Order. Zero, fifteen, thirty, sixty. The dishes stashed one after the other, in order of height. The squares on the sidewalk. No sound, meaning: the volume loud enough not to hear anything else. Order. Breathe in, breathe out. Six on each inhale – release. Pages: twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five, a hundred. Chapters. Hours, stacked on one another: one, two, three (forty-five, one and a half, three), ten, twenty-four. Eight, nine, ten (nine and a half, thirteen). Order. I don’t take medication anymore, but it’s everywhere in the flat. Yesterday I took the pills out of their casing, made a neat little pile and thought about eating them all. It was about forty pills, anti-depressants, but it was so small and ineffectual in my palm, for a moment I felt sure they wouldn’t kill me. I thought: safety. I thought: this is my safe, where I keep my treasure: a little cardboard box with fifty white pills in it, waiting to be gobbled up. Maybe it doesn’t work without alcohol, I thought? Order. Order, it keeps me going, keeps me straight: light, dark, without thinking I’ll be washing the dishes, righting things, books, tables. I’m not all that obsessive, really: it’s a controlled mess, but order… it’s something else. More essential, in the line of things, not how they look from the outside. You have to have a schedule, or you die. Or you don’t wake up, or you don’t take a shower, you don’t answer the phone, you don’t eat, you don’t pee. You don’t do anything. A schedule. You need a schedule, that’s all.