CALL ME CRAZY


Call me crazy...

I like car alarms. Especially when they go off in the middle of the night.

I like stepping in dog shit. I like it even more if I'm wearing a brand new pair of shoes. I've been known to cross the street just to step in dog shit.

I like it when the rent check gets lost in the mail and I have to pay late charges.

I like it when it rains and the car won't start and my umbrella breaks and the bus I'm trying to catch goes through a puddle and soaks me.

I like it when I send my steak back because it's too rare and they bring it back to me too well done, and I like getting into a shouting match with the manager of the restaurant.

I like being told Iím not the "happy-go-lucky young man without limits" anymore, that I've turned into a "sarcastic old sourpuss." I like hearing that.

I like getting a traffic ticket (moving violation!) for making an illegal U-turn as I'm leaving the auto repair place, where they charge me $1200 for "something to do with the transmission."

I like waiting on line for an hour at the department of motor vehicles only to find out Iím in the wrong line.

I like throwing up. I like throwing up on a pair of new shoes and then stepping in dog shit. Call me crazy.

I like the hydraulic "whooshing" sound the doors of the bus make when they close in my face, and I like missing out on a new job because Iím late for the interview because I missed the bus that I had to take because they took my driver's license away.

I like hanging out with a bunch of losers.

I like being arrested and booked on a drunk and disorderly charge, and I like it when the cop opens a gash on the back of my head with his nightstick when I resist being handcuffed without ever being told whatever the hell it is you're supposed to be told.

I like it when the public defender assigned to my case quits at the last minute to join a private law firm.

I like it when Iím advised to plead guilty by my new public defender who is barely two weeks out of law school, and I like it when he suggests I plea bargain and take a reduced sentence.

I like it when the "reduced sentence" turns out to be a year in jail and a ten thousand dollar fine.

Call me crazy, but I like the idea of spending a year in jail, and I look forward to paying the fine.

I like the fact that my ex-wife promises she'll "stand by me to the end," and then never visits me, not once, during my entire stay in prison, which I really enjoy.

I like the fact that my case is profiled on "Prime Time Live" as part of a segment about inept public defenders.

I like the reaction to the piece, which is unmitigated outrage by the lawyer-hating media, and I like it when they put my picture on the cover of every major newsmagazine.

I like the attention I get, and I like the promises of "quick justice" from everyone from Diane Sawyer to Vice President Gore.

I like walking out of prison bathed in the glow of dozens of photographersí flashbulbs as I step into a long white limousine that takes me to a TV studio where I'm interviewed about my terrifying experience.

I like the idea of my being portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the movie version of my life, but I like the idea of Tom Cruise even more, as my ex-wife suggests. I like the script for the movie, but I like the second draft, too, and the third draft, as well as the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth drafts, and I like the fact that the movie is now in "turnaround," a Hollywood euphemism for "oblivion."

I like the recent lack of attention, and I like the fact that I long ago spent the money advanced to me for the movie rights. And then some.

I like it when my suddenly distant ex-wife's phone number has been changed to "unlisted," and I like it when her landlord slams the door in my face when I ask him for the key to her apartment.

Call me crazy, but I like the feeling of despair, isolation and desperation as I step out onto the window ledge of my ex-wife's ninth floor apartment, and I like it when the fire department opens a large net on the street below. I like it when a bunch of bystanders, total strangers, start chanting, "Jump!"

I like it when the police psychiatrist talks me out of jumping by telling me I could make a lot of money selling my story to television, and I like it when I get no offers.

I like the stability that has come into my life ever since I hit five of six numbers in the lotto, and I like the used 1989 Ford Taurus I bought with the winnings. I like the car's ride, I like the fact that it doesn't leak in a sudden rainstorm, and I like the back seat, which sleeps one.

Call me crazy, but I like car alarms -- especially mine -- when it goes off in the middle of the night after my car is broken into by a thief, and I like it when I step in dog shit and slip and land in a puddle while chasing the bastard.

Call me crazy, but I like it when my ex-wife finally comes by to see how I'm doing and she says, "You're crazy!" and walks away.


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