Wake up. Put on slippers. Don’t touch the floor with my feet. Not even my socks. Close the bathroom door behind me. Pick up the soap. Start washing my hands. Not enough soap. Not enough. Not enough. Rub harder. Keep rubbing. Sing Happy Birthday four times. No less. I think I missed one. I can’t be sure that I didn’t skip one time. Start over. Start over. This time I can’t lose count. I won’t. I absolutely won’t. Sing Happy Birthday four times. Just four. No doubles. No starting over. Come on, Come on. Don’t give in. Finally, done. Take out retainers. Brush my teeth. Keep Brushing. Just a little longer. Don’t drop my toothbrush. Be careful, Be careful. Spit in the sink. Get a drink of water. Don’t touch the faucet with my mouth, don’t touch it with my hands, don’t touch the sink, don’t touch anything. Careful, careful, I can’t mess up. Use the toilet. Wash my hands again. Try not to lose count this time. I can’t lose count this time. Sing four Happy Birthday’s. Shit, I might have skipped one. I didn’t skip one, I know I didn’t skip one. Come on, you don’t have to do it again. Listen fucking brain, dam it just listen. I don’t have to wash my hands again. Yes I do. Yes I do. I have to wash again; I have to start over. I can’t lose count again, please don’t let me lose count. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear someone, happy birthday to you. Four times, just four times. No more, no less and then I’ll be done. Finished. Step out of the bathroom. Get dressed carefully. Don’t touch my socks, don’t touch my feet, don’t drop anything on the ground. I can’t drop anything on the ground. My socks aren’t clean enough. Put on new ones. Careful, careful, don’t touch my feet. Brush my hair, put on my glasses, walk down stairs. Cereal. Don’t touch the inside of my bowl, pour the cereal, get out the milk, check the expiration date. Check the newspaper. It’s not expired. Check again. Check again. It’s not expired. Pour the milk. Eat. The tiger begins to chew, at the corners of my eyes, at my mouth, at my shoulders, at my throat, at my arms. Have to tic. Have to tic. My eyes roll up, my neck jerks up, to the right, to the left. I pop my solders in and out. Wiggle my mouth. Pull my arms in hard, again and again and again and again. I start squeaking, yes like a mouse. Yes, this is my morning. Yes this is how I start my day, not just once a week, not just twice a week, but every single day of every single week of every single month. This is not me, this is my faulty neurotransmitters, and every day I declare war against it. I tic, I obsess, and yes the things I do look pretty funny sometimes, but even though Tourette's and OCD can sometime control my mind and my body, I don’t let them control me.