Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good Morning Jessicca...

Letter to my Daughter
Sunday, 13 October

Being Normal

Good Morning Jessicca…

No one is normal.  We all say it.  We all know it’s true.  We just don’t realize how much it is true, especially when it comes to ourselves.  Well, maybe when it does involve ourselves we might actually have a good appreciation just how off we really are.  Does it matter?

Luke crushed his cigarette and took a good long look at Janet.  He could take his time examining her now because she was wrapped up in one of those sexy shows she liked to watch on TV.  She was writing him again and he knew it.  There was no point in talking about it.  The conversation never went anywhere and he always wound up feeling like an idiot after all was said and done.  It was a no win for him and he knew she somehow always felt a triumph savored, afterward.  She had gotten through.  It was never fair.  He hated her.  He hated her now, for the moment.  Later he would just resent her.  It would simmer until he loved her again.  She was a snake charmer to him.  He would feel all kinds of pissy, a smoldering rage on the back burner, barely steaming, and she would burst out saying something that would use one of her made-up words.

“So, what’s doing in the way of groks tonight, Boobie?”

He glanced at her.  It wasn’t enough.  He had to look her full in the face.  She was dying to tease him.  It was the way she smiled.  She was holding back something.  It was sure to be something outrageous.  It was sure to make him laugh.  Everything tightly bundled up within lapsed and loosely dropped away.  The fear and anger went out with the tide.  She would always be more fun than anyone he would ever know.  This was certain.  He could never know such unsettled intensity with anyone else.  That’s how he felt now taking her all in, standing in front of him, barely stitched in her careless, skimpy clothes, one leg bent and crossed over in front of the other.  The window light brushed all the highlights.  She was a meal and a half.  He was now fully awake and she knew it.  He had pushed all the anger aside.  He would hate her again, only later.  Now she was time to eat.

Let’s just say the film in the projector in the theater broke at just this point.  The screen goes rude with white.  A chorus of groans is followed with a small commotion of management promises, and apologies waved off by people heading for the lobby and a chance to grab a smoke.  It’s a movie house and not one of those multiplex, stadium seating palaces found anchoring down one end of the mall.  The carpets are threadbare and the restroom smells of bleach.  If you’re lucky you come with someone that talks your talk.  Otherwise you come alone because this old dump on 5th Avenue is playing something you can’t afford to miss. 

Every life starts for real the first time you take up with someone you know full well is bound to end badly, but all that matters now is the chance to capture the present.  You might think you can spend a whole life capturing the present but it isn’t going to happen.  Life isn’t that generous.  Chances are the first heartbreak was your best.  After that, a bit of numbness begins to set in.  Love - when you find it again, it isn’t as full-blown as it once was and, when things invariably fall apart or dwindles away, raging despair is likely replaced by a dulled sense of disappointment. 

I hear you saying, “No.  That’s not how it works for me.”
Good.  Then you’ve got a different story to tell.  There’s plenty of room available for more than one.  But I can tell you one thing.  You’re not normal.  Your story isn’t normal.  Your life is an exaggerated narrative for just another unlikely book.  Either that or, plainly, you don’t exist.


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