Thursday, May 9, 2019

Be Normal, It's Not That Hard

No. 9 of 30 -- Psycho Squad

I always try to be an encouragement to my psycho friends, "C'mon, be normal! It's so easy! Try it ... Put one brain cell in front of the other and think! If you try it, you'll find it's just like ice skating. You put one foot forth and tippie-toe along -- have confidence! -- and pretty soon you're sailing across the beautiful ice! Gliding like that..." When naturally they crumple. So much for my theory that good coaching solves everything, when you're talking to a guy whose head's stuffed with mush, and maybe even the mush isn't connected.

But, patience, I keep trying. I'll always believe, Put your mind to it and great things will happen. And don't we all have aspirations? I was taught that. And if I didn’t believe it, I’d give up. I’d hate to look out on life’s landscape and see nothing looking back. Rather, I look out and I’m part of it, along with everyone else, with hopes, dreams, and possibilities. The overall prognosis is good. If we could just get rid of the pessimism which so often marks our lives on a day to day basis. Think, people!

It probably should be established what the baseline in life is, what we should all be or strive to be. It’s called Normal. A very simple word, huh? Although normal doesn’t always mean perfect or completely whole. It means not too many challenges, not too much personal hot water or stewing in it, but a basic path right down the middle. Like a karate chop, split the difference. Someone holds up four fingers, you don’t bite them off.

The big emphasis needs to be on our mental life and maintaining a decent enough standing. A guy has a stick. He does things with the stick as a sort of tool. All normal enough to understand. But he doesn’t poke his eye out. That’s far from normal, unless it’s an accident, then it’s a normal consequence of life when it’s gone bad. But once you've literally poked out an eye, all kinds of nasty things can easily follow, and I'll probably have to wrestle you to the ground.

So what about mentality when it’s off the normal track? It’s normal in the sense that things can go wrong. But it’s abnormal if the organism is out of whack and doing things against its well-being. Without giving an exhaustive description — which would be dry and boring — this is where the Psycho Squad springs into action. We look out on the world as though with an all-seeing eye. What we see looking back is a more or less normal sector. With a fairly large abnormal sector, causing crazy havoc for itself and others.

It's great to rev up the siren and make our wondrous forays into the night, because we're hoping to bring wayward minds back toward the norm. We give a quick diagnosis, say, holding up two fingers pointing to my eyes and theirs, hoping to see something registering, and if not, that’s a moment of crisis. Is the person armed? Can he or she be a threat to our normal lives and limbs? From there many paths present themselves, which we see in a flash. “Get this person to the hospital! Hup to! Hup to! ... And while you're at it, if you've got a sec, check again for guns."

Say you're the victim, the patient. You'll be happy when you’re back to normal. And, really, normal’s not so hard. Fingers to eyes, try to keep up. Let these things register in your psyche. Like falling off a log. Which takes absolutely nothing but gravity and the normal imbalances we all have, the normal inability to keep our footing on normal rotating slippery logs.

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