She watched the car back out of the drive way and turn onto the street. As soon as it was out of sight she nearly sprang out of her chair and locked herself in the back room. She was breathing heavily but she didn’t stop; something fiery and nauseating swelled in her belly – pushing her forward. The shelves were full – they always were, and she reached for the first bag she saw. Pretzels. Into her mouth she shoved a handful, two handfuls, three. Swallowed. The fire still burned in her abdomen and she put the bag back on the shelf. Doughnuts. With shaking hands she ripped open the box and grabbed one covered in frosting. One bite, two bite, three. It tasted like regret and depression and anger and hate. Hate, so much hate, staining her shirt and her pants and her heart. She thrust more doughnuts into her bursting cheeks, forcing them down with Cheesecurls and chocolate. Her eyes were squeezed shut but she knew she was crying, sobs of forbidden sugar and calories. The box was suddenly empty but her stomach was full and she placed it down silently on the shelf. Breathe. She felt unclean, so dirty and disgusting, but she let out a sigh of relief anyway. The fire was gone, at least for now. She wiped the crumbs and the tears from her face, ignoring the will to vomit. A car horn sounded from a far away driveway and she floated sadly back to reality. From the pockets of her jeans she pulled out a smile and opened the door, her mouth and soul swollen with invisible cavities.
November 19, 2009