Late One Night Near A Pinball Machine Over A Glass Of Wine

“We are all a little crazy, don’t you think? And the fact that we do think is why we don’t jump out of the chair and run down the street shrieking, ‘You’re all crazy, but that’s OK because I am a little crazy, too, and it’s the only thing that keeps us sane!’ We need that little bit of sanity to keep us on the edge instead of toppling over into the abyss.

“We set our goals and make our plans, and then all the pinballs start bouncing off of us and the flippers flip us in another direction entirely. But that’s all right, because we learn how to roll with the punches and the collisions that way.

“But seriously, don’t you just want to scream sometimes? Are you and I the only ones on the planet who’s not nuts? And frankly, I worry about you, because I’m pretty sure I’m a little nuts, too, and you’re the only sane one.”

As he continued along this merry line of thought, she twirled the wine glass between her fingers and started thinking about exit strategies. This would be very tricky, seeing as how she was married to him, but it would be of no benefit for the room to realize that they belonged together.

“You belong together,” they had said. Maybe that was when he started to believe everyone is a little crazy, because he must have seen as well as she did that they did. not. belong. together. He was a bit of a loon — a charming loon, she had to admit, but nonetheless a loon. She was rock solid cool reasoning in a smart and practical dress. But toasts had been toasted and winks exchanged and soothing coos kept cooing that they belonged together.

Maybe it was true, too. But not tonight. Not while he was rambling crazily about how we’re all a little crazy and on the verge of screaming down the street.

He stopped rambling long enough to look at her and say, “You’re awfully quiet tonight.”

And that was true, too, so she shrugged and said, “I guess so.”

“Do you know what I guess?” he said after a moment. “I guess there are a million million planets with some form of life or another, and on one of those planets — this very minute! — a couple of beings are having a conversation and one is saying to the other, ‘I think this whole thing is crazy, this nutty world where we’re always breathing ammonia and sitting on the verge of blowing each other up all the time, but don’t those seven moons look beautiful tonight?’ That’s what I guess.” He laughed. “Did you really just roll your eyes at me? You know, you are so cute when you roll your eyes, and I don’t blame you. I’m talking silly. I don’t know what I’m saying, it’s craziness, I sort of feel insane right about now, it’s like there’s this guy sitting with a beautiful woman and talking about going crazy in this crazy world. I can’t blame you for whatever it is you’re thinking.”

“Do you want to know what I think?” she said.

“Of course I do.”

“Do you really want to know what I think?” she said, a little louder.

“What you think is very important to me.”

“Do you really, really want to know what I think?” and now she stood and leaned over him, and she was so loud conversations stopped and people turned to hear his answer.

“Why, yes,” he said. “I really, really want to know what you think.”

She sighed. “I think they were right.”

“— about what?”

“We belong together.”

His eyes widened. “We do?”

“Yes, we do. I’m crazy about you.”

“And I’m just crazy.”

The room laughed, even though they weren’t joking. But no one went screaming down the street that night, and everyone went home smiling.

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