"I am your number one fan. There is nothing to worry about. You are going to be just fine. I am your number one fan."
Thanks to my unfortunate unemployment, I find myself with time to watch and re-watch a lot of my favorite movies...or at least the ones I still have and haven't sold to the video store. Among today's selections is Misery, one of my favorite Stephen King creations. For those of you who haven't seen or read it, it's the story of Paul Sheldon, a writer who has come to loathe his money-making romance series, and his entrapment by a crazed fan. He has a wreck, and Annie Wilkes, insane ex-nurse extraordinaire, hauls him into her home and...Well, I despise spoilers, so suffice it to say, Annie Wilkes is truly one of the craziest bitches to ever come down the pike. As in several of my favorite King tales, this serves as an allegory for what his addictions did to him (also see The Shining) and also how a writer's mind splits (see Secret Window and The Dark Half). Worry not, faithful reader, I do have a point.
Just as an addiction or the writing life can control and warp one's life and mind, so can mental disorders. OCD often acts as the monkey on my back that drugs and alcohol can be for those addicted to them. My particular OCD is absolutely not as life-destroying as any of these things on a regular basis, but it is for many. On my worst days, I feel trapped and held hostage by these ideas and worries that I absolutely cannot control, and always somewhere in the back of my mind, one of those nagging little voices says, "But your life would be chaos without us making sure the door was locked and the stove was off and the books are in order and the cans are alphabetized!" The worst of it is that some part of me believes that. Some part truly thinks I would likely leave doors wide open, burn the place down with forgotten stoves, and be living in filth were it not for these bizarre obsessions and compulsions of mine...when, really, we all know perfectly well that it is they who are the problem--not the solution to anything. I'm hobbled by my inability to go against them.
"WHAT'S THE MATTER? I will tell you "what's the matter!" I go out of my way for you! I do everything to try and make you happy. I feed you, I clean you, I dress you, and what thanks do I get? "Oh, you bought the wrong paper, Annie, I can't write on this paper, Annie!" Well, I'll get your stupid paper but you just better start showing me a little appreciation around here, Mr. MAN!"
In any case, the actual impetus for this blog concerns storage. I was sitting here watching Misery, and I happened to glance at the bookshelf to the left of the TV. For the most part, it holds my religion and women's studies books, but it also has our Sharyn McCrumb collection, my awesome Jim Jones snowglobe, and a few things "stored" along the top of the books on the shelves (a few notebooks, etc.). Of course, this drives me nuts. I don't like having the stuff stacked up there; it is certainly not an ideal storage location. I twitch every time I look at it, but I honestly don't have anywhere else to put it. So, I started wondering, "where does everyone else store their extra notebooks, pens, post-its and office supplies?" I pondered that for a bit until it dawned on me that most people, at least those who aren't students or the parents of school-age children, don't have extra office supplies stacked everywhere and don't need to have storage for them. It was another of those "we are not normal" moments that I seem to have more and more recently.
And my own personal "Annie Wilkes" came and patted my hand and said, "No, no, dear, it's they who are not normal. How prepared are they? And I bet their doors aren't locked and they're the ones whose houses catch fire from stoves. I keep all that from happening. I am the last line of defense between you and chaos."