“Are you crazy?”

It was an offhanded comment, I know. A question to understand me posed in an insensitive way.

“Are you crazy?”

It’s an interesting question to ask. The context of the question completely depends on the intent of the speaker.

Are you asking if I march to the beat of my own drummer and seek adventure at every turn?

Are you asking if I am imperfect in some situations and will react in a way that is unexpected or undesirable?

Are you asking if I have a mental illness that needs the help of the medical profession to keep at bay?

As you ask that question I’m trying to understand what the answer will tell you about me. I’m trying to understand what your next move will be.

The truth is, I am crazy. I may not yell at you on a street corner like she did, I may not put you in a headlock to make you stay, but I will surprise you. I won’t be perfect. I will say the wrong thing. I will do the wrong thing. I will be irrational at times. I will have emotions that sometimes seem overpowering. I will cry.

Is that what you wanted to know? Hopefully you can now decide to stay or go.

Please do it quickly. Without error. Say the words clearly and directly so that I understand and yet don’t feel pain. Judge me openly for my clarity of thought and determination to live. Stand up for your future, for what you want and need and do so by keeping your voice calm, even and maybe even gentle.

Do it in a way that when I tell them about what happened, they will ask me, “Was he kind?”