Having autism and OCD is a little like playing Operation 24/7. One wrong move, and a really unpleasant alarm goes off.(Perhaps my age is showing here; I don’t for the life of me know if Operation is even a thing anymore, or if it’s joined Tamagotchis, Tazos, and Furbies in the mists of prehistory)
Let’s take a simple daily task; going to the shop and buying milk and eggs. (Or as my Dad would have said, cow juice and cackle berries)
First I put my shoes on, then wash my hands cos I’ve walked outside with my shoes, where there’s bird poo, possum poo, etc. Then I walk down the street, eyes glued to the footpath, making sure to skillfully dodge every band-aid, animal turd, and tissue with the grace of a drunk penguin playing hopscotch. Then, suddenly, I spot my mortal enemy, dog shit, on the nature strip. There are flies on it. (If there is indeed an an epitome of evil, the fly must have won him a very shiny prize, which he keeps on his mantelpiece next to the ones for mosquitoes, paperwork, and “child” proof seals, AKA indestructible seals of sorcery)
But I digress. Flies. Red alert! Scotty, we need warp drive immediately! I break into a frantic sprint so that the flies don’t get a chance to fly off it and land on me. I think I’ve escaped, and slow down. Then a fly tries to lands on my nose. Fuck. I feel like someone just injected me with ice water. Is it one of the flies from the dogshit? Or not? Best not to risk it; I’ll shower when I get home. (Which means I’ll have to wash my clothes if I feel like they’ve been contaminated, leading to me running out of clothes during weather not conducive to evaporation. Like right now, with every pair of pants I own besides trackies currently dripping wet)
After ten minutes of this grueling obstacle course, I reach the supermarket. I’m walking down the aisle towards the milk. A woman is walking the other way. Please don’t let her cough as she passes me, please, please, please, please- she does. Another shot of adrenaline. My skin crawls. I feel nauseous.
I make my way to the register, hoping desperately that none of the checkout people coughs or sneezes into their hand before serving me, and that none of the people they serve before me do either. I get lucky this time.
Back through the microbial minefield I go, this time crossing the road to avoid the dogshit. But wait, there’s some on this side too. I feel I may have been targeted by some kind of canine mafia. I run passed it, not stopping until I get home.
Time taken: 30 minutes.
Cargo obtained: 1 bottle of milk, 1 cartoon of eggs.
Casualties: Judging from heart rate and blood pressure, a few years off my life.
Analysis: Just another ordinary day.