Still Crazy After All These Years

for Paul Simon

“I met my old lover on the street last night.”

My past has become a figment of my imagination. Pieces disappear, replaced by entertaining tidbits that may never have happened. Since these altered (and sometimes entirely fictional) memories feed my ego and get me through the day, I make no attempt to correct them, trying not to distinguish too closely between facts and errant electron charges. Life is too full of other details needing attention. Filtering would be a full time job. I seldom have to worry about anyone imposing reality because I maintain few connections to people from my past. The present keeps me busy enough.

When I was younger, I lived for details. Everything was important because it could be a vital piece in the grand puzzle that would help me to figure out the meaning of life, how to gain wealth and power, charm women, and thereby find happiness and contentment. Letting anything go unattended was impossible because it might be the key piece. I was driven to program experiences to be sure I wasn’t missing something.

Miral was a detail. The relationship lasted over a year until she broke it off, citing pure frustration. I drove her to distraction because I refused to settle, always looking for something else. She wanted to pin me down to something, anything, but I was too busy thinking I needed to do new things, so involved with looking over my shoulder that I couldn’t see what was in front of me.

Her intelligence and amazing lack of demons brought me to a halt at first. The demons were there, but she managed to file them away and attend to them at her convenience. Another anomaly was the fact that she didn’t need to do anything. She followed her curiosity but had no mental list to check off. That threw me. I asked her how she’d feel if she got old and hadn’t done this or that. She’d shrug and say she was sure there’d be other things to replace them, if they needed to be replaced at all. When pressed for highlights, she’d answer with book titles or sitting for three hours at the feet of the Winged Nike of Samathrace in the Louvre. I jumped on Paris as being a list thing, but she shook her head and said that places like Paris or Dublin could never be considered list items. Asking for an explanation got me nowhere. I couldn’t understand.

Sadly, being involved with her for so long became a list item, as did the break-up. Soon after she left, I began to realize that something serious was missing. There had been little signs — reaching for her at night and finding nothing, missing her scent around the house — but I normally need to be clubbed over the head repeatedly for things to penetrate. I set out to find a replacement, thinking that another person could fill the gap, but I was unsuccessful because my attempts were half-hearted.

She moved on in a big way and was now working in Paris. A Christmas card and one on my birthday contained an e-mail address and cell number, both of which I began to access more times than I could count. I wrote long e-mails catching her up on news. They stayed in my Drafts folder for a few days before being deleted. I dialed and had long one-way conversations with her without hitting the Send button.

Bumping into her on the street was a total surprise. I almost ran in the other direction. I wish I could say that the motivation was heartache or deep feeling, but I have to confess that it was pure fear at confronting something I thought I had safely tucked away. My lack of coordination, both mental and physical, prevented any escape, so I uncomfortably crossed the sidewalk to confront…whatever.

“She seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled.”

I couldn’t read the look on her face, but I never could. She casually straightened an errant lock of my hair before giving me a kiss on both cheeks. “You look well. Are you working out?”

Working out was putting it mildly. Six days a week. I wasn’t trying to be a body builder. It was a stress reliever. Like her, I do most of my work at home, so getting out to the gym is necessary to keep my sanity. I choose to ignore the fact that I didn’t seem to need it when we were together. I considered buying a home gym, but decided that I’d miss watching the real fanatics punishing themselves. It made me feel superior, but knew it wasn’t a good sign that I seemed to need it. Meanwhile, “Sound body makes up for an unsound mind.”

A more serious look. “I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. I wish I could say the same about me. C’est la vie.”

Her ability to approach others with no walls totally disarmed me every time. She could openly admit that our break-up stressed her. The best I could come up with was, “I love it when you speak French. Speak some more,” something I said to her countless times before, my way of re-establishing a connection without really doing it. Smooth.

She knew me too well. Why did that bother me? What was I hiding from the world, and if I didn’t hide it, what did I think will happen to me? We all have dark thoughts and longings that we avoid advertising, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t that. Sadly, I recently came to the conclusion that my need to feel special, even superior, was the ruling consideration, and those were needs I couldn’t fill without the pose of being guarded or aloof. When the world isn’t beating a path to your door, how better to hide it than to act as if you don’t want your space violated in the first place? Avoid public humiliation by becoming a recluse. Hide emptiness inside by appearing to jealously guard your innermost secrets and refuse to let anyone in. Guilty on all counts at various stages of my life. It’s quite a disappointment to need to reclassify from aloofness to avoidance, from guardedness to emptiness or fear. All these realizations came to me since our break-up. I insisted that it wasn’t the break-up, but rather more responsive to an age or stage of life.

