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I’m crazy for you…
Have been ever since that day I walked into that San Francisco apartment and there you were.
Red hair blazing in the late summer sun, goofy smile that I wanted to keep on your face forever.
Never thought nose rings were hot until I saw yours. And damn, freckles. Love your freckles.
Then there’s me: new to the Bay Area with a girlfriend back in San Diego.
I moved for a dream job, dream city, now I’m thinking I moved for a dream girl.
Smitten and crazy for you…
It takes a little while, but we find our way…
I didn’t think you’d have anything to do with me after I vomited
in your shoe on Halloween.
Months later, I never imagined you’d come to my Christmas party.
Or that I’d kiss you that same night.
New Year’s Eve, a week later: I break up with my girlfriend before our first date.
I never thought that would happen, but I thought wrong.
Being crazy for you can make me wrong.
We work together and it is scary to tell our colleagues that we’re dating. But all of them genuinely beam at you, saying the loveliest compliments about how nice it is that we are together. Then they look to me, solemnly nod their heads, give closed-mouth smiles, and walk away.
They aren’t crazy for you like I am.
I love the way you do everything. You are, in your words, a “free spirit.” I love how much energy you have and are always up to do something out of the blue, like that time you got rip roaring drunk, jumped on top of a table at that bar mitzvah party and freaked danced with an eighth grade boy. Then, when you were done, you looked at the slack-jawed middle school girls and simply said:
“Respect yourselves, honies.”
…I’m so incredibly crazy for you…
You are the girl of my dreams.
You are sexy.
Like, beyond sexy.
But not just that.
You are spontaneous.
Weird, in cute way.
I have no fashion sense.
I overthink every detail of my life.
I’m some dorky guy who wants to be a writer.
I want to throw caution to the wind, but then I wonder if that’s considered littering and who am I kidding? The way my karma works that caution will catch an updraft, change course, and end up whacking me in the face.
Why are you with me?
You are way out of my league.
You are nothing like my last girlfriend, whom you have never met, yet hate with a fervor.
You aren’t like the women we pass by on the streets of San Francisco or L.A. or New York — all of whom seem to be threatening you with their eyes and who you swear you’ll make
“SUCK YOUR FUCKING BALLS BECAUSE THEY ARE JEALOUS BITCHES!”
Your words, not mine.
The friend who introduced us isn’t your friend anymore.
You say that she called me “adorkable” and now she’s dead to you.
I think I’m going to marry you one day.
I’m telling myself that I’m crazy for you on Valentine’s Day, fighting through a depressed anxiety as I overpay for a fancy dinner I know you’re going to barf up later in the streets.
Should I bolt?
But then again…everyone has baggage, right? You have baggage, I do too. And love is about putting up with that other person’s baggage, right? Right. And I’m a man, for godsake.
I’m a real man. So I do what I know how to do best: play the role the self-sacrificing martyr, enduring your reign of bullshit about nothing and everything all at once.
Tell me all about it:
How you think everybody hates you.
How you think everyone has a problem with you.
How you think I don’t listen at all and when I do listen,
I listen to the wrong things.
What about me?
What about my problems?
What about that fact that you make me hate myself?
Or that I’ve taken you to Paris on a romantic getaway
and the first interaction we have starts off with your lovely question:
We’re you just checking out that girl?
I’m sorry, what?
I saw you. Everyone saw you.
What do you mean everyone saw me?
On the train. You were looking at her and ogling her.
Who? Which woman? What are you talking about?
The one you were staring at. Mentally undressing
I’m jet lagged. I wasn’t staring anywhere but off into space.
She looked at me, like, ‘is that your boyfriend?’ It was embarrassing.
I literally have no clue what you are talking about.
I’m talking about how you were making a pass at that hot woman on the train and wanted to go fuck her instead of me!
My god, have I mentioned that?
My parents like you.
My friends say they like you.
You have issues with some of my family members and can’t stand any of my friends. That’s okay. I don’t like your best friend because she lies about getting brain tumors and being raped and lures you down to a meth house in Ventura where her Jesse Pinkman of a roommate lets his girlfriend attack you. The cops come, but no police report is filed, you say. Mary Meth Head hit you in the face, but your black eye fades in one day. That’s okay. You’re safe now with me.
It’s Fourth of July!
Bring on the frat party!
The binge drinking…
The bong rips…
Your fear of abandonment which ignites at an In-N-Out burger at two in the morning only to bottle-rocket and explode in my face, right in my face because that’s where your fist lands. Right. On. My. Face. But I still let you sleep in my bed that night because I’m…just…
…Convinced that this is love, putting up with this.
