Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Brenda Aims to Go Mad

Brenda longed to go raving mad, off the rails, AWOL, gone beyond, beyond gone, gone. And she aimed to do so in a single afternoon, with just two diet beers. Because obviously she was past mending. And because no one else was going to pay the rent. Or run round to her mother's place to climb a ladder when the bathroom fixture started making that sound again.

Other people must make plans to go mad months, if not years, in advance.

No, people in Scandinavia probably went mad any time they felt like it, and were supported by the government.

Some people didn’t need to save money at all. They were well-connected or well-loved. Brenda had only her old mother; her old mother had only her. Her mother would rather have hired a nurse, if only she could have afforded it. Someone brawny. Or a fresh young girl who was always smiling.

No, Brenda could not afford to go mad.

Brenda was forever overshooting the mark. Although she aimed to go mad in a single afternoon with two diet beers, she wound up going mad with two diet beers, a fifth of gin, a frozen lasagna, two drunken phone calls and an altercation with – well, most recently a parking lot attendant. Which was pretty bad. Considering she didn’t drive.

Anyway, a man who criticized a woman’s bottom was always wrong. Brenda was 43 years old. She had a right to wear whatever pants she wanted.

It didn’t occur to Brenda to give up being mad entirely. Any more than it occurred to her to give up urinating. It couldn’t all just build up in there indefinitely –

She would explode.

Really it was extremely complicated, going insane. It was difficult to let go of everything. Especially if you wanted it all to stay in place.

Was this what personal assistants were for, Brenda wondered?

Brenda was only temp staff. And so she had to take care of everything herself. Which was unfortunate.

If she could let go of something, she could afford to go mad.

If she could let go of something, she wouldn’t need to.

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