• By LL

1. The Lunatic Squirrel: intro

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

I wonder how my friend - the Lunatic Squirrel - is doing.

It has been nearly a year since he was internalised in Cygnet mental hospital. I guess I could have visited. After all, it is located not that far from Canary Wharf. Probably I am just too afraid to go there and find another "person": defeated, dehumanised, crashed by the system.

For those who wonder who is the Lunatic Squirrel I can just say he was a loving neighbour and a supportive friend but his highly atypical behaviour and looks alarmed some people living in the building and once the voice spread around, things degenerated rapidly.

Squir - that was my nickname to him - never worked a day of his life and since I spent myself some time off work too, we happened to meet often under the building at the rubbish collection point. If you passed by Malabar street early in the morning, you could see us both: I, smoking, he, leaping around on the grass and among the dumpsters. We had gotten to know each other quite well. He was a great listener. I felt like I could tell him everything.

What Squir mostly used to love doing, was making people happy. He used to leave postcards with cute messages here and there - I guess there was not much of an option since he cannot speak nor write in a conventional fashion - so people could cheer-up at the most hated moment of the day, the early morning commuting. Slogans found on stickers, promotional cards or cereal boxes like "You are my Hero!", "Thank you for being you", "You smash it today" or "Let's spend the night together":  were just some examples. If you barely knew Squir, you would be sure that, even behind the most daring ones, there was nothing but a harmless, loving intention.

Rumour has it that one day, someone - maybe the scruffy student girl renting flat 17 - reported him for public peace disturbance and harassment. 

Nowadays people often take nice gestures and goodness from others as symptom of sociopathy and sexual predation.. When did it all start? I could take a guess, but this is all another story.

I have heard in Cygnet hospital patients are allowed to wear their own cloths. After all, the place must have not been that dehumanising. Maybe I should pick up some of his little garments and bring them over there - like his all time favourite furry PJs - and have a cup of tea together.

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