I’ll be adding a few of the chapters here to the blog so you can follow my progress, here is Chapter One, let me know what you think.
Having been born in a mental institution, I often find myself wondering if I’m crazy myself. Fortunately, too often, I run into someone else that I’m convinced is crazy and puts my mind at ease – for at least a moment or two.
My mother, it turns out, was one of those cases where no one even knew she was pregnant, I’m sure you’ve seen them on the news. Seems she was so big when she was admitted to the ward that they didn’t even think to run a pregnancy test. The birth was too much for her to handle and she died giving birth to me; I heard all of this relayed to what had been a long list of foster parents by a loud-mouthed social worker. She informed them that was why I had been to so many homes, but I knew that wasn’t it, I’m not the crazy one but most of the foster parents had been. Some foster homes would turn me down right there or only agree to take me temporarily, and this is the main reason I was never adopted – or at least that is my theory.
Foster homes are always an adventure; you never know what might happen to you. Id met all kind of monsters in them; pyromaniac kids, molesting adults, drunks, drug addicts, and slave labor traders top the list. Each placement I’d find a way out or would be asked to leave – usually if I threatened to tell on the men who wanted to touch me or if I’d defend myself against rotten kids. Those people were crazy, even a young kid could see that. Sometimes I couldn’t get away, those scars will always be with me. There were good foster homes, the one I ended up for the last three years especially, but more on that later.
But it does beg to question, do crazy people think they’re crazy? Probably not, but I’m not crazy… of that I’m fairly certain. Ride the bus you’ll see crazy.
The other day I had left my iPod at home and by the time I realized it I would have been late to work had I gone to retrieve it. I knew I’d hear crazy on the bus, but I also didn’t want to be late for work – so when the bus arrived I walked on, paid my fare and found a seat near the window. In the rare occasions that I had forgotten my iPod before I had learned a few tricks that sometimes keep me safe from conversation or confrontation, lean your head against the window, slouch down and make sure your eyes are closed. Above all, don’t react, that’s the important thing, don’t react.
So when the tap, tap, tap was felt on my shoulder I knew I should have ignored it, but there I was opening my eyes. I looked across the aisle at what appeared to be a lovely lady, dressed nicely for the morning commute with a handbag on her purse. She smiles at me and I say “Yes?” to which point she asks me what times it is. Seriously, she wakes me from my fake slumber to ask me what time it was I’m mildly furious yet kindly tell her that I do not know. This was pretense of course, she’s not really interested in the time, instead only wants to talk to me, even if I’m not interested in talking to her at all. I lean back against the window and close my eyes, she keeps on talking at me hoping I’ll take part in the conversation – but this time I remember not to react. Bus people are like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if she smiles at me the next time she sees me and considers us old friends.
At the junction I get off the bus and wait for the next, lighting a cigarette and generally go over what is sure to be a busy day. Before the third drag on the cigarette the bus has arrived and it’s full, most of the seats are taken and none of the open seats are windows. There is one guy in the fourth seat back that is hogging up both seats, but past experience has made it clear the odors that waft from him are not worth sitting next to him even if your feet are about to fall off. So I find a seat next to a young man, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, he looks harmless enough.
Very quickly I discover that he’s far from harmless. Almost as soon as I sat down he started to chat away at me incessantly. Seems his father was a bad man, he tells me four or five times, so I’m sure he must have been bad. He talks with what I assume is African accent that makes it hard to understand the words I’m trying to ignore. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the lives of crazy people, so I can’t help but listen. It’s not too long before he starts to tell me how he shot his father in the leg, doesn’t tell me why he shot him, but does go into graphic details about the amount of blood and screaming that happened after he had pulled the trigger. (At this moment one of the other people on the bus looks up suddenly at him in horror, so part of me thinks she is either not crazy, or upset that someone mentioned blood or guns or screaming on the bus, any of these are possible) Then the really crazy part happens, he asks me if I’ve ever been shot – to which I answer, “No” and a smile as huge as I’ve ever seen spreads across his face while his eyes get a glint of expectation and he gets lost in his own world. Thankfully, that’s my stop. I make a note never to sit by this individual again come hell or high water.
The work day goes as expected and I’m so overwhelmed with things to do at the office at five o’clock I don’t remember that I had left the iPod at home, so tentatively I head to the bus stop and hope for a quiet commute home.
When the bus arrives I get in line to board and can see the sane people on the bus – they’re the ones wearing headphone or talking on their cell phones (listen carefully to their conversations and you can tell it’s a ruse – they only do that to avoid the crazy people on the bus). There is an empty seat and I sit by the window thankfully, but as I start to slouch in my seat someone comes to sit next to me, I glance up and a guy smiles at me, naturally I smile back, but still slouch down and get ready for my faux slumbering – of course it’s never quite that easy. He of course wants to talk, and at first it’s just casual conversation so I let my guard down and start to participate – bad mistake. Before I know it he lets me know that he has recently had penis reduction surgery, which is of course not something I hear every day but definitely in the realm of possible conversations you’d hear on a bus any given day of the week. He goes into details about how difficult of a life it had been for him up until the surgery no girls were interested in dating him as soon as they saw his humongous member – apparently it was difficult in physical education classes as well, all the other boys gave him a hard time (no pun intended) for the size of it. He goes into very specific details about not just the length of it, but also how enormously thick it was.
If that weren’t enough he wants me to know that they can’t just cut it off at the top, they actually have to take a chunk out of the middle and then reattach the two halves for it to work properly again. The doctors explained to him that there was nothing to be done for the thickness of it, he was dismayed at the news but hopeful that he might find someone who’d be able to withstand his big member.
In spite of myself, I’m fascinated but I’m not sure if what fascinates me is the whole story or the details to which this man has gone to creating such a tale. There are several people around me also listening to him go on and on about his dong, some with smiles others with blushes and some with eyes as big as saucers.
Inevitably, he has to ask the question: “Do you want to see it” and in all honesty, no I had no desire to see this mans reattached penis – not something I’d ever thought I’d say to myself or another human being. Nor did anyone else, as they all suddenly had other things to look at besides this man and me. Fortunately he didn’t pull it out there on the bus next to me – the bus was crowded enough. I politely say no, and luckily see that my bus stop is just a few more minutes down the road. The man with the monster penis looks disappointed that I’ve not wanted to see it but remains quiet for the rest of my ride. When I pull the cord to stop and ask him to get up I can’t help but glance down at his groin area, where indeed there is a very big mound.
So while forgetting my iPod can be an adventure, it’s not something I hope to repeat in the future. Maybe I should just carry a set of headphones with me, that way I could pretend to be listening to music but really listening to all the crazy, without having to actually be a participant. I may not be crazy myself, the jury is still out, but I obviously attract crazy. Ride the bus, you’ll see crazy.