Dead, and yet not Alive

January 4, 2009
A low rumbling sound from the deep caverns of my stomach signals my sudden hunger. My eyes darken as I send Cathy an instant message to tell her that I’ll ‘be right back.’ It’s just another one of my binging periods, and even she knows it.

I leave the lights on, knowing I won’t be long, but close the door behind me to preserve my privacy. To short-hand it to you, my parents are about to split. My mother announced it to me sometime around October, when their shouting matches became too loud to cover up any longer. Ever since then I’ve put on a stony façade, supported by large varieties of comfort food. I give myself a running start and attempt jogging up the stairs. My feat doesn’t last long seeing as what little shreds of stamina I have left can barely support my overweight physique—a big - no, huge, - blow to my ego, as it so happens.

My parents and younger brother are all asleep in their separate rooms, and I try to tell myself that I really, really couldn’t care less, but my conscience begs to differ. I take longer than even I expected to reach the top of the stairs, which probably has something to do with those four extra pounds I put on during the Christmas Holidays, were my indulgences reach almost unforgivable points.

With a series of curious puffs I switch the lights of our lavish upper-apartment section to reveal the adjoined kitchen slash living room. Taking a moment to catch my breath I scope the large room that I should have long gotten used to; fine leather sofas, black marble and pure luxury meet my eyes. In a way I regret my mother’s choice, despite my supporting her every notion, since I now see just what she’s giving up.

I make an immediate beeline for the stainless steel fridge, gripping the reflective handles with chubby hands. A slight tug and the fridge is open, the fact that its so ridiculously simple to open the damn thing is probably the reason to why I ended up the way I am—curves to rival those of Marilyn Monroe slowly replaced by rolls upon rolls of fat. Nothing has ever put me into such a deep state of depression, especially one that I just keep sinking further into, inevitable as the Titanic hitting the iceberg.

I observe the fridge’s contents with hunger-absorbed eyes, cursing to find that all the ‘good stuff’ had already been consumed replaced by tangerines and apples. With a slight grunt I bend over and grip a couple of tangerines, their green stalks still attached. I pull those out first in order to create a crevice without actually piercing the fruit’s tender skin. Impatiently ripping off the fragrant outer layer I dispose of the orange shreds in the dustbin right next to me. Biting into a piece I spit the seeds into the sink, greedily lapping up the juice that flows down my arm. I toss a whole piece into my mouth this time, and try not to notice the guilt building up inside me.

But really, what am I supposed to do then? Let it all devour me and surrender to the inviting, but dangerous claws of Anorexia and Bulimia just like all those other girls at school? Yes, they may prefer the latter to the former since it at least allows them to eat but I would much rather be different, a freak, than another one of them.

Once again, I spit the tangerine’s unwanted seeds into the sink and it becomes a cycle, flawless and uninterrupted until the fruit is consumed, leaving my practically never-ending apatite satiated. After I have gotten rid of the seeds, so as not to leave any evidence I flick the lights off, and parade back to my room with the loud stomps that replaced the old taps my body used to produce. With a few last messages to Cathy we bid each other Adieu and I shut off my computer, retiring to bed.

As I pull what I can of the covers over my body I really can not say that I feel dead, but I still believe that I don’t feel quite as alive as I should. The coffin just hasn’t been lowered yet.

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