Sunday 1 February 2015

A Momentous Epiphany

© Denis Fitzpatrick, 2014

(Formerly published under the title, A Rare Epiphany, in Fitzpatrick's first short story collection, Bearing all Gods and Goddesses, published by

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. And perhaps because of having just imbibed my anti-psychotic medications this seemed to me like a monumental insight, a momentous epiphany. It ought to be noted, while I’m here, that being psychotic and being violent are not necessarily linked. Some of my sweetest friends have been the similar schizophrenics that I have met and become friends with in my many, many admissions to Rozella Psychiatric Hospital. But back to this revelation.
     I was at home in Surrey Hills several weeks ago, off of Elizabeth Street, Sydney, Aus, a land that must have a twin in a parallel universe because it’s so lovely. Having just taken my evening meds, I was sitting down to watch TV for a few hours while they took hold. The revelation formed of itself, and I took out my small pocket notebook, and wrote it down. Idly staring at the note, studying it for belied meaning, I soon recognized it held great implications for my girlfriend and I.
     Stately Serena has always made an effort to be different for reasons that she has never been able to define. She is of a consistent character though, never suddenly moody, and even her dyed dreadlocks are usually purple and pink. So I naturally wondered, that night, how she would take the insights being revealed by this epiphany. Would the notion that I was so forming be the one thing to blow apart her steady, stately calm? The opposite was also true though: I may be on the point of bringing Serena and I together in a way that has never been done before. There was really only one way to find out.
     And so I split up with her. She wasn’t too happy with my reasons the next day when I gave her the news, especially since we had begun talking about marriage. She doesn’t take psych. medications, but nevertheless, she couldn’t argue the central point:
     Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
     ‘We would miss each other terribly with the absence, having only to rely on our thoughts of each other, mutually inhabiting each other’s minds with our constant fond recall of one another,’ I said. ‘And never before would we have thought of each other so fondly. We’ll talk on the phone, trying to exist so completely, so closely, in each other’s heads, telling each other what we’ve been thinking about them. Later on we might be able to predict each other’s thoughts, maybe even truly begin the world’s first psychic love affair.’
     ‘That all sounds very plausible,’ rejoined Serena, tying her long dreadlocks into a bun, the better to put her counterarguments. ‘And yes, it’s all in the mind, the world is just sensations made sense by our brains. But if you really meant that we should get married it’s only physical contact that will give us children. And children I want while I’m still in my twenties. No amount of imagining is ever going to give me your children.’
     ‘I’m not so sure,’ I replied. ‘There have been several instances of zoo female animals giving birth without the usual help of the male. So the closer we grow into each other’s thoughts the more likely can a similar miracle happen for you.’
     ‘Us, Denis. Us.’
     ‘Yes, us. I’m doing this for us. I’m certain, certain that we can be the first people to become completely inhabitant within each other. We just have to trust each other to be constantly in each other’s thoughts.’
     ‘And what if you’re wrong?’
     ‘I don’t see how I can be wrong. It makes perfect sense to me, despite the mental illness: people’s thoughts are how they interact and understand their environment and we could so easily entwine our thoughts around each other, making us indeed more real to each other. By avoiding being in each other’s physical presence we could then so much the more figure in each other’s minds, the mind being the basis of Reality, how It organizes and understands Itself. It’ll become instinctive fairly soon, living with the other in our minds’ eyes. To me it even sounds like Paradise. Yes, it must be Paradise, becoming one with one’s True Love.’
     ‘Have you been taking your medications?’
     ‘I’m not crazy, Serena.’
     ‘But have you? On time?’
     ‘Yes. And just because I’ve thought up something so unusual doesn’t mean I’ve gone off the deep end.’
     ‘It’s the most ‘unusual’ thing I’ve heard.’
     ‘But I’m sure I’m right. By replacing a physical relationship with a psychic one we are sure to achieve a love unlike any other. Let’s at least give it a trial of a week or so?’
     Now I’m still at home, not having left the house since the reasoned and necessary enforced absence of weeks and weeks ago, missing Serena terribly, even though I’ve just SMS’d her. And I can’t simply just return to her because the epiphany is indeed bearing its promised fruit. Her image, her soul, her very essence, has buried itself, burrowed itself, deep into my psyche. Never before have I loved Serena as I do now. She tells me the same thing on the phone, but I’m beginning to think I’m way in over my head. How I now wish, too late, for my One True Love to be beside me, not becoming instead part of my brain function, being fused with my thoughts. Things have now got to the point where the only way that I can talk with her is if she fills every fibre of me at the same time, before my mind’s eye, another visceral part of me. I cannot see myself going back to a merely physical love, passion based on just surfaces; surface emotions, surface thoughts, surface appearances. What’s even sadder is that neither can Serena.
     Still, it’s all in the mind.


If you've been enjoying Denis' stories here you may also enjoy his debut novel, This Mirror in Me, which tells the story of how Tonia achieves her life's fundamental aim of having her home as a social hub, by staring at herself in the mirror. It is available as a Kindle book at Denis also has a short non-fiction book available, King Street Blues, which is an encouraging tale of Denis' willfully chosen five years of homelessness in the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne. It too is available as a Kindle book at If you don't have a Kindle you can download the Kindle app for free onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer through your local app store.

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