Monday, October 20, 2003

The Secret To Being Happy
By Jessica Delfino

What makes a person strange, and is being considered strange good or bad? Almost everyone I've ever liked I have considered to be a strange person. Most of my closest friends are strange in beautiful ways, physically, emotionally or otherwise.

My one friend only likes me when I treat her shitty. My other friend likes to pee on girls. I have another friend who tapes his potato chips shut and insists that the potato chip roll of tape be left near the chips and only be used for the chips. And no one can eat his chips.

I usually associate being strange with being smart, and consider intelligence to be one of the most important qualities in a person. Unfortunately, it seems like we don't have much to do with how smart we are. Can a person become smart with time and schooling? Is education really the key to intelligence? I don't think so - I believe education is the key to becoming more educated and getting a good job. It's the key to whether or not you will have the option of taking public transportation or driving the car of your choice to work.

In my observations, I have also noticed that being smart factors in to how talented a person is, how creatively unique and interesting their art is, and also whether or not they are considered to be crazy.

Maybe when I say I look for intelligence in a person, I realize I am looking for craziness. My father is bi-polar and I'm not sure, but I hear it skips a generation and so I think I'm okay, but I notice my own undercover crazy traits and I wonder if it is hereditary - am I able to control or alter those qualities? Or am I stuck with what I am? Are other people with what might be considered crazy characteristics able to adjust them? My dad is crazy. One time we were driving on the freeway in LA and someone cut him off. He screamed at the person things like, "You stupid dick!" and "Fucking asshole!" for like 15 minutes, long after they had taken the nearest exit to excape his insanity. Then he turned to me and said, "Everyone in this city is a fucking stupid asshole!" I replied by saying, "Maybe it isn't that everyone in the city is stupid, maybe it's that you happen to be uniquely smart." He liked that response very much and I think he bought me cake later.

When I say I notice my own crazy traits, let me elaborate - I won't go into all of them because we'd be here all day, but here are a few examples.

1. I cry a lot, especially during my period. It makes me feel crazy and out of touch with my ability to control my emotions. For example, I start to feel sad, and I don't know why, and then, I'm crying. I was working at UCB theater a few weeks ago and I couldn't get the computer to turn on. Even though there were people in the room and I didn't want to cry in front of them, and not being able to turn on a computer is not tear-worthy, my eyes started flooding. A day later, I got my period. I might be able to blame this specifically on my period, but period or not, shouldn't I be able to control whether or not I cry and when?

2. I have an affinity to be incredibly filthy in the mouth and mind. As a matter of fact, I prefer to be filthy, and I encourage it in others. Most of my art is filthy and I find things of a dark nature to be funny and generally better than fluffy horseshit. A lot of people got mad at me about an essay I wrote about how we shouldn't rape the elderly, based on a true news story where a new york teen had been accused of doing just that. My (ex) fiance and I then wrote campaign slogans such as, "My body is not a shuffleboard court!" and "Don't rape the elderly! When they were young, bread was a nickel!" People gave me shit about it and one small-minded comedian twat even told other people not to hang out with me.
I write and create things that are disturbing in nature and there's nothing I can do about it. It is similar, I think, to a person who likes to have sex with pre-teens. I can relate, because I find myself eerily attracted to ripe young boys, aged about 15 to 17. Go fuck yourself before you judge me, why is it okay for men to lust after young budding teens but if a woman does, it is considered wrong and gross? I like young boys. Which brings me to:

3. I like young boys. I have the ability to make sense of this inappropriate desire and not act on my will to take the virginity of adorable little highschoolers, but it's there, believe me. I see them, I think to myself that I could definitely get them, I fancy the idea of teaching them everything there is to know about being an adult, and then I wipe my hands of it. It's just a fantasy ideology, not a way of life. But if a young boy really put in the hours, I don't know if I'd be able to say no. You can relate, men, age 25-death, if the situation involved a nubile 16 year old with rose bud nipples and curious eyes.

4. I think I have some kind of hybrid eating disorder cycle that is a combination of anorexia, bulimia and overeating. It's hard to explain, but it goes like this: when I'm feeling very upset about something, I will generally eat something sweet and carbohydrate-y, cookies, muffins, etc. As I'm usually always upset about something, I do this for awhile until I get too fat for my clothes. Finally, I get angry that my clothes don't fit and I go on a diet where I don't eat any bread or candy or pasta or sugar or soda beverages for a few months. I also exercise more and don't eat late at night. I fix my metabolism so that I can eat little snacks during the day and not feel hungry, or I'll have one medium sized meal like a burrito or a salad or some soup and a granola bar or whatever and that's all I'll eat for the day. The weight comes off really quickly and before I know it, I'm a size 6. I also drink more when I'm dieting because it makes me forget to eat and it also numbs my hunger. Since there's never any food in my system to sop up the alcohol, I end up getting drunk too quickly, usually off just one or two drinks and I start to feel sick. Then, I make myself vomit. So, I never vomit food, only alcohol, but technically I think that still counts as bulimia. Eventually, I start to feel happy for some reason, usually it's based on having a good comedy set or receiving a fat check for something I wrote, and I take myself out to dinner, then I start to get fat, then that makes me unhappy so I eat cupcakes and candy bars and before I know it I'm a size 10 and it just goes on and on to infinty. I think it's also known as roller coaster dieting and before you give me any crap for it, give some credit to my dad who every night made me clean my plate regardless of whether or not I was hungry, then told me one night at age 15 that I was getting a fat ass as I was about to leave to go out with friends, one of them a boy I had a huge crush on.

I think that's enough craziness that you get the point. Several of my friends will probably read this and judge me harshly - you know who you are and fuck you all. I get judged a lot because I'm intelligent but also attractive which somehow seems like it should not be possible. But I'm in a place where I don't care if people like me. Who knows if it will last or not, but I'm guessing there will probably be more writings like this as I build up the courage over the next few weeks and months to tell everyone I know to go to hell and develop hermit like qualities. I get more work done when I'm alone anyway.

But truthfully, I'm not that unique. We are all crazy in our ways. Some of you have surely far exceeded the walls of my ability to create imaginary crazy scenarios to pin you into.

So, if a person is strange or crazy, or maybe even both, is that enough to ruin them? I think the answer is yes - but only if they are strange enough or crazy enough to not GIVE a shit what people think.

I believe that to be the secret to being happy.

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