What it's about?
A man struggling to make the decisions of what shirt to wear... what side of the street to walk on... and an overdose of mushrooms? What exactly IS wrong?
What'd I experience?
O.C.D - "characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviors" according to Google's definition. Locked my phone ... three minutes later "Chronic... treatment may help" as I was walking toward the train stop. Yes, I've heard of the term before... but I guess there are times when something can get really get into your head. (In this case, someone getting that something into my head)
That person was Adam Strauss, whose story came from the personal. I was comfortable in a seat, as he started recounting his struggle with making decisions. It started with what shirt to wear, to its color, to whether it would look better for another occasion, to ultimately going back to the very first choice. It would be the same for what side of the street he would walk on, crossing from one side to the other every 30 seconds, debating if the sun or the shade was better for him. I was picturing anyone else saying “the struggle is real”, but in this case - that saying could not have been more real. The fact that any small decision would take up to an hour or more for him to make up, seemed kind of absurd at first, but it wasn’t - it was just something I hadn’t known or experienced.
To try to treat his condition - he searched the web, asked his “friends” for advice on any other type of help they might know about, and consulted a “psychologist” - whose only certificate came from working at a high school and went from having an actual office to meeting his patients in central park…. Yes, HE had other issues.
Adam was desperate to find a solution, to stop making a dilemma out of the simplest things in life.
And that became even more important after meeting a girl. He tried to be as normal of a guy as possible. Getting it into his head that because she’s pretty it wouldn’t hurt to compliment her or... be with her for a night. I didn’t know if I should’ve felt ashamed for him or was his condition enough of a justification for his reasoning. Perplexed with that thought, I let it pass... something told me it wouldn’t just be a one time thing. In fact, he starts having feelings for her ... feelings strong enough that he ends up buying her a ticket back to NY after she’s done with school in California. Had cupid hit?
Me, in her place? I would’ve freaked out a little, but it was as if they’d both taken a risk. He wanted to control his situation, stop wasting his time with simple things and pay attention to details of more importance. And he thought he could get through it with his new girl. On the other hand, and surprisingly (or not) she knew who he was... well, at least what he had going on with him... and she accepted it. But what else could’ve been expected when she was like this intellectual yet delicate being at the same time... fascinated by the littlest things of life, as he himself described her. It reminded me of how lost I get sometimes with minute things that suddenly take up an entire space in my mind.
Without any results from the antidepressants or psychotherapy, his last resource pointed towards... mushrooms!?!?! - Weird thing was... I had heard of this before, except I didn’t know exactly what they helped with. Question immediately sprouted… UMM I eat mushrooms every week, would this be having any effect on me, like curing any unknown symptoms I may be unaware of? That’d be cool. Either way, his desperation was so much, that he ends up overdosing on mushrooms, WHAT?! The most awkward and hilarious thing. LOL!!!! Just... How? But wait for it… imagine calling the cops on yourself… certainly the most “stupidest thing” - as he repeatedly exclaimed at himself once sober again. Oh, it just made my night.
Ultimately splitting from his girl, and of course heartbroken, and finally on actual medication that helped - we were up to speed with his life’s narrative.
While joking about his condition at the same time… he actually hit the nail on the head, when he mentioned that perhaps some in the audience were leaving with the small doubt that they might have OCD… “Did I have a slight problem?”