Tuesday, December 25th2012
I missed being able to write. I missed the feeling of my fingertips paddling away at the keys, finding that perfect word or phrase, learning to blend colors into the written word.
It’s occurred to me that I have become a blank slate. I don’t seem to be able to figure out who I am. I can remember places, people, things. Pieces. What an oxymoron. How exactly does one become a blank slate? Such a conniption over nature versus nurture,and yet I have lived 22 years on this earth only to realize that every conversation I've ever had with myself was envisioned as myself talking to someone else.
Perhaps the thing of it is . . . perhaps, the reason why I hate myself is that I innately longed to be a part of this world. I never wanted to want to be a part of it. And I've never felt that I was a part of it.
She tries to make sense of it. She tries to keep typing. A pulsing, dull throb beings in her right temple as she lights up yet another cigarette that she doesn't need. It had crossed her mind that a beautiful little kitten in the room over might use some human attention. She knows she’d feel better, simply being close to another living being, feeling a whisper of kindness and innocence brush against her skin. But she doesn't get up. She does, however, wonder why.
It’s 6:59am. I said I’d be asleep by 7.
Friday, December 28th2012
Today was a good day. I’m not sleepy. I woke up,caffeinated, logged in. I get a call- I’m in shock. Me. Getting a call. This is laughable.
The message says he’s a new caller. Fuck. No limit (when will the torture end) Fuck. Good for TWO FUCKING HOURS?!?!?!? Oh no. Oh no, no,no, NO. FUCK.
It was a great call. I was on a roll today. Three calls, all good calls. My stomach growled. I chugged black coffee and lit cigarette after cigarette, remembering yesterday. I couldn't tell you about yesterday. But today I was hungry. Didn't eat. It was a good day.
Things are changing, and the only reason I think they are changing is because I unconsciously decided that I've had enough. I’m bored. I got bored with being so useless. It’s only recently occurred to me that I can’t remember a point in my life that I've ever eaten normally. Ever. And, that food or lack-thereof, ties in to what I feel much more deeply than it should. I don’t know how to explain this to you.
Growing up, I was essentially force fed. In my family, you finish what’s on your plate, whether you like it or not, whether you’re full or not, it was finished, or I got my ass beat, and was then sent back to the table to finish it. Oh, how I wish I’d ever had the option of going to bed hungry. I’d rather have had the hunger.
My mother fed me this way because I was tiny, and she wanted me to grow. I was a normal weight as a figure skater as I was exercising enough to burn off the calories. In the fourth grade, my parents could no longer afford for me to skate, yet fed me all the same. It took two years of my gaining weight and growing no more than half an inch for my mother to realize I’d only been growing width-wise. After that came the latch-key kid days. Lots of frozen dinners to come home to, chips galore. I was in the sixth grade, and had stopped growing. I’d eat, and eat, watching Spongebob Squarepants and A Nightmare on Elm Street on VHS until I wore out the tape. And I became friends with Kara.
Kara was an anorexic with a love/hate relationship with her mother. She was sexually assaulted during her stay in a mental institution. Her mother suspected her father had been abusing her, but I never found out for sure. We were outcasts with an eye for fashion, and became friends over a compliment in gym class one day. She was in pain. I was in pain. She didn't eat. I wanted to not-eat.
There was a day where I was fed up with being fat. I tried not to eat. Ended up binging on a fourth of a bag of puffy Cheetos. Light as air, fattening as hell. I hated myself for not being able to not eat, wondering if it was even possible, unaware of the fact that I’d only eaten about 400 calories anyway, and that one small moment, such as this, could mark the beginning of an eating disorder. This was my moment. Little did I know that years later, I would eventually weigh at least ten pounds less than I did that day.