Am I deluding myself? If I’m delusional, can I know or judge such things? Can I at least claim a small distance because I’m able to ask the question, or does the fact that I don’t have the slightest idea how to answer it seal my fate?

“I used to think of that as a far-off dreamy look because when you do it, you gaze in the direction of whomever you’re engaging with, or not, as I learned.”

Refocus. She was smiling, but it wasn’t an entirely happy smile. “Paris? Sounds like a great assignment.” Location, location, location; timing, timing, timing.

Slight shift in her smile that showed she was willing to go along. “Paris is always a good idea. Let’s stop for a drink.” We were outside one of our old haunts, so I shrugged and followed her in, suddenly remembering how much fun it was to follow her anywhere.

“And we talked about some old times, and we had ourselves some beers.

Still crazy after all these years.”

Memories. I hadn’t been there since we split. Another unsettling discovery. They hadn’t changed the place much, and most of the regulars seemed unaware of our absence. Settling in (it’s amazing how muscle memory can take over despite where your head is), she gave me a look that used to both fascinate and frustrate me but now just made me uncomfortable before she began with, “So, what have you logged?” an unexpected opening.

“I recently ran into someone special.” Very open for me, but we always were good at this, among other things.

Slightly bemused smile. “Was it memorable?”

“I’ll let you know.” Stupid, but part of the game.

Preliminaries dispensed with, we recalled the last time we were there. I left out the part about not being there since, but I couldn’t hide the fact that I hadn’t seen most of the people we recalled. She noted it but held off saying anything until we nearly exhausted that part of the conversation. Her brow wrinkled and she half-jokingly asked if I only socialized with them because of her.

“Big city, you know,” was my answer because I honestly didn’t know. “Tell me about actually living in Paris.” I really wanted to hear. I’d visited twice, a tribute to the city since once was usually enough to check off a destination.

“One doesn’t get to live anywhere near where one stays on a visit. I did manage Montmartre. My clients are all over the city, which is no problem. I only wish I had a better view, something more Sabrina-ish.” She went on to describe her weekly routine, which made me a bit homesick as she ticked off the famous places, when I wasn’t finding myself distracted by just looking at her. What had I been thinking? She wasn’t the most beautiful woman I ever went out with, but she was easily the most riveting, and I had driven her away.

Eventually, we got back to the present. Hers was going to be a short visit. In fact, she would be gone in three days and had a number of meetings scheduled, including one in an hour. Neither of us felt we’d covered everything, and I gave her points because she never mentioned my lack of contact being what kept us so in the dark. I could have gained points by admitting it or even, heaven forbid, apologizing, but my scorecard remained blank. My lone excuse was the fear that I’d sound pathetic if I admitted to the one-way phone calls and unsent e-mails. We agreed that she’d call when her meeting was over and plan to do, “Something somewhere.” Her smile when I said those two words made me feel stupid.

“I’m not the kind of man who tends to socialize.

I seem to lean on old familiar ways.”

What had I done over the past year? I though back and very little came to me. I realized that I added almost nothing to the list, which was a bit of a shock. Lower body every other morning, alternating afternoons for upper, yoga once a week, grocery shopping on Saturdays, visits to galleries and museums whenever I could. I never attended openings — too many people and too much “art talk” — because as with music, I wanted to enjoy it, not discuss it. I could read biographies of artists and composers but couldn’t stand reading about what they created, especially with painting, where taste often seems manufactured. Had I become a curmudgeon? Miral often got me out where there were other people, but I did that because she was with the only person I was interested in being around.

I read a lot. The “Get To” shelf in my library — I tend to buy books in streaks — was in a state of constant flux, which was very unusual. Aside from my regular magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic), I caught up on many of the books I meant to read for years. Amazon replaced my old habit of prowling through bookstores, which meant even less contact with other people.

The only pointless leisure activity that seemed to happen anymore outside of the apartment was walking my Basset hound Bertha. While this could be a fairly regular activity — her bladder seemed to be suffering with age — it no longer included long periods on a park bench contemplating the mysteries of the universe, a former favorite occupation that not only got me closer to Buddhahood but also did wonders for clearing the garbage from my brain, which seemed to fill up at an alarming rate no matter how little I occupied it.

