One morning Nick woke up and decided he was going to be crazy.
The question that remained was what sort of crazy he was going to be. It was difficult to decide. Insane was plain, gibbering would get old rather fast, and no one cared about everyday kinds of malfunctions, all of those diseases with boring acronyms and even more boring symptoms. No, he wanted to make headlines, which meant thinking for a while about his new personality. It was quite a bit like work.
Not once did he ask himself why crazy was a desirable state, because it wasn't. Frankly, Nick had just gotten bored of normality, and wanted to try something new. He was one of the most normal people he knew, usually. It was never good to get stuck in a rut.
Crazy people need to look crazy, too, thought Nick. With this in mind, he deliberately dressed in the ugliest, most ridiculous outfit he could find in his house. It was difficult, since all of his wardrobes were filled with normal clothing, but eventually he found a whole stack of weird stuff in a basement closet. Nick liked the way it looked on him. He saw this as proof that he actually was crazy, since it was on backwards and everything. He posed, model-style, and took an imaginary snapshot.
Outside, it was sunny and warm. The streets were filled by a flood of bustling pale aliens in funny hats. Nick raised an eyebrow quizzically. He wondered momentarily where all the normal people had gone, but didn't say anything, in case the normal people heard and decided he wasn't crazy after all. Nick decided to speak to one of the aliens, hoping it was actually a hallucination. Nothing made people think you were crazy faster than talking to something which didn't actually exist. He approached the closest one, which looked like some kind of a storekeeper.
"Hello there, alien." he told it with a smile.
"I'll be done in a second – oh, hello Nick." The alien blinked in surprise to see him. Nick was overjoyed. It must be a hallucination, since aliens wouldn't know his name. He couldn't wait for the cameras to show up.
Whatever it was, it stared fixatedly at his clothing. Nick spun around so he could get a better look. "Isn't it wonderful?" he asked. "Quite normal, wouldn't you say?"
"Yes…" said the hallucination faintly. "Nick, are you all right?"
Of course not, you stupid figment of my imagination! Well, one couldn't expect a hallucination to understand anything. "Of course. I feel great. How about you?"
It took an involuntary step back. "Nick, why don't you come inside? I... need to make a phone call." it said, still sounding surprised. Nick hesitated. If he went inside, then fewer people would be able to see him talking to himself. On the other hand, his crazy clothing was stifling in the midmorning sun and he longed for some decent air conditioning.
The store shelves seemed real, but one could never tell, nowadays. After a few seconds of amusing himself by watching the stacked soup cans, Nick noticed that the storekeeper alien had disappeared. He'd left his voice behind though. Nick heard it talking to someone else.
"-I tell you, Doctor, it's like he's cured completely! I don't understand it at all! He knew my name and everything. Somehow he figured out how to get out of his house, and he came out wearing a suit, of all things, instead of running out with just a blanket like that last time..."
Nick wondered who they were talking about. He hoped it wasn't someone normal. He would feel affronted if someone had stolen his hallucination.
"-yes, well, you'll have to see for yourself. He's sitting in my back room right now. Yes. Okay, fine." The voice finally stopped talking, and the storekeeper poofed back into existence again quite suddenly.
"Doctor Blythe is coming to see you, Nick. Stay here, okay? Don't go anywhere."
Nick paid no attention to it as it disappeared again. He was becoming bored with this whole crazy thing, since the media had failed to show up. On a whim, he decided to be normal again. Nick looked down at himself.
"What on earth am I wearing?" he said aloud. The suit did not respond.
By the time the doctor arrived, Nick had systematically shredded its sleeves with his teeth in an attempt to look more normal. He finished the final tear just as the door banged open.
"You call this cured, Allen? Look at him." Blythe said with an annoyed sigh.
"I... he..." the storekeeper stammered.
"Whatever." said the doctor, extending a hand. "Come on, Nick, let's get you home."
One of the pale aliens was trying to grab him again. It kept talking but didn't make any sense. Why was everything in this world so weird?