In Tides

Water has always been a remedy.

Showering with the lights off.

Holding your breath beneath miles of ocean.

Crying until you can no longer breathe.

Swimming your muscles numb.

 

April 20th. 2010. Oil spill. Football fields of black and debris.

 

We made headlines.

 

I guess I forgot to think of humans as chemical reactions until I was reminded of the first time unholy things sparked from your mouth, knowing that you must be the conductor and, I, the charge.

When I learned about combustion in science class, I thought of the death of entire planets and the day we forgot how to say each other’s names like bible verses.

All carbon dioxide and water.

 

We seemed to fall apart.

 

Last night, I forgot what it meant to be held together by my own gravity; to be minuscule and massive, simple and complex beyond knowledge.

What it meant to have radiating energy, to come near exploding; to spend life changing, rotating, and moving.

 

Suddenly, I was sent hurdling.

 

This morning, I found sea salt caked on my wrists; a sign that the sky was darkening once more.
Talk into the sea shells. Ask the tops of my thighs, my crushed collar bones; ask my teeth cracked, acid eroded knuckles.

 

Ask the people who utter my name with pure rage.
They will tell you: I used to be apologetic, once.

I self-destruct in miniature ways each day.

 

 

I was never afraid of the idea of collapse.

 

Until today.

 

Statistics

statistics

Today is a bad day and I think I write better when I’m drunk.

Last year was more like turning off my phone so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for the call that was probably never coming. Every morning was exhaustion and disappointment and heavy eyes until I turned it all off. I couldn’t feel sad about loneliness if loneliness was a choice.

And I chose it.

Everyday, I chose it – keeping my own hands empty so that no one could ever tell me how unholdable they were. Keeping my feet ungrounded so that no one could ever tell me how flighty I was.

This is not a triumph story.

This year, I hate that I have to write so much about violence.

My name is

Baby

as you lean out of your car and spit at my feet. It lands in a puddle in front of me and I am thirteen in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and I run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home.

My name is

Sweetie

and I am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block.

You name us.

We are

Honey

and

Darling

and

Why the fuck won’t you talk to me.

My name is

Nice ass

and it’s two in the afternoon and I still feel my heart slam against my ribs because I am under the earth with weak lungs and even weaker fists and while you stumble down the steps with the crumbs of someone still in the corners of your mouth, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my brother who is walking behind me shouts, “She’s seventeen, you dipshit!”.

I saw the error in humans that day.

My name is

Little lady.

My name is

Sugar baby.

My name is

Fuck you and fuck your friends.

My name is

Look me in the face!

My name is

Stop frowning.

My name is

Smile.

My name is

This is a compliment.

This is not a compliment.

It’s the beginning of November and I feel like I’ve been cold long before the leaves started falling.

My name takes nice words and turns them into bullet wounds.

My name is

Damn girl.

My name is

Drunk girl.

My name is

Just let me finish.

 

I did not give you permission to “fuck the shit outta me.”

 

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

 

My name is

I cannot breathe.

 

 

I am

Lock the door once,

Lock the door twice.

Leave the lights on.

 

Stop shaking.

 

I am

Is there someone downstairs?

There’s definitely someone downstairs.

Where the fuck did the phone go?!

 

There’s no one downstairs.

 

I am

tight-chested mornings.

I am

take a quick shower so that just in case someone breaks in, you have time to get prepared.

I am

don’t forget to look over your shoulder.

 

My name is

I still remember the way the carpet tasted pressed against the side of my face as you crushed me with your one hundred and ninety pounds of booze and daddy issues.

My name is

I can’t even get high anymore without thinking about the way you so easily emptied me without any intentions of ever filling me back up.

My name is

I scrubbed my hands twenty six times the next morning in an attempt you to rid you from beneath my fingernails but sometimes, I swear, I still taste shreds of you when I’m throwing up dinner.

 

Fuck you.

I did not ask for this.

 

Today is a bad day.

Robbers

bloggie2It’s 1:24 in the morning and I realize now that the hours between 12 and 4 have a funny way of making one either feel on top of the world or beneath it.

