Something just happened.
A minute or two ago.
I have just run indoors to write this down so that I don’t lose the moment.
Since I was very young I knew that I wasn’t “normal.” That is to say, what Western society generally perceives, understands and dictates to be appropriate and typical behaviour for a person of a certain age/race/gender/class etc. Normal. Normal normal normal. I was not normal when I was a child, or when I was a teenager, and I am not normal now as a young woman.
So from a very young age I knew and accepted that I was different than the “normal” kids – I was poorer and smaller, but more beautiful, more intelligent, more emotional, more troubled than my peers. Unconventional. Strange. Odd. Mad. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I do not revel in my differences the way that a narcissist would – on the contrary, none of my traits make me any better or more interesting or more attractive than anyone else. In fact, the things that make me different I believe make me a worse person than most.
Anyway, twice in my life I have experienced the fleeting sensation of being “normal.”
Once when I was 17. I was standing outside my school, around 3 o’clock, at the bus stop, smoking a cigarette, waiting for a bus to take me to my boyfriend’s house and I was looking at the clouds and for one, perhaps two, seconds I did not have any crazy bullshit thoughts spinning in my head – I was just existing and there were clouds and I was waiting for a bus just like the normal people around me and I was doing my A-Levels and I had a boyfriend and I had cigarettes and I was wearing clothes and shoes and I was pretty and I was not scared or angry or happy or sad, I just was. And after the moment passed I thought,
HOLY SHIT. IS THAT WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE FEEL LIKE? oh my god oh my god oh my god that’s what my friends feel like all the time, that is how teenage girls should be when they are waiting for a bus after school.
I could barely contain myself, I wanted to tell shout and tell everyone I WAS JUST NORMAL FOR A SECOND OH MY GOD I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE NOW!!! But I realised, sadly and ironically, that sharing this with strangers at the bus stop would indeed be totally abnormal.
So, I was just sitting up on the roof in the glorious sunshine, catching some rays, having a smoke, reading a book AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN. I don’t know where it came from as I spent the morning at the psych ward and it was a very emotional meeting and I have never felt more batshit insane than I do right now, typing this like a madwoman, trying to cling to the most fleeting of moments but I JUST FELT NORMAL FOR ONE SECOND.
I stubbed out my cigarette and a tiny little bird landed next to me, hopped a few steps, then dived over the edge of the roof and I laughed wondering if birds get suicidal but then it came back into view and flew high above my head and I smiled and thought about how nice nature is and how nice the weather is and how I’m enjoying the book I’m reading and how I will wash my hair later and then,
BAM! THIS IS WHAT NORMAL 22 YEAR OLD GIRLS SHOULD FEEL LIKE. OH MY GOD.
And then as abruptly as it arrived, it disappeared, and my heart was and still is going so fast because it was so thrilling to be normal just for one fucking moment. And then I ran inside to type this.