People who romanticize Van Gogh –like Madness mostly likely have never met
him. He’s not the easiest guy to get along with. And he comes out of the blue, when
you least expect him to. Most sophisticated aficionados praise the insanity…the
intensity…the originality…that’s because they never met Madness…if they did they
would think twice about adoring him. I never adored him, because I know what he's really like.
He’s not the most pleasant or accommodating of entities. Experiencing
him firsthand is liking losing your virginity to a decrepit ,sagging ,and aging
prostitute with syphilis-scary. Being in his company constantly will drive anyone to
suicide…just ask Van Gogh…he knows all about it. He breaks up your mind and
pretty soon you will not know up from down. You’ll want to sleep and try to, but he
comes at you that much stronger like lead and cadmium. You writhe, you squirm,
but he nags at you and rarely lets go. When he does let go Clarity comes and she is a
godsend. She is the goddess of reprieve…the angel of mercy…the bringer of
solace. She rarely visits, but when she does she is not taken for granted. Not by
me. Most do not grovel at her feet. They think her to be passé, un-hip, and boring. I
know better and worship her. She is the eternal hope and guardian against Madness.
She is my one true friend who can desert me at anytime, anyplace, and anywhere.
She comes and goes as she pleases. And that is what is really upsetting about her.
I’m obsessed with Clarity for I know Madness is always nearby… stalking me and
watching me. She is my only means of defense against him, but like anything
feminine she is unreliable, goes her own way, and does her own thing.
Smoking is a makeshift weapon against Madness…it really doesn’t work that
well. It will hold him at bay for a while, but only for a short duration…then he comes
back stronger than before, which means you have to light up more. Clarity came to
me for a while ,but then only for a little while. She’s a real busybody. Whenever
Clarity wasn’t around Madness was sure to follow. It was frustrating. There was no
stability. No balance. No tranquility. The odds were stacked against me and I knew I
had to do something. I had to confront Madness and resolve this vexing issue. I laid
down on the grass and let my mind begin to wander as I was gazing off into the
starry night. Madness gradually appeared and I told him I couldn’t go on like
this…being pulled this way and that. “We have to resolve this issue once and for all!”
I declared. Madness stared at me and began his defense.
“For people like you”, he said. “You need to express yourself… not want, but need
to…if you didn’t you would wind up in an asylum or be staring at the end barrel of a
revolver. Those are the kinds of people that really interest me.” he said
adamantly. “That is why I am always following you…that is why I relentlessly attack
you. I want to be your muse but you constantly shun me in favor of Clarity and that
is why I am neurotic about you.”
“Can’t always get what you want,” I stated coldly.
“No… I most often get what I desire and that is people like you…can’t you see? I want
to be your friend… your companion…your eternal love…what’s wrong with that?””
“It’s frightening,” I replied. “You have serious dependency issues.”
“Isn’t that what real love is all about?” he asked innocently…”no one wants the real
me…they just see a façade… an image…but not you.”
“I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.“ I said.”I think you have the
wrong number!I love Clarity and not you! Don’t you get it?! I’m not crazy about you
and I don’t swing that way!”
”Maybe you should be more open minded”, he said boldly…”I’ll see you later…and
with that he left…Clarity came to me after Madness departed and started gossiping
to me about him...”Isn’t he scary? …I never liked the bugger…he’s so strange and
deranged…I don’t see how anyone can put up with him…even his brother.”
“ His brother? ” I asked.
“Oh yes.” she said. “He has a younger brother…his name is…well I forgot what his
name is?” She paused for a moment. “He’s not as well known as his brother.” I
started laughing…“Well I'm not my twin sister.”, she said slightly
offended…” anyways his younger brother is always concerned about him and his
well-being…which to say …well he doesn’t have much in the way of well-being…let’s
be honest”...she started cackling…I didn’t see anything funny about that…I began to
feel sorry for him…no one genuinely wanted Madness and he knew it…I could begin
to see his point of view. Poor Madness. There was nothing delusional about him…he
knows what he is.
Clarity briefly left me and then returned, but only for a short duration. That was
her way-always coming and going. It was frustrating. There was nothing consistent
about her. She returned once more only with Madness accompanying her. It was
brilliant I thought…now we would permanently resolve the issue which had been
vexing me all along. Madness and Clarity looked and assured me that my problem
would end tonight under the sea of blinking stars. I felt relieved and told them how
grateful I was for this…I could not go on another minute living like this .Everything
was so unstable. I dropped my cigarette and crushed it beneath my heels. “Begin,” I
“To be mad or not to be brilliant…that is the underlying question.There can be no
brilliance without some form of madness.Anything mad has some insight and
profundity to it.You must realize this.I can be at your beck and call, but she
won’t…his finger pointing to Clarity.”She will desert you on a whim”.Clarity briefly
looked away…”she’s an unreliable tease…a naysayer whenever she pleases…I am
here at your disposal for the remainder of your days…a true friend…a lifelong
comrade...one who would never leave you! I am your brother to the end! And then
some! Who could love you as much as I? Who could obsess and give you visceral
verve to an otherwise meaningless existence?”His argument was right.His
diatribe in order. His words held such heavy weight and became so convincingly
apparent I quietly replied.
“Can’t I have both of you at the same time?” They both looked at each other and
started laughing. “That’s very kinky.” replied Clarity teasingly.I stammered and
was about to utter something when Confusion appeared.It was vexing that he was
there.He said nothing.And, for once I felt something odd.Memory came to me and
reminded me of that peculiar feeling I had when I was caught stealing a chocolate
candy bar from a grocery market when I was a youngster… she made me recall every
nuance of reddening emotion I felt when I was exposed for the theft…it was an
unpleasant feeling and I rushed into Madness’ arms knowing that I would be
relieved of any conscious guilt and doubt… it was the easy way out and I took it.