My Weird Sixties Surreal Book – Chapter 45 – Leaving – The Green Man.

As a biologist I was intrigued by symbiosis. We are all the result of it. The organelles in our cells are created from bacteria that once lived outside us. We are now so closely linked we could not live apart.

There was another message here as well – that we are always stronger when we work together. Which seems particularly appropriate right now.

The leaving was a vehicle to get Messny to where he needed to be. I was concerned that it was an unpleasant thing to do, but one which seems to regularly occur – and Messny is by no means perfect. At least that bit is patterned on real life.

45.

Things build up. One day the strain became too much. Something within him seemed to snap and he had to escape. The stress of work and routine of life had built up into a claustrophobic nightmare in which he was suffocating.

Messny packed a rucksack, kissed his wife and children as they slept and quietly left. On the downstairs table he left a tear-stained note.

Messny was distraught. He knew he was doing wrong but he could not help himself. He wondered how they would manage but he knew that friends and family would rally round. They would get by. He wasn’t thinking clearly. He thought that it was for the best.

Stepping out of the door and turning his back on all those possessions felt like a great relief. As he walked sadly down the road it felt as if a pressure valve had opened in his brain and he felt light and free again. That pressure had become a constant companion. He had grown used to it and accepted it but it had built up to bursting point. It was driving him mad. Something had to give. Now he had lanced that pressure and with every step felt lighter. He was beginning to recognise the weight he had lived under. The heaviness in his heart was for those he had so cruelly abandoned and it was with such a strange cocktail of emotions that he left. His mouth was smiling but his eyes were streaming with tears.

He was on the road again with no obligations, as free as the wind to ramble where he chose. The years dropped off his shoulders.

Life did not become easy – far from it. He had no comforts or security and slept out on the streets. He scrounged food and managed on scraps and hand-outs. He worked odd jobs and panhandled. At night, if he could, he would head out into the wilderness and sleep under the stars, often cold, wet and hungry. There was nobody to look out for him. Nobody cared whether he lived or died. His body hardened and he learnt to cope with the discomfort and bad times. Yet he was serene. The pressure had gone and did not return.

He retreated from contact with people and found an area of woodland where he could roam free, naked and at one with nature. He discarded his clothes and slept among the leaf-mould and vegetation. Unicellular algae began to collect on his skin turning him green.

Unbeknown to him they went further than that. His dark leathery skin began to take on a bright green colouration as did his faeces and urine. It was not merely the food he was eating, which mainly consisted of vegetation; it was the algae. It was infiltrating the cells of his body.

In the early stages it made little difference. His appetite was suppressed but he felt remarkable well. As it progressed he hardly ate at all, merely seeking out foods rich in minerals and protein. Then he noticed that his respiration rate declined. At rest he was hardly breathing at all. His mind was more alert than he could ever remember. His body was untiring and strong. His whole body was now a deep, dark green.

Messny began to panic. He considered visiting a doctor for advice. But he thought better of it. He felt healthier than he had ever been in his life.

The algae were working with his body. There was symbiosis occurring. The algae were powering his body in exchange for security. It gave him food and oxygen and removed his waste carbon dioxide in exchange for mineral ions and a home to live in. His body gave it warmth security. They were in perfect harmony.

Over the years they grew together. As long as there was sufficient sun and water he was as free as the wind. He was no longer alone. His body was full of trillions of individuals, more numerous than the cells of his own self.

Messny began to notice an intrusion into his mind. At first a compulsion to seek out brighter sun and then a joy as the light played on his skin. He began to realise that the algae had a consciousness that was now expressing itself. For all its billions of individual cells the algae possessed a single mind in much the same way as the cells of his own body contributed together to create his own consciousness. They were developing a communal mind.

Happily he welcomed it in. The result was something stronger and enriched with greater depth and scope. Together they were stronger.

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There are many more – why not give them a go! You’ll love them!

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