A few months following, there was a moment in my life that baffles me to this day. I was with Kara, right outside the covering of trees in the prairie path. There was a concrete incline leading down to the freeway below. It occurred to us that to chuck ourselves off of it would rid us of all of our terrible adolescent pain- which, in retrospect, really was far more terrible pain that girls our age had any business knowing anything about. It also occurred to us, being twelve, that it would mean we wouldn't have to do our report for the Wicked Witch of the Westendork (our English teacher, Mrs.Westendorf). Lack of a pulse is the best excuse in the world for blowing off homework. We had no idea what life was yet, and yet, we’d already managed to make a pact to throw it all away. A pact scheduled for takeoff at we’ll-have-the-balls-any-second-now o’clock. We held hands. Kneecaps twitching,ankles quivering, gonna jump.
She decided not to jump.
I decided I was going to jump anyway. She would not let go of my hand. She started crying, begged me not to. I started crying. She begged some more. I started laughing.
To this day, I cannot figure out why I started laughing. My best guess would be it was funny to me, this insane notion that someone on this planet could give a fuck, let alone that much of a fuck, as to whether I lived or died. I don’t know what happened to Kara, but I miss her.
Saturday, December 29th2012
Last night, it took me three hours to eat a small salad. I’d forgotten that these behaviors are ingrained in the black hole known as my psyche. I knew that relapses were a part of it. For the past two years, I’ve been binging my way up to 123 pounds, not checking the scale, giving a fuck less about fat, calories, sodium, or how huge my ass was getting. Then again,that’s a lie. I never thought my ass was huge. I never will.
I remember a few occasions within this time frame where I ate too much. It felt grotesque, this fullness, this bloated metamorphosis into an unclean thing. My heart would race, and I’d light a cigarette. Smoke half while I chugged glasses of water, palms sweating. I’d tell myself not to worry, you've done it before, you’ll feel better, it’ll be over before you know it. It’s ok. It’ll be ok. I’d purge. Drink some more water, not too much, don’t want your stomach sloshing around again. Finish the cigarette, needing the menthol to soothe my throat. Ignore the appearance of red freckles magically developing over my face. Forget.
It used to be about thinness, in the way that it wasn't. I blame this on culture. A sickening culture who will never admit its darkest secrets. A loving culture, so endearingly passive aggressive that by the time you’re old enough to realize the connections between the economy and cheap junk food, and “diet” and exercise, and thinness and “health”, you’ve already crucified your own identity to abide by its standards. It’s a simple science, really, that the processed foods that line our grocers shelves are laced with addictive, artificial flavors and chemicals and preservatives that a healthy body has no business ingesting; and that an impossible standard of a prepubescent figure that has somehow managed to develop a plentiful bosom and perky buttocks ought to be directly correlated to our self-worth (or else), and that expensive, happy pills that destroy our tickers and don’t let us sleep and guarantee that we’ll lose 30 pounds! (though the small print may read “results not typical”) are our salvation, our magic fix, and they will levitate off the shelves into our possession and give us our Happily Ever After.
This is all a crock of shit, and I’m inclined to believe that those too blind to recognize it, are, for lack of a better term, morons.
Recognition of this, however, only scratches the surface of the problem. As I said, I never thought my ass was fat- but I was acutely aware of the fact that by the standards I’d been given, I was a Disgusting Fat Slob. The root of it all is that I am human. I needed to be loved, I needed to be cared for, I needed to not face the world alone. I detest being human. It made me fat, and it made me needy. And a Disgusting Fat Slob cannot be loved, and will suffer the isolation of facing the world alone.
I didn’t care about being thin. I cared about being loved,and I was all too aware that I could never have one without the other. It’s funny, though, how once I learned to not-need food, I also learned to not-need love. At least in my conscious mind.
You play around with your little box of tricks, testing yourself. Can I fast for one day? Five? Ten? Fifteen? (Yes.) Can I lose 10 pounds in one day? (Yes, though it isn't pretty). You get thinner, you get attention and congratulations. I have grown to hate people who congratulate me on losing weight. The unspoken headline reads: “CONGRATULATIONS! You have lost all personal strength! Hooray for being societies’bitch! And as an added bonus for all your hard work, we’ll throw in a free symptom of heart palpitations- this season’s most GLAMOROUS accessory to THINNESS!”
