Kimberly Jones, Grade 9
“Seven, eight, nine… Where was I. Oh I’ve lost count. Start over. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, now I can eat” I said to myself as I clinked my knife and fork together before I started dinner. Roast tonight. Like every Thursday night. I’ve been told I am strange, but I like to think of it was unique. ”Two potatoes, now for chicken…” I murmur my counting’s most of the time, saying it out loud makes it more official. “What’s next?” I trail, “Of course, three peas, three corn, three peas…” It’s good I live by myself. I’ve tried with other people, but it never works out.
“Have your, habits, gotten any better since last week?”
“Well, I couldn’t have my normal parking place at the supermarket on Tuesday. Someone else took it. I went to the one next to it.” I have been seeing a psychologist, or rather ‘helper’ as she calls herself, for the past year. When my family recommended me to her I thought she would help significantly, but it seems all she has done was record what my weeks have been taken up by.
“And what would you usually have done in this situation?”
She is always asking me these pointless questions; I don’t know why I still waste my time with these ‘chores.’ “I would have driven around the lot until the place opened up or gone somewhere else.”
I have been struggling with OCD my whole life, ever since I learnt to count. I like my life to have rules and order.
“See, that’s improvement. You are going so well.”
Toast with jam on Monday through Thursday. Oats with sultanas on Fridays. Poached eggs on Saturdays and Sundays. Coffee is every day excluding Saturday where I have two green teas.
“Yeah, I guess.” Lights off and on six times when I enter a room and eight for leaving. I turn the television on at 3:14 each day, first on Channel Ten. Then I can put it on the channel I desire, which on week days is SBS and weekends Nine. I do struggle.
Up the stairs, down five and up again. Why did I have to take the stairs that first day? It makes it so hard just to get to my apartment. Oh, that’s right, the lift was taken. Why’d I have to be so impatient? I guess it is good exercise though.
“Ah. My apartment. My sanctuary,” I say with relief as I turn the key right, left then right again. An exhausting day. Time for bed.
Light on, light off….
Brush my teeth. No, I didn’t do it right. Brush my teeth…
Climb into bed. Yep, that feels right.
There are so many things racing through my mind constantly, ‘No, I did it wrong, better do it again to be sure,’ ‘Was that seventeen times, I’ll start over,’ ‘Did I do something wrong?’
I wish it were easier; to just start over.