The voices hadn't stopped. Alexander wasn't sure if he could take the endless chatter filling up his head anymore. They were relentless with their nonsensical prattling. Most of them hung back in the dark recesses of his mind, blurry, and indistinguishable from one another. A hum of irritating garbled noises barely recognizable as speech.
There were others though; stronger and much more willful. They not only talked to themselves much like the background voices that seemed oblivious to Alex, but also to him directly. It was eerie to say the least from Alex's point of view. He couldn't understand how a disembodied voice in his head could be aware of him or his surroundings. The strongest of them seemed to be cognizant of the entirety of his life. They directed him, and raged against the decisions he made day to day that displeased them. They fought amongst themselves as well on differences of opinion.
"I am mad," Alex muttered to himself as he walked bleary eyed from his bedroom to his attached master bathroom; sleep still heavily enshrouding him.
"Perhaps," Derrick replied. He had a soft kind voice and often took on the role of a comforting friend to Alex. He had a sarcastic dry sense of humor that could grate on a person at times but despite that, he was one of Alexander's favorite imaginary friends. He didn't know how else to describe them without sounding like a gibbering maniac. His close friends over the years had turned themselves into distant acquaintances; putting as much space between him and their safe mundane lives as possible.
"Maybe it's everyone else that has the problem, and you're normal," Derrick said mockingly, and Alex wondered silently how the incorporeal voice in his head could be so jaded. Alexander didn't think of himself as a bitter or jaded person at all and took comfort in the fact that maybe, just maybe, that meant that Derrick wasn't a result of some strange dementia eating away at his brain.
"It is," the voice was slick, like an oil sliding around in his mind. "It is, it is!" the new voice rose in pitch and intensity, pushing Derrick away, and filling up Alexander's head with it's pounding shrill outburst. Alexander leaned over his bathroom sink, reached for his toothbrush and toothpaste, and proceeded to brush his teeth silently ignoring the voice he knew as Wendell. Wendell was mean childish and prone to outbursts such as this. Alex found that the best method of dealing with him was to just ignore him, and eventually he would fade away.
By the time he finished maintaining his teeth, stripped out of his nightshirt and underwear, and began to shower, Wendell was silent again. Leaving Alex a few moments of serene silence and a slight head ache. He scrubbed his scalp, lufa'd head to toe, and whispered a silent thanks to whatever God out there had granted him the small reprieve from Whining Wendell. A nickname he had adopted for the childlike temper tantrum throwing nuisance. A soft chuckled from several other voices chimed as he thought about Wendell and his moniker that irritated the already high-strung personality to no end.
"You're going to make him flip his lid again hoss," The drawling smooth country accent of David slipped to the front of Alex's mind like an old friend ambling through his front door. David was another one of the nice ones that was always calm and soothing to Alexander. He never had a bad thing to say about Alex or the others; instead offered bits of sage advice and warning that Alex had come to welcome and even rely on.
"I just can't help it sometimes, Davie," Alex said aloud. He was pretty sure that they could all hear even his innermost thoughts but preferred, when alone, to address the voices that were what he considered friends audibly.
"Your funeral hoss, not my head that'll be pounding like a jackrabbit was stuck inside kickin' its way out." With that David faded away leaving Alexander in silence once again.
He finished up his normal routine of ironing his cloths, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. When he was done he sat at his dining room table under the flickering fluorescence of the slowly dying lights in his cheap brass chandelier and let out a long hitching sigh. He was tired already and his day hadn't even begun.