“Bags” from “Showroom of Perfections”

21 06 2011

I’m in trouble. My desk drawer in my glorious penthouse office on top of the Cooper building is almost empty. I loaded it up a few hours ago with bags of nuts and cookies and while I pretend to sketch new designs – naturally, I’m dead inside and have no idea what to design next, since my focus is on my desk drawer – I eat everything that’s in there. I pace myself, but eventually, as all things end, there is nothing left.

My stomach is so extended; I look like I’m six months pregnant. I have to get to the bathroom ASAP to get rid of al of this. I’ve done my research: the window of time to vomit it all out before it reaches my small intestines, is 20 minutes. After that, digestion starts and with this, the crap I’ve stuffed myself with, will turn into fat.

In order to get to the bathroom, I have to pass my assistant and the receptionist and on most days, I manage to slip by, sucking in my bloated stomach and when I return, I am able to walk upright, looking like my normal skinny self again.

But today, my boss is here from San Francisco and with him a bunch of CEOs, VPs of merchandising and a whole load of other people who wait for my sketches.

They are all sitting at a conference table right outside my office. No way can I slip by unnoticed this time.

And with my whole body about to explode, I can’t risk walking out there. I know they’re waiting like hawks to present them with sketches and not only that, I’d have to sit down and explain them too. With enthusiasm and confidence. In my state, that’s impossible.

Damn, I berate myself, Couldn’t you just for once hold off until they are gone? But such is the nature of my humiliating addiction: No matter what I’d like to do and should do, the drawer won. Again.

No way can I walk out there and face the expectant people who can’t wait to see the prove that I am a design genius who deserves to earn the salary I’m getting. I have nothing to show them, absolutely nothing.

I panic. But hey, I am creative, just not the way I should be. I’m a solution solver. I always find a way to save my fuck-ups. I grab one of the empty bags in my desk and Thank God and Hail Mary, they are sturdy. I open up one of the bags, bend over it and throw up inside it. It fills up quickly and I have to reach for another bag, quickly. I fill that one up too. Jesus, how much have I eaten? I need a third bag.

Now I have three bags of vomit in my office. How in the world could I hold all this crap inside my 90-pound body? At one of the few Overeaters Anonymous meetings I forced myself to go to, I listened with disgusted fascination to a very young boy who talked about how he would vomit into bags and weigh them before discarding them. “Eight pounds” he informed a room full of people who have heard it all “Eight pounds of vomit. That I hade to hide from my parents. I have 31 days of abstinence since then. This was my lowest point, my bottom and with the help of my Higher Power, I have not had to do this disgusting thing again” Everybody clapped and cheered.

I am far from that. The little bit of honesty that still lives inside me lets me know that this is not the end of my bulimia, far from it. Those bags are an inconvenience, not a deterrent. I should be so lucky. I’m not there yet, not at all. I have another seven years to go until I reach this point. Thank God, I don’t know this yet.

But what now? Those bags have to disappear quickly before my boss enters my office to check on my progress. There is no way to carry this mess out. I notice the open window. Despite the A/C that runs on full speed all day, I always leave a window open. It’s a waste of energy, but I need this connection to the outside air, just so I can pretend that I have a tiny space of connection to Downtown “Nature”.

The window opens over the parking lot of the building. I grab those shame-bags and drop them out of the window. We are on the 12th floor and I have no way to control the directions of the splash of hose bags. They might hit a car or – God forbid – a person walking to their car. All I can hear is a faint plop and I hope that it hasn’t hit a human.

I’d be pissed to get hit with a bag of vomit. I’d be disgusted and hurt and horrified. I’d complain and yell and scream for sure.

I lean out the window and wait for protests. Nothing happens. I wait a few minutes more and when there is nothing but silence, I am so relieved and high from having gotten away one more time, that I sit down on my drawing board and – hell yeah – I sketch a bunch of designs. Suddenly I’m inspired. I draw designs that are fresh and original – I surprise myself with the sudden flight of creative inspiration that soars through me.

Half an hour later, I step outside and present my ideas. My boss and his posse pass my sketches around and nod with satisfaction.

“ Monah is a brilliant genius” one of them beams.

“She’s got it, she gets it, she knows exactly what “she” (the bebe costumer is referred as “she”) wants and needs. Great work, Monah”, my boss’s wife squeals.

I grab a bottle of water on of the many plastic bottles that are always lined up at meetings like this and gulp it down, restoring my depleted hydration.

“Thank You” I smile “I’m so happy you like my ideas” I say humbly.

“No, thank you” my boss praises as he lays out my sketches in the middle of the table “Now lets decide which one of those we will put in the next campaigns.

I feel slightly faint. I’m hungry like a starving kid in India. But I know how to deal with that. Hunger is something I have learned to endure and even appreciate.


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