A friend, having read me a volume of woes, asked, "Do you think I'm crazy?"
I sighed, seeking the right words.
How to answer that question, I still wonder?
Should I be truthful and say, "Yes, today, you are definitely crazy - and in the worst possible way. I hardly know what to do with what you're saying. I am a little bit frightened. If I had a straight jacket, I might slip it on you, because every time you swing your arms, I wonder if I had better duck."
Of course, I didn't say that.
"You're just neurotic, like all of us." I said. "You just don't know what to do with these big feelings."
And tomorrow, that very friend who spilled craziness like molten lava, tomorrow may respond to life with cool logic. Tomorrow the sun could shine and lift the gloom.
Wouldn't doom a friend to doubt his or her sanity, because of a moment's eruption, or even a month of insane Sundays - I could not say one thing with certainty - except that my friend's home was a mess. As they say, a hot mess. I know what to do with messy places; clean 'em up!
So, I tidied up the friend's room, mopped the floors, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, did a couple of loads of laundry, and wondered, would he or she put the clothes away, or would they join the morass on the bedroom floor?
I wondered, how soon would life again strew the tidiness and smudge the floors? I wondered if what I had to offer was enough for the day? I wondered if it helped.
"Do you think I'm crazy?" My friend asked, and I didn't know what to say. Maybe I failed my friend in some way by not saying yes - by not saying no.
The world is a very hard place and sometimes, the best answer is not words, but actions.
We're all a little crazy, aren't we? Some more than others, fall through the cracks in sanity's bumpy sidewalk. We can only hope to help each other, those of us thick enough to keep going along without getting lost. Then the fall will not be so far, and the landing will be softer, if not perfect.
This world can and should break our hearts and lead us to desperate acts of kindness, when we aren't sure what to do, but do it anyway.