There was no time to have a nervous breakdown so I had to find another way to fall apart. One idea was going numb, it was quiet and unexpected and not violent until the very end. I had tried that method but the end never came. Sun, fresh air and alka seltzer got me back to baseline. I began interrupting my mother during our long talks when she was the only one talking. I started pacing and thinking and talking to myself, which was much more normal-like; there were even five expressions for my face, all of them different shades of unrealistic. I could fall apart that way maybe. By diving into a fantasy. I did this for a while and I got bored as hell. I had begun to give up on ever falling apart in a way that was acceptable to society. There was even less time anymore for a nervous breakdown. I was walking through a strip mall with my head down, depressed, when I saw a dollar store. Well, the pavement in front of a dollar store where someone had spraypainted 99c in blue. I went in to press my luck. Every dollar store has something unexpected that you didn’t know you needed, and usually it’s not a dollar. I saw them and had to have them. The slippers. Blue, purple and white stripes. Fuzzy and open at the heels. My feet were aching in my usual black shoes with no support and black soles. I bought the slippers and put them on and went to work in them. Everyone was totally impressed. I’m not sure if it was the slippers, or the fact that I came to work in them. I didn’t really care, either. My feet congratulated the floor. It was totally unacceptable.