Last night I was out at a shindig with my paramour, and there was a big huge orange moon hanging above the Capitol Building. It was beautiful. I started snapping away on my phone, and Felix Unger once more emerged.
“Go to the other side of the balcony, and take it from there. No, over here. Wait, no more to your left. No, wait, back to the right. Yes! Wait, no! Yes! No. You need to get more of the heft of the building into the bottom left of the shot. Yes! Noo. Yes … wait … no.”
Fellow guests began to look quizzically at him. I put my phone down and looked at him.
“You are out of your mind,” I said. He giggled, as he often does.
A few hours later, and we are drifting off to sleep, and suddenly he is picking at my upper arm like an orangutan searching for nits. Next thing I know, he’s attempting to squeeze some imaginary thing.
“Holy shit!” I cry. “Those are freckles!”
He turns the light on and looks sheepish.
“And so they are,” he says, tenderly kissing the red mark he’s left on my arm. “So terribly sorry.”
My reply: “You are not right in the head. There is something wrong with you.” He stifles a giggle.
This morning, I wake up, and he’s naked on his hands and knees on the floor beside me, fiddling with something.
“What now, you crazy British motherfucker?” I ask in sleepy bewilderment.
“Well, the power cord from the lamp interferes with the placement of my water glass on the bedside table. So I thought if I unplugged it, then repositioned it, it wouldn’t be quite so bothersome,” he replies, a look of stern concentration on his face.
I burst out laughing.
“How did you get this way?” I ask. “You are out of your mind with the OCD.”
And he is. Since we started dating, I no longer have to clean out my hairbrushes. Twice a week, the hair is removed, no matter how minimal an amount of hair there is. Twigs and sticks are picked up from my expansive backyard and put in tidy little piles in the garage next to my wood pile. My bra drawer is reorganized so they’re all lined up perfectly. My fruit bowl is rearranged so that the oranges are on the bottom and the bananas are on top. The shoes in my closet are tidied up and straightened even if I did the same thing two days earlier. He is particularly insistent that all things hanging in the closet are hanging in the same direction. Do you know what I mean by this? If so, you may have his disease.
He simply cannot stop himself from tidying, straightening, smoothing, picking, or rearranging.
We have a daily thing going on where I send him a photo of one of my cats as he lounges around. Patrick is my paramour’s favorite cat, and so it’s become almost an art project — I even sent him shots of Patrick while he was testifying in a recent high-profile thingamajig. For the first little while, he would reply this way: “Aww, what a big fat cutie. But I think you should have tried taking it from the right, so you got more of his face.”
I would reply: “Piss off and be grateful you have woman who obliges your desire for a daily cat photo.”
Lately, he’s been very proud of The Daily Patrick.
“You’ve really mastered the fatty-cam,” he said the other day. “The lighting, the angle, the composition — these are truly works of art.”
I stared at him.
“I am out of my mind, aren’t I?”
“Yes, you are,” I replied.