YAY ME. I FEEL SO FUCKING HONORED.
And during this time, you never stop to think about life and its curveballs, and that one day, you may feel more loved than anyone in the world at 123 pounds when you were more alone than ever at 77 pounds. You never stop to think that one day, as loved as you may feel, an enigma will come crashing down like a comet through the ceiling to slam you right back to where you started.
Sunday, December 30th2012
The book has been closed. The phone isn't ringing. There is the dull hum of the space heater, the rhythm of fingers tapping on the keys,the occasional growl of the stomach which shouldn't be growling. The aftermath of a girl having taken an hour to eat four slices of cucumber that a normal being would have finished in four bites. This girl, however, had a manic dash.
Stomach growling, too much coffee, too many cigarettes. You should eat something, just a little something. Just two slices of pickles;you’ll need to boost your sodium levels. I eat the pickles, slowly. Nibble off the fleshy part, licking the juice along the way. Put it down. Read. Do not look at the pickle. Five minutes later, I repeat this with the second pickle.Read. Finally, I bite off what is left of the pickles in approximately four millimeter increments; slowly chewing the flesh from the skin. The skin is chewed last. I feel full. Too full. I want to be hungry again.
An hour later, I am dizzy, with a bloated stomach. Smoked too much. Still hungry. The reasoning: maybe you should eat some bread, just to absorb the coffee in your stomach. Just two slices. Slowly. I go to the fridge,my father has finished all the wheat bread and left the white bread. It’s clearly beyond his infantile level of understanding that wheat bread has less calories and more fiber, that I need the wheat bread, that I need it to lose weight, that I need it to make money. I eat the two slices, 140 calories. I hate myself for it. Full again.
And in the next hour, I was back to the fridge forking around for four dainty slices of cucumber, and four grape tomatoes. I put them on a plate, sit down, prepared to nibble like a proper rabbit when I realize I ought to have grabbed a knife. I slice the cucumbers into tiny little squares and triangles; no, that slice is too big, cut it in half. Still too big. Cut it again. I arrange the pieces on one side of the plate, away from the tomatoes,picking up the pieces one at a time with the very corner of the fork, eating them slowly, chewing completely I SAID ONE AT A TIME DON’T YOU DARE PUT THAT IN YOUR FUCKING MOUTH UNTIL YOU FINISH CHEWING YOU PIG LIKE YOU NEEDED MORE FOOD AFTER THE BREAD and eventually, I finish the cucumbers. The tomatoes torture me. I like tomatoes. They are yummy, and I therefore do not deserve to eat them. But how many calories do they have? How much do they weigh? Please tell me I won’t gain weight if I eat them please please please and I Google it and they are only two calories each. I eat the tomatoes, scraping off a piece of the skin with my teeth, sucking out the juice, grinding the flesh into oblivion, swallowing slowly. I take a mad dash to the scale.
Well darling, YOU’RE the one who decided your fat ass needed the pickles, the cucumbers, the bread OMG THE BREAD and now you’re not going to lose weight. No food tomorrow. None. Even if you don’t lose a pound. At least you know you can’t GAIN weight if you don’t eat. And don’t you dare think about your next binge and purge.
The trip to Denny’s. Last week. I knew I’d purge it, that’s why I thought of it. I knew it the whole time. Autopilot. The plan that you didn't even plan because it was final, done, before you even knew it was happening. Like a movie that’s already been recorded, and a part of you sits back and watches in horror while you fast forward through your weakest moment.
I know everything, and yet I know nothing at all. The entire time I spend binging, gaining, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that this would come back one day. And yet, I knew it wouldn't. It couldn't; look how far gone I was, there was no going back, I’m not going to be a freak again, not the cruel joke of a fat anorexic who may very well kill herself before anyone says “Oh my, you’re getting too thin . . . “ Marya was right. It is a disappearing act, a magic trick. One moment you’re there, and the next moment you’re gone.
She who dances between the raindrops will be washed away in the storm.