Sunday, September 30, 2007

My first day at CIWP

I already write about CIWP a lot. But what was it like when I first came here? Sit down as I tell you about my life at Community-integrated Work Program.

On February 3, 2005, I got out of my boxer shorts earlier than I would have liked to leave the house with my mother and visit a building in Richmond. There I was greeted by the erstwhile head of CIWP, Ken Powell, and CIWP's secretary Maria. I answered some questions like my date of birth and weight, and they told me CIWP would be like high school -- you go from 8 to 2, more or less, Monday thru Friday. I was worried about having to work. Would I have to touch tools that had cobwxbs on them? Would I hear words in crowded vans and have all the clients see me purging and tell the coaches?

I got a tuberculosis test later that month so I could join CIWP, and came out negative.

On March 7, 2005, I had my first day at CIWP. At it turned out, I didn't do any work. My mother drove me to the CIWP office and I met Ken Powell when I entered the office. After my mother went home, Ken Powell showed me the office and asked if I wanted food, which I turned down. He then said, "Let me pxke around the refrigerator here . . ." and instantly I knew I would have to purge. Shortly after he said, "Whxxps!" D'OH! Would CIWP be a nonstop fusillade of purge words?

He could sense that I wanted a private room, so he showed me an art room and closed the door. I began purging off the WH-word, and finished that one rather quickly, before biting into the main entrée: Ken Powell's "pxke around". Mr. Powell soon came in, and showed me something that looked like a bell or a bird-cage. He explained that he wanted the rust cleaned off, and had been cleaning it off with sandpaper. He gave me the sandpaper and showed me how to do it. I brushed a bit of rust off with the sandpaper, then got back to my purging.

About forty-five minutes later, Ken Powell knocked on the door. I quickly resumed sandpapering to make it look as if I had been sandpapering the rust off all this time when he came in. He took a look at the object and said it looked much cleaner. As soon as he left, I resumed my purging.

Ken Powell came in again, and told me it was Lita's birthday. He offered me a chance to ride to the bakery in his van with him and pick out a cake. I jumped in and selected German chocolate once I got there. When we went back one woman at the office said German chocolate was her favorite. As they were talking about plastic froks I stood in a closed room and purged, purged, purged with the door closed. I couldn't eat any, partly because they were using plastic silverware and partly because I was still purging off Ken Powell's "pxke around", along with other words they were saying outside (I can't swallow until I've finished all my purging).

Finally, I got done with that long and bloody routine (I actually had blood on the finges by the time I was done) of purging off the P & A words. Ken Powell took me out to get food, and I got a gordita, a chalupa and a spicy chicken burrito from Taco Bell. After I was done eating, he drove me to a park called Inspiration Point. While I was there, a couple nearby was speaking Spanish. I was SURE I heard them say "keep an exe on", even though they were purportedly talking in Spanish.

Ken Powell finally drove me home. He talked with my mother as we met at the door of my parents' house. They talked about all the stuff my mother had accumulated. She said to him, "I get to live and work in the mxss". I immediately headed for the bathroom in my house. By the time I got done purging off the M-word and the K & E words, Ken Powell had left.

Oh great, I thought, CIWP is going to be an endless litany of stuff that makes me purge.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A well-worth trip to Berkeley

Today Pia drove me over to Dr. Levine's office in Berkeley. Dr. Levine is a psychiatrist I have been seeing since my twenty-fifth birthday, when he put me on Risperdal.

Dr. Levine asked me how I've been doing the last few months. I told him about the purging and how it's increased since La Netta's had her back injury and they've put us with larger groups. I told him about the SC-word. All these years I've been talking about my purging compulsion with Dr. Levine and he's never been able to cure it. He said he's never seen anything like it.

Now, here was some dismaying news. When Pia was discussing things with Dr. Levine at the beginning of our meeting, she said this may be my last visit. There were insurance changes and other problems I didn't fully comprehend. I tried to make every second count when I was with him today.

He asked me where I go at CIWP, and I brought up bowling. I told him that I usually bowl over 100, almost always beating Robert's score, and he said he hasn't gotten over 100 too often, though every now and then he'll get lucky and get a strike. I explained that I go for the heavy bowling balls, while Dr. Levine admitted to using the light balls. Maybe he should switch to the heavy.

Something I did -- and this was an important part of my day -- was show him my new blog. I gave him the URL, which he wrote down. He has a computer in his office, so he turned it right on and brought up an Internet browser. I pointed to my first entry, which I wanted Dr. Levine to start with, and he said I was an excellent writer. No matter what happens, he says he'll keep up with Paralyzed Into Dance from now on.

Dr. Levine says he won't change my medication (which is currently at two milligrams at 11 a.m. and two milligrams at 11 p.m.), and if I get a new doctor he'll advise this new psychiatrist to start with the same dosage I have now. He said it was very important that whoever my next psychiatrist is see my blog -- as he put it, "it explains everything".

I hate to sing in the shower

I took a shower last night. I cleaned off the floor tiles, went into my room, took off my clothes, walked back into the restroom with the towel, cleaned out the shower, turned the water on, took my shower, dried off, brought the soap back into my room, washed my hand off after handling the soap, then got dressed. It was such a struggle for me. The whole thing took three quarters of an hour. Luckily for the last part, Tiffany (a wonderful group home staff) turned my lamp on so I was able to see my clothes and put some clean clothes on afterwards.

The thing I hate the third most about the shower is cleaning off the bathroom floor before I take my shoes off. I have to rub a square of toilet paper across each of the central tiles (the ones I'm going to be standing on) on my bathroom floor, like a Jain priest sweeping the path in front of him to get bugs out of the way.

The thing I hate second most is the cold rush of water against my back. I've tried everything so I don't have to feel cold when I first turn the shower on. I've tried turning it on fully clothed and standing outside the shower, giving it time to heat up. I've tried pulling it to medium heat level before pulling the handle outward. I've tried pulling the bath/shower converter down for a bath before pulling the handle out, and then pulling it up for a shower after the water has warmed up, but some part of me always gets cold.

But the thing I hate the most about the shower is having to clean out the bottom of the shower. I look at all the black specks that are in the bathtub before I get in, and I don't know which ones are pieces of dead dipser and which aren't. So I have to clean them all out. Using several pieces of toilet paper, I picked them all out, and last night there were a LOT. It took easily 15 minutes cleaning out everything at the bottom of my bathtub. The multitudinous specks that I had gathered in a corner at the end? I finally resorted to pushing them up over the side of the bathtub.

Once I was in, I did my hands, groin, butt, abdomen, back and armpits. I washed them all off and wiped the water off with a towel.

The next day, Tiffany was there seeing me in my new clothes with my clean body. She complimented me on the blue turtleneck that brings out my red beard and hazel eyes (she could tell even though I wear sunglasses). We hugged as Lamesha would hug me after a shower, and I loved it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two and a half years at CIWP

I thought my annual CIWP meeting was Friday, but it turned out to be today. I didn't exactly come prepared for this. Lita was in the office with La Netta, Paula Richardson (my case manager) and me. Stan showed up late, then Pia (Stan's wife) came near the end of the meeting.

We discussed how I didn't like to go into stores because of the words that would make me purge. When I first joined CIWP, I would think I heard the K and E words ("keep an exe on") everywhere I went. Hence I had a goal about participating in group activities. Now that I don't hear the K and E words all the time, I can go to these places. But the occasional "whxxps" or "ice xxxxx" still pops up.

