"Muppets" by Austin Davis

It’s hard to explain to people that you don’t mean 

to waste water when you wash your hands. You just have to 

wait until the water is boiling hot to use three squirts of soap, 

seven separate times whenever you take a shit. You just have to. 

 

It’s not like you mean to annoy your girlfriend, or your best 

friends, or your parents, or your brother, or your sister, 

or your teacher, or your mailman, or your cat when you apologize 

 

187 times for stepping on a crack in the sidewalk 

because we all know that means a bus is going to jump the curb 

and pin everyone you love against the side of the drugstore. Right? 

 

When I was a little kid I used to think 

that if I raised my left hand in the car or at school 

the person behind me would think I was flipping them off. 

 

I used to obsess over this for hours straight and while

other kids were drawing smiley faces in the sandboxes, 

I was crying behind the trash cans because I had convinced myself 

all my friends hated me because I had somehow given them the finger. 

 

When I say, “yeah, I have a little OCD” they think that means 

everything in my room has to be completely straight and in order 

all the time but that’s wrong. When I say, “yeah, I have a little OCD”

it means I have to give her a hug whenever she gets out of the car. 

 

It means I have to kiss her three times in a row every time she laughs. 

It means the volume on the TV has to be an even number. 

It means I have to clear my throat and pop my ears when I’m nervous 

and use twelve tissues to blow my nose. My head always feels like a beehive, 

 

buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, always replaying a daydream or a nightmare 

and it never stops. I don’t have time to worry about getting to work 

five minutes early. I don’t have the energy to sit behind a desk from nine to five 

 

or to wake up at noon or to accept that my life is changing with the clouds 

because I have 22 thousand, 82 and a half days left until I statistically die

and if that doesn’t scare the ever living shit out of you then I just don’t understand. 

 

When you have OCD and you don’t take your little blue pills with your cereal, 

you feel like a muppet who’s lost its human hands. No bones, no feeling, just cold orange felt.