Yesterday evening, following a splendid sausage pasta dinner swilled down by an agreeable flagon of pinot Grigio, I found myself watching dark US TV drama Dexter.
As the plot lines surrounding the fictional Floridian serial killer evolved in front of me, for a brief juncture, the entertainment lily was gilded further by an accompanying YouTube soundscape of Edward Elgar’s classic orchestral work Nimrod (Enigma Variations) on my laptop.
With yours truly being ordinarily capable of effectively indulging in concurrent watching of and listening to of separate entertainment streams this multi-tasking behavioural display was a divergence from the norm.
On completion of Nimrod, I began mulling over the significance of this break from the status quo. In particular why I’d strayed away from a habitual preoccupation of only undertaking tasks singularly. Incidentally, I didn’t mean the band Status Quo!…. I was listening to Elgar’s infinitely more listenable creations, remember!.
Despite being as cognitively distracted as a teenager with a Babestation subscription, my thoughts turned to what psychiatric analysis may unearth from yours truly’s veer from my usual behavioural convention.
Additionally, I mulled over what the psychological driver was behind me concluding why a creative amalgam of fictional serial killer tales and stirring late 19th century orchestral music would make good bed fellows.
As an aside, Elgar’s piece, written by the English composer on the cusp of 20th century’s dawn, chosen by my sister Helen as an accompaniment during transportation of our dad’s coffin into church during his 2017 funeral.
With Elgar’s musical flow underpinned with combining aural undertones of exhilaration and starkness, my youngest sibling identified the piece as a perfect accompaniment to the sadness and celebration ingrained within these ceremonies of committal.
Her notion backed by the fact Nimrod (Enigma Variations) is played during November’s annual Remembrance Service in Whitehall. It’s performance to mark ‘The Glorious Dead’ of numerous wars.
Despite being unlinked by artistic genre, chronological timestamp and demographic audience, the two pieces of art do share the parallels of melancholy, death, darkness and senseless slaughter. All of which pretty stark links.
It may sound strange coming from a guy still grieving the loss of his recently passed mother, but I’m unsure of the trigger to last night’s dark mood. After all, within the last few weeks or so my demeanour has been far more upbeat.
That being said, after spending last Tuesday night in Pinderfields Hospital with chest pains, last week was a bad one for me from a health perspective. This incident enforcing a medical script amendment.
This medication tweak incorporating blood thinning drugs onto my already weighty prescription. The script also including a warning to avoid places where some ‘joker’ may jump out from behind a cabinet shouting “Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!”
Mercifully, I’ve been fine since my hospital release on Wednesday. In conclusion, if last evening’s TV viewing of a mass-murderer concomitant with listening to a funeral dirge indicates I was suffering from a state of deep depression I’d be at a loss why.
That being said, the mind of a depressed man is a capricious mistress. Unshackle it’s reins and it bears capacity to subliminally wreak havoc with the brain’s highly sensitive electrical responses. Episodes clouding judgement, creating paranoia and imparting undependable hallucinations within the mentally-impaired’s neurological corridors.
Erratic behaviour that if left unchecked can unleash the ogres of dark disenchantment, despair and vulnerability. Gargoyles that leave no stone unturned in their attempts to destroy self-esteem and self-confidence.
The ‘self’ siblings targeted by these mental ogres who judge them as a sufferers Achilles heel. Areas of weakness to target when cruelly and incorrectly tarring outpatients as ‘mental midgets’.
Although to some extent mental health issues still carry the millstone of stigma, mercifully the current zeitgeist witnesses greater compassion towards the afflicted. Refreshingly, these enlightened souls understand ‘out of sight, out of mind’ isn’t an adage that should be applied to ailments of the psyche.
Actually, if truth be told, I’m probably overthinking the whole psychological analyse of yesterday evening’s dual entertainment choices.
Maybe, just maybe, I viewed Dexter for the simple reason I find it an intriguing and innovative well-written drama, and my spontaneous decision to listen to Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations was a sign I was merely missing my old man.
Perhaps just perhaps, playing them in parallel had absolutely no link whatsoever to me potentially experiencing a depressive episode.
As you were, Strachan!!