Changing his Status Quo

By Da Vinci at Work

"I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself." –Alduous Huxley


Ferrington Heights was a little town whose few residents found much pleasure in the simple matters of daily life: going out for ice cream after dinner, walking dogs at the break of dawn (and dropping canine feces on unwanted neighbors' lawns), sipping coffee and hot cocoa in the snowy winter, and watching baseball and soap operas on Saturday evenings. In short, Ferrington Heights was as Smalltown, America as a place could possibly be, other than the fact that its size made it too peewee to be seen even on the most local of maps.

Although Ferrington Heights was indeed on the verge of being literally pint-sized, it was more of an advantage than a disadvantage to its few citizens. Everyone in town was a familiarity on the streets. And, as silly as it sounded, the place was just one big old family, very close, very tight in its togetherness, with a few strands loose here and there. A big, fat hairball of happiness.

And that's where Finleigh Genevieve fit into the framework of our little town. The boy wasn't just another little piece of gossip circumnavigating its way through town via housewives and bingo nights. Finleigh was the biggest news in little Ferrington Heights since the pioneers set foot on to its compact soil. Having been born and raised in a place where invisible tumbleweeds rolled by, the semi-famous, underage punk rocker grew big in the stardom department.

Junior year of my high school career was when I first got to know him.

Monumental, I know.

I can't say that I just acknowledged Genevieve's existence completely in that one instance. That would be a downright lie on my part, to say the least. Finleigh was one of those aloof people who did not seem to notice that ninety-nine percent of the school's female population swarmed around him like the overly crazed hornets they were. He didn't seem to care much for it either, which just didn't seem to fit the picture for me, but I suppose that was partly due to the fact that he had had in his possession a very fine-looking specimen of a girlfriend for quite a record time.

In any case, the guy was just out there, in the infinite planes called our Father Earth, not giving a damn about the meaning of his overrated, underestimated life.


To compact into the very few words that I can manage now, I will say only what I must. My name's Senya Carlson, and I suffer, have suffered, from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD in lazy people lexicon.

Only one word is needed to describe what my life must always strictly abide by.


But then, as time passed, and as I went from kidhood to teenagerdom, the word perfection became somewhat deformed and mutilated in my vocabulary and that of my peers. Perfection simplified.

It became a five-letter, one-syllable word.


Measures were taken by my family to help resolve my abnormal impulses. Doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists were visited on a regular basis, and when desperation drove my parents half insane, even Mrs. Neller, the crazy old cat lady down the street, was considered an ideal treatment option.

However, my OCD got worse. When at five, the single persistent thought in my mind was the invisible monster secretly lurking in my closet, at age ten, I was haunted by thoughts of giant, murderous donuts and other talking inanimate objects, most of which were edible by my standards. By that time, it was made clear to my parents that believing in sugar-coated mythological beings were not going to disappear as time passed.

However, in order to stop those inanimate objects from criminal acts, I started counting things, checking locked doors, memorizing pages in history textbooks, washing my hands until the top layer of skin began to peel, cleaning the squeaky cleaned, all of which were things that the doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists had attempted to refrain me from doing.

But I couldn't stop.

Eleven and three became my closest imaginary friends. If three failed me, then I would work my way up to eleven. It was that simple of a system. My obsessions were diluted down by my compulsions. And all was fine. That is, for the time being.

Lights were switched on and off, three times when those inanimate objects come-to-life started to intrude upon my thoughts. Nails were bitten, one less than a dozen times, when anxiety took over. Locked doors were checked at intervals before bed. Once every five minutes for the magic three. The violin was practiced for three hours to the second everyday. Each song played at least eleven times, if not more.

As my OCD worsened, so apparently did my family life. Mother and Father screamed and yelled constantly until, climactic anger aside, my father decided that infidelity would be the answer to all of the happiness in the world that I, and I quote, "had robbed him of." Mother, to say the least, was devastated. After all, the love of her life, her Prince Charming of a husband of more than a dozen years had just declared that he was doing the deed with another woman, not to say younger than she was, and blamed his prosmicuity on the birth of her first child. No, indeed. At that point, I was my mother's child, and my father had taken no part whatsoever in the act of giving me life. As if both of my X chromosomes came from Mom. And that was perhaps the last straw for my mother. Jobless from being a stay at home mother, peniless, and caring for two young daughters, she kicked my father out of the house, the only thing that we had, and signed the one disvowing contract in her life that she had ever felt so contradicted to sign.

She was free.

Of those who have suffered most from my disability besides my brave and courageous mother, my sister has, to say the least, endured the most. Taunted throughout her grade school career for her oddball freak of an older sister, the thirteen-year-old has long tolerated the silent, probing stares of adults and loud, obnoxious remarks of fellow classmates and peers. But she didn't let on that she cared. And if someone really unnerved her with their imbecilic attitude, he was met with her fist to his crooked, bloody nose. Simple and efficient. No questions asked.

Why? Because she, only a child, knew something more than anyone else did. She knew something no one around her would ever truly understand.

I was who I was.

And I'd be damned if any Godforsaken human being could change that.