Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
[I only wish to know myself, to know my goals, to know my secrets, but this troubling position that we are all trapped in makes life a journey. I'm afraid that perhaps my soul isn't ready to flourish, or is damaged or burdened by my body. I do not believe, not at all, not a single part of me, in pure coincidence. I'm existential, but not hopeless. Our hopes and dreams, our human lives, they are all up to us, but you see, we determine things a way far superior than that we live about this land and walk and crawl and fly. Before we are born, this I swear to you, we pre-select our every battle, all of us do, in a wonderful play of universal acceptance and reason. It's a decision, risks included, that we all take. I don't even blame the fluoride in our water for apparent human inherent foolishness, because I strongly believe that we must have put it there if we have any reason or right to grow ourselves. As Sagan- Carl Sagan was one of my favorite scientists- once claimed
"we are a way
for the cosmos
to know itself"]
“Oh, Sagie,” she began, a fat piece of flesh on her fork, salted and peppered because otherwise she couldn’t stand the taste. She plopped the bite onto her tongue with an effortless manicured poise. How distasteful, this bitter woman with her cruel appearance. I wondered if Charla had ever looked at herself and noticed all of her flaws. It's a very human thing to do, I suspected, because I'm a human and I've done it since I first saw a mirror. She continued on, hopelessly babbling in between bread crumbs and bites of salad wet with creamy, caloric dressing. I couldn’t hear her complaining over the sound of her chewing. The moist slapping of her tongue and cheek was as vile a disturbance as could be mentioned. This creature, in it's perceived flawlessness, represented the epitome of the opposite of my identity. Chew, chew, she did, each plump chunky slice of corpse, and she swallowed. Sentences dribbled out with sweet sips of sugary soda. I refused to mind them. I did not want her evil energy drenching my dinner. I suppose that in truth, it's my own problem that I'm so thoroughly disgusted with watching people eat. But then again, I'm not disgusted with watching people as a whole eat. I find it to be pleasant actually, to study things in a purely anthropological matter. Human beings eat- it's how we survive- it's beautiful. I just dislike watching the people in this house eat.
Next to her, at the head of the table, he sat on his fourth helping of mashed potatoes made with milk and butter. I haven't eaten mashed potatoes in two years. How could he put that foul substance into him? The thought boggled my sick mind. He shoveled another wad inside, and I shuddered from my position across the universe. Salty, gooey spit dripped into his beard. He wiped it away with a pudgy finger, then gestured to my plate with his fork.
“Sage, eat.” He demanded. A warm voice spat cold words, purity gleaming with isolation and agitation. Part of me felt very bad for him, but most of me was just afraid. My brain convinced my body to respond with anger.
I suddenly wanted to stand up and scream, to throw my fork into the peas on my plate and tell them all to go dive into a volcano and burn. Rehearsals of my therapist echoed behind the eating disorder. Be good to yourself, I told me. Be fair with your body, I scolded me. I smiled instead.
“I am eating,” I lied, fumbling the pieces of death around the tip of my fork. Disgusting. Food is disgusting. They are disgusting. I am equally disgusting.
Be good to yourself, I told me. Be fair with your body, I scolded me. It stopped working, strings broke and freed my marionette body. My endless cycle of torture was eternal.
After dinner, I chugged down three glasses of ice water and lumbered into the bathroom. Every night, I’d fight this battle. The girl in the glass looked back at me with scornful, sad eyes, but I ignored her plea for help. I couldn't make my body disobey tonight. She was, after all, as much as the problem as me. I pulled my and her hair up into a loose ponytail, and made my and her way to the toilet. White porcelain-- oh the irony. Soft, fragile glass the color of God’s beard stared up at me. The routine was simple. I leaned my head down, my fingers crawled their way up into my throat like curious little spiders, and all of the dead things (but thankfully, not dead animals) and butter-saturated vegetables swam their way up my esophagus in watery chunks. It burned a little, always did, but I felt fine, to be sardonically frank. It was splendid, fulfilling, even, to watch the venom of suppertime family drip out of me. No, I wouldn’t have their cruelty within me. Not an ounce of their conversation, their tradition and selfishness, their void minds which spewed depressive political hate and racist complaints, none of that would be within my body. It fell out in clumps by the end. Sticky chunks of stomach acid and step-mommy-and-daddy-food swam into the white bowl.
