"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.