My mother and I are sitting around the kitchen table. Why do you do this, she asks. She always asks, Why do you do this, in that scientific way a mother always does when she’s worried about her emotionally disturbed offspring.

*

I’m crazy.  I’ve been crazy since the day I was born. My father says the wires in my brain weren’t soldered together correctly; an assembly mistake. My doctor says I have Bipolar Disorder, the disease that occasionally causes the neurons in my brain to explode, leaving traces of myself everywhere, like the aftermath of a tornado. My therapist says I just need Jesus. I’m not sure which to believe. I don’t even believe myself, most of the time.

*

Despite being in a committed relationship for twenty-four years, my brain and I aren’t the most hospitable to one another. You’re sick, I tell it. No, you’re the one that’s sick, it replies back. A gaslighting technique; the blueprint of an abusive relationship. The highs are good – they always are. The sickly sweet I love you’s almost make the lows worth it.

*

My father is the first one to ever call me crazy. “Tough boys don’t cry,” he says. “Don’t make no tears, tough boy, stiffen up that upper lip, stop acting crazy.” Stop acting crazy. Stop acting crazy – a track on constant repeat.  I cry a lot. Mother calls me sensitive, Father calls me a crybaby. I’m severely overweight and depressed, so I cry. It only seems natural. The more I cry,  the more my father yells, the more he yells, the crazier I become. I am twelve years old.

*

I’m adopted at the age of two. Storks swoop in and steal me from my biological parents. My adoptive mother often says she loves me anyway, as if I were her own. My father says she should have considered an abortion. I used to think he was right. Thank god for therapy.

*

Kurt Cobain was crazy, my friend, Kate, says. A lot of the greatest artists suffered from Bipolar disorder. I often think of Kurt Cobain playing on MTV; each harsh rip of the guitar pushing the demons away.

*

I spend my Saturday nights googling signs of depression, and when to go to the hospital. WebMD says I have cancer.  Maybe my therapist was right – I should find Jesus. After all, none of the disciples had cancer. I often dream of dying and resurrecting – holy water sloshing through my veins, the Holy Spirit in my glass of wine; God goes down smooth. On Tuesdays, I play beer pong with Poe in the Garden of Eden. I must say, for an alcoholic, he’s a good throw.

*

I often dream of dying. I often dream of mistakes. I often dream of the stars, and George Bush, and Flint. I often dream of not dying; I’m the most alive man in the universe. I often dream of clean water. I often dream of Kenya. I often dream of Barack Obama in his tan suit. I often dream of Presidents. I often dream of healthcare. I often dream of hospitals. I often dream of medicine. I often dream of Malcolm. I often dream I’m crazy. I often dream it weren’t that way.

Photo courtesy: www.marcelchrist.com

Kevin Latimer is a playwright and poet from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. His hobbies include reading, writing and making bizarre origami.

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