I had another goal about not using the public restrooms "excessively" (defined as 5 minutes or longer). At this time last year they said it had been four times a month that I went into a restroom and stayed there for a long time; now they said it averaged eight times a month. Because of the accident La Netta had last October, she needs to have a partner because she can't drive alone all day. With the new partner, two coaches (one of whom accidentally says the offending words) hold conversations in the van. With two coaches, they put in more than three clients -- five or even six. And with those large van sizes, people tell others to scxxt over. With all these words that are being used now, I have to go and purge more than I did when La Netta alone was driving me.

They talked about me changing my clothes three times a week, but with my limited supplies of clothes and the infrequency of scraping out the washing machine and washing them anew, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. What I really need is a new washing machine all to my own. All the pajamdras that get washed in there . . . sigh. Stan says I'm already washing once a month, but it seems much more infrequently than that.

One new goal that was brought up was wearing headphones. I'm frequently asking people what they just said, and fretting over words that I may or may not have heard. If I carry headphones along, I can listen to music and be deaf to those nasty words like the M-word and the SC-word.

They discussed finding some clients with whom I could meet up and hold conversations once every two weeks at lunchtime. I already have Ken and Jolene with me, so they want to branch out into other clients. Such clients as Jeremy Gray, Shawn Snodgrass (Baby Shawn!), Robin Studebaker and Tully are not verbal enough to be my match, but they think clients like David Askew, David Squibb, Urdell and Mandy would be excellent chatting companions for me.

Oh, and Ken's meeting, it turns out, is tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I want a taco!

Today it was Ken, Jolene, Ayyoon, Sayun and Robert again. La Netta didn't come, so Kulwinder and Kay drove us. While Kay got out with the Mien cousins (Ayyoon and Sayun) as well as Robert and Ken for van cleaning, Kulwinder went into the office with Jolene and me.

I did my business in the restroom then came out into the main room of the office, the room in which people cook and eat lunch. After a while, Kulwinder said that Nino "made a mxss".


"I'm sorry", Kulwinder said, "I'm still learning." Off to the restroom!

Eventually I got out of the restroom, and hung out in the hall where the restrooms were. I paced and paced. Then there came Lita Guerrero, the head of CIWP, walking towards the women's restroom where Kulwinder and Jolene were. I came around the corner right as Lita almost walked into me. "Whxxps!", said Lita.

"D'oh!" I slammed my forehead. I had to slam my forehead two more times to get it right on the spot. "D'oh!" "D'OH!"

"Don't hurt yourself," said Lita. She entered the women's restroom with Kulwinder and Jolene.

Lita eventually came out of the restroom and apologized.

I spent time in the men's restroom purging. "Whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops." I just couldn't seem to get it just right. Eventually Kulwinder told me we were ready to join Kay, Ayyoon and the gang at the Auto Center. I told her I wasn't ready. I did some more purging and Kulwinder came again. I still wasn't ready, so she told me she'd take Jolene down to the Auto Center by the CIWP office and then come back to get me.

I purged and I purged until finally I could feel the WH-word coming up out of my body. I did my ritual for the WH-word and then my intestines were cleaned out again. I washed my hands. Eventually Kulwinder came again and I headed out to the van.

Kay drove us to a Mexican restaurant called La Borinqueña. "I want a taco! I want a taco!", Jolene was proclaiming as we drove towards the restaurant. Sayun, Ken and I all wanted to order.

While we were walking from the parked van to the restaurant, I saw a plastic frok littered on the sidewalk. "Ewwwww!"

"What?", asked Kay.

I pointed. "The plastic silverware."

We made it into the restroom. While I was waiting I heard a man saying something that sounded like "scxxt". The next word was "on". Not sure exactly whether he had said it, but I would have to purge it off anyway later just to be on the safe side.

I ordered a regular burrito for me and a crispy taco for Jolene. I selected ground beef in my burrito. It came out to between $8 and $9, so I handed the cashier my remaining five, my three remaining ones, and some coins I had to dig around for. After I handed her the coins, I stood in front of the cashier's spot examining my hands for particles of dead dipser that may have rubbed off from the coins. As I was standing there, the cashier said, "Could you scxxt over, please?"


Kay soon came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to a place where I could take the plastic out of my bag. I said sure.

"Kay! Did you hear what she said?"

"No, I didn't."

"She told me to do the SC-word over."

"Well, that's OK, because she didn't know."

"That doesn't make me feel any better, Kay."

"Do you want me to take the plastic out of your bag?"

"Sure. How am I supposed to do the SC-word over when I am standing up?!"

"Do you have to be sitting to do it?"


"Maybe she just meant to shuffle with your feet." Kay demonstrated walking in a shuffling manner to her left.

"Why did she have to say it?"

"Well, sometimes when people are learning a new language, they pick up words without learning their correct meaning, and when nobody corrects them, they keep on using it that way." The woman to whom I was handing my money seemed to have a Filipino accent. "So when she said . . . that word . . . maybe she really meant "shuffle".

Kay walked over with me to a table and I set down the bag with the taco and the burrito. I closed my eyes and felt around for plastic silverware. I fumbled through the whole bag but didn't feel any.

"I think it's in those containers", said Kay.

So I picked up a container for the taco and unwrapped the saran wrap on the top. "It's right there near your left thumb", she told me. I felt around in the left side and pulled out what felt like a napkin, cylindrically wrapped up. "That's it!", said Kay. I felt around for plastic silverware inside the napkin. Kay said it was just plastic silverware wrapped up, and she could get me some napkins if I wanted them.

Then came the plastic silverware they had put with my burrito. Kay said she would take it out for me. She took it out, then rounded up Sayun and Ken, and we exited the building. Kay said "come on" to me as we crossed the sidewalk to our van.

"Let me do things at my own pace!", I said, giving my standard response.

Kay said that saying "come on" "is native to me".

All the way to the office, Robert asked his questions. "You keep my money for me?" "Does Target have popcorn?" "When are we going to get my headphones?" "Do we have bowling on Monday?" "Do I work tomorrow?" "When do I work?"

"Robert," said Kay, "Don't ask me about money, don't ask me about headphones, and don't ask me about any of the stores."

Finally, we made it back to the office and all filed into a room into the office with a table. Jolene made it on her walker. Kay told Robert to "scxxt up".


Kay said she had forgotten I was in the room because she wasn't used to having enter me that room. "When you're not around, I get to use all kinds of words," she said.

I had hung around this room because I wanted to give Jolene her taco. "Which is the burrito and which is the taco?," I asked Kay. Kay got out the taco.

"I know you wanted a taco, so I got this for you", I told Jolene.

"Thank you!", Jolene said.

"You're welcome. I bought it because you're my friend."

"Thank you!"

And with that I ran to the restroom to start purging. Ken had to use the restroom too, so I let him in first. Then I entered. I purged off the plastic silverware that had been littered on the sidewalk first, then I did the SC-words. Robert, Sayun and Ayyoon all had to go at various times during my purge spree. Finally I finished.

As we drove to Sayun's house, Robert kept asking about the Mexican place. "Do they have burritos?" "Do they have tacos?" "Did you get a burrito?"

I asked Jolene how she liked the taco I gave her.

"Made me sick!"

"I'm sorry to hear that, Jolene. You were saying 'I want a taco! I want a taco!', so I thought you'd like it."

"Why did you give Jolene a taco?", Ayyoon asked.

"Well, she was saying, 'I want a taco!' 'I want a taco!'," so I got one for her. But apparently it made her sick."

"Why did you think Jolene wanted a taco?", asked Ayyoon.

"James already told you," said Kay. "Because Jolene was asking for one." She explained to Ayyoon that maybe having too much other food (Jolene had brought her lunch today) made her sick.

"Why did he think Jolene wants a taco?", Ayyoon persisted.

"Because she asked him for one," Kay explained. "When you're asking something for someone, what does that mean? That means you want it. If I ask you for money, what does that mean? . . . That means you want money."

Ayyoon still didn't get it.

