A friend I’ve kept in touch with since our graduate counseling program days recently discussed the manic-depression he’s dealt with for decades.
In his depressive states, “Tom” sits around practically unable to function. In his manic states he is “on top of the world with profound truths shooting like meteorites from my head.”
His definition of being “crazy” is when the activities and thoughts of a person are not in context with the environment.
“At a honky-tonk I might get so excited by the music I get up on a table and dance — and that is acceptable. But if I do it at Red Lobster, I don’t even get to stay for dessert.”
Most people had trouble understanding a stunt Tom pulled at DFW International Airport a few years ago.
Standing behind a black couple, he danced an Irish jig and made some apparently inappropriate comments.
“They thought what I said was funny and laughed. I thought the situation merited my remarks because my thoughts were going 120 miles per minute.
“I thought how ironic for us whites to be waiting behind these blacks after they’d waited on us all these years. I thought there was a divine symbolism in what I said.”
Shortly thereafter, while riding in the back seat of a police car, the sound of the wheels hitting metallic reflectors became entwined with a poem by Archibald MacLeish:
“If God is God, He is not good. If God is good, He is not God. Take the even, take the odd, I would not sleep here if I could. Except for the little green leaves in the wood, and the wind on the water.”
Tom says the tires hitting the reflectors became the wind on the water — “all the way to the hospital.”
Contact Wendel Sloan at: