not quite fiction (part3)
(march 23, 2002)

listening: kody matchbox twenty , long day matchbox twenty, see you soon coldplay, shivers coldplay

For some reason I've been quite persistent in writing this.

part 3

How do you detect obsession? It's quite easy to label someone a substance addict, as easy as it is to conjure up the images of someone with his nose bleeding from snorting too much crack, or an incoherent fool in the dark corner of some dodgy bar, ordering his twentieth martini for the night.

Stereotyping becomes easier when it involves tangible objects. Like syringes and white powder.

But I guess it's not that hard to stereotype obsession, too. We have the girl who got arrested for sleeping in Brad Pitt's bed, the guy who shot John Lennon, and Jack Nicholson who is snideful and avoids cracks on sidewalks in As Good As It Gets. Lonely pathetic nuts, we might say. Don't you have anything better to do with your life? We say, perhaps with a bit of smugness. Well, at least I say, with a lot of smugness, sometimes conveniently forgetting
once I belonged to the stereotype, too.

I guess addiction and obsession are pretty much the same thing after all. The sufferers of these afflictions get stereotyped all the same. Lonely pathetic nuts. Don't waste your life like this.

You know what, mister? We're on the same page on that second wish.


Quite strangely, I can remember the crazy things that happened during those long years, but not quite in order. Some memories are more persistent, some are quite willing to just sit back and make casual reappearances once in a while. Like a doctor dropping by the house to check up on his bed-ridden friend. They exchange casual pleasantries, the doctor, being a doctor, asks how are things, my dear friend. The friend says, well you know how things are. The doctor, being a doctor, knows the friend is getting progressively worse and there's nothing that a medical degree and wealth of experience can do to help it. So they go back to exchanging casual plesantries and after what the doctor feels like a polite duration of stay, he says goodbye take care I'll drop by again soon.

It's casual like that. It's casual knowing that the real issue at hand is grave and uncorrectable, but what are you gonna do? It's casual knowing that these things you did were serious and worried the shit out of everyone who were close to you, but they're all in the past now, so the doctor now can drop by once in a while and then say goodbye take care I'll drop by again soon, and it wouldn't really kill you. I'll ask one of my friends who're taking Engineering to develop a formula, the basic idea being time is directly proportional to the level of casualness. The constant might be different for everyone, though. So maybe you can't formulate a consistent equation for this after all.

But in my case, now that the time side of the equation is a pretty big number, my level of casualness has increased rather proportionately, too. Well, based on this crude self-made equation, you can derive that I was anything but casual a few years ago.

I was anything but casual. On everything.

Only right now I can't quite recall what everything was. It is the memory that refuses to make an appearance if it has to be casual about it.

Ah, yes. I think a nervous shred of memory is finally peeking through the velvet curtain.


I remember having to write, cross out, and rewrite my sentences, and then having to repeat the whole process again and again, until I somehow could momentarily break the horrible cycle and move on to the next sentence, only to repeat this pattern during the next paragraph. I, obviously, had no good reason to do this. I remember it was not out of a quest for perfection.

Unlike what most people would think, OCD sufferers aren't necessarily perfectionists on the whole. We are only fiercely obsessed with the impossibly total perfection of one small tiny aspect in our lives, and other things can be as unperfect as they should. I remember reading about this one case, a guy, I think, was so obsessed with the cleanliness of his room, not one speck of dirt was allowed in the house. Finally this poor guy couldn't take it anymore and has resigned to be sleeping on park benches.

And soundly at that.

Now a normal person would reason that park benches would definitely be less hygiene than one's meticulously-kept house. Obviously hygiene wasn't really this guy's problem, it was just that he couldn't take his house being less than his standard of cleanliness. But he slept on the park benches just fine. He wanted the perfection of sparkling cleanliness in his house, which drove him nuts, but other than that he was pretty content about the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of everything else.

So I remember that the reason I wrote and rewrote my sentences wasn't because I was going for the perfect Times-New-Romanesque serifs and curves on my g's and p's. It wasn't because the writer in me was insisting on the most beautiful and perfect sentence ever written by both men and women in history. I just usually kept rewriting the same sentence again and again, I made no changes in terms of grammar or structure. How does one explain the logic behind this?

Why would I need logic to explain this?