Why You Act Crazy — Not an Act, Maybe


Nasrin had no idea how she built the bravery to proceed from where she sat frozen, fingers sticky with sweat & all hot from the wrongness o’ it all. But then, she was always wrong — wrongness was just what they expected from her, & they’d ne’er let her let them down. & as she thought ’bout it, she thought she could get an impish pleasure from the wrongness. ¿How much uglier could they possibly find her? That made her invincible now.

The soulful croon o’ Staley died to DuVall’s shouting. Life was full o’ corruption. She plunged forward.

¿But where to start?

Wherever I want to start.

That doesn’t work: it has to be believable.

But it’s not real; that’s the whole point. I can do whatever I want, & they can’t stop me.

But that’s what makes it pathetic.

But that wouldn’t deter her. Not today. She was pathetic; she’d given up fighting that. She wanted to do this, & could focus on nothing else. Once she got used to it, it became normal. That was the magic o’ the poison — the magic o’ the body that becomes immune, e’en used to it.

But I can’t become used to it if I don’t start.

Fuck it: she was… a normal girl. She was herself, but perhaps having showered mo’ recently & wearing cleaner clothes. Maybe less pudgy. ¿Was she pudgy? She hadn’t looked @ herself ’nough to remember thoroughly. Fuck it; ¿who cared? In this world, weight was mo’ fluid — everything was, which simply meant that there were mo’ possibilities.

It didn’t matter, ’cause in her world, she had no appearance; this was a 1st-person world.

& now there was a boy standing in front o’ her. ¿What was he wearing? She felt bad a bit, that that was the 1st thing she thought o’. Corrupt selfishness. That was why she was driven to this world — too selfish for the right 1. He was wearing a huge T-shirt that went down to his knees, with “short” sleeves that went down to the crooks ’tween his upper & lower arms. She could see the edges o’ the hem o’ his shirt shake, ’long with the dangling o’ the cords on his puffy dark sweats.

¿What was he nervous ’bout? He already knew she knew, & was the 1 who caused this whole thing.

¿Or did she? She knew ’twas cliché to blame some nebulous outside shadowy being for one’s problems; but she, probably inspired by her cynical, Darwinist father thought ’twas mo’ likely a grimmer reality: that one could be a slave to chance pollution — ¿bad genes? ¿a particular combination o’ accidental environmental effects that couldn’t be blamed on any particular person’s design? ¿both? & if not, she s’posed the other idea was that ’twas God or Satan or some variation that caused it. Either way, it made sense that one could be enslaved inside oneself. To berate oneself for oneself was like berating a computer for not fixing itself. What’s broken was too broken to fix itself.

Then a mischievous grin appeared on her face. She had an idea:

“Um… ¿Nasrin? I hope I’m not bothering you.”

Nasrin looked up with her usual dumbfoundedness. She was surprised by the look o’ nervousness on the boy’s face.

This was a lie — ’twas all lies. It wasn’t e’en logically possible. But she was devious & she drew pleasure from the lies. She was a liar — not in the present tense, but in the universal tense. She hated the truth in all its ugliness, & knew it despised her just as much. She understood it all very well, — well, tried to as much as her admittedly weak brain could — but understood it like a wise military understands its enemy. ’Gain, her father’s cynical realism forced that on her — &, in fact, they were quite similar, in that she was aware o’ the importance o’ both, but didn’t like either, which was made worse by her acknowledgement that in both fights, she was the wrong 1.

& yet, ¿what was so wrong ’bout it? ¿What was so wrong ’bout fighting gainst objective correctness? The better question was, ¿what could objective reality do gainst her for refusing to acknowledge its supremacy? ¿Kill her? ¿Ruin her? The usual assumption was that she’d be happier if she acknowledged reality & just accepted it, reacted to it. Wrong. In fact, most acknowledge the opposite: “ignorance is bliss”. But she didn’t need ignorance; she only needed nonchalance. In fact, nonchalance was stronger, since she wasn’t trapped in ignorance; ’twas a deliberate choice. She was staring straight @ reality as it aimed its arrow right @ her eye, which meant she expected it. It wouldn’t be so sudden, & so nerve-wracking.

Nasrin yawned, & then looked @ the time & noticed how late it had gotten — & so li’l accomplished thanks to her distractions. She lay put her laptop to sleep & lay in bed, thinking, Yet ’nother 24 hours o’ my life killed.


It always surprised Nasrin how, e’en after years o’ attending Applewood Secondary School she still felt immense discomfort all the time & the strong urge to flee home & hide under her covers. She figured that years into her teens would ween her off that — but that just goes to show what happens when she figures stuff. Her favorite flaws were the 1s she hated herself, & yet still couldn’t fix.

The good news was that those years had hardened her into a tolerance for unrelentingly rattling nerves.

As it turned out, this day’s lunch hour would involve yet ’nother delusional student ruining her peace. Said student sat next to her with her knees drawn up & said, ¿How’s it going?

“¿How’s it going?” ¿What’s that e’en mean? ¿What am I s’posed to say?

Uh… ¿Good?

¿What’s your name?

Um, Nasrin, Nasrin said with, for some reason, immensely sour saliva o’ distaste.

After an awkward minute, the other student rose & left.

A rather slow consensus, thought Nasrin.


But reality found a way to sneak into her world.

This is wrong, she said. I don’t deserve this. This is just like all the others — an embarrassment. I’m just looking for ways to avoid acknowledging the fact that I suck in the real world.

The other someone replied, ¿Says who?

¿‘¿Says who?’? ¿Should I truly doubt it? ¿What future do I have?

Death, just like everyone else.

Nasrin felt herself heat up. Though she tried to stop herself, she looked o’er her shoulder on the infinitesimal chance that her father might look o’er her shoulder. She suddenly noticed how loud was her music’s melodramatic singing ’bout slitting his own throat.

But if it’s so corrupt, so embarrassing, ¿why is it so efficient? Just compare the all the trouble o’ the real thing vs. the equally soothing medicine o’ the fake.

But that’s the thing: it’s fake.

¿What’s inherently bad ’bout fake? ¿What’s inherently better ’bout real?

The li’l black line that separated the words already spoken & those that had yet to be spoken slowly blinked in place.