She pulls him to the window, once the sun is set and shows him the sign. She turned it on, just for him; she made it the perfect blue, for him. She put words on a thing.
For about week after this is posted, I'm gonna get emails you wouldn't believe, death threats and the whole thing, from men who feel attacked and brutalized by the mere suggestion that they don't run the world. When you've never been disagreed with before, by someone you actually were paying attention to, that's probably a slap in the face and it can take a man to some very slippery places very quickly. And the reason I know this is that every single time I -- or any of us -- write about this stuff, we get these emails and strange anonymous calls and weird angry comments on years-old blog entries. But I mean, what are you supposed to do when somebody responds to an emotionless explanation of privilege with a hysterical demonstration of it? Try to be loving, if I feel like it, and try to speak to where they're coming from. If I'm hung over, delete it. But I'm not exaggerating: It's not sometimes, it's every time. I can't imagine what it's like for women, it makes me want to barf if I think about that.
I tell you this not to complain, or whatever other ego thing -- being a feminist, especially if you're a man, doesn't make you a bad-ass: it makes you human -- but because I know it's true, and so you'll know that this is how the world works: Norma Bates isn't done being punished. This is a scarlet letter big as the world she's putting up, and they won't forgive her: She took a thing that belonged to men, that they were too stupid and sick to control, and she took down their signs -- "Seafairer," sic. -- and made it something fairer still: The BATES MOTEL. But are those just words? Or are they poetry?
Norma: "It's ours, Norman. It's our very own. And you know what? You know that new bypass? They're not gonna build it."
Norman: "When did that happen?"
Norma: "It didn't! Yet. I'll think of something."
Norman: "I'm sure you will."
He grins, her head nestled in the crook of his neck. It's a smile that says a lot: The empire, this sign that marks it for the world to see as theirs, as belonging to them. But oh, the cleverness of her: That belongs to him too. There's something in his smirk -- for a moment -- that has to do with her smell, her indomitable will. The way she wraps around the world.