Sixty Seconds to Insanity

August 17, 2008
By Julia Moralez, Germantown, MD

It's one-third the heat and two-fifths head pain and maybe nine-sixteenths her own delusion, but she never learned enough about fractions in the first place, always counting one, two, twenty-eight and that's about the extent of her mathematical skills. He flicks his cigarette and ash falls in her direction, then she gives a small smile, and he tells her that she's delirious because there's no heat, it's winter, and she looks at him like he's the crazy one and giggles and falls backwards in her chair, all tangled limbs and no grace, but she lays there anyways and laughs and laughs until it's nothing but little hiccups of sound, and then she snorts while he watches her and the look on his face reminds her of something but she doesn't know what exactly and that sets her off for another eight minutes and fourteen seconds.

There's nothing really funny at all but she laughs anyways, and tears stream down her face one by one, two by two, eight by sixteen and she is so young compared to him, they say that he was young when his parents died but she was younger when hers left her, which makes it her duty to be as annoying as possible, which most of the time leads to her locked up by herself because he's about two minutes and nine seconds and about fifty-four milliseconds from blowing her head off with the nearest object, except most of the time there is nothing near, so she sits on the bed or chair or whatever and keeps laughing, giggling, and then she cries herself to sleep because the one thing she hates (loves) more than being around him is being by herself.
She twitches while she sleeps and dreams about nothing and everything and things inbetween, and black and white and fire and water and sometimes even ponies, and it just figures that she can't ever stay still, ever, even when asleep but there's a lot of things about her that she doesn't know about herself and she never focuses, just bounces around and babbles randomly because talking is definitely probably most likely her most favorite thing to do.

"- and then I asked her if she had some kind of phobia, like you know, arachnophobia, or dentophobia- which is the fear of dentists, did you know that? But then she said no, she had syphilophobia, which totally doesn't make sense because she-"

... and then she's back to counting things, one, two, nineteen bruises and she's by herself and hurls the alarm clock at the wall, and just then he walks in, and it's one-fifth pain and six-sevenths luck, but it doesnt really matter because he catches her in time before she can do something drastic, which hardly matters because she's practically dead anyways, at least on the inside if not the outside.

Of course, later, she has to take a few aspirins, three or four or possibly eight and she's about as drugged up as ever, and they tend to make her head spin, and he shoves her into the bed to make her sleep and then sits on the edge, and she mumbles something like 'six white hairs' at him and he snorts a little bit because he's not even twice as old as her, he's 27 and she's 16 and they say she's too young to know what love is, but nevertheless he has something like a half-smile on his face, and she thinks to herself, that makes a total of nine and a half, and that's a number she never counts wrong.

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