A Short Story by Shamar English

        I took the trash out, now I feel filthy like a dirty joke.

So, I take a shower. I’m in it for five-in-a-half minutes then

the water turns tepid then cold like ice cubes, and I jump out

of the rusty tub wet stumping my toe shivering in the freezing

bathroom trying to dry myself off before throwing on some


        The hot water never lasts longer than five minutes

because my shower sucks, and I should have checked my testicles

for lumps before washing my hair like usual. I have OCD, but I

do questionable things. I wash my hands like fifty times a day,

but I masturbate like eight cups of semen a day. Where’s the

logic in that? Human error. I’m a flawed individual like a

politician. Flawed individuals usually become politicians. I

googled it. Then I used my eyes.

        A lot of things freak me out, but not the normal, common

things for an average joe. Stickers. They drive me crazy like

commercials. I look at flip flops like the elephant man. Guess

what I find most attractive? Teeth. Nothing gets my sex drive

revving like clean teeth. I don’t perceive it as a fetish, but

that’s my perspective.

        My fingertips smell like urine. My ears are jam with wax.

My breath smells like vomit. I brush my teeth before I go to

bed, and my breath still smells like garbage. I think I should

stop eating my food hot because I have OCD.

        I can’t ever use the same plate, cup, spoon, or fork

because it’s filthy like reusing a straw every day, so I only

use paper plates, plastic cups, spoons and forks, but no sporks.

I hate sporks. I always wash my hands after I use the bathroom.

I change my underwear everyday now not because I have OCD, but

because when I don’t my skin crawls like a Basilisk slithering

through a garden of poison ivy. Every time I think about the

feeling I puke.

        I don’t change my T-shirt every day. I don’t change my

socks every day. I don’t change my pants every day. I scoop the

wax from my ears like an ice cream parlor, I don’t always wash

my hands and then I eat. I don’t always use deodorant. I eat in

my bed. I don’t clean the top of the soda can off before I drink

out of it. I don’t always brush my teeth. I don’t always wash my

face. It all must be in my head because it doesn’t feel like I

have OCD.

        It doesn’t really matter though because I’m wedged in-

between the insane and sane, clean and nasty because OCD is

ambiguous. You don’t have to be a neat freak, it isn’t all about

cleanliness, it doesn’t just stem from stress, it doesn’t

originate from childhood, it isn’t a woman disease, it’s a

people disease that doesn’t discriminate, and it’s treatable

despite all its myths. You can be clean and have OCD, you can be

nasty and have OCD. I am both and I have OCD because I am a

human being.


The Beast and the Web

The Beast and the Web

Cedar Island

Cedar Island