about the author

Eugenia Tsutsumi is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up between France, Switzerland, Brazil, and Egypt. She received her BA in comparative literature at Brown University and is currently an MFA candidate at George Mason University, where she has been the recipient of a fellowship. Her fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in SNReview, Caketrain, PANK Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Writers’ Bloc, and The Dos Passos Review. Her poetry in translation has been published in Ninth Letter.

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People Want to Be Normal

Eugenia Tsutsumi

Zyprexa keeps the voices in check but causes nausea, which I counter with Alka-Seltzer (the lemon-flavored kind). Recently, the medical community has come to suspect that these tiny pills might cause diabetes, which had me worried enough to go for a checkup. Red pills curb depression, but also cause drowsiness. That’s why I take the pink ones—a well-needed boost of energy early in the day. The Flintstones multi-vitamins I’m able to get over the counter. I’ve taken them since I was a kid. They taste great. The blue meds manage my anxiety. The downside is, they make me restless at night, and so, to help me sleep, I take Sominex, conveniently sold by the candy bars at the checkout aisle at Safeway. The white pills are regular-looking, like your average aspirin, but they shouldn’t be trivialized—they tame the steady pounding in my head, at the cost of dry mouth, the shakes, and twitching. The fat yellow ones minimize the shaking and the twitching, and I’m left with dry mouth, which isn’t counteracted by anything else that I know of.

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