I can pass for normal if I really try. Sometimes, I even put on deodorant.
Just yesterday, someone asked me for the time, and I said, “1:36,”
even though I always carry a sprig in my pocket
in case that question comes up. It’s easy to be normal.
A husky voiced phone survey woman asked, “Sex?”
I told her, “Male.” Just like that. At the grocery store, though,
I lost it. The bagger inadvertently brushed my hand and said,
“Paper or plastic?” I said, “It’s skin. Isn’t that normal?”
Most of the time, if I concentrate,
I can ignore all those variant
meanings words evoke,
and figure out what others want from me.
Isn’t that what normal is,
doing what others expect instead of being who I am?
The most important thing is to try to be like everybody else.
My biggest problem, perhaps, is I don’t watch television.
In polite conversation, I have found it helps
to nod often, even if nothing makes sense.
I probably shouldn’t even talk
about peppers. When the waiter asks,
“Ground pepper?” I say, “Please.” Simple enough.
The problem comes when he says, “Just say when.”
I usually say nothing. When he gets tired, he walks away,
What I want to say is, “Whenever the grinder is empty.”
Lately, I have started to carry
my own bottle of pepper sauce
for places where ketchup is the only
condiment. It makes things easier.
I wonder if anybody is really normal,
if other people nod because nothing makes sense.
I think I would fit in if everyone stopped
pretending. Why do some people take everything so seriously?
I could be normal, if it paid enough, but it is truly overrated.
It is certainly no way to raise children. I guess I should spend more time
worrying about how things look. Also, it would probably help,
to occasionally be on time, but then there is always
that poem I am working on that won’t let me go.
Somehow, I get by. I have a good life, I must say.
There is really no reason to change,
unless, of course, I spill hot sauce on my shirt.