It seemed like a decent idea in the beginning. You’d take pictures of trash, or junk, or just stuff people have left behind, and you’d scribble in your little composition notebook a bit of rambling nonsense tangentially related to the photo. It’d be a simple, clean, consistent way to express yourself creatively [sic]. You’ve been doing this shit for a year – not even just a year, but a leap year – and you’re starting wonder what this is all about.
The thought worms its way through the tangled mess of nerves you call your brain, growing fat on neurons and expanding synapses until you can feel the physical weight of doubt pulling down on the base of your skull. You drop your notebook on the counter, causing a loud smack that startles your cat sufficiently to make her run into the other room.
Maybe it’s time for a walk.
You stumble down the street half-drunk, as always. Unlike always, you’re not yelling at small children whenever you see one because it’s one in the morning and the children are asleep. You win this round, small children.
Sipping on the pint of bourbon you’ve brought along as your faithful companion, you forget to not trip and fall off the elevated highway you’ve found your way onto. In your forgetfulness you tumble downward toward the cold concrete and land with a dull thump followed by a profound darkness.
You hate it when you forget things.
You awaken several minutes later to the squealing horn of a Honda Civic. Though your head aches and your vision is blurred, you force yourself to your feet and flip off the driver of the noisy vehicle before shuffling onto the curb and promptly falling on your ass again.
You feel angry and lost but mostly you feel a throbbing pain in your butt. Wait, no, you mean the lost one. Mostly you feel lost. Putting your feelings into words expressed through interpretive trash fiction was supposed to make you feel better, not worse. How could this have happened?
Looking up to cry dramatically to god or whatever, you see the concrete underbelly of the highway you took a tumble from and realize he wouldn’t be able to hear you because everyone knows rebar blocks psychic energy.
You are about to cry as you lower your head when a blur of red and white catches your attention. You focus as hard as you can without releasing control of your rectum and find it’s a sign advising of sewage back up. Interesting, but irrelevant. The important part of the sign is the remark at the bottom – a simple, clean, soothing sentence that serves to instruct everyone that everything’s okay even when watery shit is filling the streets.
The line reads simply: THIS IS NORMAL.