On craziness

“Yo this party is so crazy!”

Like, crazy how?

“Like outta control…”

A flashback: her mother’s pain-lined face & exasperated tone almost made her miss the deadness of her eyes. “I want her out of here! She’s crazy and I don’t have any control over anything she does.” it occurs to the child that a desire for control over something (anything) & that dead-eye look has strangely familiar parallels to her own life and she logs it in the back of her mind somewhere. But this wasn’t about control at all. She had just wanted to feel something (anything). So she took a bear from her bed and sat it in a trashcan and lit it on fire. She sat riveted by and yet not particularly impressed by her tiny blaze until the smoke got heavy enough that she started having trouble breathing. She opened a window and dumped a cup of water on her failed experiment and laid down. By the time her bedroom door was yanked open amid shouts and cursing it was all over and she had trouble, as she often did, understanding what all the fuss was about. Her mother called the police but they refused to take her unless she wanted to go live with another family. Something flashed in her mother’s dead eyes. She really didn’t want her to stay. The child told the policeman that she wanted to stay here, with her mom, mostly out of spite. Maybe things weren’t as outside of her control as she thought.


“I don’t know, some of these chicks here tonight lookin’ crazy, son.”

Like, crazy how?

“Like a mess…”

A flashback: “why won’t she do her fucking hair? Always coming up in here looking crazy” but she had done her hair. Sort of. The problem was that she was having more nightmares than usual and had woke up late. So instead of having her usual two hour cry and try to coax herself out of bed session she had only had 15 minutes. Her eyes were still red when she made it to the bus stop she had switched to avoid the girls who wanted to beat her up. She slinked into a seat in front of the bus hoping they’d have something better to talk about but they were waiting for her. She closed her eyes and silently wished herself away, confident that if she wished hard enough it would work. As the other students erupted into laughter at the latest volley of insults lobbed at her she readjusted her expectations, hoping that if she wished loud enough that she could at least drown out the roar.


“Ugh! Why is she still checkin’ for me so hard? That bitch is crazy.”

Like, crazy how?

“Like tie you up in a basement & kill you…”

A flashback: cut eyes and murmuring from the line of desks across the room. “It’s that crazy bitch who kills people.” it doesn’t matter much that if she actually took lives she wouldn’t be sitting there. She’s too different and too wildly adrift on the stream that was her own depression to adjust to accommodate their expectations. Even if it would keep her safer. In her latest cry for help she had sketched dramatic little pictures of herself dying in various ways on the back of her completed test until the teacher collected everyone’s papers. She stared with malice at the face of the bully she would blame in her suicide letter as she scribbled out her morose little masterpieces. Hanging from a noose. Hit by a car. Knife in the gut. Her teacher, the consummate professional that she was, told the other students about the drawings after the child was temporarily pulled from class, but not before informing the principal that the drawings were obviously, a threat directed at none other than the bully who had repeatedly humiliated her. They eventually learned the truth, and after a couple of forced psychiatrist visits she was allowed back into the class. The bully’s friends whispered about a plan to jump her after school. But by then she was used to being whispered about. Used to being crazy.


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