A Perfectly Normal Thought Process

Submitted into Contest #20 in response to: Write a story about a character who would be described above all else as "logical."... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Drama Funny

I wonder if anyone else thinks like I do.

Of course, thought processes are different in every person because of external reasons, such family, age, and gender. 

“And sometimes I speak.” I laugh at myself in the mirror, sticking my tongue out at my reflection. 

Girl, you look good today! 

Some things could be improved. And my eyes are still too small. Don’t get cocky. 

A knock sounds on the washroom door. “Keri, are you almost done? You’ve been in there for ages already.” 

Ugh. Can’t he be more patient?

Of course not. He is only eight years old, you cannot expect him to be; you must teach by example. Besides, he is your little brother. 

“I’m coming, Ty.” I come out and ruffle his hair while I walk past. 

“It’s about time,” he says, smoothing his hair back. 

I go downstairs, kiss Mom, and sit down for breakfast, then head to work. 

I wanna turn on the radio!

Nonsense. The radio can be fun, but what are the chances something good is playing?

The chances exist!

Ah, but is it worth the trouble of finding out? My ride to work is only eight minutes long— seven if I’m in a hurry— and my brain will be in enough turmoil there. 

Fine. Ooh, look at those clouds! 

Yes, I do like those: billowing and tumbling over each other, in a hurry, to let the hope of dawn shine through and bless this weary world with her light. They are lovely. God is certainly knew what He was doing. I’m glad I get to drive east every morning. 

I want to open the window! There could be birds singing! 

Absolutely not. It is far too cold. 

Pulling up into the parking lot, I find myself looking around to see if anyone notices me. I am usually five minutes earlier than everyone else, and today is no exception. 

So I can grin as stupidly as I want!

And I suppose I have no power to stop, do I?

My grin maintains. 

That number should match up! Why is it not matching?

There must be an explanation; it is just somewhere… hidden deep, deep, deep in this page. But it must be there. It has to work somehow. 

What if it doesn’t? What if the years go by, and the books never match up because of that one number? That would be awful!

We’d have to make them match. It is possible to do in manually. 

But that way doesn’t make sense! We wouldn’t have a receipt to match it up! What we got audited? Oh, doom has come!

I had forgotten to adjust the date. The transaction had been done yesterday. I changed it now, and it turned green. 

Huzzah! Huzzah! I have conquered accounting! I am a genius! 

If only this was all there is to it. Look at my bin. THere is so much more to make sense of yet.

Huz— why am I such a killjoy?

I am simply being reasonable. Now I need to get some work done.  

My phone dinged. 

Oh. It’s probably Mrs. Brown, asking if I can babysit again. 

That is a fair chance. After all, that is her ringtone. 

I checked it, and it was. 

But I watched her girls last week! I don’t want to!

Who else will she get to babysit?

That’s not my problem.

But those girls really need some good influence in their lives. I remember when I was a teenager. They need all the help they can get. 

But they’re so exhausting! I need to take time for myself too! And what about Mom at home?

Mom manages on the days I’m working just fine. Now, do I have anything up on that day?

My calendar shows a dentist appointment for 10:15 in the morning. 

Oh, shucks! What a disappointing turn of events. I’ll just have to say no to the babysitting then.

Now, don’t be so rude.

Why does my text sound so apologetic?

Because I am sorry I was not able to help her out.

Am I really, though? 

Yes. Yes, I am. And the next time she asks, I will agree to it unless I really need the time for something else. 

Ugh. I am too nice.

Well, I’d rather be suffering as too nice than too stingy. At least I can be useful then.

“I’m home!” I holler. I can’t smell anything. 

I wonder what Mom is making for supper?

Whatever it is, it will be good. 

“Hey, Sweetie. I’ve been marking the kid’s work and haven’t gotten to starting supper yer. You wanna brown the ground beef? We’re having tacos.”

“Sure, Mom.”

Can she tell that I just gave her a fake smile?

No, I don’t think so— wait what? That wasn’t a fake smile. I enjoy bustling in the kitchen.

Yes, but not when I am hungry.

True, but being hungry is not all of it. The fact is that I was expecting the food to be ready. 

Right! Had I been mentally prepared, this would not affect me so hard. 

My, my, dramatic much! Well, it doesn’t matter what would have happened if Mom had decided to text me to let me know; that is simply unreasonable, and it is in the past. The only thing I can do is to fix the future by working on the present. I will be happy even if I have to make supper. I will be pleasant and kind, and make supper so that it is done when Dad and Alex get home. 

Savana wants to shred the cheese. Tyler volunteers to chop the lettuce and tomatoes. They take turns cutting the onion, each going as long as they can before the tears form in their eyes, then running to the other side of the kitchen and complaining about imaginary struggles that have driven them to this state of unashamed sorrow.

I laugh at them mimicking the Old English I sometimes resort to, then yell down the stairwell: “Phil! Come set the table!”

I love supper with my family!

Yes. I should never take this time for granted.

But I’m annoyed by Tyler spilling his water again.

That was an accident. Help him clean it up; let Mom stay sitting.

And Alex just kicked me under the table! I should glare at him.

Only a little bit. And no venom. Then I’ll stick out my tongue to prove my lightheartedness, but quickly so Dad doesn’t see it.

After cleaning up and saying good night to my family, I head upstairs to my room. 

I don’t feel like writing!

Nonsense. Just get started, and it will all begin to flow. 

Or I could just watch music videos!

Absolutely not.

I love writing!

Yes, I certainly do. I am feeling a little tired now, though. What time is it?

What! Its already 10:37?

Ahh. I stayed up too late again.

Well, shucks. Guess since I’m already late, I’ll just keep going. I’m on a roll. 

Uh-huh. Guess who is going to hate getting up tomorrow morning?

The Prime Minister?

Besides him. 

I wonder who…

Put the laptop away! Go to bed! 


Thank you.

I get all snuggled up beneath my mountain of blankets, but my brain isn’t finished yet.

Now what?


Or I could imagine a debate and solve the world’s problems!

No thanks. Now, imagine a dark cloud settling over me, seeping into by brain, filling every thought with sleep and quiet and darkness…

I wonder if anyone else does this!

What? Sleep?

No; argue everything out before they do anything. 

I am sure that they do, to some extent. I cannot view myself as that unique. 

But almost anyone responds more quickly than I do. I wonder if I spend that much more time deliberating my words.

Or everyone else’s brain just works that much faster.


Yes. Now, imagine black paint filling me, starting by pooling in my toes, creeping up my legs, filling every joint, calming every part it touches. Imagine that same paint filling my neck, climbing my spinal cord, flooding my brain…

I fall asleep just fine. That technique works every time.

December 20, 2019 19:31

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