Normal is Calming, Right?

It’s March. The song “Pictures of You” by The Cure just came on over the house speaker, and her dad says, “Don’t change it. I like this song.”

Three years ago, the same song woke her up from a nap. Therefore, she doesn’t really like “Pictures of You.” But she keeps it on anyway.

She’s trying to be more like this: more “chill,” if you will. Her dad likes the song, so she neglects to press the “skip” button. Her mom likes the way this shirt looks on her, so she decides not to tell her how hideous it makes her shoulders look, hiding the tears filling her eyes as she looks in the mirror. Her sister eats the last of the ice cream, her dog just shit on her bedroom floor, and her best friend forgot to add her to the latest group chat. Whatever, right? That’s what she keeps telling herself, anyway. Whatever. 

The thing is, being chill isn’t really in her nature. She tries, but it’s hard when there’s a voice inside of her head that is screaming at the top of its lungs 24/7. In fact, she’s so used to this voice that its screaming is now something she finds calming. Normal is calming, right?

In the seventh grade, she made an alternative-rock playlist called “April.” Man, it made her feel cool. Not only did it make her feel cool, but it distracted her from the constant noise in her head. She had to be the only seventh-grader listening to The White Stripes, right? Except yesterday, when she played The White Stripes in the car with her family, her dad made fun of her for playing something she was “so obsessed with” in middle school. Whatever. 

Hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and so on. By this point, the screaming is louder than ever. But she’s chill! So chill that it’s almost as if she’s numb. Numb kind of hurts, actually. Whatever. Whatever!

It’s March again. The song “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie comes on over the house speaker. She loves David Bowie, but liking Bowie is particularly cliché of a teen girl trying to be different. She continues to like the song anyway, though. She tries to, at least. “Next song,” her dad requests, unaware that this request gives her a feeling that’s equivalent to that of a knife being twisted in her stomach.

She presses the skip button. “Whatever.” 

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