What Looks Like Crazy (Part 1)
November 26, 2012
Have you ever just let yourself go off the deep end, and then stood on the other side of the room and watched yourself go crazy? I’ve only really done it twice. The first time was when I was 22 years old, had recently graduated from college and was staying in London with my boyfriend.
He was my first true love. He was handsome and kind and had an English accent. We were together for our last two years of high school and then stumbled through the relationship in college, until it was finally over sometime at the end of our sophomore year. After pining for him for a year or two, I gave up all hope of our getting back together, graduated from college and moved to Nantucket to work and not get on with my life, and that’s when he turned up on my doorstep, wanting me back. It was an impossible dream come true, emphasis on “impossible,” apparently.
It all seemed so romantic at the time, his invitation to move to London, live with him in a flat, find a job in a proper English pub. And it was romantic, until I actually got to London where I found letters from some college friend of his about their making love in a Louis XIV chair (which I suppose was romantic for them, if not a tad uncomfortable). This love-making must have occurred after his invitation to me and shortly before my arrival in London. Back then, you didn’t have to sneak peeks at cell phone texts or break into password-protected emails to snoop. All I had to do was open a drawer to find the evidence of his philandering, and it was not limited to a chair. I spent several weeks there, acting pathetic and demeaning myself in all sorts of ways and then escaping to “the continent” to visit my family in Belgium. Because my flight back to the States left from London, I returned there for a few nights, with the understanding that my now ex-boyfriend (Neb) would deliver me to the airport. The night before I left, I was informed that Neb would be unable to take me to the airport because he was meeting his new girlfriend at the train station. It was not at this point that I went crazy. It would take more than that. I cried, I wailed, I may have even cursed. I smashed a mug. It was all very appropriate behavior considering the situation. And then in the middle of my sobbing, from somewhere deep within my suffering soul came a snort. I snorted. Loudly, and so fully that my nostrils vibrated. And that is when I went crazy. How can you not laugh at a snort? I started laughing – a crazy, sad, maniacal laugh and at that point, my consciousness got up from my body and went to sit in a chair on the other side of the room. I sat on the other side of the room and watched myself completely unravel. I wasn’t just laughing. I was guffawing. As I watched myself acting like a crazy person, I felt love and understanding for that crazy girl who, now guffawing and sobbing at the same time, had just thrown a shoe at Neb. At that moment, I felt compassion for myself, compassion and love and respect that Neb would never have for me. And so if I had to step outside myself for a moment to see that, then it was well worth the trip.