i was standing there, clutching the globe hall pass in my right hand, pushing the button with my left hand, trying to not spray my glasses or my nose or my frizz-ball hair with thick, mom-cut bangs. i must have gulped for several minutes. and then before i left the stool, i turned around and flipped my hair forward, using my whole head. you know - like headbangers do. i did this five times. then, left the stool and went back to class.
as i sat at my desk, i paid close attention, answering questions followed by snorting. i'd snort and snort and then flip my hair again. and there was something so intensely private about what my brain was telling my body to do, that i figured my actions were invisible. i'd just get this urge to flip my hair, and i'd flip it. i'd hear my brain say, "snort, jessica...just do it!" and so, i'd snort.
i continued this pattern at home. and after amy was born, i began a new tic -- telling my mom every time i touched anything and then touched my mouth, eye or face. so car rides went like this: dad and mom in the front. evan, jessica and amy in the back. amy in carseat, getting lots of attention from mom. evan memorizing his bird cards or times-tables or something, and me reapeating a list of what i saw as offenses. "mom, i touched that thing and then i touched my mouth. and just now i touched that dirty air vent, and then i touched my eye." this would continue until we were safely unloaded from the car and back in the house where i would go straight to my room to make sure no one had moved my collection of teddybears and that the way i'd arranged my things on my dresser was still perfect.
the tics didn't stop until i was sleeping. and even then, they haunted my dreams.