A man with green woven eyes that each started out with a train of thought that went on and on and on ending in tangled messes pooled in his pupils took advantage of me last night. It was dark and our blood seemed to be mostly comprised of Pinnacle bullshit and chain-smoked memories; we cut off what we could but somewhere, along the line, I forgot things.

Little interwoven fibers.

One

by

One.

There was no needle to pull the thread along.
And I forgot a few more inches of his eye string until all I had was a tiny little piece and I couldn’t quite remember just where we had started off.

I suppose I’d never seen the end of the world before last night; where salty air grips your throat violently.

Where the sea meets the sky in a dull blue line before you.

It’s where the wind caresses the tiger lilies in big ceramic vases, where the street glimmers with diamonds and emeralds of broken glass; where children’s thundering, heartbeat ­footsteps pound as they race for the rides in bright and foamy sandals.

Where the garbage and mystery flirt lazily with murder, where the seagulls converge on plump, glossy trash bags; where the flies hum their own ode to the stench amplified in July’s humidity.

Where tiny diners stand as they implode from within; where nothing ever changes.
It’s the immortality that lurks in the peeling, stained wallpaper, and the sticky linoleum floors and the cigarette-tainted voices of the waitresses.

I saw that last night. I saw it in the way his bottom lip missed a step when I murmured something about trust; I saw it in the way he swallowed me whole.

And maybe I’m insane for making someone so violent sound like a masterpiece but

Maybe that’s how I allow myself to forgive.

And maybe I can’t quote biblical verses or remember the story of Adam and Eve but maybe we’re all just misguided sinners in the hands of angry gods and maybe this is why 1:24 in the morning feels so goddamn beautiful even after men with heavy eyes ruin your favorite pair of underwear and

Crush your universe.

Loofas

I spent an hour trying to get an eyelash out of my eye today.

I think it’s still there.

Maybe it’s still there.

A part of me wants to blame the fact that I want to cry, even now as I type this, on my raging, womanly hormones and another part of me wants to blame the eyelash that is

Not still there.

Someone stole my loofa this morning.

Maybe they took my ribs too.

Either way, neither one- my bones nor the ball of plastic-y scrunch- was there when I looked for them in their

Designated spots.

Oceans Part II

Last night, I went to bed obnoxiously hopeful; I was determined to wake up bright and early and make myself an egg white sandwich with apple slices.

This is the part where we laugh.

After a long and restless night that felt more like a midlife crisis than anything else, “bright and early” ended up being more of a “What is life?” and the egg white sandwich with apple slices ended up being more of a slightly under-toasted whole wheat English muffin with reduced fat cream cheese. It was gross but it was safe and that’s what I needed in that moment.

As I sat picking away pieces of the bread, watching its edges crumble in small pieces onto my plate, I couldn’t help but think, “Me too, English muffin. Me too.”

In that moment, we were both crumbling.

You see, the human body is mostly comprised of four main elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, with the majority of that in the form of

Water.

One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms held together by tiny covalent bonds.

Water.

Maybe that’s why I’m so easily molded.

Influenced.

Shaped.

PlayDough-ed.

Maybe that’s why I’m so painfully transparent.

You see, to be honest, I miss a lot of things about how my life used to be.

Not that my life used to be novel-worthy or anything like that but, it was simple. And it was enough. At least for a while. I miss when playlists understood me, I miss the way that, sometimes, I’d forget how to breathe when I told a good story, I miss bacon and eggs, I miss the way Sparkling Grape Juice made me feel like a cool kid, I miss when pouting still solved problems; when the melodramatic tragedies of my life played out on playgrounds.

I miss using night lights, I miss the way I used to loose things in the couch cushions and, yes, I realize that was a typo but I also miss when mistakes didn’t bother me so much; when personal errors didn’t feel so devastating. I miss yelling “Shotgun!”, I miss sifting creek sand between my toes, I miss the way I used to imagine how life would be after I parted ways with Earth. I used to imagine my bones being pieced together with some sort of paste or Scotch tape; threaded together and tossed back into space until someone happened to slip across it. I imagined outstretching my arms and embracing the sky only to be thrown back by its growls and plunging, headfirst, into the mud and stone and clay because, when it’s your last day, you don’t worry about grass stains.

