To the eyes of the average beholder, there was nothing odd about him. He looked okay, sounded okay, dressed okay. Didn’t have any weird tics or odd behaviors.
He seemed to be perfectly normal.
Seemed to be.
But he wasn’t normal and he knew it.
He walked down the street, saying hello and smiling to all of the usual people. He’d get a breakfast sandwich from this place, a cup of coffee from that place, a newspaper from that store over there. Everything was the same.
Everything had to be the same.
Every day needed to be the same.
Even though he bought it every day, the newspaper stressed him out. The headlines were always different. They were never the same. He had complained about it once.
He learned to never complain about it again.
He didn’t want to be seen as odd.
He hated being odd.
So, he tried to be as normal as possible, as normal as his mind would allow him to be.
He tried to be normal every single day.
It was difficult. It was exhausting.
Only at home could he truly relax and be himself in his tightly ordered world. It was a world he knew he could never let anyone else ever see. They wouldn’t understand.
They would call him odd.
He didn’t want to be odd.
So, he never had visitors.
He never had any friends.
But that was fine.
People passing him on the street didn’t see the strange friendless man that he was. They saw him and passed him by without passing judgment.
To the unobservant bystander, there was nothing odd about him. He looked okay, sounded okay, dressed okay. He seemed to be perfectly normal.
To the average beholder, he was normal and not odd at all.
No one ever saw his true self.
No one ever would.