Friday, October 17, 2008

Obsessed (2)

Every morning was the same for Lawrence. His alarm went off at four thirty reliably. Although he didn't need to arrive at the OR for hours he had soo much to do. He had his rituals. And his rituals took time. He had to do them correctly. And if he didn't.... they needed to be repeated...or something bad would happen.

Five steps from the bed to the bathroom. Water on. Open and close the toilet seat three times. use the toilet. Flush twice. Two more steps back to the sink.

And so the morning went. A choreographed dance he performed daily often interrupted by repetition and occasionally by the need to start all over again. Lawrence hadn't always been this way. In fact this all started when his world fell apart. Five years ago. The unimaginable had happened. The unthinkable. So Lawrence tried to order the parts of his life he could control. If he just followed the right steps. If he just didn't mess up.....he would be protected.

By the time he showered, got dressed, and ate breakfast Lawrence was already late for his nine oclock OR slot. In fact he never made it on time. The schedulers at the hospital were so aware of the problem that they always scheduled the first case an hour late. And like clock work Lawrence would arrive at 10am. The staff would trade glances as usual. Mainly they felt sorry for him. They had watched him unravel over the years.

As Lawrence finished changing into his scrubs he walked briskly to the back of the locker room and sat awkwardly on the ledge of the window facing the courtyard. He had exactly five minutes. This was his last ritual before going into the operating room. A tear rolled down his eyes as he replayed the horrible day over and over again in his mind. The day his life went from light to grey.

Never...never again he told himself.

And then he left the locker room and went to scrub for the first case.

1 comment:

tracy said...

Wow. That is so beautifully sad. Thank you Dr. Jordan.