"When you ask your mother for money to go to Hometown Buefet, doesn't that mean you want to go to Hometown?"

As we drove past a certain place, Ayyoon said, "That Mexican lady, I try to speak to her, but she always laughs."

"Which Mexican lady?" Kay asked, "You have to be specific."

"That Mexican lady . . . I would talk to her . . ."

"Ayyoon, stick to the subject. What does it mean when you ask someone for something?"

Ayyoon continued to talk about the Mexican lady.

"You're changing to subject. You don't want to talk about this." Kay explained to Ayyoon that he had eaten a lot of food and gotten sick before, which is probably why Jolene got sick.

Ayyoon didn't remember it.

"This was . . . a few years ago. You were probably in the office when this happened."

We dropped Sayun off, then it was Ayyoon's turn to go. Then Ken was dropped off at one of Stan's other houses. "See ya, Ken," I said.

"See ya, everyone. See ya, Robert", said Ken. "See ya, James!"

Robert was then dropped off. As we made it to my house, I had to purge one last time as the conversation turned to Kay's brother Franklin. Kulwinder asked what she could get for Franklin, and whether he liked sweets. Kay said he was a diabetic, and the conversation then turned to sugarless foods. Kay mentioned sugarless ice xxxxx.

I got home and Stan was at the door for me. "What's up?", he asked.

I told him about hearing the SC-word today.

He told me he was so sorry, and said accidents happen. "Hang in there," he said. Stan gave me a hug. "I love you . . . do you know that?"

"Yes," I said, still hugging Stan.

Then I went to eat my burrito.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How much did your burrito cost?

It was a van with six people today. We had me, Jolene, Ken, Ayyoon, Sayun and Robert Bradley. La Netta was driving, while Kay accompanied her.

On Friday, La Netta had told me we were going to the Dollar Tree, but she never got around to it. So she said we were to go there today. Kay got out of the car with Robert as well as her clients, Ayyoon and his cousin Sayun, while La Netta drove her core group (Jolene, Ken, me) to the Dollar Tree.

She said they were going to have Halloween stuff by now, so for most of the store trip I kept my eyes closed and held on to La Netta, my arm interlocking with hers. La Netta made it to the book section, then we turned a few corners and got to where I wanted to go: the juice aisle.

I picked a cranberry juice off the shelf, then looked at some other juices. I spent some time browsing the cookie section, then looked back at the juices. I saw that the Fruit Punch had some pineapple, passionfruit, orange and papaya and guava. Nice! I picked it out and we were on our way to the checkout. After picking out a dollar and some coins to pay for my $2.20 purchase, I noticed spots on my hand that had rubbed off from the coins. Upon closer analysis, however, all of them were green so I could tell none of them were pieces of dead dipser. Whew!

We got back into the van and drove to the Auto Center where the other half of our group were. We made a transition from the only van La Netta can drive after her accident to a van more fitted for Kay. Every day we have both Kay and La Netta, we have to make this transition. That's one reason I hate the combining of Kay's and La Netta's groups. Robert asked me what I got at the Dollar Tree. I showed him the tropical fruit drink, then I showed him the juice with cranberry pictures on the bottle. "You know what kind of juice this is?"

"Cranberry juice?"


Kay headed out to a Chinese restaurant where she could get lunch (once of those take-out places where you can get your choice of fried rice or chow mein and two other items in a Styrofoam container). She, Sayun, Ayyoon, Ken and I got out of the van to get lunch.

I went in with them and as I looked for the food bins I saw bins of ice xxxxx! Blechhhh! Shortly after I saw them I heard an employee say something that sounded vaguely like "ice xxxxx cone". I saw something that might look good: something with green peppers on it that looked like calamari or chicken, but when I asked them what it was, they said it was ribs. Forget about it! In fact, the only things I saw that I would eat were the fried rice and the chow mein.

While Ken was ordering his food, they said "rice" several times and I would have to purge off the "ice"s in the "rice"s before proceeding with purging off the I-word. As it turned out, I didn't want to order at this restaurant, and told Kay that I would just have a chimichanga when I got home. Kay said there was Subway and a Mexican place neighboring the restaurant, so I went into the Mexican place. Before we left, I heard someone ordering ice xxxxx. More to purge off.

In the Mexican restaurant, I spent between $6 and $7 on a large teriyaki chicken burrito. I said no to the hot sauce, salsa and sour cream (I hate mxssy food) but yes to rice, beans, onions, cilantro and jalapeño peppers. Kay wanted to try a sample of teriyaki chicken before we exited.

I made my way back into the van, in a worse condition than when I got out of the van. Robert immediately said "hi" to me when I got in the van, so I waved at Robert. Robert asked me what I got and I told him I had bought a burrito. "Do you see me waving, Robert?"

"James. How much did your burrito cost?"

"It cost six dollars and something. Do you see me waving?" I was still waving at Robert.

"Say yes", La Netta told Robert.

"What did you get, a burrito, James?", Robert asked.

"Yes", I said.

"How much did it cost?"

La Netta responded to Robert. "He already told you. It cost six dollars and something."

Kay was talking to Jolene, who has a hard time moving around. She told Jolene, "Scxxt up."

"Rrrrrrrrr!" Great! Now I would have more to purge off!

Kay exclaimed a mild oath at having said it and asked if I needed to go to a restroom right now. I said I did. La Netta said we were headed straight for Fernandez Park and I could use the restroom there.

As we drove off, Robert called out, "James!"

"Yes, Robert?"

"Did you get a burrito?"


"How much did your burrito cost?"

Kay broke in. "Robert, please don't ask that question. You're not buying one." She told Robert to relax during our drive towards Fernandez Park.

Robert continued to ask his questions. He would ask La Netta and Kay, "Does Wal-mart have soda?" again and again. (Robert knows Wal-mart sells soda.) "Winna, Winna, 'scuse me Winna", he called out to La Netta. "Does Target have popcorn?"

"Yes. Of course Target has popcorn. Robert, we've already talked about this. I'm not going to talk with you about it anymore today."

On the drive to the park, he would ask whether Target had headphones and how much headphones cost. He would ask about money.

Finally, I made it to Davis Park and Robert was asking about Denny's.

"They don't serve African-Americans", I told Robert.

"Most Denny's don't have that problem", said La Netta, "I think it was just the one in Emeryville."

I made it to the restroom and found the toilet farthest in. I unbuttoned and began doing some rubble-clearing for the I-word. "Sour cream" had been said a couple of times at the Mexican restaurant, so I had to do some "cradoleam, adolice cradoleam" before I could purge the I-word off. I had also heard "rice", "price", "I saw" and "buy something" so I had to do some "adolice, adolice cradoleam" with all the "ice"s.

Robert came into the restroom. "What are you doing?"

"I'm purging."

While I was purging, I heard some children playing outside. One of them said, "ice xxxxx".

I purged and purged off the I-words and the sight of ice xxxxx from the Chinese restaurant. I would have to purge off the most recent I-word too. While I purged, I heard a man who had been in the restroom go outside and talk to La Netta.

He appeared to be talking about me. "Maybe it was the 'ice xxxxx'," I heard La Netta say.

The man said, "He had his hands down in his pants".

Ken walked in. He complained about Robert's monotonous questions. "Did you hear them saying the I-word out there, Ken?"

"Yep. I would never say a word like that. Never."

"I know you wouldn't, Ken."

I finished the rubble-clearing and started purging off the sight of ice xxxxx in the Chinese place. Then the "ice xxxxx cone" in the restaurant and La Netta's "ice xxxxx" were easy to purge off. I still had problems getting the right feeling for the other two. Jolene's walker made its way into the women's restroom, but I still wasn't done.

