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Crazy and Together
7.15.2003 by Rosemary, every Tuesday.


Here are two vaguely amusing, vaguely sad stories that are not presently autobiographical, fyi. Hope you enjoy. Also, on an unrelated note, please write a letter.




Crazy

I suppose I've always been a little nervous, but a few years ago I became increasingly paranoid that I was in the process of losing my mental faculties. One day I decided to settle the matter once and for all. I went to the local library and took out a book called Insanity in Our Modern Times.

I poured over the descriptions of various disorders, from the commonplace (Bipolar Disorder) to the quaint and rare (Lesser Bridge's Parrot-Nosed Seratogenic Atrophy). Eventually I arrived on Page 53 of Chapter Six, "Sane or Insane?" There I encountered the following paragraph:

Determining whether a patient qualifies as "insane" is by nature a fantastically complex task. However, throughout varied populations worldwide, one constant appears evident: the insane are generally not aware of their condition. Therefore, if one finds oneself asking, "Am I insane?", one is, most probably, not.

What a lifeline! Suddenly I had a sort of barometer for my mental state. I immediately scurried about asking every single person I knew if they believed me to be crazy. Each one said no. This reply provided an initial rush of satisfaction, although the effect swiftly faded. Soon I cared only that I managed to ask the question of someone. Once I had run out of friends, relatives, and acquaintances, I began asking complete strangers. Vendors, truckers, policemen on the street, even carnies at the Fall Fair lent reluctant ears to my query. I quit my job and spent my savings traveling around the world asking every new person I met whether they felt me to be a bit off kilter. Finally, savings exhausted and strength failing, I returned to my small house to eat what I could from my dilapidated vegetable garden.

At first I was distressed with the pittance of new faces in my neighborhood. The supply was simply not enough to keep up with my demand. Recently, however, I have discovered a new source of validation. Although fire hydrants and other inanimate objects don't technically have ears, they are very patient and attentive. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I can be sure I am quite normal.


Together

One morning I woke up to your familiar warmth and felt instantly uneasy. Something had changed, and for the worse. In attempt to banish the discomfort I pulled you close and wrapped you in my arms. I felt fine until lunch, when the feeling returned with a vengeance. I rushed to your workplace and pounced on you in your cubicle, hugging you tight. I hugged you three times during dinner and eight times before bed. The hugging continued the next day, and soon became an addiction; I needed to hug you every hour, then every ten minutes, to feel all right. I devised creative reasons for dropping by your workplace or entering the bathroom during your long showers. I was devastated whenever you went to visit friends. I pondered altering space-time so that I was always, always hugging you, every microsecond of every second of every hour of every day. When I found myself looking for support groups I decided it was time to talk to you about the problem. I followed you to your best friend Mike's house and stood outside for half an hour. At last I worked up the nerve to burst through the door; running down the hall towards the bedroom I shouted, "I hugged you more and more every day but it didn't make me feel less empty". When I saw you lying there with your beautiful eyes I was instantly repentant. I opened my arms for one last hug but found that they were too short to wrap around you and him together.




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