All she ever wanted was a home for both of them. She's giving it to him and to herself: A beginning, a real thing. A lake in the concrete world they'll be safe.
Norman: "She's pretty! Maybe she kind of likes me! I'm seventeen! Why do I have to be careful?"
Norma: "Do not lose your temper with me. I'm protecting you."
He runs upstairs and she tells him to stay there, but she doesn't mean it. He'll come down, smiling, unctuous, to compliment her hair or the work she's done on the house already, how much work they still have to do. Together.
He punches a bunny, then regrets it. "I suck," he says without conviction; he texts Bradley and throws himself from a third-floor window, onto the porch and then down. When he gets to the bus stop, they laugh: He's carrying his books. He actually thought they'd be studying.
Is over the top, in a kind of great way: There's a blacklight bed-jumping room, all Minaj lips and glowing undies; there's an acid heaven of lasers and smoke and Chinese lanterns. People kissing, rolling joints, passing beers back and forth. Dancing. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: "I need a rival/ I need a rival/ I found my soul and I set it on fire..."
He finds himself in a gorgeously lit kitchen, all blue and cold, arranged between several red objects on the counter, watching everything happen. He's not shy, he's not crazy. He's just watching. Making up stories, listening to the even-pithier Radiohead: "The Tourist," if you can believe it.
"Sometimes I get overcharged/That's when you see sparks..."
He realizes he's staring at Bradley a second before she does.
"Did those dumb bitches leave you here by yourself?" This is how she moves, in the concrete world. She speaks its language.
Norman: "I'm good, actually. Lots to look at."
Bradley: "Are you... was that a line?"
Norman: "No, I mean I am literally looking at everything. But the fact that you think I was hitting on you means that's a thing reality might admit, which means..."
Bradley: "You are sorely different, Norman Bates."
Norman: "I wouldn't know. People who are different don't know they're different, because they have nothing to compare it to. That would take words. A mirror."
Bradley: "You're a beautiful, deep, still lake, in the middle of a concrete world."
That's exactly what he is. There are gators down there, in the black, but he is beautiful, and deep and still. Untouched. The concrete world keeps you trapped, tortured: One thing all the time. One thing defined by words, by men: What a person is, what a man is or a woman is. What to fear. The concrete world would look at Norma(n) and see just a reversal, just affirmative action, just the old story told backwards: Because to acknowledge what it really means, that stories happen even when you're not there to tell them, would tear the whole world apart.