6:43 a.m. I can get to the gym in 7 minutes and 24.65 seconds. This can only be achieved if I take steps every half a second.
Every time I leave a room I flick the light switch three times. On, off, on, off, on, off. My night stand has three things on it an ihome with alarms set at 5:39, 7:59, and 9:00, a copy of Coping with OCD for Dummies, and a plastic ruler in bleach. I use the ruler on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to measure my nine toes and nine fingers. I understand numbers, they are real, and their purpose is equal to mine. There is only one number that I can’t control, that I must allow to control me. It is too symmetrical, too circular, and too even. Twice a day I am confined to a closet in the seconds that follow 7:59 until the alarm rings at 9:00. For those two hours and two minutes I must stay in the closet. If I watch television and breaking news story will come out announcing that my mother has died of unknown circumstances, if I read a book the phone will ring to tell me that my sister’s baby boy was just diagnosed with an incurable disease, and if I go outside I would be arrested for danger to the public. I have no other choice I count down skipping the number after 29.