I figured that purging off Kay's SC-word would be easier. "Scadoloot up, scadoloot up," I chanted. And soon I was done with that one.

I buttoned up and walked out, asking La Netta if anyone had said "the word that rhymes with 'single'" (t-ngle). She said no one had said it. She asked if I was ready, and I said I still had purging to do.

"Then you're going to be late getting home".

I walked in, and got it just right for the person ordering ice xxxxx in the Chinese restaurant. I could feel that sherbety taste come up as I said it.

I still had to do those little kids' "ice xxxxx". As I worked on it, La Netta called out, "OK, James!"

Robert came in. "James!", he called.

"I'll be right out, Robert."

"Robert, please come out of there," Kay said to Mr. Bradley.

In those last few seconds, I got really inspired, and purged up the airy "ice xxxx" of the little girl. I zipped up and walked out.

As we got into the van, I said, "I hope everybody gets in the right seat so nobody tells anyone to do the SC-word over."

"I hope I'll be able to make your wish come true," said Kay. I got in my usual seat in the back row, behind the driver's seat. Ken got in next to me and Ayyoon got in next to Ken. Kay had to tell Jolene to "move over". Then when Robert got in La Netta had to tell Jolene to move closer to the window and tell Robert to move closer to Jolene. La Netta got in next to them, with Sayun in the front. Kay said that Sayun and Ayyoon and Ken reminded her of children, always all coveting the front seat.

"Well, I always want this seat in the back," I said."

"And you don't have to fight for it", said Kay.

We dropped Ken off, then dropped off Robert. I was next. Someone was at the door.

I went inside, turned on my white sound machine, and ate my burrito. It was wonderful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

And Bernard makes . . . how many is it now?

Yesterday Stan told me that we had to pick up somebody named Bernard to move him into my group home.

Bernard is the brother of Charles Iverson, one of Stan's clients. Charles is friends with client Aaron Moody, the two trading their Pokémon with each other frequently. Recently Aaron and Charles celebrated their joint twenty-first birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's.

Today he got me into the van between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. As we were making our way into the van, I said, "I hope nobody tells anyone to do the SC-word over". Stan said he wouldn't say it.

Everything was fine up to a point. Then I heard Stan telling Rodney Poche, "Rodney, move into the back. Scxxt over. Move into the back, make room for Bernard".

"What did you say?", I asked him.

"I said, 'Move into the back'."

"Didn't you say the SC-word?"

"No I didn't say that, all I said was, 'Move into the back'."

"I heard you say, 'Do the SC-word over, move into the back'."

"I told you what I said."

Great! Now I would have to purge off the SC-word when I got home.

A little later, as we were loading Bernard's possessions into the van, I heard Charles say something that sounded like, "I want to see the other . . . scxxt".

I immediately asked Stan what Charles said.

"I didn't hear", said Stan.

Oh, great! Stan wasn't going to be any help. How could he not have heard that statement?

"Hey, Charles!", I called.

"Yeah?", Charles asked.

"You wanted to see the other what?"

Charles didn't respond.

"You said you wanted to see the other what?"

Still no response.

Why wasn't he responding?!

"He doesn't remember," said Stan.

But Charles had to remember! He said it himself, and it was only fewer than three minutes ago.

I asked Charles again what he said. I had to know if he had said the SC-word.

Stan repeated: "He doesn't remember what he said."

"How can you tell?"

I had to find out directly for myself.



"Did you say the SC-word."


After a brief pause, I asked, "Do you know what the SC-word is?"

Charles said he didn't.

"Once I give you the clue, don't say it."


"The SC-word. It begins with SC, and it rhymes with 'boot'. It's followed by 'over', and you tell people to do it when they're sitting in the wrong seat. Did you say it?"


"He said yes, Stan."

Stan said, "He doesn't know what it is."

"But he just said he said it!" I objected.

Stan explained, "Charles has a problem with words. He's not as intelligent as you are. When it comes to processing words, that's not something Charles does well. That's one of his weaknesses."

"I think he understands. Really."

"He must not understand, because he didn't say that word."

"How do you know? You didn't hear."

"Well, I know Charles doesn't understand, because he has a problem with understanding words and language. That's a weakness for him. Language and math."

"Charles struck me as being of average intelligence."

"Sometimes people can fool ya, can't they?", replied Stan.

Several more minutes passed. Stan stopped at a Nation's. If Charles wouldn't tell me what he said, I was going to have to figure it out my myself.

What sounds like "scxxt"? Excuse . . . scoop . . . shoot . . . school.

"Hey, Charles."


"Did you say you wanted to see the other school?"

"Yeah. I wanted to see Bernard's school . . ." Charles went into detail about which high school he wanted to see.

Stan came into the van once again. "Stan! I found out what Charles said! He said he wanted to see the other school!"

When we got home, I would only have to purge once. There was only one SC-word to purge off now. I did a little rubble-clearing, thinking "toocs" then doing thrusts for the times I had thought the SC-word to myself, then finally doing a routine of "scadoloot over". Finally I got it.

Just after 9:00, I wondered if Stan had found my missing razor yet. As I went out to ask him, I heard Camp Lazlo playing on the television set in the living room. I thought I heard a character on the television show say something. Wait a minute! Did he say "whxxps"?

I heard something that sounded like "whxxps" repeated several more times. Then I heard the finale that removed all doubt: a final, big, unmistakable "Whxxps!" I couldn't believe it! Those clumsy oxen were saying the WH-word! Several times!

Immediately I slammed my forehead with my right fist and puncturingly as I could. "D'OH!" My classic reaction when I hear or read somebody saying "whxxps".

"What's wrong?", asked Charles who heard me.

"They said the WH-word on TV."

"Who said it?"

"The characters on TV."

I told Stan that they had said the WH-word. He told me to go into my room where I wouldn't hear the television. I asked Stan about my razor. He said it didn't come up.

I went back into my room. My zipper came down and my button came open. "Whadoloops!" "Whadoloops, whadolewps, adolewps. Whadoloops, adoloops, adolewps!" I chanted.

I managed to get some "whadoloops"es that felt just right for the first four or five times they said it. To purge them off, I did the preliminaries that purged off my thinking of the word to myself (the mental processing of the word) after I had heard it. Twelve "whadoloopses", then a "whadoloops, whadolewps, adolewps, whadoloops, adoloops, adolewps!" for each of them, then twelve "adolewpses"es. Then I did my real business: twelve "whadoloopses", followed by a "whadoloops" that went over my groin, abdomen, chest and neck and out my mouth, then I did a "whadoloops, whadolewps, adolewps, whadoloops, adoloops, adolewps!" routine, then twelve "adolewps"es, then a finale "adolewps" that went right up my body.

NOTE: When I write a "vaccinated" form of the word with OO, like "adoloops" or "whadoloops", I'm pronouncing it with the vowel sound as in "good book". When I write it with EW, like "adolewps" or "whadolewps", I'm pronouncing it with the vowel sound as in "Froot Loops".

But I still had the biggest "whxxps", the one that got stuck in my groin the most, to purge off. I did three thrusts with "whadoloops". Then I waited to feel just the right sensation, as my purging had become sensationless. I needed to make a thrust with which I would taste the whipped cream of the WH-word again.

Finally I was inspired. I did my routine with all the "whadoloops"es and the "whadolewps"es and the "adoloops"es and the "adolewps"es. Eventually the last "adolewps" went up my body and that big, whipped-creamy "whxxps" was out of me. It was 9:48 when I finally got done. That purging had taken up four fifths of an hour.

Later that day, had to purge a bit more when I saw Rodney in his pajamdras. I hate it how Rodney never gets dressed during the week-ends.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Van crammers

I hate having six clients in my group.

