"BRAIN SCAN" by JTK.CA
Copyright © JONATHAN TAD KETCHEN
I have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) to the point of being on Disability pensions for it. The nice thing about not having to work anymore is I'm not bound to a schedule. I make up my life as I go along. The downside is also, "I'm not bound to a schedule," so there is a rather haphazard and chaotic rhythm to my days and nights. I probably sleep over eight hours per 24 hour period. I just don't do it all at once. I sleep for a few hours, do internet for a few hours, sleep for another few hours, watch TV for a few hours, sleep for a few hours, etc. I only eat an average of one meal a day because even making a microwave dinner is a big production with OCD.
Lots of hand washing is one of my OCD symptoms. I now wash my hands with moist towelettes, but when I used to use soap and water for all my hand washing, the repeated washings made my hands really raw. The moist towellettes are a great solution for me. They've not reduced my hand washing; but they do not hurt my hands like too many soap and water hand washings used to. A canister of wet wipes accompanies me wherever I go; no I don't have a baby--OCD is enough for me to deal with. I like to joke that I keep the moist towelette industry in business.
Another OCD ritual I have is whenever I'm out and about town and I put something into or take something out of my pocket, I have to walk a few steps away and then look back to where I was standing, to make sure nothing fell out of my pocket. Pockets are not really a problem when I'm at home because I am a home nudist.
When I worked, before I got the Disability pensions, my bosses were always amazed at the quality of my work but rather miffed with the quantity. I would spend so much time doing some things perfectly that a lot of the things on my "to do" list were suffering. I often take at least 3 times longer to do things than the average person. My last two jobs each lasted two years, and my employers were very accommodating of my OCD; but after two years, they could no longer afford to keep giving me raises and cutting me slack. I decided to stop torturing myself and get the help I needed, so I got the federal (Canada) and provincial (Ontario) Disability pensions for my OCD.
I've told you a couple of my OCD symptoms, but I have many more. I beat myself up psychologically about the OCD a lot less than I used to. My attitude is that God made my brain work the way it does for a reason. I suspect that I would not have my poetic, artisitic, and photographic creative passions without my OCD. Mediocrity makes me cringe. I either do something perfectly or not at all. I cannot figure out why people want to do something without doing the very best job possible. The downside is that there ends up being a lot of mediocrity in my life in all the things that I put off into infinity, because the thought of doing them perfectly exhausts me. As a result, I don't start. And if I do start, I rarely finish the project in the same session. I have a short attention span. And speaking of short attention spans, I am a slow reader with a short attention span, so I often give up half-way through a magazine or newspaper article, even if I'm interested in the content. It amazes me that I actually finished reading the novels I was assigned in junior high. Let's see, since grade 8, I think I have only finished reading ONE novel. I've started plenty, but I usually would get half-way through, or less, and then rent the movie. I would also figure out the rest of the story by paying attention to class discussion. I would throw in a comment here or there as a tangent to what someone else said, giving the illusion that I had actually read my homework. The ONE novel I finished in university was "THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN" by Mark Twain. The reason I finished it was out of guilt because the professor of the class asked, "Tad, have you done any of the reading assignments I've given you." I uncomfortably answered, "Very little." I promised him I would finish HUCK FINN and I actually did it, as long and tortuous an ordeal as that was. It's ironic that I am a prolific writer who hardly ever reads. I've written over 700 poems, and I've read and proofread them many times. But I've read very little of other authors. I read bits and pieces of things until my attention span wanes and I'm off to some other mental adventure. Even though writing poetry is my main creative outlet, there are very few poets I like. Most of them write unintelligible drivel. I think they get published because of the publisher's ego. The publisher believes himself to be brilliant, so when he reads the poet's work and cannot understand it, he comes to the conclusion, "I am brilliant, and I cannot understand this. Therefore, this poet must be phenomenal. Let's publish him." Brian Patten, a British poet, is about the only poet I like. I love his work, because I can understand him; my mother even sees a lot of similarities between his poetry and mine. I bought extra copies of "STORM DAMAGE" by Brian Patten and gave them to friends. It's such an awesome book of poetry. I also think several singer/songwriters, like Suzanne Vega, Bruce Cockburn, Michael Card, and Robert Smith (of The Cure), are great poets, although singer/songwriters are generally not found in the "Poetry" section of your bookstore. My favourite prose writer is Kathleen Norris because of her lyrically brilliant book, "DAKOTA: A Spiritual Geography"; even though I never finished the book, I thoroughly enjoyed every word I read. One nice thing about it is you can jump around and read chapters in no particular order, because each section is an independent thoughtscape from each other section. Several short, independent stories, is what my short attention span likes. That's why my website http://NudistPoet.com contains hundreds of my poems, four of my stories, and zero of my novels.
Guelph (pronounced "Gwelf"), Ontario, Canada, eh?
JONATHAN TAD KETCHEN
Artist, Poet, Photographer, and Nude Model
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