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I am enjoying the calm before the storm. There is a point, in the not so distant future where I am going to have to face the real possibility of being homeless. I guess, it has it has advantages really. I can finally be me.

For the longest time I tried being the good son. I took the problems on the chin. I took the newest obligation with a smile even though it should have been some one elses burden . It pushed me too much though. The only time people were interested in me was when I was failing. The only time affection was given to me was when I was in immense pain. And then my immense pain became more me than me. It was really the topic du jour. Josh and “his problems” really became interchangable labels for the physical thing which is Josh. Even though, I assure you, they are quite different.

Josh is a six-foot three person. "His problems" usually is when I am being forced to act in a way that I do not wish to act and the word "no" has zero meaning to the person listening to it because they wanted "yes". One is a solid physical thing that eats mini pizzas every day. The other is an abstract, and usually incorrect, idea.

When I got angry , according to them,it was because I was crazy. I mean no one gets angry , especially not me, unless they are crazy. I am there to make people smile. So I gave them crazy. In the process I nearly drove myself nutty. It was hard rewriting perfectly normal arguments when people would only respond to rants with mixed caps and full of profanity. I had to test and rewrite and test and rewrite until I got some response. The more angry and crazy the more likely I got a response, the more polite and considerate the more likely it was ignored completely

And then people used these artificially made rants as an actual basis to justify what they thought of me. Not remembering the polite requests, the negotiating, the broken promises on their side. They just remember crazy. “Crazy” was the only thing they reacted to, otherwise my problems got labeled “not important”.

 

Chemically imbalanced

Mentally deranged

Living in a fantasy world

When you say these things about a person, and you aren’t qualified to make that judgment, it is about the worst thing you can do. It is attacking the very thing that makes a person who they are.  Even “you need to get help” translates exactly into “you brain is malfunctioning, you are defective and thus  you are broken”.  Even after you go to a doctor and the doctor says “You are not defective” people  tend to stick with what they know and as we know "Josh" and "his problems" are both seen on my driver's license next to the word 'name'.

So one last time I gave it to them. Spent a week , maybe two, giving them loads and loads of artificially induced crazy . After nearly a decade of hearing “chemically imbalanced”  and “you should get therapy” they got real crazy…sometimes I was terrified I would not be normal again. Sometimes I got too much into the “crazy Josh” persona and it scared me that calm and relaxed Josh, which is how I live when I am not dealing with this particular set of people, would not come back.

In the end though the only “Josh” which was the only thing they showed emotion or concern for was “nutty swearing writing in mixed caps with ‘random’ typos Josh”it was the only thing that made them pause and think “man something is wrong.” But now, I hope , they really feel I am as mentally deranged as they like to say I am. It gets me some peace and they can finally have the proof that 'Josh' and 'his problems' are one in the same. Everyone is happy I suppose. I have bigger things to worry about to be honest. I am going to homeless and broke in a month, the Red Sox lost there best catcher t retirement, and other issues of great national concern.  But today, today I am going to drink my coffee and enjoy the fact I won’t be crazy again.  I can finally just be Josh. The funny part is, they will never know.

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Joshua Keidan is the unofficial official spokesman of Generation X. He is certified sane...which is sad if you think about it because it proves he is just plain normal.