Our vans at CIWP are made to hold eight people. With a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of clients of coaches, this means a van can have a maximum of two coaches and six clients. And recently they've been taking my group to our maximum.

The thing is, when every seat needs to be taken, clients don't always get in the right seat (the first empty seat counting from the left of the van). And when they get in the wrong seat, someone tells them to scxxt over.

We've been combining my group (with Jolene, Ken and me, La Netta being the coach) with Kay's group (Ayyoon Saechao, Sayun Saephan and often a third client such as Lisa Romero) the last few days. I hate it. We have six clients and I have to make absolutely sure the coaches don't tell them, "Scxxt over, Sayun" or "Scxxt over, Jolene".

La Netta made it known to Kulwinder Kaur, a Sikh girl who organizes groups, that I don't like the large groups. Kulwinder only told her, "Last Friday, James was in a van with five clients, and he had a good day".

Well, I just got lucky that day! No one told anyone to scxxt over. And sometimes they're putting me with six clients instead of five, and that gives us even less freedom of where to sit and an even greater likelihood of hearing the SC-word.

Case in point: One day when La Netta didn't come, I came out to be told by Kay that our group would have six clients that day because of all the coaches who were absent. Ken, Jolene, Robert, Rovaughn and Shawntay were all in the group with me. I fretted: "But someone's going to tell someone to do the SC-word over". Kay said: "It will probably get said" and also said "That phrase is native to this area". The phrase "scxxt over", originating in the Bay Area? Who would ever have thunk it?

Well, on that same day, as we were getting Jolene (who uses a walker and a wheelchair) into the van during pick-ups, Kay said, "Oh dear, it's so hard fot Jolene to scxxt over".

"Rrrrrrrrrr!," I instantly responded.

Kay said she was so sorry for slipping up and wished she could take the word back. I would have to go purge somewhere.

Later the same day, when we were trying to get Robert Bradley into the van, Kay slipped up again. "Scxxt over, Robert."

Another problem with groups of six clients is that sometimes people will try to hold two conversations at the same time. I have to use 100% of my brain to listen in on both conversations and make sure they're not saying any of the words. If the radio's playing too, I have to listen even harder, especially if it's a station that plays songs I don't know. Too many different words to listen to at the same time and I shout, "My head is going to explode!"

Well, La Netta told me she spoke to Lita Guerrero, the woman who runs CIWP. She says she'll try to put five clients in my van instead of six.

Now, how to solve ELF + ELF = FOOL.

I started to explain this to La Netta but she didn't seem to understand the principles behind word arithmetic. To explain it to her, I devised a simpler problem: AS + AS = SO, and explained to her that it meant 12 + 12 = 24. I told her that you plug in values for the S, and that all S's mean the same digit. I had her plug in 3 and 8 for S and try them out, then I told her to plug in 2 for S. From that, she could figure out that O = 4, and then I had her tell me what A equaled.

La Netta didn't understand that each letter "coded" a single numeral, so I explained to her how cryptograms work. I told her they have a Decodaquote in the comics section of the newspaper. I made up a sentence for her, DJI UIXLID DP UVXXIUU CU QYPZCYA ZJIY DP UDPF. I had La Netta solve it, giving her the pattern word "UVXXIUU" for free as a starter. I clapped after she had solved the cryptogram.

Now that she understood that each letter coded one numeral, she could figure out that the A's in AS and AS were 1's. I was ready to explain to her the way I solved ELF + ELF = FOOL.

To begin with, I noticed that two three-letter words (the ELF's) added up to a four-letter word. If a three-digit number added to another three-digit number yields a four-digit number, the thousands place must be a 1. No two three-digit numbers can add up to 2,000; even 999 + 999 can only equal 1,998. But it must be over 1,000, since there are four digits. Hence, the F in FOOL equals 1.

That means the F's at the end of the ELF's are 1's too. Add F to F (1 + 1) at the ones place, and the sum will be something ending in 2. Therefore, the L is FOOL is a 2.

If the L in FOOL is a 2, that means the L's in the ELF's must be as well. Adding _21 + _21 gives us something ending in 42, so the second O in FOOL must be a 4.

If the second O in FOOL is a 4, then so is the first O. The sum, therefore is 1,442. We now have _21 + _21 = 1,442. And the blanks are both E's. I had La Netta figure out what 1,442 divided by 2 is.

Now, La Netta's the kind of person who forgets things she's studied in school, but she hadn't forgotten how to do long eivision. She divided 2 into 1,442 and got 721. "Now, what does the E in ELF equal?"

"70, I mean 7".

721 + 721 = 1,442. And La Netta now understood how to solve it.

She said that Jeremiah's math tutor, Miss Hilton, went over the problem with him and got a different answer. Jeremiah had asked La Netta, "Is James the smart guy at your program?" La Netta said yes. La Netta explained to me that Jeremiah had, "I can't wait to tell Miss Hilton!" La Netta, Jolene and I all clapped and laughed at what she had told us Jeremiah had said.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting bugged by specks

I was sitting in the back seat of our van with Kay (a coach at CIWP). La Netta and the gang (Ken, Jolene and Sayun) were going into Party City to look at the Halloween stuff. Since the Halloween stuff would make me purge I was staying in the van with the other coach.

I noticed a black speck on the back of my left thumb. It looked like a particle of dead dipser. "What's this on my thumb?" I asked Kay.

Kay said she didn't have her glasses on and would need to look closely. "The red bruise, or the tiny black mark?"

"The black mark."

She moved my hand to where the light was shining in and took a look. She said it looked like some place my hand was cut.

She offered to get me some paper. Kay went to the back, and got out a paper towel.

I stepped outside too, and Kay looked at it again, this time in the sunlight unhampered by being inside the van. She still couldn't tell. I rubbed it with the paper towel and the "bug" came off. I asked her if it could be a dead bug. She said she really didn't know what it was.

La Netta came over and Kay and I told her about the black thing. La Netta suggested, as she usually does, that it was something that came out of my nails (my nails are filled with a greyish pencil-eraser-like substance), but Kay and I knew it was the wrong color. I told La Netta that I would have to wash the back of the thumb.

I hopped in the back of the van as we drove off with McDonald's on our schedule. I really hoped that it wasn't a piece of dead dipser. I couldn't put my seatbelt on, having to hold my left thumb out. Luckily, neither of the coaches noticed that my belt was off.

Kay, La Netta, Sayun and Ken stopped at a burrito truck, which turned out to be way too expensive for them -- $8 for a burrito. They went back into the van, no one having bought a burrito, and drove to McDonald's.

I entered Mickey D's and walked into the restroom. There was a janitor there and the floor was wet. I pulled a paper towel out of the McDonald's restroom and pressed the liquid soap dispenser until pink soap covered a bit of the towel. I ran the water on the soap and rubbed the soaped part against my thumb. There weren't enough bubbles.

I waited until a man had left the stall and threw the first paper towel into the toilet. Then I got a second paper towel out of the dispenser and covered it with even more soap. I wetted it again.

This made bubbles. The back of my thumb was white and bubbly. Now I could throw the paper towel in the toilet (there were no wastebaskets in the restroom), wash my thumb off and scrape with an empty Risperdal container (and then flush it down the john). But while I was throwing it away, I heard what sounded like the I-word.

Then the conversation inside McDonald's went on and they definitely said the I-word. Then they said it a third time. They were talking about ordering their ice xxxxx. Someone even said "vanilla".

I started to purge. "Adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam", I chanted. Somehow I just couldn't capture the right "feeling" so I purged some more. Before I knew it La Netta and the gang were leaving McDonald's.

I purged in the back of the van and right up to our lunch site, a park called Kennedy Grove. I buttoned up and asked La Netta to show me to way to the restroom. She had to help Jolene on her walker and Kay was busy with papers in the van.

