SHOWROOM OF PERFECTION – Food Trance – Chapter 6

28 03 2011


I’m on another fast, this time on vegetable juice, broth and water. The relentless hunger occupies my brain, my mind, my every thought, but I am equally relentless in my determination to lose weight. And to withdraw from food as I have from heroin – I figure, eventually, the craving will stop. Hey, it worked with drugs.
A few of the therapists in the ward are on it too – they all have some kind of insanity with food and dieting too. Of course they would, they are all ex-druggies like me. My social worker is on a watermelon–only-diet and we all encourage each other.
After a few days, I’m high on starving. My clothes feel loser. I’m lightheaded and inspired, very awake and proud of myself. On day five, the hunger is gone. Food looks strange and I cannot imagine ever eating again.
And there is that arrogant and I’m so much-better-than-you-all-you- poor eaters- feeling that I love so much. I watch a fat women eat a bratwurst out of a paper tray in the subway and I feel sorry contempt for her. She obviously has no self-discipline and control over herself.
I, however, I am in charge.
I’m taking care of my problem. I’m in control of my body and my mind and this weight will be gone in no time. I’m high and mighty and I feel good, more than good. I will never be fat again.

I get off the subway and step into a Health food store to get vitamins and a seaweed bath. I look forward to my bath that will remove the toxins released from the fast.
Inside the Health-food store, I smell Valerian and Eucalyptus and happily roam the aisles. The self-serve bins are filled with nuts and organic cookies of all kinds. I turn my head away and rush by those bins.
Then something in my brain circuit misfires and I rip a bag from a roll. I fill it with oatmeal cookies. Then I stuff a few other bags with nuts and a few organic bagels. I start to chomp down on the cookies before I get to the check out counter. I’ve never tasted something that delicious. I wander through the store, cramming those cookies into my hungry mouth and grab a few protein bars.

The Alterna Girl – skinny, of course – points to a sign that says “Please pay for your purchases before you sample them”
I’m way beyond sampling. This doesn’t apply to me.
Crumbs fall on my fur collar and get stuck there, but I don’t care. There is no word in German for “Binge”. I call those episodes “Fress-attacke”, in lieu of a better word. “Fressen” is what animals do. When I was a child, my anorexic mother would cook a crock-pot of unidentifiable items once a week and that was what we got. We warmed this gruel up every day and she was freed of her feeding- responsibilities.
When I complained, she replied, “Food is for stupid people, just like religion and if you weren’t so dull and stupid, you would not have to eat”
She called this weekly cookout the “Children Fresser Feeding” and when she served it, she smilingly encouraged us to “Friss and get on with your life. Rush! ”.
“Read Shakespeare and Nietzsche and you will understand”, she snapped when we demanded real food like bread and butter and maybe cheese.
One night, my dad finally lost it and slammed his bowl with grey and overcooked gruel that looked like it would be at home in a pig trough in her face. Then he got up and told us to get our shoes and coats to go to a restaurant. My mother sat there, silent tears running down her haggard face and I felt so bad for her that I stayed.
I went into the garden and collected a few hundred ants from the compost heap and let them lose in my father’s bed. A few hours later, they came back; my little sister and brother bowled over wit stomach pain. They’ve had their fill of “Schweins Braten” and Fries and my dad was bragging of their ability to clean their plates.
A few years later, my sister became a bulimic before anyone knew what that was.
I’m in full “Fress Attack” now and am utterly powerless to stop. My bill comes to more than a week of “Earnings” from Dr. Herman’s Sweatshop, but I don’t care. I have to keep stuffing food in my mouth, chew and swallow, chew and swallow and no power or determination can stop me now. Because I know that as soon as I stop, the shame and guilt and remorse will engulf me like a toxic cloud. As my stomach expands, the cloud comes closer. Then I’m in it.
I have to sit down on a park bench because I can’t breathe. I’m so stuffed and it hurts so badly, I start to cry. An hour before, I was light as a bird and now I’m a rolled up baby elephant. I have to loosen my buttons. I stare at the few leftovers in my bags and slam them in the trash, disgusted with myself, humiliated and totally hopeless.
This isn’t going to work without drugs.



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