The Mad Ones.

Tonight, I find myself thinking about crazy people. Luckily for me, this town is full of ’em.

When I was 14, I had a friend who told me that he really thought the crazy people were the ones who truly had it all together. Their reality was the truth of the world, they were the ones who were truly paying attention.

I suppose I appreciated his words, as they’ve stuck with me, and mental illness is something I know all too well – genetics have taken care of that for me. And every now and then, my crazy-craze manifests itself in different ways, but most of the time I eat some chocolate, hope for a better tomorrow in which my mind will STFU, and call it a day.

I met up with a friend I haven’t seen since I left grad school at a local Starbucks this evening. Before I even got there, there was a man who was talking on his cell about buying a birth certificate, and generally being a nuisance and scaring people. When I got there, he stood for a long time at our table (it was a huge table), until one of the baristas came over and told him he was scaring people and he either had to buy something or leave.

Instead he went into the bathroom, and decided to go to the bathroom without closing the bathroom door. He showed that barista, alright. My friend and I didn’t see anything, though we were a few feet away. We got complimentary drink coupons; when you’re faced with the slightest hint of public indecency, you might as well be caffeinated for it, am I right?

Thinking that that was enough fun for the night, I found myself waiting for the bus. Because the city was working on a stretch of sidewalk, a bunch of people crowded together on the street behind barricades to wait for the bus. Most of these people were smoking so I just stood off to the side (normally smoke doesn’t bother me, but I had a headache from not eating anything since lunch). So I’m standing there, with my headphones, and one of these other crazy dudes just looks directly at me and starts talking.

Now, I couldn’t hear him because I had music playing, but it was obvious that he was intent on speaking to me. I did the thing you normally do where you sort of shuffle and look around for a bit in any other possible direction until you’re sure the attention has been diverted from you… until you realize that you’re looking at the same guy who hasn’t been deterred by your obvious uncomfortable-shuffle dance. (Because he has it all together. He gets it. And you don’t.)

All was fine once I got on the bus; he chose someone else to talk to. But sometimes I wish that I wouldn’t be a magnet. Like, solidarity and all of that! but… leave me alone. I got headphones on, those magical barriers to conversation.

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