Every single one.
I noticed this because lately, when I am frantically looking for a piece of paper to write something down before I forget it, every paper is scribbled on within an inch of its life.
Many of them are covered in ideas or set lists (the list of jokes I'll be doing that night, in the order in which I'll be doing them) or names and e-mails of comedians I've met, but the main point I am stressing is that I pull out post-it pad after bank statement after drugstore receipt, and every one is covered in my thick, black handwriting, looking almost as if it were covered in spiders.
I used to write on my skin-- my hands-- but I found that the more potentially interesting thoughts crossed my mind, I would have to branch off from my hand and write further and further up along my arm. Eventually I would get past the elbow and write something like, "see leg" or "continued on left shin." Bathing was becoming quite an intense event, and ink poisoning was becoming an ever-more-likely possibility. Which is why I switched to paper. I always have a book on me, yet stubbornly refuse to write in one. But looking, lately, at the scribblings on my bookmarks, coupons, and Panera bread information pamphlets (which I collect for the sole reason of writing on them) I have finally come to the conclusion that I should have come to several years ago.
I am crazy.
And I was thinking about this last night, because I dumped out all the papers from all the bags and pockets and car gloveboxes and wherever else they were, and transcribed all of them into my notebook. And sitting there with my hair in my face, surrounded by a circle of my own frantic scribbling, I realized-- this is what crazy people look like.
Not that I am particularly upset about this. Secretly, I had always hoped I would be crazy. I was never a popular kid in school, which I now attribute to several factors.
1.) I had intense seasonal allergies, carried a large box of tissues between classes, and blew my nose at a decibel level exceeding the brass section of the marching band.
2.) My hair constantly looked as if it had been hit by a level five tornado and my clothes were purchased at either L.L. Bean or Marshalls. I would not have thought twice about buying a belt sold in the supermarket. My sense of style was as up-to-date as that of a potato farmer.
3.) I had (and have) a very limited interior monologue. Almost everything is verbalized, even if no one is around but myself. Often (unfortunately) many other people were around, which, in turn, led to my lack of social acceptance.
But I never saw any of this as being unusual. I merely saw myself as having been chosen to be unpopular for no reason. I had been picked at random-- probably because I was not pretty enough, which is a pretty common thought for girls, I think. (But I could be wrong, or generalizing, or crazy, so don't quote me on that.)
But I would sit at a lunch table with all the other losers and rejects and dorks and geeks, all of whom were fascinating and fun and none of whom ever told me I was crazy. But I was not smart enough to be a nerd, computer literate enough to be a geek, or knowledgeable enough in the world of Star Trek and Role Playing Games to be a dork.
But I WANTED to be crazy. Because then I would've had an excuse!
"Well of COURSE I'm not popular," I would say. "I'm crazy! If you have a problem with that, I'll stick this pen directly in my aorta."
And then my guidance counselor, who would be played by Whoopi "no eyebrows" Goldberg, would go, "Your aorta's in your chest." And I would click the pen and raise my eyebrows and go,
"Good to know."
Also, my lips would be huge and I would win an academy award and be in the tabloids every other Thursday.
I always felt like being crazy would solve all my problems. I went to a therapist hoping she would listen to my babble for five, maybe six minutes before interjecting, "Holy shit, you're fucking crazy, aren't you? Why have they let you run around for this long?" But it's been over a year now and this therapist has yet to make any similar declarations. She mainly says things like, "MMmmmmhhhmm," and "Mmmmmm," and I can't see her when I'm talking, but I wonder, sometimes, if she is listening to anything I'm saying, or eating a delicious candy bar.
There is, of course, the argument that truly crazy people don't realize they're crazy, which backs up my "I'm crazy" proposal for a good portion of my life. But does that mean that now, realizing it, makes me no longer crazy?
It should, I think. So now I can safely say that, having suspected myself of being crazy, there is no chance it could actually be true.
Of course, now that I've firmly declared myself sane, doesn't that mean that I'm none other than the painful opposite?
But I'm not, of course, because I wouldn't know about it if I were, leading me to believe that there's a good chance I could be a candidate for craziness.
And whether or not I was crazy at the beginning of this post, I think this final paragraph is enough to drive anyone over the edge.