The Problem with Madness
People who romanticize Van Gogh –like Madness mostly likely have never met him. He’s not the easiest guy to get along with.And he comes out of the blue,when you least expect him to. Most sophisticated aficionados praise the insanity…the intensity…the originality…that’s because they never met Madness…if they did they would think twice about adoring him.I never adored him because I know what he’s really like.He’s not the most pleasant or accommodating of entities.Experiencing him firsthand is liking losing your virginity to a decrepit ,sagging ,and aging prostitute with syphilis-scary.Being in his company constantly will drive anyone to suicide…just ask Van Gogh…he knows all about it.He breaks up your mind and pretty soon you will not know up from down. You’ll want to sleep and try to, but he comes at you that much stronger like lead and cadmium.You writhe, you squirm, but he nags at you and rarely lets go.When he does let go Clarity comes and she is a godsend.She is the goddess of reprieve…the angel of mercy…the bringer of solace.She rarely visits, but when she does she is not taken for granted.Not by me.Most do not grovel at her feet.They think her to be passe’,un-hip,and boring.I know better and worship her.She is the eternal hope and guardian against Madness. She is my one true friend who can desert me at anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. She comes and goes as she pleases.And that is what is really upsetting about her.I’m obsessed with Clarity for I know Madness is always nearby… stalking me and watching me.She is my only means of defense against him,but like anything feminine she is unreliable, goes her own way, and does her own thing.
Smoking is a makeshift weapon against Madness…it really doesn’t work that well.It will hold him at bay for a while ,but only for a short duration…then he comes back stronger than before,which means you have to light up more. Clarity came to me for a while ,but then only for a little while.She’s a real busybody.Whenever Clarity wasn’t around Madness was sure to follow.It was frustrating.There was no stability.No balance.No tranquility.The odds were stacked against me and I knew I had to do something.I had to confront Madness and resolve this vexing issue.I laid down on the grass and let my mind begin to wander as I was gazing off into the starry night.Madness gradually appeared and I told him I couldn’t go on like this…being pulled this way and that.”We have to resolve this issue once and for all!” I declared. Madness stared at me and began his defense.
“For people like you”, he said. “You need to express yourself… not want, but need to…if you didn’t you would wind up in an asylum or be staring at the end barrel of a revolver.Those are the kinds of people that really interest me.”, he said adamantly.”That is why I am always following you…that is why I relentlessly attack you…I want to be your muse but you constantly shun me in favor of Clarity and that is why I am neurotic about you.”
“Can’t always get what you want,” I stated coldly.
“No… I most often get what I desire and that is people like you…can’t you see? I want to be your friend… your companion…your eternal love…what’s wrong with that?”
“It’s frightening,” I replied.”You have serious dependency issues.”
“Isn’t that what real love is all about?” he asked innocently…”no one wants the real me…they just see a façade… an image…but not you.”
“I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.“ I said…”I think you have the wrong number…I love Clarity and not you! Don’t you get it?! I’m not crazy about you and I don’t swing that way!”
”Maybe you should be more open minded”, he said boldly…”I’ll see you later…and with that he left…Clarity came to me after Madness departed and started gossiping to me about him…”Isn’t he scary? …I never liked the bugger…he’s so strange and deranged…I don’t see how anyone can put up with him…even his brother.”
“ His brother? ” I asked.
“Oh yes.” she said. “He has a younger brother…his name is…well I forgot what his name is?” She paused for a moment. “He’s not as well known as his brother.” I started laughing…“Well I’m not my twin sister.”, she said slightly offended…”anyways his younger brother is always concerned about him and his well-being…which to say …well he doesn’t have much in the way of well-being…let’s be honest”…she started cackling…I didn’t see anything funny about that…I began to feel sorry for him…no one genuinely wanted Madness and he knew it…I could begin to see his point of view.Poor Madness.There was nothing delusional about him…he knows what he is.
Clarity briefly left me and then returned, but only for a short duration.That was her way…always coming and going.It was frustrating.There was nothing consistent about her.She returned once more only with Madness accompanying her. It was brilliant I thought…now we would permanently resolve the issue which had been vexing me all along.Madness and Clarity looked and assured me that my problem would end tonight under the sea of blinking stars.I felt relieved and told them how grateful I was for this…I could not go on another minute living like this .Everything was so unstable.I dropped my cigarette and crushed it beneath my heels.”Begin,” I said…Madness spoke.
“To be mad or not to be brilliant…that is the underlying question…there can be no brilliance without some form of madness…anything mad has some insight and profundity to it…you must realize this…I can be at your beck and call, but she won’t…his finger pointing to Clarity…”she will desert you on a whim”…Clarity briefly looked away…”she’s an unreliable tease…a naysayer whenever she pleases…I am here at your disposal for the remainder of your days…a true friend…a lifelong comrade…one who would never leave you! I am your brother to the end! And then some! Who could love you as much as I? Who could obsess and give you visceral verve to an otherwise meaningless existence?”…His argument was right…his diatribe in order. His words held such heavy weight and became so convincingly apparent I quietly replied.
“Can’t I have both of you at the same time?” They both looked at each other and started laughing. “That’s very kinky.” replied Clarity teasingly…I stammered and was about to utter something when Confusion appeared…it was vexing that he was there…he said nothing…and for once I felt something odd… Memory came to me and reminded me of that peculiar feeling I had when I was caught stealing a chocolate candy bar from a grocery market when I was a youngster…she made me recall every nuance of reddening emotion I felt when I was exposed for the theft…it was an unpleasant feeling and I rushed into Madness’ arms knowing that I would be relieved of any conscious guilt and doubt…it was the easy way out and I took it.