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The Romanticizing of a Normal Life

Saturdays are days for cleaning. I wake up lazily, not feeling the pressure to make all my dreams happen in that day. My anxiety for the future dissipates, allowing a sense of calm. A sense of accomplishment. A sense of reflection. I read with my dad on our red decking, not feeling rushed. I allow myself to get pulled into the words on the page. The worlds somebody else’s imagination created. I move to the distressed leather couch in the living room when the sun becomes too intense for my sensitive eyes, green blotches taking over the black and white worlds.

Laying on my stomach with the book resting on the arm of the couch, my hair still raised to the sky, traces of last night’s makeup still under my eyes, our mailman comes with the little bell jingling from his mail bag. We call him Johnny because he has to many similarities to Depp than we can ignore. I tell myself we would be friends if the world would initiate it. I wave too eagerly as he tries to ignore the fact that he can see our private lives through the window near the mailbox.   When I go for runs he raises his fist in greeting, as though indicating solidarity.   I appreciate it and run a little harder, making sure to look impressive as I run away.

I clean. There’s a moment when it becomes time to fold the clothing I have let accumulate on my hamper and bed and floor. My khakis and jeans splayed over the carpet, looking like their owner’s bodies had melted into the ground, leaving them there with separation anxiety. Music narrates my simple tasks of a Saturday afternoon, making me feel as though I am in a quirky, independent film that is too realistic, because who wants to go watch a movie about their own lives? So, the movie never makes it in major theaters, but to those who do enjoy the romanticizing of a normal life, these movies are perfect.

My mom knocks on my door that has a dent that has been plastered over. It indicates a moment of lost temper. She opens the door, not waiting for an answer. She is in her robe with her tall hair. We share the complexities of a pixie hair cut.

“Have you seen the dancing scene in this movie?”


“It’s on commercial, but you should come out and watch it in a few minutes.”


I go sit in one of the hard kitchen chairs and wait. I yell when the movie is back on, assuming that my mom doesn’t want to miss the scene. She leans on the white, newly cleaned, kitchen counter. The room has the slight smell of bleach. Of clean. And we watch Uma Thurman and John Travolta twist on their shoeless feet in competition for a twisting trophy. They’re not spazzy, as many are when they dance. They do their random moves with grace and commitment. My mom’s mouth curls at the corners. We continue to watch as Uma ODs and then resuscitated with a syringe of adrenaline.

Our eyes glued to the television filled with the world of Pulp Fiction on this gentle Saturday afternoon.


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