I miss the way it felt the first time I saw my mom in a dress. I was four and newly adopted and although, now, it only feels like a vague memory faded by time and tears and Band-Aids and late night conversations, I remember it nonetheless.

It was a polka dot dress.

The dress was as new to me as she was.

As I hid beneath our wooden coffee table that wobbled awkwardly on its antique legs and smelled slightly like dust and musk, I saw the very edges of her dress breathe as she did and although she stood at just barely past five feet, she was a

Superhero.

Sometimes it’s hard to find words to articulate the magnitude of your emotions when you realize you’ve become nothing more than a shell of the person you used to be. For every day that I let go of this eating disorder and realize just how hollow and empty this disease has made me; I am realizing more and more just how many moments I truly took for granted. As I mourn the loss of the eating disorder- my coping mechanism and sense of purpose, of real importance for so long- I also have to mourn the loss of who I used to be.

And that makes me sad.

But I guess that’s okay, right? I mean, after all, the human body is mostly comprised of four main elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, with the majority of that in the form of

Water.

One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms held together by tiny covalent bonds and family recipes and Captain Morgan and perfect staccatos and mistakes.

The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery bullshit: 31%.

I am water but hardly an ocean.

A significant fraction of my body is precipitating and evaporating; readily

Influenced.

Shaped.

PlayDough-ed.

I am water.

Therefore, some days I am weak.

And that’s okay.

 

Creature Fear

A while back, a very sweet and dear friend of mine, Laura, gave me an eating disorder workbook during a time in my life when I had really been struggling with my disorder. Since being back in Illinois, I really haven’t had much time to look at it or, rather, to make time to look at it. However, for some reason, the other day, I had decided to give it a shot.

As I skimmed its pages filled with charts and tips and self reflection exercises, I came across a single question that I not only think one must ask themselves when pursuing recovery but, also, a question I think a lot of skeptics ponder when approaching this situation.

What is your eating disorder like for you?

It took a while for me to fully comprehend the question. I analyzed its letters and syllables searching for an alterior motive but, I found none. It was a simple question.

What is your eating disorder like for you?

I guess I could have answered this question a few different ways. Perhaps I could’ve created a pie chart illustrating the different parts of my day, perhaps I could have made a list of

  • Bullet
  • Points

somewhat depicting the pros and cons of my disorder, or perhaps I could’ve answered the question by simply stating, “Shitty.”, because it truly is. But the fact of the matter is, as much as I would have liked to have answered this question with socially frowned upon profanity, the truth of it is, my eating disorder is far more complicated than that.

My eating disorder is tiring; more than tiring.

T-I-R-I-N-G

Six letters of a word that could never do my eating disorder justice.

My eating disorder is sleeping past noon, past one and two, past the stiff knees, heavy arms, and the thick white morning air just so I can buy myself a few extra hunger-free seconds.

Minutes.

Hours.

As my body screams for me to get up and to welcome the new day, my mind tells me otherwise; to fight against all unwavering laws of nature. To wait until the hunger passes.

My eating disorder is walking back and forth, up and down, tapping feet and fingers, knocking together knees and hearts

“…and lunge.”

because the seven extra calories I consumed in the homemade cookie I took a bite of earlier will kill me. And don’t you dare try to argue this with me. They will fester like toxic sludge in every impurity of my being, clinging like disease to healthy red blood cells, until everything I’ve worked so hard for is lost and I am nothing but just that.

Toxic sludge.

My eating disorder is sitting in my room watching The Biggest Loser, chain smoking the life out of my last few Newports hoping that the radio waves and Nicotine will be enough to fill me up; enough to say, “No thanks, I already ate.” Because although breakfast and lunch are the easiest of the three meals to skip, dinner is, by far, the hardest. I feel my stomach fold and reach and cave in on itself and although I know I should eat, I know that I can’t.

