Monday, September 21


My wife has often commented that I get a lot of crazy people that decide they want to talk to me. Or at least, there is something about my aura that makes normal people momentarily nuts.

Conversely, she only ever catalyzes the polite side of people, so that whenever we are together, she acts as a lightning rod, grounding out the wackiness into banality. If we are ever separated though, the sparks fly as all of the eccentricities of the seemingly commonplace horde are set loose.

Maybe they can sniff out my frequent trips into the land of Chaos. Perhaps they want to soar like they used to, like Wendy, John and Michael, or maybe they have lost their marbles, and are looking for my secret stash of fairy dust. My better half will watch in awe as people she's described before as nice and caring will describe their prejudices and faults, their crackpot notions, every fanatical half-baked idea they've ever had, and zealously attempt to persuade me to meet them in Neverland.

I've had a grandma tell me that she's conservative, and worried about the Filipino women who have to leave their babies back in the Philippines, and that she could never understand how they could be so callous to do something like that. I've had people tell me that the recession is so bad that the rental units are empty because the Mexicans are fleeing the squalor here for the squalor of their home country. People invade my personal space in a frenzy of goodwill and malignancy, with their deepest thoughts suddenly exposed, and I can only suppose that they view me as a kind of soothsayer.

They give me their dreams and nightmares, and I'm unsure how I'm supposed to reciprocate. Should I be carrying around fortune cookies?

Kids flock to me, and I can see in their eyes that they want to poke me with a stick to see if I'll bite. The first thing a seven year old boy asked me was, "What do you believe in?" Not, "I like baseball," or, "My name is Fill-In-The-Blank." Nope, it was "What do you believe in?"

I said, "About what?"

He said, "What do you believe in?" As if the switch in tone made the question perfectly clear.

I wrinkled my brow, because these things are not to be taken lightly. Besides, I am not one to give trite answers to meaningful questions. I said, "What do you believe in?"

He said, "I believe in God."

I said, "Well, I believe in cheesecake."

Which, in a certain way, can be seen as dodging the question, but in another way, in all seriousness, is a perfectly acceptable answer, especially since I'm pretty certain that I've had more encounters with cheesecake than I have with God, thus the belief in a certain type of pastry outweighs the belief in a deity.

Though some would argue that the cheesecake is God, which, I absolutely agree with. Especially if we can all eat at the same table, at the feast of the Lost Boys, and gorge ourselves on spectacle and illusion and confusion. Where we can sing and dance and make love without abandon, a sustainable and holistic version of Burning Man, and the daytime terrors of choice and mind and heart can be unleashed without fear, and perhaps the madness can be infinite and contained in union.

Or perhaps not. Maybe I'm just imagining things.

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