Some People Think I’m Crazy
Some people think I’m crazy. Some people think I’ve got a piece missing and would like to see me go cackling naked down a busy street, the men in white with nets closing in. I don’t know why they feel this way, these people.
It must have something to do with the writing. Now and then someone will give me a lecture on what I could do to make my writing more acceptable. The other day a university professor offered to let me audit his creative writing class to pick up a few pointers.
A young woman just tapped on my van window and smiled in at me. This is where I do all my writing, up on this hill in my van with my yellow pads, overlooking the valley. I’ve been doing it for decades. This is where the real me surfaces.
The me walking around outside my mind is not me. It’s a face I put on to deal with everyday reality, which is insanity with patches over both eyes. I write to keep it at arm’s length, not to connect with it.
I rolled down the window and smiled back. A beautiful young woman with a warm smile is hard to resist.
“You come up here to get away, don’t you?” she said.
“”Yes,” I said. “I do.”
“And you’re always writing,” she said. “Writing and smoking.”
“Yes,” I said.
“I come up here to get away too,” she said. “And to smoke.”
I lit a cigarette for her and we talked about writing and about getting away and she talked about people dying because she’s a hospice nurse. Then I lit another cigarette for her and she went back to her car.
We didn’t talk about why I write. If we’d got that far, we would have moved in together.