Am I Crazy, Or Is It All Just In My Head—Test included

Sometimes I get this weird feeling in my head. It reminds me of that sensation I get when I’m sitting in a car by a train, and for a brief moment I’m not sure if its me or the train that’s moving.  In a panic I stomp on the break and suddenly my head is filled with this strange dizzy, disoriented feeling.

Worse yet, one time I woke up in a hotel room and for the briefest of moments, I forgot where I was, what time it was, or if it was night or day—-for a split second I was outside myself—just floating in the atmosphere, detached—-having no body, no name, no sense of self.   I was in everything, and everything was in me.

There must be support groups for people like me. Maybe there’s even a name for my disorder.  I am older now, and really don’t care what people thing of me.  I’ve wasted to much of my valuable time being polite and nice to people who are assholes.  At this stage of my life, time has become my most precious possession—-even though time is something no one possess, the best I can do is be aware of its fleetingness and be mindful of the ones I choose to share my time.

Below is a list of negative bullshit I will no longer accept from people in my life.

Peoples bullshit I’m eliminating from my life:

People who are demanding, bossy, no sense of humor, know it alls, done it alls, smug, vain, poor communicator, bad listener, inflexible, high maintenance, self-righteous, self-centered, self-absorbed, blame casters, expect something for nothing, those who never sing, dance or say a nice thing about anyone, negative people, nay sayers, those who possess no passions or dreams, the ones who I find to be cluelessly boring.  Small minded people.

If any three of the above attributes sound like you, then don’t expect a Christmas card, Birthday card or a friend request on your Facebook from me—-just saying!  Getting older is a good thing though.  Aging has encouraged me to better define what is important to me.

The things that are important to me:

Good health habits

Being comfortable in my own skin (time alone)

Family

Companionship-spending my time doing what I want, with the people I respect and like.

Nature (protecting it, preserving it, spending time in it).

Laughing

It’s a short list, just like my list of close friends.  I like what Oscar Wild once said, “True friends stab you in the front”.  And sometimes that’s just what we all need. We benefit from the people who challenge us to reevaluate our convictions, our choices and our closely held beliefs. True friends will tell  you when you have egg on your face or when you’re being a dumb-ass.

I have a lot of casual friends, but I really only have two true friends. One is a woman who lives so far away that there is no chance that our relationship will dissolve into a beleaguered love-affair—-perhaps a shame but more likely a blessing.  I have found that the best loves for me are the ones that remain in the category of fantasy or wishful thinking. Anyone who’s crazy enough to love someone as contradictory as me, must also be riddled with paradoxical flaws.  If we were to become lovers, we’d surely destroy one another.  We’re too much alike—on the inside full of love and good intentions, but on the outside hard to know, difficult to get along with and impossible to understand.  I can see us now, pulling each others hair, shoving each other up against a wall, pushing each other to the ground.  We’d end up in the dirt swearing and wrestling and then unexpectedly laughing and french kissing.  We are emotional time bombs, quick to anger, fast to forgive and forget, impulsively passionate, intuitive but fool hearted, tough yet easily hurt, transparent but fiercely private, secretly sensitive, wounded rebels, honest to point of being hurtful, intense and worldly and then suddenly naïve and childlike, spiritual loners, homesick adventurers, sentimental pragmatists, careless risk-takers, insatiable seekers——searching for something or someone—-but for what?  We couldn’t really tell you. But we’ll know it once we find it.  She gives me what I need, even when I don’t want it.  And then she’ll turn around and give me what I want even when I think I don’t need it—now that’s true love.  She knows me better than I know myself.  Just like how Lyle Lovett sings it, “Nobody knows me like my baby”.

And then there’s my one and only faithful buddy.  We’ve known each other since childhood and have just about done and seen everything there is together.  We spent a lot of our youth on road-trips chasing dreams, playing music in bands, getting high and partying, sweet talking naïve girls, losing our hearts, losing our way—-but always coming back together for new adventures.  I remember one time on a road-trip he pissed me off so bad that I had him drop me off in the middle of nowhere.  It was the end of the line, broke, hungry and tired, all our second chances used up and all of our redemption coupons cashed in. I got to where I couldn’t stand to look at him anymore, he reminded to much of me with all my beautiful failures, irreplaceable loses and impractical dreams—–just a couple of holy hobos, sacred fools, lost saints, forsaken angels——broken-hearted bums on the same road with no map or compass and nothing left to gain or lose.  So he dropped me off somewhere between here and nowhere.  I watched his eyes in the rear view mirror as he watched me standing there at the side of the road.  I stumbled off with my shabby nap-sack over my shoulder and my beat-up guitar case in hand.  It felt good to move on and be alone again, with only me and my own shadows to haunt me.