My eating disorder is quietly exercising in my room long after everyone has gone to sleep.

50 leg lifts.

50 more.

Crunches.

Butterflies.

Planks.

More.

More.

More.

While the house hums with sweet dreams and muffled snores, the voice in the back of my head the Bible had warned me about long before I even knew what sin was is screaming,

“You fucking fat ass!”

“You are a worthless piece of shit.”

“You will never be perfect.”

“Be perfect!”

“BE PERFECT!”

Although I want nothing more than a simple rest as my eyelids fall heavy with sleep and my joints, slowed with late night exhaustion, I know that I must feel my demons of the day weep alongside the sweat that falls from the outer edges of my hairline and into the carpet of my 4 by 4 room.

My eating disorder is seeing the disappointment in my friends’ eyes and at the very corners of their mouths when they ask, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?!”, because I tell them that I’m too tired for a day out. My eating disorder is hearing the dissipating enthusiasm in their voices when they ask, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?”, because they no longer hold expectations. My eating disorder is watching as my friends, one by one, come around less often and hearing nothing that resembles, “Do you want to come to the mall with us?”, or, “Hey, wanna hangout?”, because they aren’t the ones who fell for the calories. They aren’t the ones

cosumED.

My eating disorder is no longer being able to taste the binge food. The handfuls upon handfuls of pasta and pizza and chocolates and Flaming Hot Cheetos; the massive breakdowns when the hunger gets to be too much and hating myself for letting it get this far.

It’s the bathroom rituals. “Wash hands in hot water and soap. Rinse. Repeat. Take off ring. Wash hands again. Pull back hair. Purge.

Make everything come up.

Taste your memories. Taste your fears. Taste those greasy mistakes.”

I taste my damage.

“Put back on ring.”

My eating disorder is feeling lifeless clumps of the hair that my mom once twisted into big, shiny braids run down the back of my neck, weaving in and out of my shoulder blades and thoracic vertebrae, into the shallow water that pools at the very tips of my toes when I take my morning showers and knowing that I am very much so weathering just not quite sure what from; the starving or the purging?

My eating disorder is trying to cease the seemingly never-ending war between mind and body; my body is crumbling, begging for more while my mind degrades me for asking in the first place. For wanting what I cannot have.

It’s opening cabinets just to close them again because what’s inside is nothing safe. Although I was never particularly good in anatomy, I will dissect my meals until I know every part of its DNA. Although I was never particularly good in math, I will add, subtract, multiply and divide every calorie until I know every part of its formula.

It’s knowing that food can never make me feel whole yet still clinging to the idea that maybe, one day, it might because I know that somewhere along the way, I lost pieces of myself.

It’s counting down the days until Christmas not because I’m excited for its festivities but because I must be #skinny4xmas; I must be stronger by then.

It’s feeling my throat sting as I take drags from my menthol cigarettes because I forgot to cut my nails before I shoved my fingers down my throat the night before.

It’s convincing myself that I do not need food; that my stomach, instead, is applauding me for being invincible. For being brave.

It’s wanting to tell you more about what my eating disorder is like but neglecting to find the words to fit into sentences that fit into paragraphs that fit into the big picture of it all because I am still too embarrassed of everything that my eating disorder truly is.

I don’t want to tell you that I feel as if though I have lost control of everything I thought I had in life.

I don’t want to tell you that, if I could, I would’ve stopped myself from letting it get this far; that I would’ve asked for help.

I don’t want to tell you that I miss my dad.

I don’t want to tell you that most days, I feel hardly strong enough to fight for recovery.

I don’t want to tell you that I wake up already tired.

I don’t want to tell you that I would give anything not to feel.

And I definitely don’t want to tell you that even now, as I sit here typing this, I am hungry. I am tired and I am hungry but I will not eat until my legs can hardly hold me and my eyes can hardly focus because

this

is exactly

what my eating disorder is like for me.