Gerald’s life had a soundtrack.
It was not in his head, it was an actual soundtrack that only he could hear. Consisting primarily of 80s music (which was the decade in which Gerald first started paying attention to music), it confused him at first, often mistaking it for the radio. In time, Gerald learned to tell the difference between ambient noise and his own personal soundtrack. Fortunately, it only played at key moments in his life. Gerald quickly learned to pay attention to the song. It usually gave clues as to what was about to happen.
One Monday, while eating a burger at the grill down the street from his apartment, REM ’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It began to play. Gerald panicked. He immediately jumped up and braced himself for an earthquake, scanned for birds and snakes, and checked the sky for an aeroplane. His plate fell to the floor. The wait staff and restaurant patrons stared at him.
Slowly, he sat back down. After all, Lenny Bruce was not afraid.
Additionally, he felt fine.