Interesting Enough to Develop?

Crazy Magnet, Part 1

Oh good, my crazy magnet is still turned on.

I can tell it’s working by the looks I get from the homeless lady seated mid-sidewalk, taking a leak. Her smile would be sweet under other circumstances. I smile back, as experience has shown it does no good to pretend not to see them. Crazy people do not like to be ignored. Odds are that’s why she’s watering the sidewalk, in hopes one of the people frowning as they dodge her little river might stop to notice she’s not dead yet. No such luck. I give Crazy Annie a couple of bucks and tell her to go buy some clean skivvies. Cops will arrest her for smelling like piss in a business district. I think she will; they usually do what I ask … wish to God I knew why.

Maybe it’s the smile; I’ve been told I have a nice one.

My little donation is self-serving, to be honest. I’m on my way to a client meeting, and the last thing I need is a thirty-minute delay while I scrape another angry schizophrenic off me. The last one, Barbara, is why I’m running late in the first place. See Barb and I were absolutely drawn to each other, which, experience has shown, is a very bad sign. I try very hard not to date women who are into me. Darling Barbara, however, tricked me – twice.

We woke up together this morning after an absolutely wonderful evening. Barb’s a writer, as it turns out. Yeah, I know; the crazy alarm should have been ringing as soon as she told me. But she also a corporate lawyer, so I figured the two things cancel each other out. Contract pushers usually don’t have sufficient imagination to be too batty. Besides, she’s beautiful, long, smart, and curvy – my type, you know? I picked her up in a bistro in Georgetown last night. I was having the vodka soup, served in itty-bitty glasses. At first, she wouldn’t give me the time of day. That’s my first test – the crazy ones come to me, normal girls, not so much. We spent a long time chatting over too many drinks, and after some major wheedling, I finally convinced her to let me take her home. Even then, she only consented because she was no longer in a condition to drive. Too many drinks stopped affecting my ability to drive years ago. Besides, I had a cab waiting; this wasn’t exactly the first time I went to dinner and skipped the food.

I probably shouldn’t be proud of that.

Anyway, the thing that fooled me was that this woman had no interest in getting involved with me – which, in my book, made her sane. She must have told me five times she wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship. So, I took her home; we chatted some more, and next thing you know, I’m crashing on her couch. It was nothing sexual – just me being sleepy and her being sweet. We have a really cool, platonic friendship budding. Then, at three in the morning, just like that, the magnet switches on. I wake up with her lips all over me. She’s buck naked, and she’s ohmyfreakinggod fine. By three-fifteen, I no longer care about friendship. It’s more than a one-night-stand; it’s love, sort of, with a normal girl.

Well, normal for me, as it turns out.

By nine o’clock, I’m dodging kitchen knives as I try to make my way out of Psycho Barb’s apartment. According to her, I’m somewhere between a rapist and a philanderer, despite the fact that all I did was fall asleep on the damned sofa. Between shrieks, she tells me she dreamt I cheated on her, and suddenly she’s I-knew-you-would-cheat-because-that’s-what-no-good-bastards-like-you-do-as-soon-as-a-lady-gives-herself outta her damned mind. To make a short story long, that scared me because she was A, nuts, and B, not really into me, at least initially. I thought maybe my crazy magnet wasn’t working anymore.

The magnet is the most reliable thing in my life, which is pretty unfortunate, if you think about it. Crazy people are drawn to me like alley cats to a bowl of cream. Psycho Barb was insane enough that she should have been all over me from the start. I guess it just takes a while in some cases. Or maybe she was just shy, because Crazy Annie proves the magnet still works.

I first discovered my affinity with the emotionally disturbed shortly after my first marriage, at age twenty-four. Well, not so much after the marriage as after the wedding. At the reception, my darling bride – still dressed in her gown – poured scalding coffee over my head. It really put a damper on the party. She claimed she didn’t like the way I was looking at the minister – her mother – during the wedding. I spent our wedding night at the hospital’s ER, getting treated for second-degree scalp burns. My dear, remorseful bride was at my side. Thankfully, there were no female doctors on staff that night, and the male nurse on duty was straight.

I may attract crazies, but I’m no fool. I had the marriage annulled a week later.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sure, plenty of people have issues with jealousy, and yeah, I did end up having an affair with her mom a few months after the annulment, but that was unplanned. Her mom’s a little nuts too, but at least not in the violent, possessive way. Besides, I figured somebody in that family owed me a conjugal visit, especially given how badly those burns jacked up my afro. I consummated the hell outta my relationship with my sexy ex-mother-in-law.

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