Time This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 7, 2007
Every morning I wake up to the normal sun shooting through the left window, blinding me as I try to open my eyes. My dog, Donald, barks up a storm. He insists that every morning at exactly 7:04, he has to go outside. It really is starting to push my buttons. Can’t that damn dog just take a rest?

After I go outside for exactly 2.5 minutes, I realize I have to deal with my boss in exactly 48.6 minutes. I sit and moan for two minutes. Any more I would be late and any less I would be early: it has to be exactly two minutes. Afterward, I do my normal six-minute shower, three-minute shave, two-minute brush of my teeth – just like the dentist told me – and five minutes to figure out what I am going to wear ­today. That leaves me 4.5 minutes to sit and read The New York Times and moan about having to drive 20 minutes to a job that I can’t stand. Once I arrive, it takes 2.1 minutes to hear the lame story about what Ron, the guy two cubicles down, did last night and four minutes ’til I get to hear my boss complain that I never do anything right.

Spending 9.34 hours at my job, driving 26 minutes home (I hate traffic), taking two minutes to take Donald out and only getting 24.7 minutes to myself before lying down in my hard, cold bed and not falling asleep for another 12.5 minutes can really drive someone crazy. At least that is what my therapist tells me. But in fact it does not make you crazy; it makes everyone else crazy for not wanting to know how much time they actually have.

The thing that will make you crazy is if something goes wrong. Something that has been happening the same way for exactly 12.56 years. When that one thing goes wrong, all hell breaks loose. For instance, if you wake 45.8 minutes late because there is no damn dog barking for you to take him out. Which causes you to be late to work, because you have a 20-minute drive and only 2.4 minutes to get there. Then you ­decide in exactly 24 seconds that you have to call in to work saying you came down with something. But after the phone rings for eight seconds, the secretary tells you that something bad has happened and there will be no work today. You wonder for only one minute what could have happened, but then go and take a shower.

The shower is much longer than the normal six minutes. It takes two more minutes to wonder what is the red goop dripping from your body. Then it takes you two more minutes to realize that you probably just cut yourself shaving.

After 45.8 minutes of watching TV, you wonder where Donald is and what really happened today to call off work. You ponder this for 12 minutes, scratching your chin, noticing the red goop is also under your nails. You find that disgusting, so you walk steps, which takes you three seconds, to go wash your hands, for two minutes, in the bathroom that you never use. You look around for four minutes, noticing there is also red goop all over the walls. You quickly – so fast you can’t count the time – open the shower curtain.

In about seven minutes you realize you have to clean up. But suddenly there is a knock on the front door lasting for about four seconds. But you have to ignore it, you don’t have time, you have to clean up in six minutes. But wait, six minutes is too long. You need 4.5 minutes, but that’s too short. The knocking is getting louder and faster, every three seconds, it just won’t stop. You can’t stop either; you have to clean up, but the knocking ….

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 326 comments. Post your own now!

Lacer said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm
A writing style combining the ambiguous but undeniably obvious answers with the OCD calculating character, perscribed to a sociopathic bubble of insanity makes me so proud to say I like it.
jesusfreakgirl said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm

This is absolutely incredible. It does not need a sequel, as a sequel would take away from the mood and feel of this story. I love that there are so many unanswered questions, that you feel need to be answered, but really don't.


I also love that so many people don't get it. The author of this was incredibly talented. Keep up the amazing work.

HelloLove37 said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Keeps you wanting more.

The police at the door?

You killed your dog and boss?

So many questions left unanwsered.(: In other words, I loved it. Keep up the great work

writer500 replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm
I agree! Hey check out some fo my stuff and comment! Thanks, you'll like it.
QuietlyBeautiful said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:31 am
this was amazing.
MikeWilhelm said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 12:12 am
Great article and I Know what happened ;D
kat12 said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm
This article is so good! I loved every part of it. This story keeps you wanting more!
pardha said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm
or u r dog
pardha said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm

isn't it the police at the door

u killed u r boss

keannnie said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm
oh my goodnesss. you should ake a sequal :)
JustAnOrdinaryGirl said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Keeps you wanting more. :)
Runner This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Sequel? Please?
MysteryHeart said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 10:58 am
So what happens next???????? TELL MEEEEEEEEEE
luvtaylor16 replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 11:58 am
ik!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TELLLLLL MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I WANNNNNNNNNA KNOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AaronLawrence said...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm
Wow, you captured the confusion of an ocd person so amazingly well, that gave me a head ache just thinking like that.  I would ask you if it was a seriel killing story on the inside but i don't want to know because that would ruin some of the mystery.
Runner This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm
OCD. Spot on.
writer500 replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm
True! I really liked it! Suspense...confusion..awsome! Check out some of my works "Love?" or whatnot, comment and thanks!
LASwan said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Whoa. I'll add to your heap of trite compliments: That was amazing, chilling, and mind-bending. Top notch, my friend. Mind reading some of my works? "Allegience" and "Silent Night," both in historical fiction. Thanks!
vampiresrock said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 10:39 am
Oh my goddess! you're a great writer! (And yes...i worship a Goddess, do don't mistake it for goodness)
wavesofwishes said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm
this really haunted me, in a creepy-beautiful way. you are an amazing writer!
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