I popped the pungent triple creme cheese into my mouth and rolled it around for a minute as I exited the cheese shop.
It was so insanely delicious that, with the cheese still on my tongue, I went up to the large fluffy dog tied to the parking meter outside the store, bent over to look him in the eye, and said: “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS CHEESE?!?!”
I was so moved by the cheese that I had to tell the dog about it.
Let me say it again: I was so moved by the cheese that I had to tell the dog about it.
When you find yourself sharing a cheese-related moment with a dog on the street, you can rest relatively assured that the Crazy Train has left the station.
So, what, you ask, does it feel like to actually lose your mind?
Funny you should ask.
Because I am ready to tell you.
Depending on how little sleep you’ve gotten, you may actually feel dizzy – like you are literally (and, to avoid any confusion, I mean the word “literally”, literally – because there have been some tiny issues around the usage of that word of late) imbalanced.
You are literally, and, okay, figuratively, imbalanced.
It’s not all the time.
I don’t know, maybe you don’t really like cheese – in which case – I’m just guessing here – you shouldn’t have to brace against the possibility that you will be overcome by the need to tell a dog on the street about your moment with the cheese.
Cheese moments aside, it’s like you are dialed into the Universe on a whole nother level.
There is no hard candy shell around your heart anymore.
Loud noises startle you.
You probably shouldn’t listen to the radio while driving.
You start seeing things.
Now, don’t get worried – you aren’t seeing things that aren’t actually there.
Rather, you are seeing things clearly – like all of the wrapping has been taken off, balled up, and thrown in the trash.
Like when you glimpse the woman with a face left reptilian from plastic surgery, all you can see is that she wears her pain on her face, and you cannot look at her because her pain is too great for you to bear.
You hear someone bragging about his accomplishments, and all you hear is how sad and small he must feel to need to repeat such things.
You hear yourself talking to your loved ones from a script written long ago, with you in a role you no longer want to play.
You tell people what you feel, whether it’s something you should say to them … or not.
Maybe you see suddenly that words are not enough to express your love – how, after all, could words be enough? – and instead climb onto your mother’s lap and take her face in your hands to kiss her forehead with forgiveness.
Maybe you are sent adorable photos of your children standing over the rail on the unprotected edge of a bridge while on vacation with their fun-loving dad. “Look Mom! Ha-ha! Look! We might fall! Are you freaking out?? Ha-ha!”
And you want to be a good sport – look! they’re just teasing you! they’re having fun! – but you are suddenly overcome with fear.
And overcome by love and vulnerability.
For they are so precious to you, and you can’t protect them, and that’s the one thing – the only thing – that matters.
But you are helpless to guide them safely through the world.
And so you begin to quietly cry.
You can’t help it.
But then the feeling passes, and you know there is nothing to worry about right now.
You can suddenly feel drunk even though you are stone-sober.
You are filled with love for everyone you meet.
You radiate joy.
You want more than anything to connect with others.
And you are desperate to be alone.
By the way, did you see the sky?
Because it’s awesome.
Did you see the moon?
Incredible – just a tiny shimmering sliver of light is visible tonight.
Did you hear that song?
How do they channel your precise emotion and experience into the lyrics and melody?
How do they do that?
You listen to it again for answers, and then forget the question because it doesn’t matter anymore.
You let two total strangers – who are these lovely musicians – it’ll be fine, it’s totally fine – they’re FOLK musicians for god’s sake! – in need of a car come and take your car for a few days so they can get to a gig.
Eh, why not?
You reach out to an old flame to tell him a story …
So, in short, apparently when you’re on the Crazy Train, you are you, only more so.
It’s as if there is a world party going on and you are the hostess.
It’s pretty awesome.
Because you are a pretty amazing hostess, and this is a party not to be missed.
As long as you know what’s happening, it’s actually not a bad place to be.
It’s actually a place of wonder and, I believe, enlightenment.
Plus, it’s fun – like snowboarding! A little terrifying, but thrilling just the same!
So all aboard, and enjoy the ride!