There is a quote I think about from Charles Bukowski that says, “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
I think about this quote sometimes.
I think about the times I’ve gone crazy. Then I think about the times when I felt crazy. I think about the hard times and the desperate times. I think about the times I found myself on the poor end of bad decisions.
I think about the times I found myself in the worst places. I think about the jail cells. I think about the office visits of authority figures and the jobs I lost as a result to my behavior or performance. I think about being a divorced dad.
When I think about the times I’ve gone crazy, I think about the crazy mishaps. I think about the crazy nights, up past the midnight hour, looking forward to breaking dawn, and then driving home while the sun comes up. Ah, and the city. Yes, the city knows me. She knows my secrets. She been listening to me talk about them for years.
I think about a time when I drove to the beach in a suit and tie after a long night out and considered what it would be like to run into the winter waves of the ocean at Point Lookout.
When I think about the word crazy, I think about the times I went against the grain and risked everything. And sometimes, I lost everything.
Oh, but at least I lived.
At least I can say I have seen things. Of course, I may not be as worldly as some but I can say that I lived.
I used to be ashamed of me. I used to be ashamed of my reflection in the mirror. I used to see myself as somehow, off-center, just a bit off from the mark; as if something was wrong with me.
I used to wonder why I always felt so absolutely different from anyone and everyone else.
I used to think maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe I had a problem. Maybe I went undiagnosed for something.
Then again, maybe I thought this way because I was trying to make sense of the fact that I always felt so completely different from everyone else.
I questioned me. I questioned sex and sexuality. What am I? Who am I?
What am I doing and am I doing anything right?
What does it mean to be beautiful and what if I like a beauty that is different from the commercial norm?
I never knew
this was okay. I never knew how wonderful it is to be unique—and more
importantly, I never knew I wasn’t alone.
I wasn’t the only one that thought this way, which would have been nice to know during some of the more lonesome times.
The truth is we all go through ups and downs in life. The idea, however, is that regardless to whatever happens; we still have a life to live.
I used to think that I was crazy, which is a contradiction somehow because sometimes it is absolutely essential to go crazy. Then again, there is crazy good and there is crazy bad.
Either way, crazy is crazy. The truth of the matter is real crazy people don’t think they’re crazy. They think they’re sane.
I used to think that maybe I was stupid. I thought I had to be stupid because I could never figure out why I ended up in the same situations with similar scenarios.
I used to look at others and wonder why things appeared simple to them and yet difficult to me. Then again, I never knew what went on in their head.
All we ever know about the people we pass is what we see on the surface level. The truth is most people do not expose themselves. But yet, I used to always feel exposed.
I felt vulnerable, which is and was awful.
Maybe I’m just not cut out for this. Maybe I’m supposed to be kept in a box and never dare to break out from my comfort zone.
Maybe I have the intelligence but I just don’t have the ability to put things together, in which case, what would be the use?
I swear I believed I must be stupid. I never thought much about others or knew anyone else felt the same way. I never knew I wasn’t alone. And just like crazy people don’t know they’re crazy; stupid people don’t think they’re stupid. They think they’re smart.
That means something here . . .
Some people live their lives and never go crazy. Well, safe to say I have gone crazy more than once. Safe to say, the last thing anyone can say about me is that I live a horrible existence.
In all honesty, maybe I am crazy. Yes, I’m crazy for sure. I’m crazy to want to be, think, feel, and choose. I’m crazy enough to live outside the box, which is the same box I used to imprison myself in and hide behind my doubt because I never thought I could make it outside of my usual existence.
I’m crazy because each day, I wake up and within minutes, I come here to find you, so the two of us can talk without anyone else interrupting.
See, this is the way I draw and paint. This is the way I live. I have to attack. I have to form a plan, each day. I have to live like I am fighting back. I have to stand up and go forward. I might yell and scream. I might seem or look oddly or appear anxious —and the truth is I might be odd; I might be anxious. But at least I’m not quitting
Crazy? Sure, that’s me.
Truth is it has taken me years to appreciate my special brand of craziness. It has taken me years to fins beauty in me and my tragedies. Crazy is the fact that I dare each day, regardless to outside opinion, and without regard for pain, —I’m crazy because although I fall and although I’ve struck out, I still get up and try my chances again the very next day.
Did I ever tell you why I chose to stay clean nearly 29 years ago?
There were a group of guys taking bets about who would be the one that went off the wagon first. They laughed when my name came up. They said I was going to be dead before I left the driveway of the facility.
Later that day, I was told in a group of 35 men, only 1 in 33 people make it in sobriety. That’s the day I decided the one person would be me.
Maybe it is but some people never know what it means to go crazy.
But me, I certainly do