-on-the-run Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. But where Norman (spoiler alert) a few scenes later goes a bit overboard with the craziness, and – wearing full-on-drag – hacks lovely Marion to pieces in the shower, for most of us the “going a little mad” just means acting out a little. Maybe we’ll have few more drinks than what’s good for us, call off an engagement or buy a cool vintage motorcycle on ebay.
Sometimes the reason behind erratic or uncharacteristic behavior can be traced to perfectly reasonable, maybe even life-altering events. Everyone who’s ever been close to parents-to-be knows the roller coaster ride this might entail.
“I was literally in fear of my life the entire time my girlfriend was pregnant”, a close friend tells me over a ridiculously expensive glass of locally brewed IPA. He glances around the bar, obviously still a bit shaken up even though it’s been years, and continuous
In 2015, more people died from selfies than shark attacks
in a loud whisper: “For weeks I was afraid of closing my eyes at night, as she kept insinuating advanced plans of stabbing me in my sleep. She always said she ‘was only kidding’, but there was something really creepy about her laugh – sort of desperate – and she had this look in her eyes… I don’t know man.”
I nod my head in complete understanding. I DO know. My experiences, while perhaps not the exact same, are somewhat similar. At one point my then very pregnant fiancée burst through the apartment door, spitting fire and obviously furious with me. This had also been the case as she left for work nine hours earlier, and I still had not been able to figure out just what I had done to infuriate her to
this extent. To my knowledge, things were fine when we went to sleep the night before. Standing in the kitchen I could make out fragments of sentences like “fuckin cock-roses”, “asshole” and something along the line of “hate you”, before her anger turned to sorrow and she slowly slid down the refrigerator door, coming to a halt in a crying, sobbing mess on the oak laminated floor. “I dreamt you were being a total dick last night. When I woke up I couldn’t remember exactly what you did, but still – I was pissed. That’s why I was acting like such a bitch to you this morning”, she explains, and while she pauses to catch her breath I try to convey the look of complete understanding. “I felt so bad about it I went by the florist on my way home”, she continues, “I wanted to pick the perfect bouquet, you know, something that said: ’I’m sorry I was a bitch to you even though you only offended me in my imagination’, but I just couldn’t get it right. After three attempts I just freaked out, threw the flowers into the wall and stormed out”, she recollects and suddenly starts laughing. It starts
out as a giggle, but soon she is shaking with laughter. I smile cautiously, and very slowly back out of the room, feeling my way with my hands, never taking my eyes off her. I get it. Well, I sort of get it. You’d probably have to actually experience being pregnant to fully understand, but you don’t need to have a small mammal growing inside your uterus to get a bit off balance. Stress, hormones, chemical unbalance in the brain and just the plain shittyness of life will sometimes get to you. Aside from my averagely tormented adolescence, I too have suffered from periods of depression and existential crises. Having no “legitimate” reason for being down, I just sort of put my head down, bottled it up and hoped that this too shall pass, asking for help was too embarrassing. “Guys handle this shit on their own”, you know? This, not surprisingly, turned out to be a terrible idea. Before long I had quit my job, lost my girlfriend, completely stopped interacting with people and spent 20 hours a day in my bedroom chain-smoking Marlboro lights, eating cookie-dough and rewatching old Friends-dvd’s. Not a pretty sight. It took me the better part of a year, moving back home, extensive therapy and making some big lifestyle-changes to realize: I’d actually been unhappy for years. My mind had simply shut it out, and by working a lot, sleeping too little, drinking too much and engaging in some pretty destructive relationships, the small feeling of discontent had grown into an all-consuming cloud of misery.
Yeah, we all get lost in our mind sometimes. The mind is a maze, full of dead-ends, detours and dark corners, and sometimes it’s just impossible to navigate without a guide. So just let yourself be crazy, throw some flowers into a wall and tell your fiancé to go fuck himself every once in a while. And most importantly: don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Because as Mr. Norman Bates will tell you: we all go a little mad sometimes.
Words: Jonas Pekkari
Design: Peter Lundgren
Model: Bree Perine
[1,84 cm tall, wearing mens M]