“Have you ever been so alone at night that you looked up and tried to move a star?”
I want to tell you about my friend Hames. He’s a little older than I am and he loves to wear hats and jackets everywhere he goes. He is, by far, one of the most interesting friends I’ve ever had.
I met him a few years ago in a costume party near New Farm where neither of us were wearing costumes.
“Let me tell you about what I do,” he said to me before going on a long rant about his video production career. Since then we’ve shared a lot of experiences together: poker parties, parties, more parties, drunken nights in drunken bars in Singapore, weeks and even months of unemployment, long aimless talks about women in our lives, long aimless walks around the city…
“You’re going to be the best man in my wedding,” he keeps telling me whenever we meet.
In 2007, there was an incident and Hames was diagnosed with Schizophreniform Psychosis; I had no idea what the hell that meant but I remember my friend and I visiting him in hospital: he looked cheerful, there was techno music in the background; he showed me strange sketches he made in his journal and this guy who he befriended there kept looking at me angrily.
Here’s something he blogged about after the incident:
I found overall I still dealt with a certain amount of paranoia, anxiety, depression, lack of energy and mood instability along with the occasional delusional thought process or hallucination despite my medication. I could not go on a higher dose as the side effects would make me almost unable to work.
So after Reading Dr Abram Hoffer’s Book titled ‘Healing Schizophrenia’ I decided to begin to try vitamin B3 treatment.
I experimented with nicotinic acid at first, trying a dose of up to 3 grams, split up (4 250mg tablets 3 times a day)
with nictonic acid there is a harmless ‘flush’ reaction you should know about, but the most interesting thing about the B3 was it actually worked wonders for my breakthrough psychotic symptoms.
within a week I found myself feeling no paranoia, no strange delusional thoughts, I had more energy, actually I may have been a little hypermanic (this may be due to my illness sitting somewhere in between Bi-Polar and Schizophrenia… something referred to as schizo-affective disorder.) So sure… maybe it doesn’t stabilise my moods and prevent my slightly manic behaviour (something I’m still working on) But for the negative symptoms like paranoia and depression I had almost instant results.
At first I found Hames unusually open about everything he was going through. But then my confusion (and sometimes fear) grew into a silent admiration: he’s a guy who doesn’t hide what he feels, who’s honest and open about what sits underneath his hat and suit – if you were a real friend, you’d stick by him.
He had another incident earlier last year that involved jumping on a Ute and being held by the neck by a police officer. Here’s a tiny bit of what he wrote about this particular incident:
Glimpses of light, cars, people movement and shadow all fit perfectly to the beat and sensation of the music. The stars too, felt stronger and brighter tonight. points in the guide guiding me and speaking to me in some cosmic language. I remember wandering among a select few in a stranger than usual seeming supermarket. It all felt part of something bigger that was going on on just this night. As I followed one person around the aisles I felt others were following each other too. The items in their hands seeming out of place but important. At some point I sat on the ground in the supermarket and wrote with a blue sharpie on the back of a price tag. HiHi.
Since then, he’s been writing a lot of poetry. I’m a huge fan:
The Jealous Page
The jealous page looked up above
Words scattered neatly summing up
The page grew passionate, in love
The writer paused, quickly counting
So many words, all for one page
You leave me only emptiness
This page before at a lucky stage
Of your careful, loving process
Write to me, add words, please
Keep going, We can be together
for a few, In a few, more ways
Love, Page 22, Always
Phone Rings, Print all.
To the printer tray.
Pages 21 and 22 Fall
So close, for today.
“It’s ready now”
She now says
Hames has been a video guy, a lecturer, a call centre person, an Apple Inc. employee, a creative advertising student, a web designer and about a billion other things. Right now, he’s directing a web series about a guy who meets a girl who alters her cells with next level technology. Every time he meets someone new, he doesn’t realise it’s her. I can’t act for shit, but you may see me as an extra in one of the episodes.
Although we don’t see each other as often as we used to, Hames has remained a genuine friend. He’s always one of the first ones to buy my books and read my work and like all the other crap I put online. I’ll always be grateful for having him in my life.
I’m a guy and I do guy things and most of the time, when I’m with him and he’s looking terribly serious about the world, I just point at him and laugh it off with an inappropriate sexual joke. But I hope he knows I’m there, concerned about the world with him too.