ocdThe first time I saw him

everything in my mind went silent.

It was like opening the door to the morning

on a chicken coop, and having the warbling of

the hens cease.

When you have OCD, your mind is a broken record

of checking, rechecking, worrying, recycling

images over and over and over and over and –

At three a.m. on a Tuesday:

Am I sick? No.

Did I leave the lights on? No.

Am  I sick? No.

Did I leave the lights on? No.

But when I saw him walk through the door

all I could think about was

The curve of his cheekbone

Like the curve of the moon

Or the tear in his sweater;

Tear in his sweater;

Tear in his sweater.

I asked him out eight times in two days

thinking the last invitation was never good enough.

He finally said yes after the fourth one, but it still felt like forced acceptance

so I had to ask him out a ninth time.

He grew to love my irrational fear of mildew

How I thought it was secretly getting into my lungs and trying to kill me

How I spent hours wiping down the bathroom in bleach every night

He loved the fact I worried I was a good person

(Yes, Steph. You are good and true.)

or how I had to check that the doors had been locked again and again and

He was patient when I bought my 12th pair of the same black boots.

And I’d watch his cheekbones raise into a grin

When he said he loved me;

Said he loved me;

Said he loved me;

But you see,

OCD takes up tremendous amounts of time.

Precious, precious, precious time

and he eventually said I was taking up too much of his.

That mildew did not cause cancer, and even if it did

that the constant bleaching would only make it worse and

Why not buy the brown pair this time, Steph?

The doors are already locked, babe. Come back to bed.

When he said he loved me, his cheekbones sagged in a frown.

He told me

that I should stop thinking about him, but…

How can I stop when I only see him?

His cheekbones;

His clavicle;

His hands;

His. His. His.

Usually my obsessions are mold spores infiltrating my lungs.

Is me dying from AIDS alone in a hospital bed.

And he was the first lovely thing I got hooked on.

The curl of his lips

His lips;

His lips;

His lips.

How can he not see that this new girl

Is not worthy of those lips?

Those cheekbones, like the curve of the moon.

I want him back.

I leave the door unlocked.

The lights are always on now.

Inspired by Neil Hilborn’s OCD

One response to “OCD

  1. VERY TRIPPY…But, it does FLOW…But, it makes you stop
    and rethink what you just read every so often. A lot of your
    work is VERY DEEP to READ, Stephanie! I like it…It kinda’ makes me feel curious, unsure of who you are inside, to put so much passion in your thoughts! Such projection, it’s almost like I feel like I am right there at times. SEEING IT IN FRONT OF ME.
    Watching you deliver YOUR WORDS, YOUR VISION…

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