When I was a teenager and suffering from a terrible secret, I first began to see and hear invisible people. I know this is not normal. In fact, it comes under the heading of “wacko-stupid-maniac-loony”. The first one was my friend the faun. Now, for those of you who do not know, a faun is a mythological creature in the shape of a man (or possibly boy, or even little girl) with the legs and tail and horns of a goat (or possibly kid). This creature is a sensual being in the Dionysian tradition. Wine, women, and song so to speak.
When he first came to me it was a snowy winter’s night, long about December of my 17th year. At that time I was still repressing the memory of what happened to me out behind the neighbor’s house when I was ten. But I guess I knew I needed help in reaching out to others. I was lonely and convinced that for some terrible unknown reason I was a horrible creature not worthy of love. Then he came rapping at my window. He was kneeling there in the snow, outside my upstairs bedroom window, on the roof of the front porch of the house, naked except for the goat fur on his legs. But he wasn’t shivering. After all, he wasn’t real. No one but me would ever see him. He was grinning at me.
“You aren’t going to leave me out here in the snow, are you, stupid?” he said.
“Who and what are you?” I asked, as I opened the window. The snow was shining with a silvery, blue-white light that originated with the street light out in front of the house.
“I am Radasha,” he said. “I am your faun… the part of you that feels things and needs things… the part of you you have stupidly been pretending doesn’t exist.”
All right, I know it sounds crazy. But I needed him in my life. Elwood P. Dowd had an invisible white rabbit. Why couldn’t I have a faun? And it was a very, very good thing. He taught me how to laugh, and how to love… how to actually live. And I know he has always been inside me, not really separate from me. In many ways he is the real me. But crazy people have their own set of priorities. And when I was a confused teenager whose personal self-concept had been sexually violated by another, older boy… Radasha was mine. An invisible friend to talk to. One who could explain everything… make me laugh and make me happy. And there is a sound to that. Do you know the piece by Debussy that this post is titled after? It is my favorite piece of music in all the world. And it tells the sweet-sad story of Radasha and me.