I cataloged an amazing amount of music: the complete Bartok and Beethoven quartets, the latter’s complete symphonies, concertos and piano sonatas, everything that I could lay my hands on by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Crumb, Rouse, Carter and countless others, plus I attended more opera in the past year than in many years combined. Culturally, you might think it was a banner year, but much of it was devoured rather than enjoyed, a major crime. I had become a consumer.

Despite all that, I couldn’t see a reason to change any of my established patterns, preferring to think myself as steadfast and stubborn rather than cowardly because I couldn’t (wouldn’t) figure out what I might be so afraid of. I was, however, far more willing to admit to fear than the possibility that it was paralysis created by the fact that her leaving blew all the wind out of my sails. Can you see why I refuse to overanalyze?

“…and I ain’t no fool for love songs that are whispered in my ears,

still crazy after all these years.

I’m still crazy after all these years.”

She didn’t call, just showed up with Chinese and a bottle of wine. She had changed to jeans, a shirt, and sandals, and as I let her in (once more remembering how much fun it was to follow her), I thought about how no one I knew looked that good dressed so casually. Bertha immediately recognized her and set about making up for a year’s worth of missed attention, collapsing onto her back to get her stomach rubbed and becoming misty-eyed, probably wondering what I had been thinking.

“My desire to see Bertha and the old place was greater than my need to go anywhere else,” over her shoulder as she headed to the kitchen. A few seconds later she poked her head out, “However, I do understand that the Emerson Quartet is performing somewhere this evening.”

“Sacrifice duly noted and appreciated.” I brought her a glass of wine and some munchies I scrounged. She took note of the fact that there was little available except the ones I preferred. I hadn’t entertained anyone for quite a while, maybe close to a year. Who keeps track of such things?

“Permission to wander and reminisce?” I nodded but immediately felt uncomfortable. She was very good at visual cues. Watching a detective show with her was a challenge because she made the connections immediately, while I floundered until the end and too often needed her explanation about how A got to B. I could then fill her in with later details because once she put everything together, she usually diverted most of her attention to something else.

From the library (I knew she’d go there first), “You have quite a few new books.” A moment’s hesitation, then with a note of confusion in her voice, “They’re shelved [alphabetically by author’s last name except biographies are by the subject’s last name and travel books are by the city or country, if you please].” I decided to sit back and enjoy while she took my life apart. The only sounds for several minutes other than acknowledging Bertha’s needs were the occasional “Hmm” and subtle sounds of books being pulled out, leafed through, and replaced. “Your ‘Get-To’ shelf is strangely empty,” It was true. There were only two or three books there at the moment. I could say that I decided that it was best not to comment, but the truth was that I read much more than before. Little else to do.

“You’ve framed a lot of photos. I’m flattered.” Another — could I call it a hobby instead of obsession? — habit that had developed was collecting frames: frames that caught my fancy, mostly frames that were incredibly cheap. When the spirit moved me, I printed out photos to go in them. Most with people in them were Miral. I’m not sure whether it was by design or because of the sheer quantity of photos I took of her. I chose to let it hang in the air.

I knew that her next stop was going to be the tables to see what I was currently reading — there were usually two or three things going at once — and which CDs were currently out. She’d enjoy that mix, which included Eliot Carter, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Verdi. I’m not really eclectic or far-ranging in my tastes, just very stream-of-consciousness. I don’t seek variety. It just happens. Unfortunately, that’s the way my mind works. More than one friend has confessed the desire to strangle me during a conversation, and very left-brained people tend to walk away from me, probably more out of survival than frustration. They always think I’m being difficult, but when I try to explain that there are many data streams working side-by-side and little pieces from each run into me, they roll their eyes and glaze over. One of my favorite internet sites puts out a daily “Today in History” page on which they post birthdays of famous people, and they’re often such a collection of opposites that it tickles me looking for commonalities. Few besides Miral have ever found it amusing. What was I thinking?