I’ll admit I’m not handling my emotional responses in an adult way. I really shouldn’t have polished off that bottle of whiskey by myself and then tried making out with your friend’s sister in the hot tub, but she also red hair and wasn’t telling me I was an infection on her life, so you can see why I was drawn into that circumstance. I know I’m not giving you the best of me, staying in bed for days, binge watching Sons of Anarchy so I can feel less emasculated, which that only brings out the worst in both of us, but baby, I’m so crazy for you. I must be. I took you back two weeks after you coldcocked me in the face and made you promise you’d never do it again.
And you did.
And you do it again.
Couples therapy doesn’t work. Individual therapy seems like a joke because you change up doctors every month when they give you a diagnosis you don’t like. Besides, you keep reminding me that you took a psychology course in high school before you dropped out.
You self-diagnosis and self-medicate on a prescription of:
❏ Herbal supplement vitamins
Our last fight is about your best friend, the one in Ventura who now claims to have stage four terminal cancer and is convinced she is going to die. We fight. Jesus, we rage.
Fuck the details.
…Crazy For You…
And you — you just continue to hate me. Mostly via text messages at all hours of the night, but you won’t even look at me at work. We are supposed to go to a wedding in New York over Thanksgiving. Guess we’ll have to cancel those plans.
I fly solo.
Call you up drunkenly the night of the ceremony.
Get your answering machine.
Somehow call up my dad and cry into the phone.
I screwed up and now no one loves me or ever will again!
That’s not true, Paco.
You’re Paco. Everyone loves you.
My dad’s quoting Serpico, a movie we’ve never watched together.
Be strong, Paco.
Wake up in my tuxedo to ten venomous texts.
Five equally perky voicemails.
All from you in the span of an hour.
What do I expect?
But then there’s this one message when I get back to California.
I’m sorry, is what you repeat.
I screwed up so bad, you insist.
I want to see you and make things right, you beg.
Same for me. I want that, too. Perhaps thing can work.
We’d always have Paris or some other cliche to save us.
It’s a Friday.
We talk face-to-face for the first time in nearly two months.
I am too.
I don’t know.
Do you still love me?
Because I do.
Sealed with a hug.
But it can’t be that easy, it’s never that easy. I have one shoe and now I’m waiting, all weekend, for the other one to drop out of the sky.
Fourth of July.
Monday morning it crash lands on my doorstep.
The phone rings. It’s you.
You’re at a hospital.
You don’t know how you got there.
You keep saying you might be a danger to yourself and others.
You don’t have any friends.
You and your best friend had a falling out, and then she actually did die.
You don’t get along well with your family.
I’m the only person who picks up the phone when you call.
Your voice on the other end asking me to take you to another hospital,
one where they can admit you for long term care.
You’ve lost weight.
Your red hair is muted, a far cry from the strands of fire that caught my eye when we first met.
You spend most of the time in the emergency room crying about how you think you might have been molested as a child and how no one believes you but maybe you just made it up and if I just believe you, check you into the hospital, convince the nurses that you need to be admitted for inpatient psychiatric care then — then — it’d all be okay.
So I do.
We haven’t been a couple in months and we’ve been at odds for nearly half a year. But here I am, seven in the morning, signing papers to have you committed for 72 hours.
You stay for ten days.
When you are released just before Christmas, two years from our first night together, you say you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar one.
Everyone at work knows something’s up. I’m trying to be stoic, a boy pretending I know how to act like a man.
A few days later you say it’s just depression and anxiety, not bipolar disorder.
I’m telling my friends and family what’s happening. Everyone seems to be holding back the urge to say “I told you so.” I keep wanting to ask “Why didn’t you!?”
I’m lost. Adrift. Numbed myself to feeling anything because I honestly don’t know which emotion is appropriate to have, when you reveal two days later that you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Only now you say…
You’re not bipolar.
You’re not bipolar.
Cue Faye Dunaway:
YOU’RE BIPOLAR AND NOT BIPOLAR!
Your words, not mine. And it’s great to have a label on what’s happening, but you can’t take responsibility for your actions. It goes beyond mental illness. It’s an excuse you use to justify your bad behavior.
You’re on medication.
You’re on disability.
You are convinced I think your life is trash.
Maybe that’s you facing facts.
I don’t know…
We don’t talk any more. Or see each other. I’ve got my guard up — around my face and around my heart because I know…I just know…
…that through the break up, break down, and breakthroughs…
…if you asked me to come back again…
…to go back to the way it was…
I probably would.
Because I am certifiably,
clinically, and oh-so-pathetically crazy…