Tag Archives: aura

Is it Just Me or Are You Crazy?

“Look at me,” said Birdie. Lunatics Welcome

Gerald turned and stared at her. “What am I looking for?”

“Do I have a neon sign hovering above me that says, Lunatics, welcome?” Birdie pointed toward her head.

“Not that I can see. Maybe if you’d step over by the window,” said Gerald. “Why?”

“Well, you know how it is when things happen to you that if you were the star of a sit-com, it would be funny, but since you’re the star of your life, it’s not funny, and it doesn’t get worked out in a half-hour? Well, that’s the sort of stuff that’s happening to me,” said Birdie.

She shook her head. “I must have Crazy-bait hanging around my neck. I’ve looked, and I don’t see it, but it must be there. I guess only the Crazies can see it, anyway, but if things keep on going like they have been, I’ll be able to see it before long because I’ll be crazy, too.”

“Settle down,” said Gerald. “A mind is a pretty easy thing to misplace. Just make sure you keep track of yours.”

“I’m trying. But why are the nut-cases congregating around me? I try not to encourage them. Is it my aura? Do I have a crazy aura? See, they’re already having an effect on me. Only kooks use words like aura. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word aura before.”

“Oh, you might have used it before. That doesn’t mean anything,” said Gerald.

“I don’t understand what draws them to me. It can’t be my welcoming vibe. My vibe is distinctly unwelcoming. I’ve made it a point to be unwelcoming. You know how unwelcoming I can be.” Birdie’s voice rose.

“I can’t fault you on your industry in that area,” said Gerald nodding his head.

“Seriously, I’ve gone from just an occasional, intermittent Crazy-encounter to three bona fide, constant Crazies in the last six months.” Birdie held up three fingers and waved them at Gerald. “From NO full-time Crazies to THREE full-time Crazies. That’s a 300% increase, if my math is correct. Even if my math’s not correct, it’s too much.”

“If you’re going to start talking about math, then maybe you have gone ’round the bend,” said Gerald. “Just think. Our math teacher was right when she told us we would use percentages in our everyday life.”

Birdie sat slumped in her recliner. “When it was just intermittent Crazies I could rely on my go-to strategy which is, run like the wind, but you can’t do that when the crackpots are integrated into your daily life. You can’t run from your life no matter how insane it gets.”

“Sometimes, when they’re in the midst of all their lunacy and sharing it with me as if I had asked them to, I’d like to just call a spade a spade, or in this case, call a nut-job a nut-job. I’d like to say, That’s the goofiest thing I’ve ever heard. ” She ran her fingers through her short hair in a quick dismissive gesture.

Birdie leaned her head back and exhaled loudly. “But I can’t, because what my mama taught me shakes its finger in my face. ’Birdie, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’ Personally, I tend to believe that if you can’t say something nice, it’s because there’s nothing nice to say, but I keep my mouth shut and practically get a cramp from the involuntary eye rolling that I have to suppress.” She closed her eyes in sympathetic response as she mumbled something about everybody and his duck being absolutely bonkers.

Gerald took the lap quilt that Birdie had pulled up to her chin and tucked it in around her. “There, there, my little loony tune. Save some crazy for another day.”

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Birdie and the Golden Arches

Bringing a hidden candy bar to the movies didn’t ruffle Birdie’s conscience at all. Technically, she knew it was against the rules, but she felt justified in doing it when admission was so pricey, and the cost of candy at the concession stand would have paid for a Caribbean cruise for Gerald and herself. It gave her a bit of “civil disobedience”/”free the masses” sort of feeling when she sneaked candy into the movies. And besides, once she had seen a guy bring in a full meal from Taco Bell and eat it while waiting for the previews. She would never do anything like that. Of course, she wouldn’t.

Then came breakfast at McDonald’s on Sundays. Gerald and Birdie hadn’t started out wrong. They would both order sausage McMuffin meals and eat them while sitting in their favorite booth, enjoying the the sun that came through the only window on the east side of the restaurant. However, one Sunday, Gerald mentioned that he really liked having a pastry with his coffee, so they started trying other places like the bakery, the French cafe, and finally the college-student pizza hangout where, surprisingly, they made the most delectable sticky buns and fresh fruit croissants. Birdie and Gerald tried eating at the pizza place, but it was dark and cold, and they missed their sunny booth and cheap senior drinks with refills. So, Gerald came up with a plan. He would carry the pastries into McDonald’s and secure the sunny booth, while Birdie would order the McMuffins and senior drinks, being careful not to confess to the 16 year old taking her order, that they had brought in contraband food and were intending to eat it while enjoying discount beverages courtesy of McDonald’s. It made Birdie a little uncomfortable at first, but it all went so smoothly week after week, and whenever her conscience tried to speak up, Birdie would just give it a bite of her McMuffin.

This Sunday, after they had made their pastry run, Gerald suggested they get a burrito at Sonic. When Birdie realized that Gerald intended to continue on to McDonald’s with the pastries AND the burrito, her discomfort quotient rose to the alarm level. She was sure that her aura looked like a flashing neon sign that said, “Food Smuggler and Sneak”.

As she walked to the counter to order the drinks, she had trouble maintaining eye contact with the young order taker. She brought the drinks to their booth, grabbed a discarded Sunday newspaper, and sat across from Gerald as he began digging into his burrito. Birdie ate her croissant without looking up from the useless news articles and ads before her. The pastry lost its sweetness. She didn’t want a refill. There was no sunshine.