My Obsessive Compulsive Order

Photograph by Jose Padua
When not done properly a simple action can have incredible consequences:
sometimes I have to touch things twice, sometimes I have to close a door
with my eyes closed, sometimes I have to say “your tits are nice” to the man
who’s come to fix the toilet. He doesn’t seem to understand that I’m not really
talking about him. Though one time when a woman plumber came I managed
to say “I watched spectacular gymnastics on the Olympics last night” as my
eyes focused on her pliers. She gave me that look of perpetual ambiguity,
which meant that she thought I might be a liar but I wasn’t. I wear something
gray on Saturday, I can’t wear black on Monday or Friday, and when
I leave the house I have to think about Al Green. Sometimes he’s singing
“Let’s Stay Together” and the rest of the time I imagine he’s eating a plate
of spaghetti. I get tired, though, of feeling like I’m walking through these
woods in this rain, and I wish I could go at normal speed without interruption
but this is my mind’s idea of order. It’s a music that never rests: color, sound,
and rhythm stretched—a Shakespearian play about a king in ill health that’s
half comedy and half history with so many paths leading to so few possibilities.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


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