i am starting to eat more these past few weeks, because these past few months have not been good for my body. i feel like i should apologize. apologize to my shell that still holds me together despite how little i feed and love it. a meal a day; or two if i’m nice. always eating when i’m with friends to escape suspicion. but always calculative in the way i push aside the potatoes. in my nightmares i lose clumps of my hair. consolation for the fact that although hair escapes into my hands in real life, i lose a lot more of it in my dreams. this not including the moments when i obsessively pluck out my imperfect strands. my thigh gap has finally arrived but i have paid with cold feet and aching joints. my chest pains have returned because my heart is tired. i still don’t understand all that goes wrong with this temple when i forget to worship its light and rivers. i still remember when they called me a stick, too thin and breakable. at first i wanted to be fatter. i looked at the plump wealth of health on the arms of other girls and read happiness on their faces. but my body wasn’t familiar to me when it was renewed. no i wasn’t used to the sensation of thigh brushing against thigh, or the soft slap of the arm at the side of your body and the feel of your tummy when you bend down. i was too aware of my excess, although this is supposed to be normal. so then i wanted to be thin again. I still remember a time when a girl pointed at my face in the class photo and called me ugly. when boys didn’t open the doors for me even though they did for the girl before. when i bought my first waxing strips. my mother whispering to my father that i am too young to care about these things. me asking others, am i beautiful if you took away these eyebrows? am i beautiful if i took away these legs, this skin, this face, this hair. when i remove all of these things, would i be beautiful?
yes. they said. yes, you would be beautiful if your hair wasn’t so unruly. and if it wasn’t my hair it was my skin, or my legs, or the eyes. always now, i keep remembering me, 6 years old, standing in front of the mirror, stretching myself to look at and feel my ribcage.