I struggled to rid myself of all of it. The evil liefood wanted to stay inside of me, to pollute my sensitive innards with toxic hatred. I couldn’t allow such. I stood back up, dizzy with dehydration, and eased my way over to the sink. My head found it’s way under the faucet, and I turned the water on and into my throat. If it weren't for the fact that it’d kill me or make me sick, I’d have guzzled soap, too. The stream poured through my teeth, straight to my belly, met the remainder of the family dinner in my gut, and I returned to stand. My middle protruded out from the rest of me like I was a pregnant corpse.
I waddled my way back to the glass bowl and emptied the rest of my stomach, watching carefully, and only stopping after my mouth began to seep a familiar, sour yellow- bile.
Then I pathetically crawled out of the bathroom and into my bedroom and into my bed, teeth unbrushed and mouth stinking of falsified nurturing.
There did come a break in the cruelty of my disorder, and that break came in a boy. Oh, cliche! Oh, hormones! Oh, young, young, tiny, insignificant love! It was just as childish as I know the previous generation remembers it as, but it was keeping me eating often ( I'd have to have the energy to kiss him after all) and it kept my heart beating.
I fell into a dreary blur with a warm sigh in my pillow, the moisture of my exhaling burning at my cheeks. The fabric upped around my face, and I fought to turn the evils off. The voices retired for the night in a short gasp. I could finally think a bit more clearly. I took the opportunity as fast as my body would let me. I had to manifest my happy thoughts-- that's what my therapist told me-- to make it all happy, to make it all good, to bloom forth positivity and reject the darkness.
Step one: open chakras-- red to violet and all in between, pulse-pulse out the disorder.
Step two: take a breather and look at a picture of the dumb boy and his dumb grin because it makes my stomach feel safe and makes my thighs feel more like body parts than scratching posts.
Step three: suck in all of the air in the room and float up and away like a bloated balloon and make those words come true, make them come out of my mouth-- no pen can contain them, right?
"I might be in love with a hippie. I wonder if he'll like me when he's sober. "
Weak, such a supposed confession, a miserable attention-seeking blabber. I told myself that I was self-victimizing here, again, like my step-mother hates that I do so much. The magic had started, the hateful words were invisible as they could be for this allotted time.
Then I fell into his memory, all of the things I had done.
I had found myself debutante in the messy passenger seat of his truck, and his body stretched across me, rolling down the window on my right. I was hypnotized by his aura, by the ruffian musk of his pleasantly suffocating aroma. I could feel his history scolding his high, and the sweet thoughts boiling inside of his colorful mind. He was like the pills they used to make me take-- little poppy seed poppers that were as orange as my insanity-- they gave me vivid nightmares and made me feel heavy enough to crush the pavement but yet I was sky high and eager to run into traffic with invincibility. Watching his fingers beguile the wheel was a whole other fantasy, warm sunlight hugging us with loud, unfamiliar music, his unclothed torso glistening with lustful gold. His closeness sent me a decade back in time, made me remember rocking back and forth to classic rock with an atmosphere stained with stale beer as my father swam his way through another scotch-on-the-rocks. But none of this was even moderately unwell. His voice was the jewel upon my newfound crown. He spoke lowly, slowly, letting each vowel linger just long enough to emphasize his distaste for primness, and I was too lost in the ether about him to notice anything outside of the small grin that appeared on his lips.
