Sometimes I hear
Oh, I know what
you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Uh-oh.
Uh-oh is right.
They come at all hours
of the day and night. I call them the Singers because that’s
Sometimes they sing the
words I’m thinking--over and over and over, off-key. After a
while I don’t know what I think.
Sometimes the voices
are men, deep voices singing loud that I’m no good.
Sometimes the voices
are women, soft voices singing like an old warped tape. They sing
that I’m stupid and fat and no one will ever love me.
When I get mad at the
women, they hide behind the men. The men protect them.
The Singers used to be
They were on the radio,
They were even in the
phone, if I picked it up.
I had everything taken
out of my apartment. But the Singers are still there.
My caseworker told me
once to kick them when they start singing. She said if they stop
singing and say “Ouch!” they’re real. I don’t know
if that works, but it’s funny.
My doctor says
they’re not real. He says they’re part of me, that they’re
just singing my song. But he doesn’t know them.
They’ve known me a
lot longer than he has.
Don’t get me wrong.
My doctor’s nice. He wants to understand. And the pills he
gives me help. But he’d have to hear them himself to know
what I’m talking about.
A guy I know, Rick,
hears them, too, but his are different. He only hears one.
His talks about dirty things, or about God and the devil. Rick
never makes fun of me because he knows.
Rick doesn’t like the
word “crazy.” When he hears someone from the real world say
something like, “My mom is driving me crazy!” he gets
mad and says, “NO. Not crazy.” I like that about
Rick. I also like it that he gives me cigarettes when he has
I’ve always known I
was different. In school I didn’t make good grades, and my
teachers said, “Needs to try harder.” I did try sometimes, but
I knew something was wrong.
It wasn’t till I was
older that I found out it was the voices. By that time it was too
late for grades or a job or a girlfriend. It wasn’t too
late for sex, though. I’m still having problems with that.
I think about it all the time. Especially when I’m with my
She tells me to keep
taking my pills.
She says when the
Singers start, I can play the harmonica or sing loud to drown them out.
She says I can take
long slow breaths.
She says I can start at
the top of my head and make every part of my body tight, then loose,
then tight again, all the way to my feet. That helps me relax.
But I think I would
relax more if she’d hold my hand.
She does really nice
things like help me shop with coupons and take me for cheap haircuts.
She plays cards with me
at the park, and waits for me at the doctor’s office.
Sometimes we get a
hamburger with fries and a strawberry shake, even though she says that
stuff is nothing but fat. She’s a little juicy, so she likes it,
too. Juicy—that’s her word.
Sometimes she takes me
to a movie—not the scary ones, just the happy ones. I pretend I
have my arm around her and kiss her. She doesn’t know.
But you know what I
like best of all? I like it best when we just joke around.
She thinks I’m funny, in a nice way. I feel almost normal.
And the Singers stop
for a while.
TO COMPREHENSION AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
Unlimited Learning 2002