Supermarkets were an absolute bloody nightmare for me when my OCD was at its worst. I’ve felt worse than a person ever ought to inside a supermarket. And for no good reason either. Just inevitable triggers in a place with too much information and no hiding place = guaranteed bad trip.
After I found out I had OCD I decided to write about it. This behemoth poem was the result.
I wrote it a while back and recently patched it up to go in my forthcoming book.
But you lucky people can get it here FOR FREE before the inevitable stampede and Hollywood buzz!
Supermarket OCD Avalanche
It was all going surprisingly well until the fruit and veg’,
when a word I heard made time stand still,
and moved me to dredge,
for the mantra to prove that it’s not what I fear,
so I can disarm this bomb and sound the all clear.
But somewhere deep in the unlit caverns of my mind,
I know that it won’t be long until I’m inclined,
to find new bait,
to reel myself in, ever closer to that state,
where it feels like the weight of the world is on me,
where there’s no escape from my mind’s self-rape.
Nowhere to run and hide,
to decloak and save my pride,
from the nefarious traps it sets,
cos no matter how bad it gets,
I’m stuck inside this temple to Hermes.
I already tried return journeys,
but it doesn’t work out so well.
You end up back in the exact same place,
minus petrol & time, with egg on your face,
but always without a towel.
“Spillage in aisle three!”.
I’m sure that man and woman are following me,
we made eye contact back by the pork.
Wait, can they hear my mind talk?
Now back to that thing about the word,
where can I stand so I won’t be disturbed,
or hectored or jostled or rudely observed?
Over here, there’s a space by the lemon curd!
Nope, now it’s the spot in the shop that’s preferred.
Oh, how absurd!
No recipe I ever heard uses lemon curd.
I can’t even hide by the cushions and bedding,
are these fuckers being sent here to do my damn head in?
It’s as if they all KNOW, and they’re working out when,
it’s the pivotal time to play hell with my Zen.
If there was a mindfuck scale, this would be ten,
or it’d keep on past zero, and start at one again.
A new aisle, a new hope, a new chance to take a new run,
at the karma deficit I’ve accrued since the upset in aisle one.
But now three more jokers have dealt their way in,
my mind’s fickle focus is frayed from replaying,
havoc, stuck thoughts run amok.
I’d forgotten how much supermarkets can suck.
Got to pick a spot and try to make a ruck,
so this ball of knotted mind wool I can finally unfuck.
Little improvement as I limp down aisle four,
a small dancing girl slips and falls down on the floor.
Inner-trigonometry, angling all the while,
performing an exploratory: “am I a paedophile?”.
And it doesn’t even matter that I know it isn’t true,
the seed of doubt is planted, so it’s crucial I pursue,
an epic legal defence at my sanity’s expense,
so clarity’s restored and doubt is shifted off the fence.
But once that case has been thrown out,
new allegations will arise no doubt,
about grandma on checkout three,
really being my cup of tea,
even though she ain’t,
or worse still it’ll repaint
her face with the face of my sworn enemy.
AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH, triple threat!!!
Starting to smell my own sweat, so I bet they can too.
OH FUCK YOU!
This aggression shall not stand!
Enough of this slander right now, I demand,
a brand new jury of peers comes and hears,
one final defence to allay ALL these fears,
to bundle them up and put them to bed,
once and for all so I can unhook my head,
and get back in the moment, and shop like a PERSON.
… but now I’ve thought “bed” so the gears start reversing …
my next legal defence I’m already rehearsing,
my Satanic luck cursing,
my brain pipes are bursting,
with unresolved threads,
of children and murder and bad words and beds.
And there’s that man and woman who’ve been following me.
How the hell’d they get here so quick all the way from aisle three?
It makes no sense …
unless they were sent …
especially to persecute me?
And that elderly man, hanging round where I am,
over there by the rice, and now here by the jam.
You cannot be serious?
Mind aching, delirious,
down by the Cheerios.
I’d like to put my hands around his neck,
and choke him out,
but I’m stuck up in the upper deck,
so all I’ve got’s a rout.
So I scuttle away to the baking stuff,
pretending I’m intently studying puff-
pastry for some complex recipe,
of earnest necessity,
when all along I’m secretly trying to convince myself,
that the word on that mince-meat,
is separate to the bad idea in my head,
tangentially associated via a barely traceable thread,
to some trouble long ago,
of which no-one can know.
That’s why I juggle whatever it throws,
ducking or taking body blows,
while all the plasma flows,
up from my bloody nose,
to my brain,
to take up the strain,
of a mind baulking under the onslaught,
of insanely too much thought,
and simultaneous close-quarters jousting.
Dripping subcutaneous waters, dousing
me in my own fluid,
auto-baptism by a self-flagellating druid.
And by the time I start to get a handle on this thing,
recursively tying off all the loose bits of string,
the irony is it doesn’t even really matter,
cos now all I can hear is the chitter and the chatter,
of chiming beer cans and clinking bottles,
as shell-shopped captives grip white knuckles,
round trolleys flying down the final aisle,
picking up a prize for their miracle mile.
But for this non-runner, it can only mean,
that there’s just one thing left to get,
and that’s a magazine.
Then it’s off to the checkout,
where I’ll stick my neck out,
to act like I’m normal,
with an over-informal nosy stranger,
going through my hoard,
opaquely judging my choices,
cos she’s bored.
Wait, can she hear these voices?
Just go through the motions,
performing final devotions,
to the god of mass-produced processed crap,
praying there’s no final lurking mishap,
like my card isn’t recognised,
by the cyborg mechanised life-audit machine.
And no obscene thoughts,
about the chick in tight shorts,
two people behind in the queue.
Boy what I’d like to do …
NO NOT TO THE CHILD NOR THE OLD MAN BEHIND HER!
And that gives me the usual painful reminder,
that I can forget about anything like that,
because I’m one seriously unwell cat,
with a lot of bad news under his hat.
So that folks … is that.
Settle up with the woman,
and dig deep down to summon,
the missing gear required,
to drive home this tired
from his latest self-violation.