His mouth, his lips, his face, his eyes-
I was shivering in the sunlight of a good time. I was gawking and sighing within myself, watching him move, watching his body move over me, watching his eyes twinkle and watching him drive barefoot. He reminded me of Mama, and her flagrant apathy and how proud I was to sit with her, and here I was with him. He was the bad inside of me, the deep little secret locked up in my black box heart that escaped only with a crystalline bottle of the blood of the son or another heavy night in a lover’s bedroom. He was like the dial on my scale hitting final 0. I was euphoric, more than appreciative to watch him curse under his breath and yell at the sky and sing into the speakers.
We found and wound our way away from his friends, and marched and walked through a park near my house until we were alone and my heart started to flutter as hard as its metaphor.
His terrible posture
I stumbled, my hand instinctively reaching for my neck and preparing to count my pulse, and watched him bend into me.
I think that’s when I fell for him.
With that, I fell asleep.
The next morning was as hazy and lazy and dizzy as the night prior. I woke up tasting like the center of my ribcage and with a sore throat, but that's just how things have to be. It's depressing I suppose, but there are perks to the whole anorexic who likes to stuff her face then throw up ordeal. I'm not emaciated, first of all. Then again, I'm not sure if my psyche-- a diagnostic concoction of paranoia, anxiety, multiple personalities and other fun things, is really all that comfortable with any weight at all. I used to be emaciated, but then the laws decided that it'd be better to have a locked up suicide bomb than a girl who passes out everywhere.
Hippie-boy was still lingering in the back of my mind, an angel overhead, a pleasant dream that I didn't want to wake up from just quite yet. But I had to wake up.
It was a Saturday. I hid under the blankets, barely conscious, but aware that I had to be conscious. The sun was curling her fingers through my curtains and staining my room with her holy gold. Beautiful, like I like it, the dust particles floating around in the air, the perpetual Floridian summer sky leaking in through everything, palm fronds scratching my windows. My cocoon was where I wanted to be. I knew that today I would binge again- I could feel it deep within me. And so I started early, submissive as I am to this wretched thing that lives behind my hazel soul-windows. Mostly, it doesn't even need to speak, it's all so automatic. I've been an obedient girl for years, and in each attempt of recovering rebellion, I fall harder and faster.
Beside me, there was a little nightstand, and within it were many, many secrets. Things in the drawer were pleasantly organized. A thin pillow sheet covered an aluminum lunch box that served as a secret hideaway location for my drugs (sennoside laxative pills- little bright cyan polka-dots that tasted like candy, aged anti-depressants that make you gain weight, but also make you trip to another dimension if you take more than three of them at a time, as much Xanax as a small black ring-box could hold, and it did so) and my binge-food (chips, chocolates, gummy worms, and a pudding cup- the crummy kind you don't need to chill because it's 99% something completely inorganic). I greedily reached into my magic wonder tin, fished out several chocolate-peanut butter candies, and gobbled them into me. Blindly, I grabbed at more and more food, and believe me, there was a lot of it in this little box, as young bulimia-brains are very good at stuffing dangerous items into lunch boxes. Before five minutes had passed, the box was nearly emptied of food, and I was full. I had this dangerous little application on my phone that I used to track calories. I used to to verify that that for breakfast, I had shoveled in a whopping 1200 calories of candy (4 full size peanut butter chocolate bars) and chips. That's twice as much as I eat on a day that I'd call successful. I'm rarely successful.
And to think, less than twelve hours ago, I couldn't even fathom keeping dinner in my stomach.
Bed was no place of security for me. Bed was a place of constraint. I laid quietly sobbing, praying that someone would rescue me from these demons. I cycled through memories of self-help hotlines. They really never worked. My shrink's phone number was ingrained in my head, but calling her meant I'd have to admit that I'd binged and purged, that I'd binge and purge again, that I'd never ever stop binging and purging and lax-ing and starving and cutting and burning and punching and kicking and screaming and crying and lying.
