Counting Fruit Loops

I have O.C.D; I’m a ‘counter’. It’s not a major case, and it doesn’t affect how I live my life, but I’ve had it since I was a little kid. Basically, when I eat things with a high number of pieces (cereal, vegetables, fries, candy, etc.), I make sure I have 4 bunches of 4 at the end, and then will eat those 1 bunch at a time. Then, when I get to the last sacred group of 4 (usually the best, or longest) I eat those 4-3-2-1. Perfection! In some cases colour is also an important variable during my sorting, especially M&M’s and Fruit Loops. I preferred to perform this ritual whenever possible, but if I was at a public place where it would be strategically illogical to do so, like in a car, I didn’t bother. Like I said – it didn’t rule my life. Not very many people ever noticed (not even my parents), until I was 19, that is.

There were a bunch of us hanging out in the common area of our residence. We were stoned and had the munchies, the usual mid-week scenario. The easiest cure for this side effect was cereal, with or without milk, depending on availability. We went through it like water, but it was still cheaper than ordering a pizza every time we got high. I also seemed to find my ritual even more gratifying when I was on drugs. One of the guys in our circle of dysfunctional friends was freakishly intelligent and apparently abnormally observant as well, for a male, anyway. Usually, men hardly ever notice life’s little details. During this particular instance, I had whittled my collection down to my ‘special final 4’ Fruit Loops and this guy reached over into my bowl and TOOK THREE!

“Um, what are you doing? Put those back, please.”

He was grinning from ear to ear, “Why? You NEEEED them for something?”

He then proceeded to let out an evil laugh, as he knew he had discovered something about me that no one else knew. He seemed pretty damn proud of himself. He then shoved those 3 in his mouth and concluded with, “Mmmmmmm!” I was tremendously annoyed with him, and inexplicably turned on at the same time. He continued to torture me about this over the next couple years. If he had fries, he would purposely offer me only 3, and withheld the 4th from me, just so he could watch me squirm. He also enjoyed pointing out my O.C.D. to others, to his immense amusement. It really got under my skin. What can I say? I fell in love with that smartass.

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