Monday, April 13, 2015

Man-Eating Cupcake

The shop is slow today, and I mean s-l-o-w. I am at the point where I am counting the seconds in a minute, the minutes in the hour, and the hours that my shop is open. 

Now, trust me it’s not always this slow. It gets ok business, but some days are boring. Did I say that today was so boring? Because today has been so sluggish. 

These days make me question my life. They make me think. I soon fall into a deep dream. 

I am in this green, grassy field, with some dirt patches. I feel free, clear, and unrestricted. It's an open field. For once, I don't feel a sense that I am locked up in something. At least not until I come across a patch of dirt and mud.

I start getting repetitive thoughts and fears about getting dirt on myself. I start to freak out. I am no longer clear and open. 

As soon as those thoughts pop into my head, I hear a rustling and all the sudden a huge man-eating cupcake appears. 

In my dream is a man-eating cupcake started chasing me pushing me towards something, but what is that something? Or is the cupcake chasing me away from something? Maybe chasing me from my own thoughts? I start running, heart beating quickly, away from the man-eating cupcake.  

The dream seemed so real that I almost started running for real.

Instead, I accidentally dropped the new glass container for the cupcake of the day. Today’s cupcake is Carmel Fudge. Glass shattered everywhere. Well, there goes my dream, at least I escaped.

As I was cleaning up the glass, I kept trying to think of new games I could play to pass the time. “Maybe I could keep counting? No, counting was getting boring. I already sorted and cleaned everything twice, so that’s out. Although, it never hurts to clean, I guess. Just as I was about to start cleaning things again, two guys walked into the cupcake store. I recognized one from the bar a few nights ago, I think he said he name was Lane, and he seemed to be with a teenager today.

“Hi, Lane, right?” I asked with the goal of dragging out some conversation since I have not spoken a word to anyone today yet, besides maybe screaming from my dream. 

“Uh-huh,” was all he responded. He seemed a little off today. 

Luckily, to help the silence, the boy with Lane spoke up, “Hey, I’m Stanley and I am a foster kid that Lane is mentoring.” Stanley seemed a little out of it also, but he just kept talking about how he had already become great friends with Lane and how they bonded in the park.

Then, as Lane began to join the conversation, he rambled on about his life, but I didn’t really pay attention, because all I was thinking about was if I should become a mentor. It could take up some of my time, right? Wow, this would open up new doors. Maybe I would no longer have to count every tick of the clock I hear. 

Was that what the man-eating in my cupcake was trying to signal? Was it trying to push me to try something besides cupcakes? 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cinderella? Christine?

"Christine, Christine. Look at me and breathe,” the counselor said. “We are here to work through your panic OCD attack when you got the blue paint on your leg and stepped on a crack.” My counselor kept talking, but all I could hear was the voice of my mother screaming at my father, then, just like a domino effect, screaming at me.

I remembered how I would be forced to clean the house all the time. I sometimes thought of myself as Cinderella when I was little, although, without the magic and the beautiful ball gown. So basically, I thought of my childhood through the name Cinderella, which means little ashes. My mother would call my name every time she and my father were happy and on good terms, “Christine. Clean the house. Christine. Vacuum the rug. We are going to have a nice dinner as a family and I want the house clean." Christine, Christine, Christine, was all I would hear. 

My happiness and the happiness of my parents never paralleled. If they were happy, I was stuck cleaning. If they were mad at each other, I was upset, but not cleaning. Overall, I never fully lived a childhood filled with joy and cheer. When I came to terms with how things were, I decided that I was happiest when the house was clean because that meant moments of peace in the house. 

Clean house means peace to me. Messy house means destruction, sadness, anger, and so much more things that blocked me from my childhood. 

"CHRISTINE, talk to me,” my counselor practically yelled. "You cannot just stay in your own little world daydreaming about the past. You are here to discuss with me, I’m here to help."

