I was crazy once.
They locked me up,
in a rubber room.
It was cold,
they barried me.
Worms ate my brains!
Worms drive me crazy!
I was crazy once . . .”
We thought that song was funny as hell when we were kids.
“They locked me up.”
Why didn’t that scare me?
“In a rubber room.”
How awfully real for some.
“It was cold.”
Yes, loneliness is cold. Treatment by society is cold.
I don’t believe my hypomania will ever lock me up. My depression? Sure.
Cliché of the day: mental illness is not a joke.
How is a truth so, well, true, and ignored, cliché?
Don’t call the people downtown crazy. Eccentric? Some. Mentally ill? Many. Self-medicating? More. If they are crazy, I am crazy. Don’t call me crazy. Don’t lock me up. Don’t let me get cold: cold to the world—hardened; cold by the world—in loneliness.
And yet, we are locked up, us “crazies.” Locked in the rubber room of medications, locked into dulled senses: amphetamines, lithium, marijuana, anything for the better—protection—or for the worse—head-banging dependence on a temporary fix; even rubber hurts.
And we become cold: mania spins us into warmth. Medications kill the movement. Society moves away: the warmth of wanted and unwanted company is lost. No one wants crazy.
And we die. A little at a time. The spinning of mania, the numbness of medication, the weight of depression—they kill: spirit and body.
And in our live death the worms of true crazy, of incorrigible crossed wires in our brain-space, we atrophy.
And you call us crazy. We are too tired and dizzy to fight it. Past runs into present. Sure. I was crazy once. I was crazy.