Odd Thomas

Ahh! Finally showered and feeling human again. Time to relax in front of the TV in the living room. I should get my dinner and settle down to movies or something.

First, check that the front door is locked. The key’s not turning any further to the right – must be done alright then. But you never know, just make sure. Unlock, two turns left. Relock, two turns right. Check bolt. Try twisting the door handle. Once. Twice. Good.

Go to the kitchen, heat up dinner and set on a tray. Boil the ke—Wait, check the back door. Same locks, same procedure. Good. Boil the kettle, make tea, carry tray to the living room.

Hilarious movie. A tad lengthy, though. Glad it’s over. Check CNN. Trump as usual. BBC, Discovery, ITV. Watch highlights of the Paris Masters. Yawn. Getting bored here. I should clean my teeth and prepare for bed. But first, some water. I’m parched!

Into the kitchen. Drink water and wash dishes. Twist the back door handle. Locked. Turn off light and exit. Off to the bathroom. But darn it! What if I didn’t press down hard enough? That handle is somewhat stiff. Go back and check again. Locked. Okay, but it could be I’m wrong twice. Best try again. Locked. Good. Exit kitchen and go to the bathroom.

Try to ignore the number “3”. It’s an uneven quantity and is so damn odd. Incomplete. Strange. It’s wrong, and I have to make it right.

Back to the kitchen. Twist the back door handle for a fourth time. It’s locked. There! All is right now. Four times evenly. But not quite. Wait 5 seconds and redo the entire procedure, this time in quick succession. 1. 2. 3. 4 times. Right! Now, go clean your teeth. Shit, the front door’s not up to speed. Try those locks, then the bolt, then the handle. Once, twice, thrice, and a fourth time. Good.

But don’t leave out the sockets! Check that the sockets are off. Scan the room. All off, good. This near-sightedness, though. Touch them to make certain. Flick on, then off. One, two, three, four times. One more go, just to make sure – 1, 2, 3, 4. But that makes two rounds of four times each. 2 is even – worlds better than 3, but it still isn’t 4. Better go two more rounds to make it up. 1, 2, 3, 4 on-off flips of each switch, in quick succession. Then another 1, 2, 3, 4. Excellent. Now for these darn teeth.

Brush-floss-mouthwash. Gargle four times. Spit. Ahhh, very nice! Back to the living room. Sleep shouldn’t be far off now.

Graham Norton’s on, super! Half an episode should do it.

20 minutes in and all the guests are super boring grade C celebrities. Think I’m sleepy enough. Turn off TV. Switch off lights. Check front door (x4); check back door (x4). Now, into the bedroom. Shit. The episode isn’t ended. It’s a strange feeling. Incomplete. Odd. I have to right it, make it normal. Back to the TV. Finish the dreary episode. Will check doors only twice this time. Once, twice, front door. Once, twice, back. All secure.

Back to bed and under the covers. Cosy and warm, still I toss and turn. Within me, it’s reason vs. mania:

“2 means I double-checked. It’s safe. It’s secure.”—“But 2 is not 4. It’s half of 4.”
“2 is hardly odd; it’s very balanced and even.”—“It’s an extremely odd number to conclude with.”

Minutes have passed.

ARRGGHH, WHO AM I KIDDING?!

I fling the covers aside and get up.

 

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