I am not as weird as I think I am, but I do think I am partially crazy. There's always too much going on in my head and it's never the stuff I should be thinking about. It's seldom going in one direction but fifty at once, like a circle of squirrels with their tails tied together and set on fire, let loose in the barn. The more they struggle against each other to free themselves, the more air they raise up, the faster the burn, the more destruction they dispense. My mind has many animal metaphors. Animals devouring one another in some crazed attempt at survival.

I have this theory as to why I have friends, why people ever get close enough to get pulled into my hurricane's eye and stay there, watching the shrapnel of their houses fly around them. I must be entertaining enough, interesting enough, to warrant putting up with my whole person. They must say to themselves, sure, Laura's crazy, but she's fun to have around. There must be enough redeeming qualities in me to keep people coming back to me. That's the only way I can explain it. Even when I push them away telling them they have no idea what they are getting themselves into, they keep coming at me. They may even be attracted to my madness for all I know. I never claim to understand people, even though they are my own species. Self-centered as it is, I have enough time trying to understand myself, let alone other people.

I try to stay away from people. I hide. But I still call out, in forms like these, to be heard by them. I write as a way of coping with my sense of madness; it is often, just the residue of being me, just the things I see and make note of. It's my one way of reaching a common understanding with them, to remind myself that no matter how crazy I think I am, I am helplessly no better or worse off than they are. If they like the bauble I give them enough to show their friends or keep in a special place in their ribcage, well, that's just a bonus. I do what I can.

Writing doesn't always work, but it beats the hell out of talking. When I talk, it all comes out wrong. It comes out in a tangle of thoughts. Talking shows just how crazy I feel, how unconstructed and flailing I really am under this deep façade. When I talk, most people just sit there and stare, waiting for me to take a breath. And yet they still insist on asking me to speak. They never learn, it seems.

Physical contact, now there's a opportunity to be mis-read. If I acted physically on the thoughts in my head or the words I spoke, I'd make even more of a fool of myself than I do when I am silent. There are so many people I want to touch, to reach out, to comfort or console. But I shrink back. I let them move first to me, for fear of being rejected, of being wrong. Of not having the simple gesture of holding someone's hand be read so incorrectly that I may never look that person in the eye again without turning red from embarrassment.

I would like to learn how to not be so self-contained, to not feel so crazy. I get to points where I think I can learn, but it's hard when I feel so way behind, like a 10 year old learning to speak for the first time, a girl raised by wolves in the mountains of Virginia, a girl who is amazed by helium balloons and scared of slamming doors. I've felt that I've been crazy for so long that if I magically became sane and normal and could function properly among others that I would somehow lose the magic that makes me who I am. I would lose the reasons people keep coming back to me. Then what would I have?

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