La Netta told me to just follow the gravelly path. I made it to the restroom, but by then people had said "nice" and "I said" and other things that have the word "ice" in them, so I had to think "cie, mearc cie" and do an "adolice, adolice cradoleam" on each of them before getting to my main thrusts.

My mind thought the I-word over and over and I had to do some more purging of the "rubble-clearing" type before I could get to purging off the I-words in McDonald's. Before I knew it La Netta and Jolene were walking up. The sound of Jolene's walker alerted me that she was coming to change her diaper after lunch. I still kept on purging.

Finally I could get to the main thrusts. I felt the taste of that disgusting dessert as I said "adolice cradoleam" and made skidding thrusts across my groin. I needed to get just the right sensation in my brain to make sure I was purging off the same I-words I had heard.

It took a while for Jolene to dry off from an accident, but finally Jolene was ready and La Netta said we could go. I was still working on purging the I-words off, so I told La Netta I wasn't ready yet. Somehow I got inspired, and made some thrusts that felt "just right".

At last I was free of the I-word being inside my body. For now. As we walked back to the van, La Netta gave me a word arithmetic puzzle her 10-year-old son Jeremiah had to solve for math class: ELF + ELF = FOOL. Each letter coded a different numeral. It took a while, but I finally noticed something that helped me solve it. Ken said "Wow!" once I told La Netta the answer.

I'm not going to tell right now you what equation "ELF + ELF = FOOL" is, so you can figure it out for yourself. I'll tell you in the next entry.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I scream about ice xxxxx

Jason Morgan has got to stop making me purge with the I-word.

Jason is a boy at my group home. He walks around saying, "Ice xxxxx, ice xxxxx". I don't know if he knows it makes me purge, but Jason and I aren't friends, so if I told him he'd probably say it even more.

One day I thought I heard Jason saying the I-word in his distinctive, stammering, guttural voice outside my door. So I got out of bed, put my sunglasses on and walked out my door, and there he was in the hallway. He said, "Ice xxxxx cone, ice xxxxx truck. Ice xxxxx cone, ice xxxxx truck".

Jason actually moved to another group home last October. But then he got into a fight with somebody there, so they moved him back here, where I have more I-words to contend with.

Jason just had his birthday party because he was born on September 9 (September 9, 1979 in fact, one day after me), and he wanted ice xxxxx. This caused quite a problem in my group home, with all the purging Jason made me do talking about it.

Jason also steals my stuff, and he plays his rap music with his door open where I can hear all the words (when I try to close his door, he stands in front of it to keep it open). But at least we could do something about the way I hear the I-word and have to purge and purge.

28 going on 29

On Saturday, September 8, I had lived longer than Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison.

I turned 28.

Now, for someone having his birthday, this was surprisingly low-key. In fact, on September 8, not much went on at all. I just sat around my room in the dark. I was even afraid to go on the computer, lest I ruin my birthday by seeing words on the Internet that would make me purge.

Stan, the caretaker at my group home, asked what I wanted for my birthday. Not being fond of cakes with frosting, I requested a pineapple upside-down cake. For asked what I wanted to "wash it down", I decided that I would like cranberry juice. Stan told me that he would bring me the cake on the tenth. When September 10 came, Stan told me that he would bring in the cake on the twelfth. Then on September 12, Stan said that they had "mxssed up our order". He asked if I could bring it in on the fourteenth, and I said yes. Today my pineapple upside-down cake finally arrived.

With it was some cranberry juice. Stan had asked what brand of cranberry juice I wanted exactly. I'm not up on all the different kinds of cranberry juice out there, so I just said the only brand name I could think of: Ocean Spray. Sure enough, I got some Ocean Spray today.

But what I really wanted for my twenty-eighth birthday was to see Lamesha. Lamesha is the best group home staff who ever lived. An African-American woman with wavy hair and a nose ring started working as an employee in my group home in November of 2005, and she instantly took a liking to me after seeing how the other staff members "were avoiding" me, just giving me by burrito and my pill and then leaving the room. On December 9, 2005, we officially became friends. When I had had a fight with La Netta, Lamesha rubbed my back. For Christmas of 2005, Lamesha got me my little red radio, the one I treasure to this day. When my towel came up missing, Lamesha foune it. When the lines were too long to go into See's Chocolates on Good Friday on 2006, Lamesha drove me to See's. She took me to the Gap when I needed some new khakis. And after every shower I took, Lamesha and I would celebrate my being clean again by hugging.

Then in November of 2006, Lamesha got a job as a bus driver. She worked as both a bus driver and a group home worker. In December, Lamesha told me that she would not be working at my group home anymore. She could not get enough sleep driving a bus and "baby-sitting" clients in a group home fulltime. She also said it was illegal to drive a bus if you have not had at least eight hours of sleep. She said she would still come over every Saturday, however.

Saturday came and Lamesha did not come over. Then on Monday, December 18, Lamesha's aunt Lorraine (who also worked as staff) handed me the phone and Lamesha was on. She told me she would come over on Saturday. Then on Thursday, Stan told me that my parents wanted me home for Christmas on the week-end. I told Stan that I did not want to go see my family because Lamesha would be coming over. Later that day Stan said that he hated to break the bad news, but Lamesha would not be coming after all. I was I bit sad, until Lorraine told me that Lamesha had called her and said that Stan was not allowing Lamesha and me to see each other anymore. Lamesha also said that Stan had asked her to lie and say she had to visit a sick relative. On Christmas, Lamesha called me herself. I was delighted to speak to her. She said herself that Stan had told her to lie. Shortly afterwards the radio that she had given me disappeared into nowhere. Stan adamantly denied throwing my radio away and insisted that he was not forbidding Lamesha from seeing me. Stan's wife Pia also told me that what I had heard from Lorraine was all wrong.

Then on January 25, Stan showed me my radio on top of my bed. My beloved radio had been found again! The next morning, Lorraine told me that Stan was inviting Lamesha to work here again. In the next few days, it was refined into Lamesha would be working here after she got married (Lamesha had divorced a philandering husband and was remarrying) on February 17. On February 18, Lorraine told me that the newlyweds were honeymooning. But months passed and Lamesha never did come back. I kept the dates of all the showers I took recorded so that we could hug them all off when we met again.

Then one day in early June I was talking about how Lamesha had had her first child at 19 with La Netta and Rosa (another CIWP driver) as we wended our way home in the van. We made it to my house, and there was Lamesha for me! We hugged, and then had another hug for the first anniversary of our friendship. Lamesha couldn't stay long, but she did manage to get in that her job was exhausting her and that she was soon to move near me.

I continue to jot down the dates of my showers. Although I miss her back rubs, I know Lamesha will be visiting regularly again one day. If only it could be on my birthday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Party at Davis Park

Today we held a birthday party at Davis Park in the San Pablo/Richmond area. Ken's birthday is today, my birthday was September 8, and Jolene's is August 24, so La Netta and I wanted to hold a joint birthday party to celebrate these dates.

The sky was clear on September 11, just as it had been at the date of the terrorist attack six years ago today. Luckily for us, there were no repeat attacks today and nowhere was closed down. I still harbor resentment for the attack for the way it drove certain people (but no one in my CIWP group) to "get behind" Shrubbleyou that day. For more of my thoughts on 9/11, see

We were supposed to spend our $20 of van allotment money on Taco Bell, but they changef their mind to wanting pizza at the last moment. I still wanted Taco Bell, so we spent our money on pizza for La Netta, Ken and Jolene and Taco Bell for me.

La Netta drove home and got a table cover from her house to put over the table in Davis Park. It had the four Houses from Harry Potter on it. She put it over the table to keep me from getting the bugs and guano on the table under my tacos and stuff. I squatted on the bench as I ate my food.

