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The New Real Normal

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My life is going good. Sometimes when things are all wrong, when they feel all wrong and you're lost and broken and hurt and scared, you feel like you've lost or wasted all your friends and you don't really have anybody to talk to, I felt I didn't have anyone to talk to or anyone I wanted to talk to, but I think it's good that I saved it until now. Now I can look at it with my good-mood, that's that eyes and know that everything and everyone is all right, so it won't be a bad story.

Last night, or morning really, at 5:35 am, I discovered the Meaning of Life. Just sitting there. I literally stepped in it.

My life, these past few weeks, has been a little weak. Maybe weak's not the word, but picture a tree how it is after it's struck by lightening, twisted and splintered and leaning in the wrong ways, burnt on the edges and stretching hard in sad, wrong, wrong ways, like it used to be something tall everyone loved and maybe everyone still loves it just because it's still a tree, but it's such a broken, hurt tree... Like that. This was for several reasons, among them losing a friend like I've lost a good friend, the way I attached myself, and then trying to run from that and falling hard into all the lessons I was supposed to learn about waiting for letters and waiting for friends and always getting hurt and being so angry at someone and it's not fair because they don't know what they've done, because it's you. Oh, I get myself into these messes. Spending a lot of time in my head, cleaning up the mess, putting all my energy into sweeping up the ashes and the splinters, going on an imaginary, rage-drunk, indulgent rampage through the city we'd built, tearing down brick walls and buildings and building them up again, wandering through huge empty houses and towers and bedrooms, spending more time in my head than should have been allowed until I finally got it all cleaned up and was able to leave.

From the inside, that sounds like a whole lot of scary, mental rubbish and it was. From the outside, it looked like a broken girl spending hours painting and crying and writing a hundred versions of a letter she'd been writing for years, isolating herself and doing no favours for anyone because it was just too lonely to have any friends. And it was.

So how, now, did I find the meaning of life?

Here is something you need to know- Mum's boyfriend, Michael, is living here now, and so we've welcomed him into our family. He is a good man, and interesting, and kind, not the sort of man I'm used to because I, you remember, am the one who watched so much cruelty and disrespect being thrown at my life from men that I grew up thinking it normal, and now I am finding it's not, and the new real normal is remarkable. The new real normal means staying up until 2 am around the never-ending campfire, all of us, talking and listening, eating blueberry fritters and pot stickers as fast as we can make them, it means hot coffee and loud music, too, talking about Queen and Bowie and good music, the best music, old stories from the war and growing up dirt poor in LA and the best movies ever, how French people are odd and English people insufferable and the kid who makes the pizzas and turned off Led Zeppelin when it came on on the radio, how Grandma Was A Pain In The Ass, and what's not blashpemy, what's not God, what's not Heaven and Hell and Life and what is, for hours and hours and hours and hours until you want to explode with the wholeness.

Every night until you can't blink, you're too tired to blink and your sisters went inside hours ago, so you say goodnight and shuffle up the steps and throw yourself into bed, curl up with your yellow lovely dog and let her chew on your elbow and smile yourself to sleep until you wake up at 1pm in the afternoon and do it over again.

That's when I found it, the meaning, last night. I wasn't tired, had too much coffee but Mum and Michael were like the walking dead so I said goodnight and put my headphones in and looked in the mirror at the black legging band t-shirt wild hair red lip girl and try to see someone someone loved, someone someone thought about all night until they were ill, someone worth it, someone beautiful and strong and talented and I stared and stared until I remembered I wasn't just me, and it made me so happy that I wasn't all that, that I really am just some other black legging band t-shirt wild hair red lip creature with Bowie in her ear and a serious coffee buzz, someone who loves reading most of all because all the characters have Scottish accents if you want, someone who cooks breakfast and lunch and dinner and more than enough of everything, the only one who knows how to make perfect fritters and how to get into someone's head like a disease and how to hit the high notes and the low notes and how to fall asleep on the roof without falling off, how to get a chicken to calm down and how to fix the barn how to fold a boy into total immortality and paint and laugh and be loud and I stared for so long that the sun rose, there on the mirror, in cold warm sweet perfect peach juice light all over me and I was so full-up, so full so full so full that I forgot all about hurting and about wanting and about hating, so full that I know now the Meaning of Life, and no. I'll never tell you. Cos that perfect peach light messy hair messy head Suffragette City You Bang Buried Me But I Am Still The Queen blue gold white loud girl is mine and only only mine, only mine forever.

So that's why I feel good.





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