My cousin Carlo committed suicide when he was 42 by putting a plastic bag around his head and suffocating himself. He had a pretty severe form of autism and suffered a lot from it, and when the only person in this world he had a strong bond with, my grandmother, died, he decided he wanted to leave here too. The genetic damage that causes this hardware form of autism runs in my family, and given that my family worked in factories for many generations, it most likely has something to do with chemicals.
When he was buried, the funeral card contained a picture of his Mercedes. Carlo loved his car, it was said. Nobody could have thought of anything else that Carlo might have loved.
I was sometimes taken to the house where Carlo lived, a house on the border with Germany in Venlo. The house was right on the border, on the Dutch side. My uncle is a customs officer. It left me with two traumas: cauliflower with porridge, and my uncle who had to demonstrate how much fun a chicken has walking around after you have beheaded it. I did not want to eat chicken for the rest of my life.
Carlo had to work, because not to work was an unthinkable evil. But at his job as a builder, Carlo was horribly bullied. Not just a little bit of bullying, but terrible bullying. But nevertheless, Carlo had to keep working, even when they found him one day under a bridge, fleeing from his demons. An allowance would have been a disgrace for the family.
I am convinced that the spirit of my grandmother went to get Carlo after death, as a last act in this world.
I was reminded of Carlo because I am in Carlsbad, named after Karl IV, holy emperor of the Roman Empire, born with the first name Wensklaus. Looking for curious influences on my new collection, I came across one again: Bohuslaus Hassensteinius of Lobkowicz, a Bohemian philosopher and poet from the 14th century, who will make his appearance in poems to be read in the dark.
Yesterday, we took a herbal bath in the Elisabeth bath. Old thermal baths often have a horror film atmosphere, as does this one, with soundproofing against the doors in many places; in the old days, the shrinkers were less concerned with drugs and more with water, under the influence of Kneipp’s works. That bath was a big disappointment – it was soap with a chemical fragrance, no real herbs. I have developed about 50 formulas for herbal baths in the last few years, so I know what a real herbal bath is, and they haven’t known that in Carlsbad for a long time – could the knowledge have been lost or was it just never there?
Think how insane this is – you have a beautiful building, the most beautiful building imaginable. You have the reputation of being an expert in bathing for hundreds of years. And what do you do next? You offer three lazy, chemical soap baths that can only be experienced as beneficial with a serious normalocramping..
This normalocramping is the real mental illness. The main symptom is to do everything with the least amount of dedication. The cause of the normalocramping is being forced to sit in a classroom in chemical light for 20 years while you are being pulled into the frontal cortex with brute force. Twenty years. How many seconds of those twenty years are you taught how to use your senses? Zero. Zero seconds.
Those senses are already finished, in everyone. Because they live in the same contraction. And as soon as they change their mind around puberty, we have the pills ready for them.
Why are the senses of man so impaired compared to those of animals? Can you guess in the light of the above?