Patterns, Routines, and Adjustments

August 23, 2015

After long period of not writing, I lost focus and have to pick up the pieces.  This sentence doesn’t explain my difficulties as they are only partially caused by both the abundance and the vagueness of experiences and observations. My difficulties are caused mainly by my inability to write in an organized matter.  I am not able to state what is the main topic as, so called, ” supporting details” often seem more important than the main idea. Moreover, those details often support completely different conclusions. And the conclusions all too often do not clarify my understanding of Robert, but lead either to see him as a simplified stick figure or force me to suspend the judgement.  There are simple facts that can be easily noticed and described, but it is much harder to understand what is behind them.  What is their purpose or the cause. What model of  the universe causes Robert to do things in a certain way.


Robert chose three different shirts to go with three different pants and three pieces of underwear.  Only Robert knows what goes with what.  Of course, his closet and his dresser hold more than three of each.  But for Robert, those additional articles of clothing do not exist.  He wears only one of the three.  Moreover he makes sure that they are always accessible to him. Thus, Robert’s preoccupation with laundry.  When two sets are already in the laundry hamper, Robert starts laundry.

Of course, the clothes wear off, they get holes, they get too tight, or they even break beyond repair. Robert still wants to keep them in his dresser until it becomes obviously clear to HIM that they cannot be worn any more.  That is my call to action. If there is a hole, too small for Robert to consider parting with his shirt, I made it bigger, when he doesn’t watch.  I might even tore it into two pieces.  Then, Robert puts those two parts in a hamper with other rags and….

And only then he chooses a replacement from remaining items of clothing. It still has to be three of each.

My job is to make sure that there is a fourth piece of each, just in case.


After I remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers, broil them in the oven, peel them, stuff with mozzarella cheese, cover with flour, dip in the egg and fry them in the oil, I place them all on a serving plate.  Robert will eat all four. But for each poblano, Robert will take a new plate and a new fork.  By the time he is done eating, four medium size plates and four forks land in the kitchen sink.

Although Robert is perfectly happy with one plate for a few pieces of chicken tenders, one at a time, or for 3, 4, or 5 pieces of eggplant parmesano, for poblano he makes exception.  Moreover, those plates are always the same four. If any of them is dirty, Robert washes it and dries it, to make sure he can put poblano on it. No other plate will do. When, however, I made five poblanos for Robert, he didn’t take another plate but ate it on one of the chosen four. Lately, Robert learned to leave one poblano for his dad. For that special arrangement Robert takes the fifth plate not really caring  which plate to choose.

He tried to use the plate even when it had a visible crack. Again, when Robert didn’t look, I broke the plate in half.  Robert inspected the plate, tried to put the two pieces together.  It didn’t work so he threw them in the garbage. Then he chose a replacement plate to join the other three still intact.

I assume that having three of each items of closing helps Robert simplify and organize his morning dressing routine. I am not sure, but this seems logical from my point of view. I am not sure however, what is the purpose of four plates for four poblanos.  Is that simply the result of obsessive compulsive disorder – the need to do it the same way every time? Well, OCD  could be a good name but not an informative explanation. 








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