Somewhere out there


For me and, I am sure, for millions out there like me, Woody Allen’s movies have long served as confirmation that the neurotic thoughts running through our minds like a ticker at the bottom of a TV screen are not a lonely affliction—that they are not associated with a private screening, but rather with some basic cable channel. Watching an Allen movie, I inevitably find myself thinking, “Why isn’t there more confirmation that neurotic is just another a state of normal?”

Then, the other day, I got an e-mail from a friend that said simply, “I thought you would appreciate this,” and a link to the website “I Am Neurotic.” I clicked and found myself transported to a land of kindred spirits. It’s not a fancy site, but with a simple design and short posts, it gets straight to the point. “I Am Neurotic” is basically a repository for people’s ticks, paranoias, phobias, compulsions or fears, e-mailed to the gnomes that run the site, who then duly post the missives they receive. (Like Post Secret, only not as artsy).

Just a sampling: “If I go into a store and I don’t find what I am looking for, I have to buy something small so the employees don’t think I stole something and walked out.” Or, “Whenever I pass a cyclist on the road, I always check in the rearview mirror after passing them to make sure I haven’t bumped into [them] or run them over.” Or, my personal favorite: “I arrange my roommates’ and mine’s toothbrushes to the mood we are currently in. If we are angry, the brushes will not face each other. If we’re happy they will face each other as if we are dancing and laughing.”

Ah, I have found my people! They are out there; they are everywhere.