jetsetgreen

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Crazy

Sometimes, when I think life is getting the better of me and my brain, I remember a conversation I had with a hardscrabble Janis Joplin fan, who happened to be my employee. Carol was from New York and had fading rose tattoos on her arm. She’d tell me about how pushed around Janis had been and how all those people in Port Arthur, Texas had something awful coming to them in the next life. Come to think of it, she looked just like Janis. I liked Carol, especially when she told me stories about how her mom got caught cheating or when she stopped in the middle of the Long Island Expressway to rescue a kitten she named Freeway. Carol had one of the biggest hearts I have ever known.

It had been a particularly stressful week and I said to Carol in a rather flip way that I thought I was going crazy. Carol stopped smiling and her face fell into a grave visage of her normal self. She said as seriously as possible, “No, you are not going crazy. If you say to yourself ‘I’m going crazy’ you’re not going crazy.” It turns out that Carol spent 15 years working in asylums in and around New York City. She had seen “real crazy.” Some of the stories she told me at the book counter that day were shocking.

At the end of her words she looked me directly in the eye and said, once more and with feeling,

“Real crazies never think they are crazy. If you ever think to yourself, ‘I’m going crazy’ you are absolutely not going crazy.”

14 comments:

Lindsey said...

Oh good! I'm so relieved.

undefined said...

This is quite possibly the most promising and hopeful story I've heard in a long time. I suddenly feel infinitely better about myself!

Brooke said...

hallelujah! that's a relief!

RC Cola! said...

True dat! But just to stay in the clear, I think I might keep saying I'm going crazy.

La Yen said...

Does it work for saying "I am going bitchy?"

c jane said...

Even better news: I've never even thought I was going to go crazy.

Wait a second . . .

Sarah said...

Takes crazy to know crazy. I think it's good to have just a wee bit!

pflower10 said...

talk about crazy.....

I had a dream about you the other night, and it goes like this....

We were on our way to go shopping in a nondescript big city and pulled into a parking garage. We were riding in separate cars and I lost you in the parking garage. I went into the shopping center that was connected to the parking garage and I saw you again but you had changed into an off white cashmere sweater and pants. You then proceeded to unwrap all of the boxes that the mall had wrapped to look like Christmas gifts. I had to chase after you and wrap them all up again and scold you every time you tried to unwrap another one. Then I woke up.

I'd call that crazy!!!!

April said...

"I'm going bitchy!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Cindy said...

One time my dad told me that there will be some days you'll wonder if you're retarded and if all your friends are just too nice to tell you that you're retarded. I thought this was interesting insight into my father's soul.

b. said...

I've got bitch and crazy down to an art.

kiki said...

Oh, good. Dodged that one! Bitchy? Well, I can be downright that.

Livs said...

Here's the thing, though... I've heard so many people say this that now I wonder if I say "I think I'm going crazy," because I use it as a get-out-of-crazy-free card.... You know, like maybe I really am crazy, but I'm still smart enough to know the things to say so that it seems like I'm not going crazy.... like Hannibal Lecter or something. What about THAT?

AzĂșcar said...

See, I brought that point up to Carol and she said, "No, you'll never be crazy."