Written by Billy “Shakes” Shakespeare.
Crazy Dave wasn’t always “Crazy.” He was once just Dave, a kind, gentle man who spent his waking hours reading books on philosophy, English Literature, and the history of ancient Greece in the public library and perusing vacant playgrounds seeking children to lecture on the meaning of life and Derridean ideology. People from his hometown of Macomb, Illinois have known him to be simply “odd,” yet many appreciated watching his daily rants and furious marches around the town square.
Sadly, life has not been kind to Dave. In 2008, he was admitted into McFarland Mental Health Center in central Illinois for symptoms of severe schizophrenia, paranoia, and other extreme psychological disturbances. Jane Patel, a lead psychiatrist at the health center, although careful not to reveal any specifics of Dave’s condition per medical ethics, did note that his condition was “troubling” and that he was “extremely passionate… to a state of nearly inciting violence upon all those who opposed his world views.” It came as no shock to Patel when Dave was admitted to Menard Corrections Center in 2011 for crimes including “verbal assault” and “chaotic belligerence.”
It seemed that Dave would live the remainder of his life institutionalized, transferred to and from facilities to account for his multiple personalities at any given instant, that is until one fateful day in the winter of 2015 when Dave defied all odds. Carl Lyman, night guard at the time of the incident, recalled that “I saw one of the staff exiting around 1:00 a.m. one night… out of the ordinary, but nothing too bizarre to report.” The next morning, Dave was not shackled to his bed per usual. In fact, according to Jane Patel, he was “no where in the building!”
Weeks later, at a graduate literary conference at a local Midwestern University, Crazy Dave was seen ranting about a particular “liberal ideological vision and how it relates to Derridean notions of Space/Time continuum” and won the top prize. Dr. Nathan Barrow, professor of literature and director of the English Graduate Program, described the speech as “incredible… the man is genius…. a discussion unlike I have ever witnessed before, on par with Derrida himself.”
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave, who still appears to be on the run from authorities. We met at his apartment, a run-down abandoned building at the edge of town, where he was busy setting up a game of chess, which he had taken with him from McFarland on the night of his escape. I asked if we were to play a game before questions, and he gave me this ghastly, absent look that sent chills down my spine. The mood soon passed, however, and Dave was once again laughing, stroking the wooden swords he has “passionately collected since his youth, Oh glorious youth!” and moving his black hat to and from his head like a circus performer introducing an act.
The interview began with a brief introduction from Dave, in which he described his lifestyle as one where “I just play chess in my shitty apartment and eat food from Walmart.” The discussion soon turned bizarre, however, with Dave’s immediate dive into matters concerning vampire killing, “analysis paralysis,” and “finding something that will fit your head.”
In regards to the lecture that won him the top prize at the recent graduate literary conference, Dave commented that his inspiration was “I stop taking my medication” among other seemingly irrelevant outbursts. He then suddenly elaborated on game mechanics and how it relates to life, occasionally picking up a chess piece and popping it into his mouth in a passionate act of intimacy we have since cut from the interview to preserve professional decency.
Sadly, the interview had to be cut short once more toward the end, as Dave’s obsession with his swords overwhelmed him and projected him into a state of chaotic neurosis where he flailed his swords around the room with no regard to the lives of myself or film crew. We were successful in calming him, after a long struggle, but he did not say much afterward. Though we did observe moments of the vast intelligence behind this mysteriously wild academic newcomer, the true genius behind Crazy Dave is yet to be discovered.
Crazy Dave has since been hired onto The Thirsty Thespian staff as the Local News Editor, contributor, and subject for further discussion and analysis.
Billy “Shakes” Shakespeare, not to be confused with the great playwright William Shakespeare, is a travel writer, social media analyst, and former psych patient.