Cups

The green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go. 

I cannot get that thought out of my head as I look at a cart with blue coffee cups on the right and green water cups on the left. Don’t look at it bud. Just ignore it and the thought will go away. But the mind cannot ignore what it sees as fundamentally wrong; and it’s fundamentally wrong to not do your job to the best of your ability. It’s my job to look at that cart, to make sure that it’s stocked with 7 coffee cups and 3 rows of water cups on the left and right respectively. 

The green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go.

My hips rock in rebellion. My hands squeeze together trying to keep it together, trying to maintain the semblance of sanity. My feet flutter back and forth on the black mat marked with circles. I used to not be able to step on circles. It’s okay, bud. It’s okay. It’s not okay. The straw is breaking the camel’s back. And I am the camel. But instead I have two huge lumps on the chest, making it hard for me to breathe. Deep breaths buddy. Come on you can do this.Inhale.1, 2, 3. Exhale. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 

The green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go.

And I’m supposed to have a rag. There are bread crumbs and hot chocolate powder all over my station. Chicken broth drips down the coffee machine making a slime like design similar to Nickelodeon. And the bread is supposed to be neatly in front of the plastic wrap. Rye, wheat, white. And the cutting board is not perfectly straight. And today they didn’t have the long knife. And there are supposed to be 3 honey teas, and 5 nectar teas, and 1 regular hot chocolate, and 3 diet hot chocolates. And the lids aren’t in the right spot. I can’t describe the right spot. But they aren’t in the right spot. 

And the green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go.

Relax, buddy. You’re okay. It’s okay. I am not okay. It is not okay. My hips are rocking rebelliously. My hands are squeezing stiffly, strangled by gloves. They stick to my skin, silently scourging me. My feet are fluttering frequently. Right now, I don’t look normal. There is no such thing as normal. That’s not what stigma says. I don’t look normal. I look anxious. I look autistic. I am anxious and autistic. 

And what if particles from the peanut butter go onto the tuna salad sandwich, and that person is allergic to peanut butter. Change your gloves. Wipe down your station. But I have no rag. But I need to wipe down my station. And what if particles from the tuna salad sandwich go on the ham salad sandwich and that person is allergic to seafood. Change your gloves. Wipe down your station. But I have no rag. But I need to wipe down my station. And what if when you grab the jelly particles from the bread go on it. Then if someone needs to make a cream cheese and jelly on gluten free bread, the gluten particles will contaminate it. Change your gloves. Wipe down your station. But I have no rag. But I need to wipe down my station. And what if by accident you somehow poison the elderly and make them die. Change your gloves. Wipe down your station. But I have no rag. But I need to wipe down my station.

And the green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to be on go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go.

Fluorescent lights flicker. Water is being poured into the mop bucket. Silverware clanks. Trays are slid and shuffled. Wheels roll. The coffee machine whirs then stops, whirs then stops. People speak. The gloves. The shoes. The uniform. 

And the green water cups are supposed to go on the right and the blue coffee cups are supposed to go on the left. That’s the way it’s supposed to go. 

People clean something well or do something in a particular way, and then they say, “Oh, I’m so OCD.” That’s a privilege. To say you have something that you really don’t have. I have OCD. This is what it is like for me. A strong urge to constantly obsess over numbers, order, contamination, and green and blue coffee cups.  

2 thoughts on “Cups

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s