Creak, Shoof, Creak, Shoof. The sounds of filing cabinets opening and closing strangely reverberated in the small room filled with the metal organizers.
I don't have OCD, I don't. I tried to convince myself, as I religiously wrote down each and every single moment of my waking day in folders, keeping them in large filing cabinets never to be seen again. It wasn't like I had a choice, the feeling of impending doom leered over me watching what I did, ready to snap me in half with its strong jaws if I did one thing wrong.
So I worked.
Working until it mentally became more pressing than my job as an accountant. I didn't need normal happiness, no. If I just did this one thing right, I would feel ok again. Hopefully.
So my life became driven in a way I didn't want it to. I spent more time writing what I was doing than, actually doing it, and even though I knew what I was doing was stupid, I wrote it down.
I began losing sleep, and I wrote that down. I was stressing so much that I broke out in a rash, and I wrote that down. While I was writing life down, life soon began slipping away, farther than I could catch, and pin it down with my pencil.
I kept all of my life's 'works' in a small ten-foot by twelve-foot room, every possible space was covered in filing cabinets, they were labeled, and they were all I had left.
I kept them protected, and safe, if anything ever touched them, I didn't know what'd happen to me.
I had double locks on my heavy wooden door, and a special clean cotton carpet to keep the room looking new. I never thought, I never even imagined what could happen.
I was shopping and planning what I would write down in my head, and a story of a fire blazing across this part of South Los Angeles blasted from a television in the corner of the shop. I turned to look at it. Poor people with their burning houses I thought. Then, I dropped everything I was holding and screeched, the house on the TV screen that was being sprayed was mine. I ran out of the store, almost falling down the steps outside. And I sprinted to my house, completely ignoring my car. I got to my street and saw the fire truck shooting water out of my house, the droplets forming a sick cruel rainbow. A man in a reflective yellow jacket was keeping people away from the scene, so I just fell to my knees sobbing and pulling my hair, snapped in half like I thought I would. I pounded the ground with my fists and screamed like a child having a tantrum. I had nowhere to go. But, everything was gone. Everything. I feel like I was dying. Or worse, living at this point. An EMT came over to me and asked if I was ok. Hyperventilating manage to croak out yes.
"Hey, you need to calm down, you will faint if you keep breathing this fast. Come here," he lead me to his ambulance where he put an oxygen mask over my face. "Try to calm down," he said.
"I *wheeze* can't *wheeze*," I responded, absolutely devastated. He asked what's wrong and I told him reluctantly. "Oh," he said, surprised, "well... I'm so sorry." He didn't know what to say, which was expected.
Two days later I could come back to my house, they had miraculously been able to stop the huge fire, and I could go back.
I was scared.
I walked through my empty door frame into a house that looked like a bombing scene from 1940's France. Ashes floated through the air, and burnt nothings broke under my shoes. I crunch through my living room, where the only things left were the frame of my tv, and the inner components of my recliner. I walked through the dining room which was non-existent at this point and found my way to my filing room. I pushed the door, and it crumbled to pieces, the locks falling onto the pillows of ashes with a light thump. I fell down. It was all gone. My entire life was burned to a crippling pile of twisted steel, burning away my life from the inside out. I cried out and stumbled to the shelves. Sobbing, I wrenched open a drawer and whimpered, still in embers, my folders were burned. I check another, and another, and another, but all had suffered the same fate. Gone, dead, past, lost, destroyed, burnt to ashes in my dilapidated house. Whatever you want to call it. Everything was, gone. The grey of the room filled me, as I choked on the ashes flattering through the air as I breathed. I had no job, no insurance, and now no home. What could I do? I had done nothing for so long that it had become everything. What do you do when everything you've ever known is gone. I personally tried to shake off the monster, I thought I could turn a new leaf in the days after I saw my house, it's not like I had anything to write on, and with the hotel bills, I had no money to buy it with anyways. I had a little notepad and pen from the room, but that wasn't enough, it got filled up pretty fast. So I grabbed a dollar, went to a drug store nearby, and got a clear neon lighter. When I got back to my room, I took the notepad and set it over the lighter. It immediately went up in flames. A smile broke across my face as I carried it to the sink, and ran it underwater until it was a saggy black mess. I giggled. I went to my bed and tore the pillowcase off my hotel pillow. Shlack shlack. The light clicked as I lit it, and fire began climbing up the fabric as I watched it in admiration. I began choking back laughter, as it moved its way up until I started screaming laughing erratically, I couldn't breathe. Nothing mattered anymore, that was so funny. I dropped the pillowcase to clutch my sides. I howled in laugher rolling on the ground, as the world around me burned red.
I hadn't been that happy in a long time.