How to study crazy people

Today there were two crazy people on the bus at the same time, when normally there is only one. I don’t know if the bus company made a mistake in their order and accidentally requested another crazy person without knowing that someone else had already filled the order, but there it is. I feel a bit disappointed now if I get on a bus and there isn’t a crazy person to entertain me – at least until my new new noise cancelling headphones arrive and I enjoy all my music again, floating in a blissful bubble of ignorance – but there being two is kind of unnerving. I want to watch, but I don’t want to get sucked into the action myself, though I imagine using moves I learned from Jackie Chan movies to defend myself. 

There was this guy sat in one of the high front seats, let’s call him Swipey, because he liked to take slow, threatening swipes at  anyone in range, and then there was Manners, a bossy old lady complete with bonnet, who told people off for doing something which she didn’t like. While I was there she yelled at the woman next to her for daring to ask her to move out of the way so she could get off the bus. I mean – manners, people! It’s no her fault she always stands right at the front of the bus and purposely blocks the exit.

I had seen her before so I knew I was in for a good bus ride, but when I first saw him, I thought they might be together, as a couple, because why wouldn’t they be? Then he started taking swipes at her and she was trying hard to avoid his reach, squashing herself up against the opposite seat like an old fashioned lady who had been introduced to a grubby street urchin named Timmy. 

It got me thinking. Are crazy people more like animals? That’s inflammatory, I realize, but they do seem to act more on instinct than others, or more on their own set of tightly developed routines that make them feel safe while simultaneously freaking out everyone within a sensory radius. Either way, I like to think about why they ended up like that.

Swipey was a normal, everyday Gym teacher, but one too many annoying students ruined his temper and he slowly collapsed into a rage filled ball that now rolls around town seeking solace in isolation. Manners was a prudish spinster who never broke out of her shell and came to terms with physical contact of any kind. Furthermore she hid her insecurities behind a ten mile thick wall of spite and criticism. 

What a happy couple.


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