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The son who vanished ... Add to ...

Jesse I would come home and hose myself off because it was hot.

Susan But with all your clothes on? And dripping through the house, with his running shoes, squish, squish.

Jesse I don't think that's weird.

Susan And then one day, he decided he was going to make crab-apple jelly. We have a crab-apple tree out front. I wasn't that keen on the idea. But I said, "Okay, well, fine, I'll tell you what to do." So he got all these crab apples, and then he went out to the kitchen, and he mashed crab apples. But he kept mashing them, for, like, two hours, until his knuckles were bleeding from hitting the pot. We never did get the crab-apple jelly, obviously.

Jay There'd be times when he'd go to his room and spend hours and hours on end lying in bed, doing nothing but basically staring at the ceiling. And every hour or so, you might hear maniacal laughter, or sometimes you'd hear talking. Of course, what he was really doing was interacting with the voices.

Jesse The voices are fairly random. ... Originally I talked back. I fought back. Sometimes the voice would be evil or disgusting. I disagreed with the voice, sometimes in my own mind, sometimes out loud.

Susan He started to look like a biblical prophet. I had heard him a couple of times, on the street, start to preach, going on about, "Find God, or you're going to be damned." He came home and told me that he had been doing that on Yonge Street and the cops stopped him and fortunately just told him to move along.

Jesse I did a lot of walking up and down Yonge Street, preaching at the top of my lungs, saying, "Join the rich businessmen and wankers, or join Jesus and the people."

Jay At one point, when his delusional behaviour became very bad, he thought he was Jesus. So he certainly wasn't contemplating suicide. He thought he was the Saviour.

Jesse I was working at the Dominion on the graveyard shift stocking shelves, and as I was putting cans up on the shelf, I believed that I was blessing them. Then I thought, "Well, I can't bless all of them," so if I touched a can a second time I was un-blessing it.

But I really, really believed I was Jesus Christ at that time. Now I look back, no human being can be Jesus Christ. That's impossible.

Susan By summer, he was "clanging" - it's a speech pattern which is total gibberish, rhyming gibberish essentially.

Jesse I though I was speaking Gaelic. I thought I had learned Gaelic through my communications with God.

Susan He sure hadn't.

Jay You attempt to try to talk to him in a rational way. But it's difficult.

It's not a good analogy, but it's a bit like trying to convince a drunk to do something. He's just not prepared to listen to reason.

Susan He could get pretty wired. I would never agree with his delusions [but] I would never say, "That's absolutely wrong." Because then he'd get pretty upset.

Jay One thing I noticed in his eyes - when he looked at you in a very intense way, his pupils would get quite dilated. A lot of people who are confronted by someone who is looking this way will see it as threatening because it is very intense. He'd stare right at you, right in your eyes. Most people don't do that. ... It's just his way of trying to focus on what's being said.

Jesse I didn't think this about my parents, but I believed that if I looked somebody intensely in their eyes as I was passing them on the street, I could blow up their brains.

Jay He became more and more alienated from me specifically. There was a period he wouldn't even speak to me at all. ... It wasn't pleasant, but I didn't really take it personally. I knew it wasn't him - it was the illness.

Jesse If I was with my parents, my dad would always be the Devil and my mom would be God. So I would only talk to my mom. ... If I woke up at night and I would look at my dad sleeping and his mouth was moving, I thought it was the Devil reciting Satanic verses through his mouth.

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