As she walked around the living room (I would love to see a readout of the information she gathered in the library), I just stood and watched her. She became conscious of what I was doing and raised an eyebrow. “Just admiring what you can do for a pair of jeans and a shirt.” She smiled and went on absorbing while attending to Bertha, going on to the bedroom before returning to the kitchen for a refill of her wine. Without saying anything, she put her glass down and kissed me. She could do things like that. There was seldom any warning, which in this case was probably a good thing. She looked at me questioningly. “Just admiring what you can do with a pair of lips.” She seemed to appreciate the segue and set about getting the Chinese onto plates. Little else was said until we sat down.

She didn’t beat around the bush (no surprise). “I see little evidence of female contact other than Bertha. I’m concerned.”

Women have internal radar that senses each other’s presence. “None has been around long enough to make her presence felt. What about you? Anyone to speak of?” I was curious, but had to admit that part of that was deflection.

She took a while to answer. Someone with awareness or sensitivity might be able to read something into that, but the roster would never include me. I also knew that Miral seldom answered questions quickly, especially when she was eating. “Companions to museums or concerts, but no one to walk around with.” For anyone who had been to Paris, that said a lot. “I’m not in the best position to meet people.” I felt there was more so I nodded my head and continued to eat. The wine she brought was excellent and deserved attention. Eventually, she went on, but on a different track. “I’d find your photo collection a bit daunting if I came up here. I actually felt a bit daunted and I’m in most of them.”

“I went through my files and, except for the travel photos, most were of you. I printed at few as an experiment and they pleased me. The rest is history.”

There was probably nowhere to go with that, so we returned to eating and limited conversation to work. Part of me would have loved to pursue her interest to see if she was saying that she regretted the breakup or missed me anywhere near as much as I was realizing I missed her, but a bigger part was afraid to go there because I wasn’t sure what I’d do with an answer on either side of the coin. It wasn’t uncomfortable. We never felt the need to fill spaces with conversation, probably because we enjoyed each other’s company. We cleaned up and watched Amelie so she could identify places she’d been, but before the end of the movie, she leaned over and gave me a great kiss, then stood up and announced that she had to go because of appointments in the morning. I wanted to ask her to stay, but somehow felt that it wouldn’t be appropriate. She was booked solid until she had to leave, but before she walked out the door, she turned and gave me a hug. “We shouldn’t let each other get too far away.” Another statement that could mean a number of things. I smiled and nodded, kissed her on both cheeks, and she was gone.

“Four in the morning, tapped out, yawning, longing my life away.

I never worry. Why should I? It’s all gonna fade.”

After finishing the wine (as Mom would have said, it would be a sin to waste it), I watched the end of Amelie — Bertha graciously taking her place beside me on the sofa — and closed everything up for the night. The apartment seemed especially empty, even more than when she first left. As I walked around, I could smell her. She seldom wore any kind of perfume but I knew her scent and it was especially strong in the library. It would be difficult to work in there for a few days. Suddenly exhausted, I went to bed and lay there staring at the ceiling. I tried reading, but nothing by my bed was holding me enough to allow me to sleep. Thinking about what I’m currently writing sometimes does the trick. The details of how to get where I need to go seldom happen unless a pen is in contact with paper. If I try to think through them at any other time, I usually end up slipping from consciousness pretty quickly, my brain’s way of telling me that it doesn’t want to deal with it.

For once it failed me, so I got up and tried Plan C: looking for a very bad movie while trying to read something dense. Bad movies abound late at night, but I have to turn off part of my brain as I’m searching because the listings always give the time and I don’t want to know. I have a fantasy thing going that if I’m not sure about the time, I can fool myself into thinking it’s much earlier when I return to bed. I’ve been warned many times that my fantasy life will get me into trouble, but most of the time I find it serves me well. The time on the cable box isn’t a factor since I long ago turned it far enough so that it can’t be seen but not so far that the remote won’t work. Miral always said that she was impressed by the number of routines I designed to fool myself, which showed that she either recognized genius or needed psychiatric care. I wasn’t sure at the moment which it was. Most of my other girlfriends weren’t around long enough to make a judgment, but the ones who were (or accidentally stumbled into it) grew quiet and made worried faces and sounds. None except Miral ever wanted to discuss the intricacies involved. What was I thinking?

I decided to do some work. My job doesn’t involve many set times that tasks need to be completed except for deadlines and schedules I impose on myself. I got the laptop out — the combination of the computer screen and the pure crap that was on the television might do the trick or it might make me completely wired. I was betting that the visual overload would make my brain decide that sleep was a better alternative, another cat-and-mouse game I developed with myself, enabled by that celebrated full rich fantasy life.