After all has been said and done, he is still the one I count on.  When my mom was dying he showed up at her door and slept on the couch as we spent our days and nights helping her from bed to bathroom, to couch to bed and back around again in a sad pathetic stupid circle.  Her life-force eked away as death impatiently chased her down a circling drain.  Until finally, her blue eyes began to look away from us, beyond us, to a place that only she was allowed access to.   We stared into her eyes and then back at one another; without words we moved on and past another fork in the long road that defines our relationship—–thank God for my brother.

Ya don’t forget shit like that, at least I don’t. He’s Irish and drank way to much. He had to give up drinking or lose all that was precious to him, his wife, his kids, his home and most importantly his integrity.  He had become a soulful disaster behind apocalyptic blue eyes. He suffered through it and came out the other end sober and a better man for it; albeit still a bit crazy, but we wouldn’t have any other way.

If you want to know what kind of person you are, then just take a look around at the group of friends you’ve allowed into your world—you are them and they are you.  Losers hang with losers, achievers surround themselves with achievers, addicts with addicts and athletes with athletes.  Make no mistake about it, we are all judged by those with whom we walk.

There are a lot of ways to measure the success of prospective relationships, but I have devised fifteen sure fired questions to help me quickly make this important determination.  Why waste years trying to love or hangout with someone who is bound to only let me down and make me miserable.

Here is my relationship test:

  1. Name your five favorite songs of all time.
  2. Name your five favorite bands.
  3. Name your five favorite books.
  4. Name your five favorite movies.
  5. Tell me a joke.  Try to make me laugh.
  6. Name your three favorite meals.
  7. Name three things you like to do on nice sunny days.
  8. Name three things you like to do on rainy/snowy days.
  9. In one sentence explain your religious views.
  10. In one sentence explain your political views.
  11. What are your three favorite quotes.
  12. Where is the best place you’ve ever been and explain in one sentence why.
  13. Name three people you admire and explain in one sentence why.
  14. What is the most erogenous part of your body.
  15. Are you a cat or dog person.

Key to test (check your number of matches with fellow testers:

0-3-Be extremely careful, opposite attract, but after the novelty wears off you’ll seriously question your ability to make sane judgments.  “What the hell could’ve I ever seen in this alien being.”  Extended time in their company may cause mental illness or result in criminal charges being pressed by one or both parties.

4-6 Only participate in group activities with this person.  A great person to shoot pool or bowl with. By all means, do not discuss politics or personal matters with this person, especially after consuming alcohol, or you may end up cracking your cue stick over their  lame head.

7-9 This category usually contains busybody relatives and nosey neighbors.  They are nice people but limited contact is recommended.  They know just enough about you to push your emotional buttons and make you feel guilty over ancient transgressions.  They mean well, but their judgmental comments will cause you to not want to attend get together or family functions.  They are most volatile when drunk or after returning from a religious retreat.

10-12 These folks want the best for you and just being around them will make you feel better. They will call you on your bullshit and when necessary and appropriate they will stab you in the front. You may not see this person for years, but as soon as you get together again, you will be able to pick up right where you left off.  You are comfortable in your silence together and their is no need for secrets or pretense, you are accepted for, and appreciated for the soul you inhabit.

13 15 Use extreme caution.  These folks are as crazy as you.  Your personality combined with theirs creates a third hybrid personality that I call the Godzilla effect.  Your flaws fade into blind spots as all your neurosis take center stage.  Together, you will encourage one another to indulge in all your wildest fantasies and fetishes.  If you are a drinker, you’ll jointly drink till you puke, if you ski, you’ll end up doing tandem triple back flips off fifty foot cornices, if you dance, you’ll both end up in time square dancing naked on New Year’s Eve as the ball drops.  These relationship ultimately lead to jail, a 51/50 commitment or the cemetery.  There is a fine line between a soul-mate and a fools-mate.  Where the beauty of the soul is, there’s always danger.

In summation, we’re all crazy.  The so-called “sane” ones are the ones you have to worry about. They’re the ones who are so in love with their own bullshit that they develop a mean spirited hate for anyone who holds a different view or belief.  These people are narcissistic megalomaniacs—-translation—“assholes”.

To be alive and to enjoy this thing called life, we all need to be a little bit crazy.  The secret is to find others who embrace the same brands of craziness as you. So, go live your life as if its the only one you’ll ever have (because it is, unless you believe in reincarnation).  If you’re fortunate, you’ll find a handful of good friends who will bring out the best in you as they lovingly challenge you to be even a better and more evolved person.

