The Life of an Anorexic

February 2, 2011
By , Riverside, RI
anorexia:
it doesn’t stop me from
walking down the street to
the grocery store, buy
yogurt, eight ounces; carrots, olives-
my daily food intake, it’s enough.

it doesn’t stop me from
taking the bus to school and
sitting in class and laughing with friends,
refusing lunch, lie “i already ate”,
knowing i’m going home to my food.

three o’clock comes and i’m home, with
a ceramic bowl of fifteen baby carrots,
carefully counted out; one can of olives,
and low fat vanilla yogurt, eight ounces.

sitting watching disney shows
as i shovel it all down,
take an hour to eat, and
then i’m full,
then i’m done-
at least until tomorrow when
the cycle starts all over again.

maybe next week i’ll start a new phase,
bread and an apple at two o’clock and
maybe even some dinner later; but
oh no-
next sunday’s a family party, and
i will have to eat…
best to start starving myself till then-
cut down on those olives…
maybe the carrots, too.

but really, it doesn’t stop me from
anything.

it doesn’t stop me from laughing,
or brushing my teeth every morning;
watching law and order with daddy;
dusting and laundry and sweeping the floor;
taking notes in class and doodling in the margins;
writing poetry in the back of my notebook.

it doesn’t stop me from
shopping with ma as we talk about
vera bradley bags and movies and
what happened at school last tuesday;
sprawling on my friend’s bedroom floor,
or hanging around at the park as we
talk about who’s cute, who’s not, and
“did you hear about so-and-so?”

it doesn’t stop from
going to work to wash dishes,
mindlessly for hours scrubbing
crusty potato off plates;
going home and making my bed; or
walking around my neighborhood; or
staring at the boy sitting across from me,
because he just might glance back
every other monday.

really, it doesn’t stop me from anything.

if anything, it’s the most real,
invigorating, empowering, exhilarating
part of my life:
to push it all away;
a response-
to all my lies and fake perfection and
fake happiness.

for hating myself in the mirror;
hating the scale;
to all the people who judge me;
to everyone who ever hurt me…

look at me and you’ll never know,
all the chaos bubbling underneath of
people crying and screaming and
bodies thrown against a wall, glass breaking;
the slap of his hand as he
shoved me away, confessing he cheated; and
seeing my best friend lying in a heap,
her eyes revealing she’s been smoking again…

and i, i…
take it all out on my body…
and push the food away.





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