Eventually, it did work. I had at few narrow escapes trying to avoid seeing any indication of time on the computer screen, but skillful control panel manipulation made it a non-issue. The secret is to find a way to get to sleep before sunrise. My bedroom curtains can block its intrusion, but the living room’s aren’t that heavy. I could easily work it so they were, but it was one of my ways of flirting with the wild side, something I could always congratulate myself for as a feat of daring. Being a night owl anyway, I always run the risk of ending up in a difficult position. If it’s really clicking, I can go through the night without a problem, but this wasn’t one of those situations.

Exhausted for the second time, I fell into bed and sleep came. Thankfully, she spent little time in my bedroom so there was no scent to deal with.

“Now I sit by my window and watch the cars,

and I fear I’ll do some damage one fine day.

Three days of agony were followed by a strange numbness because she’s gone. At least I think she is. On the positive side, I got more work done over the past few days than I usually do in weeks. On the negative side, I used that burst as an excuse to not make an attempt to contact her. She didn’t really imply that contact would be possible, but I am aware of the fact that what women seem (especially to me) to imply and what they actually mean can be two different things. Perhaps it was a test to see if I’d make the effort. Also on the negative side, I read over everything I did from the past few days and it’s garbage. Actually, that would be sugar coating it. A lot of editing and at few lightning bolts from above might get it to the level of garbage. I smiled and wadded the papers up before throwing them in the general direction of the kitchen. Perhaps they’d fester and disappear before I properly disposed of them.

I began an e-mail. In my weakened state, I decided that I’d be honest with her, so I knew that it probably wouldn’t make it past my Drafts folder.

Miral,

Running in to you the other day (Did we “run into” each other? Had you been wandering around hoping to find me? Did the forces of gravity or a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon bring us together?) was so unexpected and.. I’ll say wonderful at this point and hope that when I edit this, my vocabulary will return. Mostly, it was disconcerting, and I’m actually going to confess the reasons for saying that.

When you left, which I don’t blame you for in the least — I’ve often thought I’d like to leave me if I could — I thought I was doing well. Business as usual, with gaping holes I chose to walk around but refused to recognize as resulting from your absence. I couldn’t completely ignore the emptiness inside. Because of my ability to rationalize (irrationalize?), I wrote it off as the absence of routines, familiar sights, sounds, things that would fade in time. They didn’t fade, I just got used to the hollow feeling.

You mentioned the lack of evidence of females. Very perceptive. Only two have even entered the place, and neither stayed long enough to ruffle anything other than Bertha’s stomach. They certainly didn’t leave a scent like you did the other day. You’re still here. How do you do that when you don’t wear perfume?

Why did you kiss me that way — twice? Was it familiarity, did it mean something, or was it just me being affected so much? I’m not sure I want an answer because I suspect it’s the last.

Back to history. Actually, before I go back to history, I need to say I love you. Too little, too late. Anyway, while I have read an incredible amount, listened to tons of music, viewed a lot of art (not that many movies…too solitary), done enough work to increase my income incredibly — surely enough to get me to Paris — and written enough to keep me editing for years, I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment. I’ve discovered that the cliché is true: it means very little if you don’t have someone to share it with. Isn’t that a kick in the head?

As I get further into this, I find myself becoming more honest and the probability that I’ll actually send it is becoming lower. Have I mentioned that I love you? Am I as sad as it seems?

Maybe I’m afraid to move on. Maybe I’ve moved on but I don’t like where I’ve gone. I don’t want to be in this place. From the outside, it looks like a pretty good place to be, but on the inside it feels really…hollow for lack of a better word. A character in a film whose title I can’t remember said that the key in a break-up is to sleep in the middle of the bed. Sounds very logical but it doesn’t work. Have I mentioned how much I wanted you in my bed the other night? Now? I may not be able to watch Amelie for a while, both from the Paris scenes and the thought of sitting next to you watching it. See how you ruin things for me? I’ll ask you what I’ve asked myself a hundred times since the other night: what was I thinking?

Ultimately, I also have to face up to the possibility that the feeling wasn’t and/or isn’t mutual. I’m pretty sure you felt love for me at some point in our relationship. Why would you have hung around for so long otherwise? What about now? Another question I’m not sure I want the answer to.