I watched Jolene tear into the pizza. That woman is perpetually saying she is hungry. The first thing you need to know about Jolene is that she loves food. She'll say "I'm hungry" and "I'm thirsty" before lunchtime and even after lunchtime. She tries to eat her lunch before lunchtime, but La Netta usually foils her attempts. Sometimes she sneaks other people's doughnut/tea/burrito/soda while they're not looking and eats or drinks it. And she's often saying "I loooooove tacos" or "Pizza's my favorite".

I ate four hard-shell tacos, a spicy chicken burrito, a bag with four quesadillas stuck together and a chicken chalupa. It was the most I had ever ordered from Taco Bell. With Ken, Jolene and La Netta sitting by me, I was so glad to be with my friends.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The anatomy of a purge

WARNING: Graphic post ahead

Today I'm going to exposit exactly what goes on when I do the ritual known as "purging".

Purging is induced when I hear one of those nasty words that disgusts me so, or when I read one of those words, or when I see certain objects (like plastic silverware or cobwxbs).

The first thing I do before I purge is unbutton my pants. That way I can give myself some room to move by hands about in there without popping my button off.

I think the offending word backwards to myself. For instance, if the word that made me have to purge was "scxxt", I think "toocs" to myself. With "keep an exe on", I think "nah i na peek". I think it until I've gotten it just right (by saying it backwards with the exact same voice and tone as I originally heard it, or the same voice and tone I imagined it having when I read it to myself).

I then move my nails over my groin. Usually the index finge of the left hand goes to the left of my scrotum and the index finge of my right hand goes to the right of my scrotum. My thumbs are placed so that their nails reach the region just between the scrotum and the groin.

I then thrust my nails to the left, or to the right, or around. Theoretically, most words only require me to do this part once, but it usually takes a few times before it feels right.

While I am doing the thrusting, I repeat the word in a "killed" or "broken" form. This is usually the word with an -adol- added before the main vowel, so that "scxxt" becomes "scadoloot", "bxny" becomes "badolony", "yxk" becomes "yadoluk", "wxry" becomes "wadolary" and "ice xxxxx" (a two-worder) becomes "adolice cradoleam". However, just as English has some irregular nouns and irregular verbs, some irregular forms have evolved, such as "pajamdras". With objects that make me purge, I say the name of the object broken/killed (like "fadorork" for a plastic frok). I say this form each time I do the thrust.

Then I do a pair of twin thrusts to wrap it up. I get just the right mood to kill the original word in the original way it was said (or read), and make sure that the taste of the word is felt when I do the finale so I can feel it coming out of my body. I do a first thrust at the groin, then a second thrust that starts at the groin (which is when I say the killed form of the word) and then moves up over my intestines, my stomach, my esophagus and my throat and comes out my mouth. The word is then finally out of my body.

Some words have special rituals.

With "mxss", I have to do four regular thrusts that "get it right" (which is difficult, so this word takes a long time), and then do two thrusts together with both my hands on one side of my penis, all the while saying "madoless". Then I have to do another "madoless" with one nail at my rectum and the other hand making a sweeping move across the top of my scrotum that swerves and "scoops it up". Then I have to repeat that "madoless" while coming out of my mouth.

For the word "txsty", I have to do something twice for an equivalent of the twin thrusts. The first time I do it, I have to do six "tadolasty"s in the center and a seventh one that perfectly captures the word. Then I have to do four "tadolasty" thrusts at the left and four "tadolasty" thrusts at the right, then another four thrusts at the left and the corresponding four thrusts at the right. Then I do a "tadolasty" that perfectly captures the word with its taste, then an "adolice cradoleam". I then repeat that procedure a second time, except with the final "tadolasty" thrust and the "adolice cradoleam" thrust at the end both coming up over my intestines, stomach, estophagus, throat and mouth.

I have to do the word "scxxt" standing up. If there is a prepositional adverb after it, I have to think backwards and say the whole phrase as I do it, such as "revo toocs" or "puh toocs", and "scadoloot over" or "scadoloot up".

With the word "drxp", I have to do ninety thrusts.

Instead of going into my groin, the word "sh-p" (as in sh-pping and handling) goes into my navel. This started when I read in Pinocchio that the shxp was inside Monstro the Whale's belly, which I took to mean the belly-button. I got a similar feeling in my navel one day as my second-grade class was watching a bicycle maintenance video, and had to get the word "bxke" out of my navel. Other words that rhyme with "like" go into my navel too, such as "txke", "yxkes" and "Sxkes" (I don't enjoy Oliver! for that reason).

And if I think the offending word forward while I'm going my purging, I have to think it backward again and do another thrust for that word, while saying the killed form of that word.

Well, there you go. That's what happens when I purge. If you should ever see a twentysomething with a turtleneck and a beard and sunglasses standing up in a bathroom stall with his hands moving around over his pubic area, you'll know what's going on.

Tomorrow: My birthday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How about "watch"?

I heard the K & E words today. I had to purge becaose La Netta told me to keep an exe on her food.

La Netta, Jolene, Ken and I were in the conference room at the CIWP office. The office was full of people. Jolene announced that she had to go to the restroom. Now, Jolene wears a diaper and can go into a restroom to change her diaper at any time, but La Netta doesn't like it when Jolene "uses it on" herself, i.e. when she defecates or urinates in her diaper. For that reason, I thought La Netta would be very glad Jolene wanted to walk up to the restroom in her walker. But La Netta told Jolene that the office was full of people and that if they went outside the conference room there would be too many people perambulating the halls. But Jolene wouldn't be able to hold it in for very long, so La Netta was finally convinced to take her out.

La Netta walked at Jolene's side and held the door open for that woman with the walker as she exited the room. As she was leaving, she said, "James, can you keep an exe on my lunch?"

Immediately, I emitted an "Ewwww!" She knew instantly by the "ewwww" and by the way my face twisted up and my body jumped that I had heard something to disgust me. It took La Netta a split second to figure out that it was the K & E words.

Whenever I hear someone say "keep an exe on", I picture somebody's left exeball or right exeball being pushed farther outward from the socket and dangling from it, moving outward towards an object being watched. I get this nasty, slimy feeling and a gummy taste in my body.

La Netta asked, "Do you need to go to the bathroom too?" She knows about the purging. I said, "Yes, La Netta". She asked, "Ken, will you watch my food?" Ken said, "I'll watch it for ya". As Ken stood there to make sure no one took La Netta's lunch, I walked out of the room, with Jolene manipulating her walker behind me and La Netta accompanying Jolene.

I then went into the men's restroom while Jolene and La Netta continued towards the women's. I locked the door to make sure I didn't have a second person come in and say, "Whxxps, sorry" while I was in there (the men's restroom can hold only one person at a time, while the women's has stalls and toilets and sinks for plenty of people -- gender discrimination at CIWP). I unbuttoned my khakis.

My hands went onto my groin, my solid nails scraping against my golden skin and upward over my navel, chest and neck. "Adolye, adolye, adolye", I chanted.

Then I shaped my hands into C shapes so that my index nails were right against my pelvis. I gave sharp punctures to my skin as I chanted "adolye, adolye". After I had judged seven of those punctures to be jolting enough, I started chanting "keep an adolye on, keep an adolye on". I made sure to give the puncture to my skin right at the "adolye".

Finally I thought, keep an adolye on as I did an "adolye" at my groin and a second "adolye" right up my body and up to my mouth. Then I said, "keep an adolye on", puncturing my groin at the "adolye" and then said "keep an adolye on" as I punctured my groin and moved the index nails and thumbnails of my two hands right over my abdomen, chest, neck, chin and lower lip. The "keep an exe on" finally came out of my intestines and stomach and out through my mouth. It would not be inside me to bother me anymore.

