Monica J. O’Rourke has published more than one hundred short stories in magazines such as Postscripts, Nasty Piece of Work, Fangoria, Nemonymous, and Brutarian and anthologies including The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra and These Guns for Hire. She is the author of Poisoning Eros I and II with Wrath James White, Suffer the Flesh, and the collection Experiments in Human Nature. She works as a freelance editor, proofreader, and book coach. Her website is an ongoing and seemingly endless work in progress, so find her on Facebook in the meantime.
We asked Monica O'Rouke to give us some back story on her tale, Loneliness Makes The Loudest Noise, in Eulogies II, and this is how she responded:
Quite a few years ago I worked for an outpatient psychiatric clinic at Beth Israel in Manhattan. We dealt with drug reps all the time. Usually they brought us drug samples (nothing great) and fresh coffee and bagels (often great), pens, mugs, other worthless junk.
But one day a rep showed up carrying a type of virtual-reality goggles, only these had been created as a learning tool for psychiatric medical students. We support (non-medical) staff were fortunate enough to get a turn using the goggles. What I saw that day was amazing: the world through the eyes of a schizophrenic.
I had always thought schizophrenics “just” heard voices or imagined things. What I saw, as seen through their eyes, was a skewed world, one almost literally on its side. As I walked through a virtual doctor’s office, I saw everyday objects transform, turn into puddles of goo, drip off the furniture. They weaved in and out of shape, out of dimensions. The doctor, who started off as a helpful, Freud-looking kind of guy transformed into a demon, horns jutting from his head, saliva dripping from his fangs (I used this when writing a scene between Jesse and her mother). It was terrifying. Everywhere I looked, more insanity.
I’ve never been able to get those visions out of my head, and I’d only been exposed to it for a few minutes. I tried to imagine what it would be like living with that every minute of every day … and then I wondered how someone, a mad-scientist of sorts, would try to help a patient this way. Would it be possible? Would he care about the long-term repercussions? Was he truly trying to help his patient, or was he watching her like a Petri-dish specimen?
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