This is beginning to feel like an exercise in futility. I’m sure I won’t send it because it borders on pathetic. I apologize for being too much of a coward to follow through, and once again, I love you.

P.S. As long as I’m saying what I really feel, I might as well confess that all it would take to get me on your doorstep would be an e-mail with one word: the nearest Metro stop.

It read like babble produced in a spurt, but sadly, it was several hours’ effort, including extensive editing that couldn’t make it better. An hour ago, I sat at the computer reading it over for the eighteenth time, making meaningless changes, and I did the damnedest thing without realizing what I was doing: I clicked on the Send button.

What was I thinking? Regular mail suddenly made sense. It required the same amount of labor, but actually mailing the letter took several deliberate steps that could be turned around, not suddenly sent with an accidental click. Some believe that there are no accidents. I can’t say for sure whether I disagree with them.

For an hour, I’ve sat by the window trying to find a pattern in the traffic. They claim that patterns can be explained by fractals. I prefer my system (because every time I read about fractals, I get a headache that makes me want to bite my tongue hard to divert my attention): cars stop, cars go. Sometimes there are a great number of them, sometimes there aren’t. I may need to surrender some points because of being distracted, but I’m pretty sure I have it right.

I figure I have a couple of days. Even if she checks her e-mail, she has traveling to do and probably won’t deal with anything until she’s back home and settled. Which would be better, to get a one-word e-mail, a long explanatory e-mail, or none at all? The latter two would bother me the most because they’d mean that I would need to go on, but I have no idea where. The last year hadn’t given me any clues. I thought I had been moving on but kept finding myself a little behind where I was before. They weren’t circles, more like spirals where I haven’t quite returned to the same place but could recognize that I hadn’t gotten anywhere. I knew I couldn’t go on like that for very long without doing something radical, probably stupid, to break out of it.

What would happen if the next e-mail contained only St. Georges (which I knew from her description was the nearest Metro stop)? If I did nothing about it, my situation would probably be worse than if she begged off or didn’t answer. At least then I could be comforted by knowing that she had seen me and decided to run in the opposite direction to save herself, but if she opened the door and I refused to walk through, it would be on me. How could I live with that? I could imagine cataloging a number of new experiences, most of them being the type I’d rather forget about because they were reckless or incredibly stupid. Friends and acquaintances could shake their heads and say that they wondered when I’d finally go over the edge, and what a shame it was that I had something so great but had messed it up. We don’t like to admit it, but we’ve all been there more times than we’re comfortable acknowledging. It’s a matter of degrees. Understanding mostly comes from memory and gratitude at not being there at the time.

The only piece I can’t figure out is the one that begins with seeing the Metro station, dropping everything, and ending up on her doorstep. I should find that disturbing, but it reminds me of my writing. I may have a plan for how the story is going to proceed, but I never know exactly until I sit and put the words down. I’m always surprised by some turn that hadn’t occurred to me ten minutes before, and the end is often different from what I had pictured. I can see a number of next steps, but not exactly what paths they lead to. She might register mild surprise but ask me in to talk. She can say that she’s glad to see me but is incredibly busy and can I call from my hotel later? She can register total shock and confess that she never dreamed I’d follow through so she thought it was safe. Another has her grabbing me, pulling me into her apartment and having her way with me before a word is said, my current favorite. She might scream, slam the door shut, and order me to go away forever. There are many other possibilities. When I want to torture myself, my imagination can be quite fertile.

Traffic has become locked up — many cars, not moving — isn’t it amazing how looking at it from afar always gives a boost because you aren’t in it? My other window, the laptop screen, is visible peripherally. I don’t have e-mail open. That would be too torturous. A healthy plan would be to busy myself, ideally outside the apartment, even more ideally working out. The day I saw her was the first in a long time without a workout and I haven’t been to the gym since, but in this state of mind I’m afraid that I’ll overdo and damage something.

The healthy route doesn’t seem possible. I haven’t been outside since that afternoon except for quick trips for Bertha. I’ll sit here and study traffic, forcing myself to check e-mail at least once a day. Many paths are open. I just need to know which door to go through to get to them.

But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers.

Still crazy after all these years.

I’m still crazy after all these years.”

“Still Crazy After All These Years” lyrics ©1975 by Paul Simon

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