Living with a psycho: a true story (Part III)

This is the third installment of an epic trilogy about love, hate, passion and drama. But mostly about one man’s mind completely coming apart. If you don’t want to get lost in the sea of madness, make sure to read Part I and Part II before you embark on this final chapter. Those who have already done that, here we go…

The first thing I’d done when inside the room was to lock the door. I wasn’t naive. I didn’t fool myself into believing that this would stop Bent if he eventually decided to act out his favourite scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I knew that, at best, this move was going to simply buy me a few extra seconds. If all those years in front of TV had taught me anything at all, it was that wooden doors rarely presented serious obstacles to homicidal maniacs in a state of psychotropic trance.

“Hi there! Couldn’t help but notice you were trying to avoid getting chopped into pieces. Shall I drop by later?”

Looking around my room I had come to a sad conclusion that I was grossly unprepared for “maniacal flatmate” emergencies. The only thing that came close to a weapon was a Swiss army knife. This was promptly placed by my bed, just in case I had to end up trying to scratch Bent to death. In the meantime, Bent was still outside pacing about and murmuring bits and pieces of disconnected phrases. Among them the word “fucker” was the most prominent and intelligible. This mad monologue went on for at least 30 minutes. You see, when you have a loyal following of invisible fans, presence of actual people in a conversation is purely optional.

As Bent’s rambling continued unabated, I’d realised something truly horrific. Bent was consciously working himself up into a “battle frenzy”, just like his Scandinavian ancestors used to. That meant I needed to beef up my defences. Under the assumption that Bent could be carrying a gun, I tried to find a long-range weapon. What I ended up with were a few D-sized batteries from my synthesizer…because it’s common knowledge that a well thrown battery travels faster than a bullet.

Thus, armed with a scratching tool and a few glorified stones I tried to get some sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t get much of it. But I survived, although deep in my heart I was sure that only one thing had saved my life that night: the Viking Warrior Spirit that possessed Bent simply didn’t know how to operate a 21st century door lock.

The next morning I told Bent I was moving out, upon which he admitted that he’d been “a bit harsh” the night before. That was like saying that Saddam Hussein was “a bit of a douchebag”. Bent was strangely calm. This meant that either he was temporarily exorcised, or my decision had not come as a surprise to him. He must have had the exact same conversation with each of his many prior tenants. Bent and I agreed that I would try to adapt to his crazy rules until I moved out. In return Bent wouldn’t be mailing parts of my body as Christmas gifts to randomly chosen recipients. It was a fair deal.

“Hey Timmy, do you want to open the unmarked one with bloody fingerprints all over it?”

Over the remaining weeks Bent’s moods alternated between quietly loony to feral. You know, standard schizophrenic stuff. However, I was now busy checking out new places to live and generally tried to spend as little time at home as possible. This meant I avoided further near-death incidents…almost.

One day I wanted to book the laundry room. However, I had forgotten which of the two “reservation” keys were mine (don’t forget Bent’s ownership fetish) – blue or black. Lulled into a false sense of safety by the fact that Bent hadn’t tried to stab me in the eye or rip my head off for two straight weeks, I headed to the kitchen to ask him a seemingly innocent question: “Bent, which key is it I’m supposed to use to book the laundry room?”

Bent was standing by the sink and washing dishes. He was wearing nothing but his boxers, which of course was a huge step up from just wearing nothing. As soon as I asked the question he had let the dishes drop into the sink with a loud clang. He placed both of his hands slowly onto the kitchen counter and stared at me for a good 10 seconds without saying a single word. It was just like a moment of awkward silence on a first date, with the added flavour of one party contemplating manslaughter. Finally, in what can only be referred to as “overreaction of the century”, Bent essentially yelled the following:

“Is there something wrong with your MEMORY?”

