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Rated: E · Short Story · Medical · #2317876
The story explores the inner world of a man with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
The Ivory Tower
The old lighthouse keeper gazed out at the stormy sea, the wind whipping his salt-and-pepper hair around his face. He was reminiscing his youth, but not the carefree adventures he'd imagined. The isolation of the lighthouse had become a prison, amplifying every youthful misstep and heartbreak. He remembered all the pain and cringe he experienced when he was young - oh so strange at the same time.

His strangeness, however, was what had led him to this solitary post. The mainland bustled with those who couldn't understand him, but the lighthouse, with its rhythmic pulse of light and its constant battle with the elements, seemed to welcome his peculiarities.

Those memories were just a symptom of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. They were intrusive. He never could fight them. The intrusive thoughts gnawed at him, a constant undercurrent beneath the crashing waves. Numbers swirled in his mind, demanding specific arrangements, routines that had to be followed with excruciating precision. He clutched a worn notebook, his lifeline in this storm of thoughts, filled with meticulously written lists and calculations, a desperate attempt to maintain order in the chaos of his own mind.

He had always been socially awkward. That's why he felt shame for his social blunders and missteps. He just had high standards which were hard to meet. Despite his social awkwardness, a single memory flickered, a beacon of warmth in the sea of regret. A childhood friend, accepting of his eccentricities, had helped him build a magnificent sandcastle - a testament to their unlikely bond. Perhaps, the lighthouse wasn't just a prison, but a sanctuary - a place where he could confront his demons, one meticulously planned step, one obsessive thought at a time, while still holding onto the fading embers of a human connection.

He decided to retreat further into his ivory tower. The memory of his childhood friend, a painful reminder of a connection he couldn't maintain, solidified his belief that social interaction only led to suffering. The lighthouse, with its solitude and structure, offered a strange kind of peace. It was a lonely existence, but perhaps, the only one he was truly capable of navigating. A single tear rolled down his cheek, a silent testament to the life he'd chosen, a life both safe and terribly isolating.

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