My brother committed suicide back around 1990. I have a very hard time remembering exactly the year and month, but it was in the summer of 90 or 91 or thereabouts. That's the only thing I have a hard time of is remembering the date. Look at the picture. He's dead. We're living. I did my crying. Time for crying is over. Time for living is now. Every day, whatever comes. This is a letter to someone I love, you know who you are.
You have to decide how crazy you want to be. The answer should be zero.
Because in a society as large and complex as this one, especially in the big cities, you can get all kinds of attention for your craziness. Don't expect much from me. You see I strongly believe that everyone has the right to make life and death decisions. Even about themselves. But people's decision making process is flawed. We all know that phrase 'Choose Life', but as crazy as it sounds, some people choose death. Why does it sound crazy? Because it is crazy. Period.
I think it was really funny that somebody gave the following relationship advice. *You* be the crazy one.Why? Because nobody wants to deal with crazy.
Here's something else about crazy. It sticks to you. It's like a trip to a Mexican whorehouse. Once you go there, you can never ungo. You can never undo the experience. You chose to do it. All you can do is say, OK that was fucking stupid, I'll NEVER do that again. That's actually the best you can do. Then you have to move on and not dwell on it, and life goes on. You fill your life with everything else there is besides Mexican whorehouses. Simple.
Woody Allen is crazy. We always knew it. You can be a crazy genius, but then you'll be one of those stupid geniuses that can't even appreciate their own value because they keep entertaining their crazy thoughts. I mean there are a billion books in a million libraries full of interesting things to fill your head with, but entertaining crazy thoughts is a waste of time. Oh yeah, and there is music, and art, and everything that has yet to be discovered on this planet. I mean, you could learn a whole new language. Or you can just decide to focus on the crazy fucked up part of your life and implode. For a long time, we all thought Woody Allen was cute because he was all neurotic and seeing shrinks, and people thought being slightly neurotic was fascinating. He just wanted to bang his own daughter. Crazy. Because the whole world is not interesting enough, right?
Here's the thing about shrinks. You're either crippled or crazy. If you're crippled, they prescribe drugs for you and that fixes the broken pieces of your brain. You are mentally disabled, you have a hardware problem. Or in millenial-speak, you don't have an iPhone, you have a brick. It doesn't matter where you go with a brick, you're never going to get five bars. If you're crazy, then they talk you down. They talk you down by teaching you how to talk yourself down. You have an iPhone but you're just in a dead zone. You have to go out to where the signal of life is, then you get your bars. The shrink helps you recognize that you actually do have an iPhone and not a brick. I know. I've been there.
When I say I've been there I mean I have had.. ohh.. maybe 40 hours of shinkery over the past three years. I understand my limits and I know how it feels to not want to get out of bed. I know what being overwhelmed feels like. That's not crazy. Crazy is talking about the craziness and trying to get attention from it. I'm not going to do that, not for you or for anybody. That's how I know I'm not crazy, because when I actually started feeling that way I hated it and I don't want anybody to know except to get a cure and get away from that and back in control. That's the difference between wanting to be crazy and not. When you ask for attention and you get attention and you like the attention you get for entertaining crazy ideas, you become a reality show fail reel. Fascinating. Stupid. Short lived.
People act like everything is curable. No. You can smear your face with shit this morning, wash your face today, and eat dinner with the head of the CIA tonight. Nobody will ever know. Not even the CIA. But you will know. Everybody knows that you should never smear your face with shit. They knew that before the birth of Christ. Everybody knows what crazy is.
All I'm saying is, you should decide to not be crazy. Crazy = Choose Death.
Now. What I've never done is write a 100 page bucket list. I've never thought of buying a trivia game at Toys R Us and taking all the cards and highlighting all the cool things on them with a yellow marker. I'm pretty comfortable with all the possibilities in my life and I don't have to make a list of 'gee I never thought of that before'. We stoics like to say, Handle survival and the upside will take care of itself. But if I were deep down in that dark alley where I hear you have been, I might start filling my mind with all kinds of new possibilities.
Oh wait. I have to tell another story.
When I was 19, I got my girlfriend a job. It was with this company called AOMI and the boss had this huge office in Beverly Hills. He was basically a landlord for lawyers. If you were a lawyer and you wanted an office, you go to him and he rents you a nice office in a fancy building and provides you with a receptionist. I wanted to be an accountant clerk for that guy, but I flunked the test. Instead he hired my girlfriend as a receptionist. Did I mention that I was 19 and broke and now my cute girlfriend was working around rich attorneys? Yeah. So eventually she said the words. Like 'you're broke and I work around all these rich attorneys', and she started hanging out with this snotty Asian chick and not returning my phone calls. So I found myself at a freeway overpass looking down at the traffic. All those people have somewhere to go and I hate my life. And then I realized that if I jumped, I wouldn't get a chance to say all the hateful things on my mind, and people would make up stories about me that weren't true. I guarantee that it's better to get a chance to say all the hateful things, and I guarantee that all jumpers are crazy, and they never get the last word.
We live in a society that acts like anything is possible and anything goes. It's not true, but people like to believe in infinite possibilities. Actually there are about 1000 ways to be completely happy, but those thouand ways are all like fruits on the same tree. If you cut the trunk, you never get to the 1000 fruits. You can't defy gravity and common sense and get the fruits. You have to climb the tree. I can't tell you what all the fruits taste like. I climbed up and stayed up. New fruits grow all the time on my branch. It's pretty comfy.
OK that's 1200 words. What else? Listen to Dennis Prager. He's good, and he understands. Plus he's free. His message is be grateful. You can't be happy if you think the world owes you something. The world does not owe you squat. Um. Let's apply that to my metaphors. The tree doesn't owe you fruit, you have to climb up and pick it.
Also, if you decide that you *do* want to be crazy, do it somewhere else. I don't have patience for crazy and I don't want it around. Seriously. I will disown you. Right. What I wanted to do on this side of the essay is talk about freaks and freak accidents. A freak accident can happen to anyone, but crazy people hang out where freaky things happen with frequncy. There's a whole freakonomics of that, but actually I don't even have the patience to talk about that side of the equation. I imagine there are 'reasons' to smear your face with shit... they say that the world is crazy and their craziness is the only real sanity. Yeah right, if you think you've outsmarted the whole planet, you are crazy.
I'm pretty sure that's just about everything I have to say on the subject, except this. I love you and I will see you in the bright future.