Published by Esquire in 2009
What if he's crazy? Do we trust him, even though he's not talking amiably to the empty air? Are we comfortable having him around, even though he's the only one not playing with his toes in the punch bowl? Do we just ignore him, over there in the corner of the room, talking about the fact that there's not enough food, and that the sink in the kitchen is backing up, and that the fire in the laundry room is getting out of control, and that there's a hole in the floorboards where the stove just fell through while all the rest of us are worrying about the giant carnivorous bat-creatures -- the ones only we can see -- that are waiting to come swooping in through the windows if we dare open them to let a little fresh air into the place? If the village is full of idiots, what do you call the guy who has to sit on the wall and get the dung flung in his direction?
Listen to him. He's talking in what seems to be a glossolalic deluge of issues. One plan a week, each thrown out there while we're still digesting the previous one. He's moving too fast for us to keep up with him. He's talking a private language, to himself, like crazy people do, because he certainly can't be talking to us, his strange, atrophied people, our capacity for large projects and great achievement, let alone for the participation in enlightened self-government that such projects and achievements require, something safely kept reserved for HBO historical miniseries. The muscles have gone slack, the nerve endings gone dead. He's talking about phantoms, about ghosts, about things that aren't really there. He's speaking in tongues is what he's doing.