Monday, September 29, 2008


It's 5:30 am and this girl is wide awake. I only have this experience on Monday mornings, preferring most of the time to work late rather than heed my alarm. For some reason on Mondays I snap to in a state of alertness around 4:15am and then lay there while all the little nagging doubts, fears, regrets, hurts, humiliations, and occasionally erotic fantasies creep in. It's really bewildering, and more reason to worship at the altar of Ambien.

I've been having bizarre interactions with strangers lately. I feel like my own quirkiness and nebulous sense of limits has resulted in drawing even quirkier and more nebulous persona toward me like meteors. And like meteors, not so welcome. It's like the problem I have with crazy people. They adore me. They find me in a crowd of hundreds and tell me all about their lives. Or repeat it, because they found me the week before in another crowd of hundreds.

I once was having a romantic weekend with someone in a rinky-dink New Hampshire town. We were thrilled because his car had broken down on a Sunday, and the local bed-and-breakfast guy (who was heading out on vacation) just handed us the keys to his place. We spent the evening walking around, experiencing New England small town life.

About halfway up Main Street, we spotted the local crazy wondering around with one of those fake light sabers you get from Walmart on Halloween. He had apparently just discovered that Darth Vader was his father because he was creating a massively pitched duet with the air reflective of every battle between good and evil. I tensed up immediately and crossed the street.

My companion thought that my reaction was a simple distaste for those whose brains aren't really functioning in our dimension. But I assured him that it wasn't the case. Rather, I shared with him the inestimable attraction the insane in the membrane peeps seem to have to me. His reaction? "Surely you're exaggerating."

Surely, indeed. As we sat out on the porch of our little abode, Crazy Guy started to make his way down our street, seemingly oblivious of our presence. I felt a smirk start to slide across my lovah's face. But then, as if by cue, the satanic soliloquy stopped dead and he turned deliberately around and crossed the street aimed dead at me.

But I knew the routine. I smiled cheerfully and said "Hey, how's it going?" And he smiled back. And began to tell us about the Titanic. Not the stupid James Cameron Titanic, but real facts, figures, names, dates, navigational locations. The light saber relaxed by his side. He introduced himself at the end and shook our hands. Then he walked back across the street to the exact place he had stopped, did an about face and proceeded down the street swinging the light saber and screaming at some imaginary demon.

Still, for the most part, these little escapades have never erupted into anything dangerous. Or at least nothing I couldn't quell by agreeing that the little green man is there. My main concern is that a friend who had jsut finished a rotation in the psych ward told me that the real crazies could always tell if someone was faking it, and would go out of their way to reject them. Of course, the reverse being that they welcome those of their kith with the openest of arms. Like me. The mentally insane girl.

But my brief brushes with weirdos this weekend consisted of people who didn't at first appear as if they had taken a mini-weekend from Bedlam.

One was the cashier at our local Petco, who besides making me feel guilty for buying dog food full of fillers (every once in awhile I let my dogs have the Cap'n Crunch instead of the Wheaties), then told me about how hard corn is on the digestive system. Of course, he could have just said that, but instead he decided to put it into context. Like the percentage of corn in his poop following a crawfish boil. Yum. At least I knew how to smile and nod. Thank you crazy people.

The other was a 400-pound woman in an electric scooter wheelchir who tried to run me and another person down when, after waiting patiently for several minutes, I decided to make the mistake of asking nicely if she would allow me access to the granola bins that she seemed intent on sampling. Oh, she was stirring for a fight and I was about ready to give it to her. Until I realized that yelling at someone in a wheelchair would probably not go down well in Whole Foods. They wouldn't believe it if I told them the truth. I had to just settle with the comforting thought that I am skinny. And can walk.

Okay, I'm crazy. But at least I'm not stupid. Stupidhead!


steetoa said...

I love the adventures. Can't say that I've had the same pull on the crazies, but I start my mental health clinical next month so we'll see. :)

Nora said...

1. I woke up this morning at 2:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. I think I dozed off for about 20 min. tops. Maybe it's the new moon.

2. Oh, New Hampshire. Where were you? (Your mistake, of course, was making eye contact and talking to him; we don't do that here.)

Startickler said...

We were in Gufftown or Gufston or something like that. There were a lot of crazy people there. I think I saw one with her foot swaddled in bubble wrap.