My mother, at 92, is clean as a whistle. Payson has often remarked on how she never smells like old people who become sloppy with their hygiene. She brushes her teeth for 20, yes, 20 minutes each morning and still has her own teeth. She washes her hands with soap and water twice each time she goes to the bathroom. This morning i saw her soap and water the handle of her cane, too, then wipe it clean. In her bedroom there is a place for every thing, and everything is in its place. a thing out of place sends her into fits. I have never seen her fumble for things, or misplace them the way I do. I am full of admiration for her, though I am glad I don’t have OCD. Or, then, perhaps I do. Perhaps my obsession with writing is just another of its faces. Why else would it be my entire life?

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