But still, all I heard was, Christine… 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thankful for Hand Sanitizer

Early this morning, I was walking to work, when I heard all this chatter about a man that jumped off the roof of the asylum. What if this is a sign? What if someone is coming to get me to take me to the asylum? My OCD gets worse and worse each week. I have gotten to the point where I use hand sanitizer every time I walk into a new room. All I want to do some days is live my life in a glass cage. A glass bubble. Not plastic, because plastic wouldn’t be thick enough. Oh, and the glass would have an automatic cleaner that would constantly remove any smudges. Sadly, I can’t clean away my obsessive and compulsive thoughts with hand sanitizer.

I decided that I needed a drink, so I headed down to the bar. On my way there, taking two footsteps in each cement square of the sidewalk, I realized that a blue Subaru seemed to be following me. Freaked out, I turned down an alley way to let it pass. I saw some girl in front of graffiti crying about how now everyone knows about it. Who knows what her deal is. The only part of the graffiti that I could see said "Serenity, remember how..." I stopped for a split second to try to figure out if she is ok, but then just end up staring because social interaction with strangers isn’t my strong suit. Suddenly, all I could think was “Oh no no no no no!!  No. No. No. This is not good! What did I just do!” I realized I had been stepping on a crack in the sidewalk. Great, now I will have bad luck. I walked briskly away from the girl by the graffiti and concentrated on taking only two steps per square until I finally made it to the bar. 

The bar was packed, so I sat at the counter in the corner seat. Next to me, was a sad, lonesome looking man, and in front of him was a glass of scotch, with no ice. He looked like he had a rough day. I thought multiple times to myself, "Maybe I should talk to him. I wonder what his story is?" But then, I was repulsed as I realized that his dirty, or rather filthy, jacket had been touching the side of my leg, and to make matters worse, it got a blue dot of what looked like paint on my leg. That was enough. I needed to go take a shower, or rather bathe myself in disinfectant. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Did I? Did I?

I decided to close the store for a day after the burglary, just to settle a bit. Plus, it was a dark, cloudy day, and on these days I really enjoyed going for walks.  

I left my apartment to go for my daily walk. I made it all the way down to the lobby before thoughts started racing through my head, “Did I lock the door? Did I lock the door? Did I lock the door? Did I lock the door?” These are the intrusive thoughts that I sometimes have to face with OCD. I tired to continue, to make it to the park. I knew I needed to go for a long walk. Yet, still, I was thinking “Did I lock the door 2 times, 6 time, none at all?” 

At the park, there was a bonfire going, and maybe 10 people there. They all seemed pretty calm, when all I could think was, “I locked the door, right? Or did I forget to lock the door? Shit I can’t remember!” The fire only reminded me of the fact that I may have not turned off the stove. I was now wondering if my apartment was going to catch on fire. "Did I turn off the stove?" I had to get out of the park. I had to. All while I was wondering and obsessing over my apartment, some woman was talking to me about some restaurant. I honestly couldn’t hear a word she was saying cause all I could hear was, “Is the door locked and is the stove off? Is the door locked and is the stove off?” She probably thought I was crazy. I was just a girl standing, shaking, and muttering to myself. I could care less though, because all I wondered is if I would go home and fine the room a mess. I really can’t take another ruined home. Once is enough for a lifetime. Please God, please tell me I locked the door, turned off the stove, and have a spotless, clean room… 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Child's Dream? Apt. 426

9:00 am, after a fun night at the bowling alley for a tournament, I walk down the street to my shop. I get there, ready to unlock the door, 2 times, and start my day. Then, I realize that the window is smashed open and glass covers a good portion of the sidewalk. 

This reminded me of what my parents house looked like when I was little. Messy and destroyed. My OCD stems from that old house. Nothing ever seemed to be in order, so now as a result, everything must be in order. But not today. My bakery is a mess. It looks like a little kids dream. There are cupcakes everywhere. White frosting covers some areas of the floor like an ice skating rink. Sprinkles cover the counter like a mini ball pit that kids love to jump in. My childhood was never that fun though, and this break-in of my store is not fun to me. 

