BY: John Jones
My name is Sharon Hazel. I am 25 years old, student of fashion design at Tameside college. I am five feet two inches, and whilst I am no glamorous model I do consider myself to be at least halfway attractive. I enjoy rhythm and blues music, and once a week attend a line-dancing class. I like romantic comedy films, but I also like the occasional horror. I don’t read books, but read gossip magazines. I live with my boyfriend of six months, Martin Fraser, a student of business finance and investment in the same college, and he’s wetter than soaking sponge. A reedy individual in an almost handsome kind of way. It is to my almost shame that it was me who pursued him. There was no problem landing him of course, but a woman likes man’s man, who can be coarse, rough, uncouth, yet be loving and tender as well. Even out at night, should we run into trouble, I am sure it would be him hiding behind me, but, until Mr Right comes along, I shall persist. He can do the loving and tender part to a certain degree. He likes to call me ‘my love’, which is fine. I quite like it, but not all the time. It can be quite embarrassing sometimes, especially when out in public, say perhaps in a take-away, where he would say ‘I’ll have the egg fried rice, what’ll you have my love?’ or when we’ve been browsing around shops, he’ll pick something up, like a book or a DVD, and say: ‘I think I may purchase this my love’. Honestly, I could slap him, but if I did, he would probably collapse in a blubbering heap.
I think recently, he has been in danger of asking me to marry him. As we passed by a jewelers one time he stopped and looked in the window at the engagement rings, purely to point out their designs which he mentioned may help me in my studies. Another time we passed by a church where a marriage was taking place. The guests were outside, milling around, and a horse drawn carriage carrying the bride was slowly approaching. You should have seen his face, beaming as though it was his sister’s wedding, and he hasn’t got a sister. If he does ask me soon, I’m sure I’m going to say no. It will upset him, but has to be done I suppose, for now at least. Perhaps it’s to give Mr Right more time to walk through the door and whisk me away. Until then, well, that’s me, that’s who I am.
My name is Oliver Grayson, I am seventy-two years old, and a widower of four years. I have three sons and a daughter, all of whom live away. So basically, I have a lot of spare time, and associate myself with the local photography society, and urban farm, where I volunteer as a gardener. For most of my life, I was in the army. The royal marines. I was a specialist in vehicle mechanics, which was basically a job for life, but circumstances change. At the age of fifty-five I became surplus to requirements as new blood came through, and despite dedication and experience, I was asked to leave. It’s perfectly understandable. I can see it from their point of view, and bear no ill feelings towards them. It’s what happens. I just had to accept it. So out into civvy street I came, and what a strange place it is. Even after all these years submerged in it, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to it. See, I suppose you could say I’m from the old school. Some of my views and opinions are, in a way, Victorian. In my day, or in my time, or basically, when I was young, things were so much different, where they used to sell jugs of tea in kiosks on the beach, where women started wearing something called a ‘bikini’. I can honestly say I was shocked. Nowadays, girls walk around with barely a stitch on, and it’s normal. It’s a daily occurrence. This world is moving so fast these days, I can barely keep up. Actually, I don’t think I can keep up. All this technol, technolgy, or however you say it, is leaving us old folk behind. I thought a mouse was a small mammal, not a computer thingy, and a programme was something you watched on television, not a computer thingy. With violent crime all over the place, and smutty filth on TV all the time, and ipods and Xboxes, and satnavs, I don’t recognize the world anymore. If I could just return to the fifties, or sixties, I’ll be happy. Well, that’s me, that’s who I am.
My name is Douglas Mitchell. I am a psychiatrist at a hospital institute, and I am responsible for four patients. We have 16 patients altogether who are basically, not fit for inclusion in society. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if this government in one of its ridiculous cost-cutting measures, opened the doors and let them out. That’d be just what they would be inclined to do, and it makes me wonder who it really is with the mental problems, and who belongs where, but I digress. I am inclined occasionally to rant about councils and governments and bureaucrats, mainly because they irritate me so much because of their usual lack of understanding about that which they have no clue about. Sorry, there I go again. Anyway. I say I have four patients under my supervision, I am concerned about one in particular. Patient B we call him, because when he was admitted, he had so many names that we didn’t know which one to call him. You see, he had so many personalities. 24 we managed to estimate, but now through various treatments and therapy, we’ve managed to get it down to two. Sometimes his name is Sharon Hazel, and sometimes it is Oliver Grayson. These ‘people’ actually did exist, and maybe somewhere they still do. However, Patient B was at one point, before schizophrenia confused his mind, a civil service economist who was very good at computers, and utilized that to the extent that he could obtain data from various sources regarding different people. He would steal their identity and committed online fraud to the total £446.021.
When one of the persons was similar to him, he would sometimes visit the area where they lived and pretend to be him, because they would not have known what he looked like when ordering hardware from electrical shops and booking hotels. After six years, and 24 personas, he never went back to who he was as he ‘became’ these people, believing he actually was them, until his mind flicked a switch, and he instantly became somebody else. Now, locked away in a padded cell, in a straight jacket, slouched in corner and talking to himself, patient B resides. Why he is like that I am not sure. He has never been violent, nor shows any inclination of it. I was not the one who was originally assigned to him. That was Brendan Kyle, and he resides in the cell next to him, in a similar state. You see, this form of schizophrenia has mutated into what seems to be an airborne viral form. Brendan had managed to get him down to 16 personas when he could take no more, and started forming personalities of his own, until the real him vanished. Now there are five people whom he is. A charity events organizer in Southampton, a Welsh widow, a London sewage worker, a female homeless alcoholic, and an assembly operative in Maid-stone.
As I sit here, on a bench out in the hospital gardens contemplating what I am going to do, I realize the implications of what my patients have become, and know that to bring them back to who they were is an arduous task that I cannot do alone………..Mother, is that you? Is that you? Please let me out, it’s dark in here. I won’t do it again. I promise I’ll be a good boy.