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DescriptionNormal is relative, and Normal for Sue growing up was High School dropout teenage parents, backwoods strict Baptist rituals, pedophiles, poorly made clothes...living in a trailer that is now a chicken coop.
Now, Normal is discovering the power of lying, stealing, alcohol, drugs and mastering the Art of Selling along the way. Normal is making Headline News, inventing a new product, landing in a movie and creating a real, not 'normal' life.
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Excerpt:Sue was sucking her thumb. Again. She'd already chewed her cuticles down so far they were bleeding. She couldn't help it. She was thinking about spending the next three days at Uncle Larry's house. Uncle Larry always wanted to play those games in the bedroom with her and her sister Connie. Sue felt funny about it. It seemed naughty, but she sometimes could see her Aunt Janet cooking in the kitchen and smell that familiar rotten-egg odor that came from the well water her aunt had to boil before anyone could drink it. The door was always wide open, so everyone must know about the games. It must be all right for Connie and Sue to be under the covers with Uncle Larry, all three of them naked and touching him like that, right? It made Sue feel a bit tingly and knotted her stomach at the same time. She knew she'd go into the bedroom with him this weekend because it happened every time she went for a visit.
In the meantime, she continued to suck her thumb, chew her cuticles and daydream in class. Sue remembered how the morning had started, just like any other day.
"Mom, can I have some butter on my toast? Please? It's so dry. Please, Mom?" Sue kept thinking, Dad's not here right now, he'll never know. You can give me the butter, Mom, and he'll never know.
"Now, Sue, you know your Dad said we have to watch every bit this week," came the gentle response.
"But Mom, I want some butter this morning. I'm sure I won't need so much next week. Please, just this once, Mom?" Sue knew her mother never said no to anyone, unless Dad was in the room, and then she rarely said much of anything at all.
Her mother relented and taking the piece of toast, spread a bit of butter on the bread and handed it back to Sue. She reached over and did the same with Connie's piece of toast.
"Thank you so much, Mom! It's just how I like it!" Sue swooped up the toast and happily ate her breakfast as if it was the greatest piece of toast she'd ever had.
Sue was so hungry for that butter. She seemed to always be hungry for something, hungry for, well, more of everything. This hunger, this wanting, this desire to reach out beyond herself to get what she wanted was something new. At seven years old, she felt there was a whole world outside her home and church life that was calling her.
Last year and all the years before, Sue had been too overwhelmed with the many difficulties of her life. She reacted to everything by putting her thumb in her mouth and trying to hide, if she could. But this year was different. This year, she asked for things when she thought she could ask without being punished just for asking. She began to think of ways she could somehow get the things she desired. It was still a new way of thinking for her. She knew she had to figure out the best way to get what she wanted, but her strong will and determination would surely find a way.
What is Normal?By: Ginny Scales-Medeiros