Stephanie McNeal (2nd place. Fiction. Spring 2010 Writing Contest)
My OCD rant of a life begins: I was born the first of four, but really, I fall somewhere in the middle. Trying to understand life, still don’t understand life, despite being unable to find love, I still look for it like a glutton for punishment. Have a hard time being and staying happy because it’s easy to be sad. I love John Legend and wished he loved me instead of the leggy models he prefers. I want to be skinny, but Ben and Jerry won’t let me. Wished I really was treated like I want to be treated. I had to cut god and religion loose because for me it was nothing but lies and deception and a figment of someone’s twisted imagination. Love my little brother, like my mother, 60 with one sister, 40 with the other. My money goes to movies, music, and magazines. I need some air, some sun, some trees. I need some birds and bees. I’m a TV junkie. I like black and white movies and Alfred Hitchcock. I’m cynical and sarcastic. I love too much, I hurt too much, I’m drowning. I text while I drive. I want be crazy rich like Oprah—but how? I want to be the leggy model that John Legend prefers, but genes and DNA won’t let me. Still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m frozen at 15 years old.
I wish I was multiracial, or at least look like I was. I think I finally found love, but I’m taking it slow. I want to shave my head bald, no, dye it red, no, grow it out. My family is small and brutal. Only had four good years my entire life so far. I’m related to a pedophile by marriage. Paxil is my best friend right now. I came back to school now so I wouldn’t be the old lady on the news trying to get her degree. I want to be a runner, but I want to be fast and good starting out. I want to go the gym, but my backfat won’t let me. I’m a vegetarian that eats red meat burgers. I’m fine with living in denial. I don’t lie, I simply withhold information. I’m a martyr, I’m a victim, I’m a tease. I wish I had Chrissy Teigen’s—the leggy model John Legend prefers—life. I Facebook, but I don’t Twitter mainly because I like to lead and not follow, plus I can’t follow you AND John Legend. As much as I try to move I still seem to stay stuck. Wish I could make my glitter look like gold. I eat Cadbury crème eggs all year long. Wish I could go back in time and right some wrongs.I have a smoking hot mom, but I look like my dad. I have a bed, but I sleep on the couch. I need to lose sixty pounds of fat and grow six inches of legs by the next time John Legend comes to town. Do people really change with age? I want to see what comes around going around and not just hope it does. I sleep with the TV on in case I miss something. I’d like to at least see the hole before I fall in it. I want blue hair like Coraline, but I think I’m still on the fence about shaving my head bald. Okay, according to her Twitter page, (yes, I’m stalking and now following my competition), the leggy model that John Legend prefers is funny and valley girl dumb—how can I compete with that? I want a new car, but don’t want a car note. Why can’t things cost now what they did in 1965? I wish MLK, JFK, RFK, and Malcolm X had lived. I need to marry rich. Everyone should get a summer vacation like in school. I wish Donna Reed was alive today, but looked like she did back in the day. I need to be cured of my disease to please and become more self-centered. I’m so bipolar.
I’m busting out of my one bedroom apartment. I get up at five every morning and take naps in the afternoon like a senior citizen. I think Amelia Earhart was lucky to escape death and just disappear into thin air, I wish JFK Jr. and Aaliyah could have done the same. I think I need a boob job to get ahead, and some white skin. I keep all my important papers in a Crown Royal bag. I’m afraid to fly, but do it anyway because I’m impatient. I want to have kids, but the giving birth process needs to change. I’m a lazy stalker—I’ll only stalk you if you’re within my boundaries. I hate that my metabolism has turned on me. My extended family turned their backs on us when my parents divorced. My mother put her boyfriend’s needs before us children. Love has let me down. Hopefully tomorrow will be my turn without doubts or fears, seeing my love get returned, after all these years I’ve been learning to keep my fingers from burning, to receive without giving and make my life more worth living.
I’ve lost five pounds so far, 55 more to go until John Legend’s return, legs not so much, better learn how to walk in very high heels to give the legs the appearance of length.I want to be on a reality show. I’m nobody’s darling. Three out of four of us kids are left-handed. I was born in August, but my favorite month is October.
When I feel lonely in small crowds, I obnoxiously blurt out, “I like Oreo cookies!” like a Tourette’s-filled idiot so they will include me instead of sliding away like they normally do. Maybe next time I’ll just say “Hi,” then, “I like Oreo cookies!” I go on magazine binges every weekend and I have magazine hangovers on Monday. The cure: the mid-week detox until Friday, well that, or self-imposed blindness. It’s that serious.
I’m the little train that could: I think I can, I think can, I know I can, I can’t. I’m usually up for a challenge, but I need to sit and think myself out of it. I can lick a lolly with Billy, Molly, Lilly and Sully (who totally sold it). Can you tell how to get to Sesame Street so I can live with Oscar the Grouch and kick Elmo’s happy ass? “Like, oh my god, gag me with a spoon”—I’m practicing my valley girl dumb for John Legend.
My nephew is a dachshund named Demon. My grandfather was the only positive male influence my entire life, but he died before I really needed him. I used to make my younger sisters eat paste by telling them it was vanilla frosting. I switched high schools my senior year thinking the odds of having a boyfriend would be greater—it wasn’t, it was unbelievably the same—there must be something wrong with me. I was a floater in high school which was a good thing because I could go from one group to another without issue.
I was teased a lot in elementary school which resulted in my low self-esteem. I try so hard for people to like me and it most of the time falls short. I found a defense mechanism of humor to soften the blow of rejection. It works most of the time, but every now and then it’s hard to laugh when you’re crying. I still get scared when I think someone I like is on the verge of dismissing me. I try to fix it before it gets really broke and can let it go if I tried my hardest to keep it together because it takes two to keep it going. I haven’t mastered that part fully.
That saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” didn’t apply in our village. I’m really disappointed in my family because I knew they had the ability to make a difference, but just didn’t want to for whatever reason. I just might be the first person to die of a broken heart. I’m tired of being worthless and not worth caring about. I’m tired of this anti-love curse.
My OCD rant of a life ends: I have to go down every aisle in the grocery store. There are a lot of science projects of mold going on in my refrigerator. I’m a hoarder, but not the creepy kind, I’m a pack rat, but a neat freak. I only drink Barq’s root beer and I’m a total diva about it. Don’t bring me A&W and expect me to be grateful, it will turn into a situation real quick. I’m obsessed with comment boards on the internet. I want to be adopted by Barack and Michelle Obama. I collect songs with my name in them. I don’t mind offering a helping hand, just don’t ask me to. My boyfriend understands he has to share me with John Legend when he comes to town, but I’m cheating on both of them with Ben and Jerry. I have full, one-sided conversations in the shower. I need a Crown Royal on ice. I’m wondering if John Legend is really worth the chase.