I am restless.
I Turn about a hundred times in my bed.
Sleep escapes me. I am exhausted, but I cannot relax enough to sleep.
My body itches all over. I turn a few more times , then I scream "What the hell!", and i immediately jump out of bed, put on my slippers, then quietly fix the bed and take a good long look at my room.
I put everything in its place, open the drawers to check that each item is where it should be, and that nothing unwanted has accumulated...since last night.
Then I open my closets. I have already given away ten items yesterday. But that doesn't stop me from squinting hard at my clothes, just in case there is an unwanted item I could happily get rid of, and thus feel lighter.
Then I remove the Hoover from its hideaway and I slowly, deliberately clean the carpet with it. The fact that I have already "engaged" in that ritual yesterday does not stop me from attacking the carpet as though I were in fact facing my imaginary enemy.
Once satisfied with the way my room looks I switch on the dim light and I smile triumphantly, whispering to myself: "Now I can peacefully move to the next room".
It is late afternoon of EVERY SINGLE DAY...And by the way it is safe to say I have OCD.
Our house in Beirut has three balconies, seven rooms(three bedrooms, two living rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom); and three corridors...And every single day I go through ALL of them, one space at a time, starting from my room, and clean the hell out of them, noticing what each space needs...And willingly surrendering to its "desires".
I cannot let a day go by without indulging in this ritual which has earned me the reputation of a "hysterical" woman.
I follow mum and dad from room to room to see if they are "disturbing" the "peace" in any way, and i then happily go about putting everything back in order.
If mum is eating ( and mum is ALWAYS EATING) in the living room without placing her food on a plate, i shoot her a deadly look, and i run to the kitchen to supply her with the "Safety net" I need to feel relaxed.
I "thrive" on the smell of detergents, and whenever the market lady sees my "shadow", she smiles happily because she knows I have come to buy the whole store, since I have definitely used all the detergents i bought "LAST WEEK", and thus need more supplies.
I have endless trash bags that i use for every single room, and I walk from room to the other finding unwanted things to throw in them. There is always a trash bag in a corner of my room ready to be filled with garbage.
Each day I use at least six big bags, and the neighbors go insane when i place them outside so that the worker can throw them away. Not because they smell bad- since i spray them all with deodorant- but because they cannot figure out the mystery of a small family having six trash bags thrown on a daily basis.
If i do not "supervise" each room every day, I simply do not get out of the house. I cannot leave home without knowing first that I have given attention to every single detail in each tiny corner.
I clean, I throw, I give away, I organize...And THEN I allow myself the liberty of living the rest of my day and night as I please.
Dad says I make him feel like he is living with a sergeant in the army, or worse...that he is living in a boarding school!
Mum calls me "Milia" in reference to an old woman who used to live in her village Chekka located in the north of Lebanon. The woman owned a one room house. yet she spent all her days cleaning as though she lived in a castle!
Whenever I get home from work, I frown and i eye each room to assess what awaits me after i have eaten and Almost slept for a few minutes.
No one dares to talk to me when i am in the cleaning process because they all say I look like a serial killer in action. I bark at them, threaten to destroy them if they do not obey my cleaning rules, I shoot them deadly looks, and i do not allow them to enter the room i am busy "Disinfecting" (Heaven knows from what!).
Then, as soon as i have finished my cleaning, i become sweet, adorable, saintly, and i tell them poetry recounting my love for them. I even smile.
And whenever my brother Hady visits us, he almost chokes when he enters the house from the heavy smell of detergents"overlapping each other" and he shouts accusingly: "you are gona get us all killed from asthma".
If I am in the middle of cleaning, I show him my dirty side. However, if I have finished, i smile saintly and throw myself in his arms, as though i cannot tolerate this much cruelty.
And mum desperately whispers: "Milia!".
And if she is in a ferocious mood, she says out loud :"yiii, Tahet El 2ared!". (It is a bad phrase in Arabic!).