Mostly Normal

Where does the line between madness and plain old eccentricity lie? Is it in the lines that mark my smiling mouth? The smouldering coals of my eyes. Where madness sits.

And the rages. Boil and trouble.  Most people cool off after them, mine stay. Seep into my body. Build up over weeks, sometimes months. Gather; in my gut, my steely blood, my nerve endings.

I can stop it, stem the tide if I notice the taste of metal in my mouth. Or a rage that storms from a standing start. I scream like a hag, run to shake it off. To the highest hill or to the bedroom upstairs, where I sit, still boiling, at how other people are wrong. How I’m sane and they’re mad.

I take deep breaths. House, and its people are silent. My family hold their breath. On which half will I land? Once I would have taken the car, or run away. Told strangers about the hell my life is. When it isn’t.  At all. If I swallow it down, keep the madness in my body, I go from mania, slipping into psychosis. No focus. Brain re-arranged and put back wrong. I need chemicals to put it back right. The legal sort.

I know what side my bread is buttered. I breathe and breathe. Grip onto the mattress, or grab handfuls of grass viciously. Until the craziness subsides, until it goes away. Shouts, demands, the whispers. Backing quietly from the space.

My friends know calm me, serene me. Only a few have seen me bouncing off the walls. Like a user of elicit drugs, who doesn’t. Use that is.

There’s little eccentricity in madness. Nor madness in eccentricity. There is no solid black line either. It’s smudgy. Ragged even. The colours don’t quite fit the shapes.

Most of the time I’m normal. I am.