our all-time favorite Bag-Lady!
~ from "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," ~ by Jane Wagner
Imagine you are in the middle of downtown Manhattan (New York),
and you are suddenly faced with this somewhat defiant-looking bag-lady.
Her name is Trudy, and she starts talking:
I know what you're thinkin' - you're thinkin' I'm crazy.
You think I give a hoot? You people look at my shopping bags,
and call me crazy 'cause I save this junk.
What should we call the ones who BUY it?
It is my belief that we all, at one time or another,
secretly ask ourselves the question, "Am I crazy?"
In my case, the answer came back a resounding "YES!"
You're thinkin' "How does a person know if they're crazy or not?
Well, sometimes you don't know.
Sometimes, you can go through life suspecting you are,
but never really knowing for sure.
Sometimes you know for sure 'cause you got so many people tellin' you
you're crazy, that it's your word against everyone else's.
Another sign is when you see life so CLEAR sometimes,
but you black-out. That is your special visionary variety
who has flashes of insight, but can't get anyone to listen to 'em
'cause their insights make 'em sound so crazy!
In my case, the symptoms are subtle, but unmistakable
to the trained eye. For instance,
here I am, standing at the corner of "Walk, Don't Walk,"
waiting for these aliens from outer space to show up.
I call that crazy, don't you? If I were sane,
I should be waiting for the light like everybody else.
They're late, as usual.
You'd think with as much as they know about time travel,
they could be on time ONCE in awhile.
I could kick myself.
I told 'em I'd meet 'em on the corner of "Walk, Don't Walk"
'round lunchtime. Do they even know what "lunch" means?
I doubt it. And 'round. Why did I say 'round?
Why wasn't I more specific? That is so typical of what I do.
Now, they're probably stuck somewhere in time,
wondering what I meant by 'round lunchtime,
and when they get here, they'll be dying to know
what lunchtime means. And when they find out
it means going to Howard Johnson's for fried clams,
I wonder, will they be just a bit let down?
I dread having to explain tartar sauce.
This problem of time just points out how far apart we really are.
See, our ideas about Time and Space are different from theirs.
When we think of TIME, we tend to think of clock radios,
coffee breaks, afternoon naps, leisure time, half-time activites,
parole time, doing time, Minute Rice, instant tea, mid-life crises,
that time of the month, or cocktail hour.
And if I should suddenly mention SPACE - AHA!
I bet most of you thought of your closets.
But when they think of Time and Space,
they REALLY think of TIME and SPACE.
They asked me once, my thoughts on Infinity,
and I told 'em, with all I had to think about,
Infinity was not on my list of things to think about.
It could be Time on an ego trip, for all I know.
After all, when you're pressed for time,
Infinity may as well not be there.
They said, that to them, Infinity is "time-released Time."
Frankly, Infinity doesn't affect me personally one way or the other.
You think too long about Infinity, you could go stark-raving mad.
But I don't ever want to sound negative about going crazy.
I don't want to over-romanticize it either, but frankly,
goin' crazy was the BEST thing ever happened to me.
I don't say it's for everybody; some people couldn't cope.
But for me it came at a time when nothing else seemed to be working.
I got the kind of madness Socrates talked about:
"a divine release of the soul
from the yoke of custom and convention."
I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore!
After all, what is reality, anyway?
Nothin' but a collective hunch.
My space chums think "reality" was once a primitive method
of crowd control that got out-of-hand.
In my view, it's absurdity, dressed up in a three-piece suit.
I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress!
Now, since I put reality on the back burner,
(amongst those in touch with it)
I can take it in small doses,
but as a life-style, I found it too confining.
It was just too needful!
It expected me to be there for it, all the time,
and with all I have to do, I had to let something go!
my days are jam-packed and fun-filled.
Like some days, I go hang-out around 7th Avenue.
I love to do this old joke:
I wait for some music-loving tourist from one of the hotels
on Central Park to go up and ask someone,
"How do I get to Carnegie Hall?"
Then I run up and yell, "Practice!"
The expression on people's faces is priceless.
I never could've done stuff like that
when I was in my RIGHT mind.
I'd be worried that poeple would think I was CRAZY.
When I think of the fun I missed,
I try not to be bitter.
See, the human mind is kind of like ... a piñata.
When it breaks open, there's a lot of surprises inside.
Once you get the piñata perspective,
you see that losing your mind
can be a peak experience!
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