Perhaps, I considered, I maybe could go to a Catholic Church and beg for an archaic exorcism. Maybe I'd shiver in this very bed, fly up through the ceiling and splatter against the clouds- a little red mush pile in white heaven. Then, all of the sudden, my body would seep out black slime, and it would all rain into a gaping wide hole that leads to the center of the underworld. Evil, evil, it'd all pour out at the speed of light and drench the molten core of our little damp planet. I'd be free then, I would- long hair whipping into the wind, naked body edenic with divine forgiveness, and the darkness pouring away. Yes, that little box in my nightstand would fly away with it, would be sucked into the void of badness, and I'd glow clean and pure with good and translucent white. Suddenly, wings would rightfully burst through the flesh of my back, a painless, bloodless procedure, and the white robes of a Catholic dream would dress my unworthy flesh. I'd shimmer with creation, shiver with transcendence. No more anxiety, my body would know no anticipation. No more paranoia, my eyes would stop imagining monsters in their peripheral. No more multiple personalities, formally known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, because all of the people trapped inside of my separate body parts would get out of my limbs and get into my head. The witches in my fingers with their puppet spiders would combine with the trolls in my hands that force wads of food into the crying babies of my mouth who sob and coo when they get lonely. I would become one. No more eating disorder either, as the angels do not have such selfish needs such as the desire to become satiated.
I have never been Catholic. I was raised a Baptist girl, but with touches of witchcraft and ancient Cherokee rituals and alcohol. I stopped believing in God when I was ten years old, and I hadn't really prayed for anything since. It's a nice thought, but religion would not help my sicknesses.
I wished my name was Genesis so I could be an enlightening beginning.
My folly began to fade when the fullness of my belly became overwhelming. This abhorrent and common sensation was a trigger of guilt. I jolted up with it, ran hastily to the bathroom and lunged over the toilet within mere seconds. I moved too quickly to realize how ill-prepared the vehicle of my animation was feeling.
I gagged and gagged and gagged, even grabbed a toothbrush and gagged myself with the handle, poked and prodded at the back of my throat with agitation and upset until I started tasting blood, but nothing would come up. I was too tired to keep fighting myself, to keep hating the early morning, and my poor stomach ached too hard for water.
"Lazy, lazy, stupid lazy girl. You're weak and useless, weak and worthless, can't you try to get back something, can't you take control of this situation in which you have blasphemously placed yourself?" Purred disorder.
I couldn't put up the fight to either satisfy it, or satisfy the hippie lover who begged me to never purge again, to satisfy my league of doctors and therapists or satisfy anyone else for that matter.
Black, then red.
I weaved in and out of consciousness briefly, noticed a nosebleed somewhere when my eyes weren't cloudy. Gush, thrash, I vaulted hard within myself. The shower turned on, my hands somehow responsible. My clothes peeled themselves away, and I stumbled into the warmth.
My back faced the heat, let it scald down my spine and singe the mostly fresh, slut-red slashes in my thighs. Bubble-bubble, baptism-bubble, oh take the pain away. My heart beat hard against my neck, thankful for the tingle. My chin fell onto my collar bones, and my stomach boiled over. Out came spicy liquid candy mush all at once, and some the remainder of undigested last-nightness. I was disappointed because I didn't seem empty enough.
I could feel the water run down my mane like an ocean of magma. It caressed me with parental punishment, sneaking into every crevice of my body, exposing everything I wanted to hide. I turned the temperature hotter, watched the steam stir through the air, felt the very chaotic and rapid rotational spinning of the Earth in this state of fizzy high.
"Goodmorning," I whispered to nothing.
"Goodmorning," I cried to the rocky tile of the shower wall.
"Goodmorning!" I screamed with startling glee, my voice cracking and waving in pitch and tone.
It turned into a song, an insane slew of good morning goo, and my troubled estuary sang it with a painful rasp. It went on forever in the back of my skull. Goodmorning, dear body, dear child-like body, dear object of whorishness that I use and abuse, dear canvas of cruelty and glass, dear garbage-hole, dear voiceless thing, dear self.