don't expect thunderbolts.

she made the mistake of thinking that there was a plan, that there was some logic and reason to what she considered her life. she also thought she was an artist, but that's a whole other story, a story not worth getting into. she listened to artists, real artists, and longed for coincidences, some sort of signal that she was not of this world, but above it, better than it. she was afraid of both rejection, but she also feared acceptance, and this troubled her greatly. in an interstellar burst, i am back to save the universe, and at that precise moment, she noticed the letters t.k.o. scrawled on the window. somebody had vandalized the window with a knife.

she was nuts, obviously. maybe it was something less dramatic. maybe she was just bi-polar, or else suffered from social anxiety disorder (one in nineteen americans suffer from it!), something less appealing, less attractive. more ordinary, more boring. wasn't it better to be crazy? there are crazies, sure, but only the kind of crazies who nod to themselves, have open arguments with themselves in public. "no! no, sir! you are quite mistaken!" if she was nuts, then she had to be talented. and if she was talented, she wasn't really talented unless she was out of her goddamn mind.

at a spiritual retreat once, a retreat leader told her, "don't expect thunderbolts to come down from the sky. please write that down." she wrote it down, thought about it, remembered it for the rest of her life. thunderbolts, she pondered. what could he possibly be talking about? thunderbolt = winning the lottery. thunderbolt = finding a job she loved. thunderbolt = making a lifelong fail-proof friend. what could i expect, she demanded. what could i fucking possibly expect? the inner-child within her was crying out loud. though her lips quivered, she made no sounds.

she spent the majority of her adolescence thinking thoughts like, i'm no good. what good am i? when is my life going to mean something? she wrote these thoughts down in a black journal that she carried around with her. these were secrets, secrets that terrified her. she knew that if she released them to the world, she would be fine. everything would be ok. but she would not release them. paramedics would have to pry those words from her cold dead arm, her cold black purse. and even then, there was a lock. they would have to go to her apartment to find the key. her braindead logic would go as follows: i am dead now. only now can the whole world know who i was, who i truly was.

but even then, who was to say the world would give a shit. this haunted her some more. all they would find was poorly written poetry, incoherent sentences and symbols. totally indecipherable. totally useless. she would lie in bed for hours, rolling from one side to the next, i'm no good. what is the point of any of it? after some time she'd get up, put a record on. bike down. down to the downtown. down to the lock down. she cried herself to sleep. how pathetic. how cliche. how dramatic. can't you think of someone other than yourself for a change?

she'd ride her bike to work. today, i am really going to do something. today, i am a whole new person. i am empowered and beautiful, and the world is my oyster and all that crap. she gleefully rode past commuters stuck in traffic. they were killing the earth; she was saving it. she was an artist, did i mention that? as she sped down the street, faster and faster, she flipped off the comcast billboard, and smiled at the starbucks employees. they, of course, never saw her, but still, it was worth it.

it was just another cold sunny morning like so many others. but i will make today count, she thought. "i will make today count," she said under her breath. she could scream it, but it wouldn't matter. she let her inner-child scream for her. i will make today count! she was stopped at a light. her inner-child was screaming at the top of her fragile lungs, crying tears of joy. the cold breeze stung her slightly blemished, far from perfect (so she thought) face.

we all know how the story ends. those three to five seconds were all that mattered. so what if the rest of the twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes, fifty-five seconds were bullshit. that was more than most people get. she was clinging to seconds.

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