Looking at my burglarized shop, the reality is that all my baked goods are destroyed, and the cash register is emptied out. The good part is that I emptied and took the money in the cash register to the bank a couple days ago since I knew there was a lot of snow predicted to come, so there wasn’t too much money that I lost. 

I was determined not to loose too much, since a lot of the time, it seems like I lost my childhood. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Branching Out

I branched out today. My therapist, which I see about once a week, to help with my OCD, says I need to go outside my bubble, my comfort zone. Psh, I think I am fine, but whatever, I guess I will try. The therapist, Dr. Wood, says that to help with my compulsive disorder, I should have someone else help me in my cupcake store, so I decide to hire someone to wash the dishes. So, there I go, trying to be a good patient. I hang up a rusty, black and red, “Help Wanted” sign in front of my shop. I hired Troy two hours later and he never stops talking about poetry. Ever.

Also, just to show off my progress, at my therapist office, I was in the waiting room, and this guy was whispering to himself, so I decided to start a conversation. We talked for about 10 minutes. I learned three things about him. His name is Clive Buccatti, he visits a shrink a lot, and he was in a comma for 10 years. Man, I am becoming a full blown tree, branching out so much! The coolest thing was, that Clive also branched out. He carried out a conversation with me about an upcoming meteor shower happening and that I should check it out. Finally, before leaving the building, Clive said his shrink suggested that he visited a public place, so he said he might come buy cupcakes later, but who knows if he will actually come. I guess I will just wait and see. 

Back at the shop, it felt like a sauna. It was an unseasonably warm day, and the warmth was just leaking into the store. I trudged on anyway though. I baked 6 dozen red velvet cupcakes, with 44 waffle cone crumbs on each. I waited for customers to come, while hearing the background noise of Troy washing dishes. Hopefully a customer, or actually an even number of customers, will come soon, maybe even Clive. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


The day started with the cell phone ringing in my apartment, Apartment 426. I drowsily reached for my phone. It was 8:20 am. “Hello,” I said sleepily while slowly opening my eyes from my relaxing slumber. “Hi, is this Christine’s Cupcakery? I just wanted to see if you could prepare an order for 4 dozen princess cupcakes to be picked up at 12:30pm today? My little daughter is having her 8th birthday party.” And that, is what begins my chaotic day as a 24 year old working at the bakery I own.

I slowly pulled myself out of bed, stepping onto the frigid hard wood floor of my neatly decorated apartment and picking up my silver locket that I had to open and close exactly 6 times before putting it on. I am OCD, everything I do, I do an even number of times. My apartment is all matching and the kitchen is filled with the most modern cooking and baking appliances there are. And clean. It is very clean. My toes tingled as I walked towards my closet to find something warmer to put on. I opened the closet door, 1,2,3,4 times. It was a foggy, winter day, and all the leaves were starting to create their own blanket for the chilly ground. It was the type of day that I found hard to get to work, but customers were anxious to buy warm pastries for the holiday season, plus everything at my bakery was inexpensive.

As I made my way to my store, I walked out my apartment building, Dreamwood Terrace, and briskly walked down Main Street to where my cute, pink and white striped awning, bakery was located. Well, it use to be cute, when the town was cute. Now, the white has turned to a dirty, yellowish white. When I arrived, I put all my personal belongings in the back room, clicked the lock shut 2 times, and got ready to start baking for the day. I walked to the front of the store, to take the bars that protect my shop at night off the windows. Then, I went up to start putting together orders, and realized that I had left my notebook full of the days orders in my apartment. Just my luck. This really pissed me off and caused me anxiety. Now that I was already behind in my busy day, I power walked back to my apartment to get my notebook, checked 8 times to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything, and then was finally ready to fulfill the requests of my many customers.

After a hard-pressed day at work, I finally closed up shop and began cleaning the store at 6:24. Each night, I cleaned it to where it was almost spotless. The power suddenly went off in the middle of my cleaning at 7:00. “Great,” I thought. “This can’t be happening. There are still two dirty dishes. Just my luck.” Because I could not do any more in the dark, I slowly lugged myself and my stuff home, walking through the quiet, dark streets with a flour covered apron.