Obsessive // Compulsive

The young man sat in the dark looking out the south window of his apartment as the headlights of cars on the main stretch danced through the room as they passed. This was a familiar place for him as of late, and the solitude of watching and waiting was becoming all too routine. As the early morning hours waned, he began to feel the prickly sensation of anger and anxiety slowly creep up his spine, past his neck and build inside his skull. He knew he could be anywhere else doing anything else, and yet time after time, this was what he chose.

Every car that passed slowly, he would feel a surge of relief, believing the car he was searching for was finally arriving and that he would be able to sleep easy soon and that feeling of loneliness and abandonment, albeit unjustified, would come to an end. But, as every such car passed the driveway and continued on into the night, unaware of the young man's anticipation, his hope and self respect slipped ungracefully to new lows.

The young man thought back on how he had gotten here in the first place as he had done many times before, and each mental retelling took something out of him, leaving each retold story blurrier than the last; a copy of a copy. He did not waste his time trying to recall an exact date or moment in which things had changed because he truly could not remember a time frame, but he did remember the beginning in terms of the shift between the then and now.

He remembered happiness, but he did not remember what happiness felt like. He knew that at one point, he was content, but trying to recall the emotional sensation of being content was painful, because everywhere he looked he found nothing but the ache of further confusion. He had learned not to try to recall emotions for which he had no basis for, so he simply moved on to the rest of the story, trying to piece it together like the small bits of a broken vase.

There was sunlight, and cheering. He remembered driving on a foreign coast and sleeping in unfamiliar homes. There was reminiscing and there was pride. He vaguely remembered talks of a future someplace new and exciting. Then things got blurry again. There was drinking, and crying, and laughing, then more of the same. He remembered bursts rage and moments of clarity. His recollection got blurry again but he remembered a door slam and being alone. Worse yet, for only a brief second, he remembered that somehow he had caused this. Then, as he remembered very well, there was this room and there was nothing else.

The young man squinted at a car far down the main stretch, wondering if this would be the car he was looking for. He felt clarity for a moment as he thought that perhaps he had made everything up and that he was his own prisoner, a slave to his own neurosis. He tried to change the worry in his head to enlightenment, but as the car neared and then passed the driveway, the enlightenment disappeared and the anger was back. The young man suddenly erupted with a fury and jumped up. He furled his brow and whispered "fuck it" and left the room. He went into his kitchen and got a drink of water and then went down the hall to a bedroom adjacent to the room he was just in.

He got into bed and turned out the lights. He told himself that he should accept the things he could not control and he half expected it to calm him, which it did not. He was tired, bone tired. This had been all too regular for him. He knew he wanted to sleep, but with his brain soaked with images of distress and the anger that they caused, he felt panic that there would be a much longer night ahead of him.

He began to wonder if he even knew what he was waiting for. He couldn't find an answer for why he felt the way he did, which caused him to become more anxious. He began to obsess over his obsessiveness. He felt his eye lids twitch and flutter as they slowly closed, like a feather falling from the limb of a tree. As he felt the weight of the night and his own mania fall over him, head heard a car lock chime outside his window, and he descended into slumber.