In conclusion: My life reminds me of that feeling I get when I’m sitting in a car next to a moving train.  I’m not sure if this is all real, or if it’s all just in my head—-

My Electronic Fast—Going outside to get inside (To be read while listening to Mario Takes a Walk by Jesse Cook)

Saturday and rainy.  It’s the weekend and there’s no need to get into my weekly routine.  Even though I’m retired and everyday is like a Saturday, I’m thinking of taking the day off—-from my other days off.  My lesser self pulls the covers over my sleepy head, but my better self forces me to stagger from my bed and slip on my tennis shoes. I skip putting on sweats or running gear and just go with the boxers and the 49er’s T shirt that I wore to bed,—I’m tempted to go commando style—now that would be a sight for sore eyes. I get aboard the treadmill and begin to think my walking thoughts.  I put one foot in front of the other and I am going nowhere fast, its a journey down an imaginary road that leads back to me.

It occurs to me that much of my life these days is lived outside of myself.  I know that sounds strange, so let me explain.  My life should be a balance between stimulation from the outside world and time spent sitting still and listening to what goes on inside.  Lately it seems that I spend most of my time trying to get away from myself.  I’ve become an ADD chaser of mental squirrels, OCD multitasker, acronym speaking, energy drinking, gadget fiddling, micro-waver, internet surfing, fast-food eating, reality TV voyeur-ist: and the quintessential soulless connoisseur of things–things outside of me.  Yes, that is what I mean when I say I’m living outside of myself.

It’s time I wake up my sorry-ed and make some changes.  I’m starting now by putting myself on a strict electronic-less fast for 24 hours.  I take a double step as I stumble from my treadmill.   In frustration I rip the iPod phones from my ears.  I look outside my window at a cold December morning with its gray drizzling sky.  I pull on a pair of wrinkled sweats and call out to my faithful dog Chase.   He bounds down the stairs and takes a seat in the foyer expecting a treat.  I encourage him, “Come on boy, let’s go outside”.  He cocks his head and gives me a questioning stare. “No boy, we’re going out there for a real run.” He gives me a confirming doggie grin, a tail wag and then follows me out the door.

As I move down the road thinking my thoughts, a simple epiphany suddenly causes me to stop in my tracks, “What I do, is what I become”.  If everyday I exercise and eat healthy I become an athlete, If I drink alcohol everyday I become an alcoholic, if I practice the piano everyday I become a musician, if I speak negativity everyday I become a negative person, If I choose to enjoy life, life will become enjoyable.  The clarity of this thought puts an approving smirk on my face. Maybe it’s not only what I do, but who I do it with? Well, if that’s true, then I’ve got to be careful about the friends I choose.  Ya spend your time with assholes, you become an asshole.  What I do, and who I do it with, is what I become.

I take a break and have a seat on a rock in the middle of a meadow.  For the first time in a long time, I can feel my body tingling.  I feel energy surging through my muscles; well maybe it was more like an ache from lack of use, but it’s a good ache.  A misty breeze blows across the sweat on my skin refreshing and awakening me.  I’m fucking alive!  I lay down on the damp ground and breathe in deeply.  I taste the cool sweet air.  I suck it in and considered how miraculous it is that my body turns air into life energy.  I’ve never been good at biology, so I’m not really sure how it all works, but it is one hell of a miracle, one breath at a time.  Yeah, I like air, thank god for air and lungs to breath it.

My heart is still beating hard in my chest from the exercise.  What a magnificent organ the heart is.  It’s about the size of a fist and it faithfully beats approximately 42,075,904 beats per year and that’s around 3.5 billion beats in an average lifetime—–And I don’t even have to think about it, it just keeps on beating one beat after the other—thu-dump, thu-dump.  I silently count out one hundred of my heartbeats.  I can hear blood surging deep inside my ears, thank God for my heart and the blood it pumps.  As I remain still I hear birds chirping back and forth to one another, “Good mornin birdies”.  Colors seem brighter, air tastes fresher and the sky above feels so much closer—I’m bigger than my body.

I’m taking this living inside myself a step further.  For me to feel God, to feel inspiration, I don’t need to go to church or read a holy book. I don’t need to be blessed, saved or redeemed. I just need to be still.  When I am still and paying attention, I can feel God right here inside me.  Maybe that’s what soul is, to feel God moving inside me.  Yeah, I think God is inside us all. He is that close, right there inside us and waiting to be expressed through us.  When I shut off all the outside chaos and noise I can hear him in my breath and feel him in my heart heart.

I once again put one foot in front of the other as I consider my new thought,  “What I do, is what I become”.