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The Mugshot Man

His image adorns the corner of the waiting-room TV A violent schizophrenic man; now an escapee. The waiting crowd begin to judge, abhorrence fills the air, But I’ll not judge the Mugshot Man, his desolation I will share. For mistrust of the world that beat him down, I give him empathy Perhaps his thoughts are not for him, as mine are not for me. Perhaps he has been damaged, his faith in man betrayed And when ‘normal’ interaction calls, perhaps he is afraid. Trust your head, your inner thoughts, the mind with which you’ve grown? Or believe the robed dog-collared chap, who clearly stands alone? You don’t see this man of which he talks, yet you’re the one who’s odd. He prays for you but speaks to nothing; a nothing he calls God. Trust the man with chalk in his hand, and all that this man teaches. Believe in fights for freedom and the bodies on the beaches. Rely on the man you’ve never met, because his coat is white, Put your life into his hands and hope that he is right. Have faith in your reality, and all that you’ve been told. Don’t turn unquestioned stones upon the path that you’ve been sold. Or smash the pretense, kill the lies, tear holes into the fiction; Stand by the truth that stands by you; embrace so-called affliction. Conforming is the choice I’d take, but it seems we do not suit It refuses to get on with me and only seeks dispute. It will not take me to its arms, or show me warm affection It will not reason as to why, but offers me rejection. It will not give me company, or validate my fears, It will only cause me anguish now, whenever it appears. It will cause the looks that hurt my soul, as I walk along the street It puts judgement in familiar eyes, and in the strangers that I meet. It ensures there are no more of me, guarantees I am deprived, But for that I’ll only show relief, that I am not survived. There’s no want to bring my flesh and blood into a place I’ve always hated. I’ll leave them safe, inside my head, and the world that I’ve created. I’m ill. I’m sick. I’m weird they say. They say that I’m not right. But what’s the harm to them and theirs if I am calm and I’m polite? Who gets hurt if I exist, in frenzied lands between my ears? What’s the fuss about a man, who lives alone then disappears? I’ll keep my arms, my thoughts and voice, to myself and I alone Will ensure the evil thoughts I think, will never leave their home. My contemplation ceases sharply, as a man approaches me. He slaps a handcuff to my wrist and pulls me to my feet. The waiting crowd look up to see a face they’ve seen before. The Mugshot Man was one of them; he’s one of them no more.

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