I buttoned my pants and zipped up. At last I was free as I exited the restroom. La Netta was there for me. She explained that she just wanted someone to watch her lunch so no one stole it while she was away from the conference room.

Why couldn't she have just said "watch"?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Paralyzed Into Dance: A new blog

It seems blogs are being advertised everywhere nowadays. There are the political blogs, ranging from libertarian to socialist to neocon to anarcho-syndicalist. You have the fannish blogs, for Star Wars or a certain anime or for a cult movie like Fight Club. Then you have the blogs of businesses, with company updates. And then you have the angst-filled blogs of miserable teens, embellished by their own wrist-slicing poetry. You have blogs of people suffering from bipolar disorder or anorexia, with reflections on their day-to-day struggle. It seems that every time you do a Google search or read the signatures on an Internet forum, there are links to blogs.

But I have never seen a blog about obsessive-compulsive disorder.

To give people an idea of what it's like to have OCD, I decided to fill this gap in the Net. I have had OCD since I was 6, and since I was 8 it has become stronger. I'm 27 now. That means I have spent more than three quarters of my life with this condition.

Some more about me, to introduce myself to readers:
  • I go to a program called CIWP (or Community-integrated Work Program). It picks disabled people up from their homes and takes them to places like Trader Joe's, Wal-mart, local parks, Marshall's, The Dollar Tree, the African-American History Museum, etc. La Netta Crater, who injured her back in three separate accidents, is my van driver, and I have the wonderful Jolene Kalash and Ken Davis as fellow clients in my group.
  • I have a compulsion called "purging". I have a severe reaction to certain words, where if I think a word is gross or nasty, I will feel as if I have swallowed it, and have to get it out of my body. To do this, I have to scrape my nails down across my groin, then move them upward over my stomach and up out my mouth.
  • Then there are the numbers. I have to do certain things, like scratch a certain spot on my body, either once, twice, 12 times, 13 times, 16 times, 17 times, or 45 or more times. If I've made three spits into a wastebasket, I be sure to have ten more.
  • I've disliked pajamdras for as long as I can remember. To me they look natty, mxssy and ugly. I am a big fan of boxer shorts and wear them at night. At first I only avoided clothes with pictures or words on them, such as T-shirts with writing or shirts that had little alligators on them, but then I started avoiding polo shirts because they were too preppy (something that has nothing to do with my OCD) and now I only wear turtlenecks, khakis, black New Balance shoes and sunglasses. Since other people's clothes contaminate the washer and drier when they're sitting in there, I don't like washing clothes in other people's washing machines. I'd like to buy my own washing machine that only I can use, but I don't have one yet. If I use a washing machine that's been shared, I have to scrape it out with sharp edges (Crystal Geyser Juice Squeeze cardboard cartons are useful for this). Once something has been used to scrape a washer or drier, it is nonreusable. However, I can safely touch the edges of it without getting contaminated. It's hard to find enough sharp edges, plus scraping every edge is an arduous task, so I wash clothes infrequently. I've solved this by wearing clothes as many consecutive days as possible.
  • I can't stand dipsers and cobwxbs. I think it was 6 when I first got the idea that dipsers were nasty, untouchable creatures. When I find something on my hand that could be a particle of dead dipser, I have to wash the particle off, then wash the contaminated region with a Kleenex or toilet paper topped with liquid soap and water (I avoid using bar soap on these so I won't contaminate the bar for future uses) until the soap has bubbled and all the cells of dead bug have been deterged. Then I have to scrape the region of skin with a sharp edge (like the edge of a plastic food box), and throw the sharp-edged object away so the contamination transferred to the edge won't spread if someone ever touches it again. I also keep all the opened food in my room sealed up in Ziploc bags so no bugs will crawl in.
  • I'm a Virgo (the perfect sign for someone with OCD).
  • I was born in Palo Alto, in the Stanford Hospital, after my mother had had pizza with hot sauce that made me kick around. I came out 8.5 months after conception with a single artery in my umbilical cord.
  • I went to junior high and high school in Moraga, the home of St. Mary's College of California. This suburb has conservative Boomer parents who raise angsty, alternative-listening teens who get into showdowns with the police. The teens with hang out with their skateboards, and the pigs will confiscate them, interrogate the teens, ask them to leave stores and in general look out for somebody young. The popular hangout for skaters, goths, trendies, slackers, hip-hoppers and other assorted young types is Rheem Valley, with a variety of stores and shopkeepers of many ethnic backgrounds.
  • I now live in a group home for the disabled in San Pablo, which is still in California. The largest ethnic group in San Pablo is the Hispanics, and this is a region of Contra Costa County quite different from Moraga. There are so many African-Americans around here, which were a rare thing in Moraga. Rap and gospel and R&B play from the radios, and it seems the people here have never heard of grunge or Kurt Cobain. Living in here has been like living in a foreign country to me. I have had to get used to such unfamiliar sites as "Church's Chicken" and "Hometown Buffet".
  • I have a Jewish surname.
  • I don't drink milk or soda, only juice (Crystal Geyser Juice Squeeze, which is my staple, grape juice, pomegranate juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and Hawaiian punch).
  • When I look at the clock and the clock says 12:42, 1:42, 2:42 or whatever, or if it says 12:43, 1:43, 2:43 or whatever, I have to look at it for the whole duration of 12:44, 1:44, 2:44 or whatever, then for the whole duration of 12:45, 1:45, 2:45 or whatever, and can stop looking when the clock reaches 12:46 or 1:46 or 2:46 or whatever.
  • I don't do the holidays. I don't buy people gifts (OK, well, except for Lamesha, the best group home staff who ever lived). O can't stand Halloween (due to some of its symbols), and don't stand at the door to pass things out to trick-or-treaters. At Thanksgiving I eat things like granola (with orange zest in it!) and burritos. I'm too unpatriotic to celebrate the Fourth of July, and I have no one to love (I don't celebrate Valentine's Day). The one exception is Easter (I love collecting chocolate eggs and then eating them all).
  • I love Mexican food! I also love lasagna, ravioli, frozen pizza, manicotti, Chinese food, sushi, quiche, cashews, almost any kind of fish (but not tuna), grapes, dates and figs.
  • I am bisexual.
  • I enjoy alternative music, such as Nirvana, Green Day, Eve 6, Fastball, Smashmouth, Hole, Blue October, Nickelback, KT Tunstall, Avril Lavigne, Evanescence and Harvey Danger. I even do my hair like Kurt Cobain's.
  • I have a little red radio that Lamesha got me Christmas of 2005. I liked Lamesha's gift instantly and now fret if it disappears. The radio has come up missing twice, but both times it was ultimately found again. It came with headphones, which are now missing. The radio says "Are you gellin'?" on it; ever seen one of those?

Since people's gender is ambiguous online and the name "Enzingiyi" doesn't tell you anything, I should probably tell you that I'm male. Up to now, this reads as if it could be a boy's blog or a girl's blog, and since I'm bisexual I might comment on people of both genders who are hot, so I should probably tell youright now.

Tomorrow the holiday of Labor Day is over so I'm back to CIWP again. I'll probably have a story to tell you, as we'll see what happens then. My life is so painful, trapped under blankets of rituals every day, that I wanted to share it with everyone. Some people say, "People with OCD can just forget it. Their life isn't hard. People who are blind or quadriplegic have really hard lives. OCD is not hard". I say they're wrong. Sometimes these people make me wonder whether they have ever known somebody they knew to have OCD. OCD is not something you can just turn on when it's convenient, then turn it back off again. I hope that by posting to Paralyzed Into Dance, I can give people insights and fill what has thus far been an untaken niche in blogging.