New columnist Gregory Sherl battles OCD and depression in the second installment of ‘Fixing Me.’
This is a few days ago: I think about killing myself probably five times.
Maybe two cars went through it.
I imagine my car going through where I guess the other car or maybe two cars went through.
For minutes I do not debate the hygiene of the canal. I do not wonder who it touched today, or why.
For minutes I wonder how many swallows it would take for me to forget that I am swallowing.
For minutes I am so close to saying goodbye.
Sometimes I think about the people who might miss me, but then I don’t care.
My days are on constant repeat. I keep thinking the line I have not slept like giants in so long over and over while I lie in bed and try not to move my hands from my hips.
If my hips left my body, would hers get lonely when we are both sweaty?
At my favorite coffeeshop there is no soap in the men’s restroom. I tell the barista and he asks the other barista, but they can’t find more soap. He has me use the faucet behind the counter. I am frantic, frightened by this act of newness for my hands. This soap is very pink. I think about being inside someone who understands why I am inside her. I lather quietly while the barista mops, and the other barista does something that I can’t see.
Still, I worry about the very pink soap.
I worry the very pink soap is only half as strong because it is not in the bathroom pump. Like the bathroom pump has powers, works out at the gym. Shit, the bathroom pump takes vitamins.
Shit, the bathroom pump comes to work with its game face on.
I feel dirty till morning.
I have not been medicated since February.
On Lamictal, a mood stabilizer for those affected with bipolar disorder, I was constantly forgetting conversations.
But maybe that was a good thing.
Maybe on Lamictal I would forget the conversations I have with the towel hanging over my shower rod. I am sorry your life is so short, I tell the forest-green terrycloth, but you’re only good to me once.
Thomas tells me that some Bull Terriers are so OCD, they literally can’t stop chasing their tails.
I wonder briefly if the ocean is OCD, and that is why it is constantly falling back into itself.
He says it is because the Bull Terriers are so purebred. I imagine the Aryan race flossing its gums six times a day.
I am trying to put myself together mathematically.
Writing poems > washing hands.
Living well > writing poems about not wanting to wash hands.
I don’t know how to think about relationships ≥ tomorrow.
Instead of worrying about the enamel on my teeth I walk around my block and miss smoking very much.
It is new sheet day, which is my favorite day of the week.
On Thanksgiving the turkey was dry, but I used a fork that many people touched.
I didn’t ask my mother how she scooped the ice from the ice bucket.
My face was buried in someone else’s couch while I napped.
Merritt reads a bunch of poems I wrote, tells me, You’re so sensitive, I don’t know how you’re still alive.
I will put that on the back of my book of poems. It will be next to a cloud facing another cloud.
I don’t tell her, If this column ever gets me laid, I will be very, very surprised.
So much stress in washing sheets. How do you put a pillowcase on a pillow without touching the pillowcase and the pillow with the same hand?
I waste so many paper towels opening and closing the dryer.
I am constantly worrying about where my dryer has been.
If my dryer were in a canal, it would be the opposite of a dryer.
If my dryer were in a canal, it would not work.
I think the same for me.
Read the first installment of “Fixing Me” here.
—Photo Aaron Domini