Trigger Warning: Anorexia
It’s that terrible grip—“What have I done to myself; Lord, what have I done, I’m going to inflate, bloat, skin calcified or turned to stone; heavy, elephantine, considerable, fat. You’ve made yourself fat again, and you’ll undo it if it kills you.”
The rush to finish your pile of food—the French toast (dripping with maple syrup, smothered with whipped cream), the leftover turkey (you rubbed it with kosher salt and rosemary yourself, brined it overnight, cooked it for four hours), the granola (chocolate and pecan), the cranberry sauce (jellied, slurped with the gusto and ease of Jello).
You grab two ice-cold water bottles to the fridge, almost running the cat over on your way jogging to the bathroom as you chug, chug, god you feel so full, so sick
And after you finish that second bottle you throw it to the side and heave, heave, and nothing but salty-sweet cold water comes out. You wet you fingers, shove and tickle, heave.
Nothing. Nothing else comes out but slightly cloudy maple-water, stained with cream.
Bass rumbles up the driveway. PANIC. It’s your boyfriend, home from work, and he CAN’T KNOW. You panic, throat clenching more than expected.
Tickle, tickle, rub and HEAVE. Success! The breadgranolaturkeycranberry comes tumbling out, cinnamon stinging your throat like old whiskey. You’ve won. You beat your boyfriend to the punch, the calories are gone, your stomach scraped clean. Empty, light. You dab the tears from your eyes, blow your nose, chug some more water and pop a mint.
You go out to the kitchen, stir the tomato soup on the stove, and smile.