OĞULCAN ARSLAN - ALL THE RIVERS FLOW IN THE NUTHOUSE
They say people with schizophrenia are out of touch with reality. I disagree. Who are we to define what is real? How was I supposed to make him understand that his hallucinations were only in his mind when I think every reality is distorted in some way.
This is the story of my schizophrenic friend, who-loves-to-wear-red, our conservations and how being ‘out of touch with reality’ is his reality.
My friend is owned by the state. They are called Children of the State. Unwanted and left by their families, they are raised in public mental facilities, enclaved in a small, suffocating atmosphere trying to understand what defines reality. Their questions are not welcome and not tolerated. A state of stillness is appreciated.
But he has questions and so do I. He has visions and they are his truth. Whenever I visit him, he always sits next to the barbed wire behind the window and says to me (in silence): “I'm thinking where is inside and where is outside, here or there. Who decides what is real?" We don’t have answers, but we have our friendship, our talks and the fact that he loves the color red.
He tells me: "All rivers flow in the nuthouse. I can always see the places I've been, look I see, I see, I can see when I squint my eyes a little and fix them with my fingers." I believe him.