Well Bent, not as much as there’s wrong with your chromosome count, certainly. Please note that up until that point we had literally not spoken for weeks. There was no single logical reason for Bent to go crazy. Then again, when your brain is 80% toxic waste and 20% forces of darkness, logic isn’t exactly your strong suit. He continued with:

“The blue one, I told you to use the BLUE one!”

Understandably shocked by the outburst I tried to ask Bent what was wrong, to which he responded:

“I think you know EXACTLY what is wrong”.

And he was right, of course – I knew exactly what was wrong. It was called “bipolar disorder“. Bent very politely asked me to “please leave his kitchen”. Since there were at least two of Bent (that I knew of) and only one of me, I had done just that. (CONTINUE TO PAGE 2)

Living with a psycho: a true story (Part II)

If you’re just joining us on this trip down memory lane with hilarious and murderous characters, make sure you check out Part I first. The rest of you, welcome back. Let’s pick up right where we left off.

I’d moved in some days after signing the contract. Very soon I’d understood that Bent was very particular about the concept of ownership. He had a very clear BYOTP policy – “Bring Your Own Toilet Paper” that is. Yup, he had his roll of toilet paper locked up safely inside his room, and expected me to do the same with mine. This, of course, was a tragic and inevitable legacy of the infamous “Copenhagen Paper Crisis” of the 1970s, when toilet paper was a rare and precious commodity and people had sold their cars, houses, wives and internal organs to get their hands on it. Thankfully, everyone was saved when aliens had landed in Denmark in 1978 and introduced all those advanced toilet paper factories to the population.

Above: Denmark's official currency prior to 1978

It didn’t end with toilet paper rolls, however. I had been assigned my own cupboards, my own side of the kitchen and my own shoe space. I’m sure Bent would have also split the entry room space equally between us, but the logistics of that exercise had been too much for him to grasp. Indeed, most tasks must be difficult when every waking moment of your life is spent yelling at the voice of Lucifer in your head to shut up.

Surprisingly, I had managed to live under those conditions for almost two weeks without any incidents. I had my own room with a lock on it. Bent had his. I had been away most of the time at university or my part-time job. Meanwhile, Bent had probably spent his days out in the park muttering incoherent gibberish to passers by, or collecting twigs and branches for his “Things That Look Like Human Bones” collection. It wasn’t until the third week of our co-existence that events had truly begun to unravel. One evening I came home to find this note on “my” side of the kitchen counter:

Post It Notes: For when simply speaking in tongues isn't deranged enough

The note provided conclusive evidence that it’s possible to sound polite and eerily ominous at the same time. My transgression? I had washed my dishes and left the washing liquid by the sink. You know, the way us non-insane folks do. Bent of course wanted my washing liquid to be on my side of the kitchen. The sink, which lay right between our two halves of the kitchen, was effectively “no man’s land”. Those of you who know history will also know that you just don’t mess with no man’s land. Once the washing liquid had broken those boundaries, it was only a matter of time before a full-fledged conflict was ensured. And here’s how the escalation happened…

It was a weekday, it was shortly after 22:00 (that’s 10PM, my American fans) and I was in the bathroom using an electric shaver. Suddenly, I’d heard a knock at the door and Bent’s voice (crazy sporadic word emphasis below is fully his):

“I am not so pleased about you using my facilities after ten o’clock in the evening!”

Whoa, what the fucking what now?! Firstly, toilet and kitchen were shared facilities that had been included as part of the rental agreement. Secondly, in the “normal people world” private kitchens and toilets did not have closing hours. It’s the only way our modern society found to resolve all those “midnight starvation” and “morning bladder explosion” incidents that had plagued our less fortunate ancestors for centuries. Thirdly, if Bent’s House of Forgotten Sanity was a place where above standards didn’t apply, that should have been the primary topic of discussion prior to contract signing, not freaking energy-saving light bulbs!

You see how my above reaction was naïvely based on rational people’s logic? Do you know what happens when you try to apply that logic in your dialogues with crackpots? No? Well let me tell you. (CONTINUE TO PAGE 2)