Back in high school, we studied a novel in litterature class where the protagonist had been struck by the sokugo disease. It was a disease that caused him to wander aimlessly and he could be gone for days. His family gave up trying to restrain him, and instead resolved to put a talisman round his neck so that he always came back home.
Now, we also learned that Abubakar as he was called, got the disease because he was possessed. Could that be their understanding of mental illness? I know that my brother got the disease too especially during his stage two as narrated in his book (now live in Kindle and Paperback though grand launch still weeks away). My brother’s talisman was his dearest and loving mum whom he always called wherever he stopped even if he often left before she organised any ‘rescue team’.
My Brother’s wanderings which he sometimes narrated with such hero like air, took him to Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and back to Germany. I am still in awe at how he survived without any papers, money and all.
I mean, when I see pan handlers, street children, mentally challenged and all those marginalized of society, I can’t help but see my beloved brother in each of them somehow. I am also mentally challenged so to speak, but I do my best to cope and thrive and to help out all those I can in whichever way I can.
Back to his tours, he said train conductors never asked him for a ticket. He hopped in at the last minute, and went to the very last coach and sat very quiet with his head bent. He said he sometimes dashed into the loo if he sensed he was going to be arrested. He said he never felt cold and didn’t care about his clothes, looks at all. He told me he sometimes begged passer bys for money and some gave while others chased.
In Spain, some kind lady (whose name and phone number he sometimes reminded me of and urged me to call and thank her), took him in and kept him there for 2 days. He left on his own he says. Where to I asked, to Paris to see the ‘Tour d’Eiffel’ he answered.
In Paris, this I know because my mum told me, he called a colleague of hers whom he loved so much. She informed my mum who managed to speak with him and encouraged him to seek for help from some contacts she knew. She made calls and I think he was fetched or helped somehow until he unfortunately disappeared again.
His next stop he told me, took him to Italy where it had been his dream to sleep in the famous Stadio San Siro in Milan. He said he loved both A.C Milan and Inter de Milan and he could even remember the sitting capacity and other details of that stadium.
I just checked out this stadium on the internet and it is indeed among the 10 best stadia in Italy. Wow, my brother did have a journey.
And now, my poor brother’s still wandering in as much as the samples collected from him are yet to produce an autopsy report. His casket had traveled for four days to get to Cameroon and his US passport disappeared along the line…
Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, I wanted to share this with you today because I know many sometimes ‘wander off’ like I have done at times. The brain goes on fire and the raging heat propels you to flee in which ever direction. At such moments, we should be fortunate to have talismen; or are we just shunned off and given up for possessed?
P.S In my literary wanderings, I decided to try out a new font – hope it blends somehow with the topic – I vouch my talisman to return me to …