I was just sitting on the harbor wall gnawing on half an uncut ham when an old man walked past on the street above. The bemused look he gave me made me wonder if eating ham without first cutting it into thin slices was some kind of social faux pas I was unaware existed.
It made me feel a bit like a stray dog. I wondered if I might be crazy. You know, like one of those old bearded men crouched under the flyover and sucking the blood out of his socks. I’m sure that sometimes I probably look a bit crazy, but that’s not the same as actually being crazy, right?
Yet I worry that maybe my attorney was right. Maybe I might actually be crazy. How would I know? I mean, he managed to get some disreputable head shrink to state that I was crazy as part of some legal gambit, but that’s not the same as actually being crazy, right?
So I tried a little research. Looking about on the internet, particularly personal blogs, it seems that nearly everyone is declaring that they’re crazy in some way. The meaning of crazy varies wildly between individuals.
So, if I might be crazy, let’s have a look at my options:
For some people “crazy” means that if the quality of the conversation at the bridge club doesn’t improve next week they may actually have to use a four letter word (in the privacy of their own car, on the way home perhaps). Well, fuck that.
For others, “crazy” means that they had one more beer than they intended on Friday night and missed the bus home. Maybe they had to get a taxi. Whew, crazy night. I mean, taxi? In this town? You could have saved six euro if you’d walked.
For some brave people, crazy is fighting serious mental conditions. Crazy is struggling through each day in a disorganized mess and taking pills to try to counteract the effects of the other pills which they’re taking because they don’t have the confidence to argue with the profiteering doctor that prescribed them. I guess this one requires a doctor, so clearly not that kind of crazy. I sometimes struggle to get through the day but it’s more likely that I’m just drunk or hungover (or both).
It seems the most popular however use of “crazy” however, seems to be referring to rather formulaic, repetitive faux quirkiness that, if anything, is so entirely normal it’s painfully dull. “You don’t have to work to help here, but it’s crazy”.
At first I thought that finding all these other crazy people was a good sign. Maybe it means that my worry that I might be crazy is just a sign that I am actually rather normal?
But then I looked about a little more and I realized that most of the people who are saying “Oh, I’m crazy!” don’t mean it at all. They really actually mean: “I’m a bit dull, but I want to appear quirky and exciting somehow.”
Those with actual troubling mental conditions aside, people who say they’re crazy are often about as bland, uninteresting and unexciting as people can be. They’re not the ones sitting on the harbor wall chewing on a pound of meat, they’re eating at McDonalds. They’re not the ones trying to look casual walking along the beach at 5 am wearing nothing except a stolen raincoat and a pair of bright orange stilettos; they’re sitting at home watching T.V. wearing a T-Shirt that says “I’m with stupid” and hoping people think it’s ironic.
These are the kind of people with nine to five jobs that they don’t really like. These are the kind of people that argue over whose turn it is to clean up the dog shit. These are the kind of people that eat at the same fast food restaurant every week because it’s kind of familiar. These are the kind of people that go to church because they go to church.
I was thinking… what’s wrong with this picture? Why would I want to be like these people? Why would anyone want to be like that? Is there something here that doesn’t quite fit?
Then the realization hit me. I was wrong. They’re right. They really are fucking crazy. They may be in the majority across a lot of Europe and North America, but that doesn’t mean they’re not crazy; they’re totally bat shit insane.
I remember a story about a guy who decided that the whole world was crazy. He built a circular wall and declared it the wall of the asylum. Then he lived in the middle of the circle. I can’t remember if he ever went in to visit the crazy people in the asylum but I suppose I’d have to find the original story to find out.
Still, the idea seems like reasonable one. I haven’t got the real estate to build me an actual wall, but in any case I’m declaring the lot of you certifiably insane and you can all go live in your asylum. If anyone wants out you’ll have to convince me you’re mentally sound enough to be released…