Last night I stayed up late to finish an assignment. I finished at 2:30am, and then lay in bed awake until 4. I don’t usually have trouble sleeping. It’s been a long time since I did an assignment. I think S had only just left Australia. Then when they made me a lawyer, I left on the next plane. I ended up posting my Soundwave ticket home to my cousin and staying an extra week.
By 4pm today I was flagging. I went across the road to the pub to get a sweet coffee. I was standing at the bar waiting. A group of men behind me speaking in a language that did not sound like Polish, Greek, or German. Tiny yellow leaves on the ground. The air is cool and wet and pushes my hair. For the first time I realise that weight loss is an inevitability. Even if I do nothing, I will lose 20 kilos within 12 months.
Am I ready?
Am I ready not to be fat?
Will I remember what this feels like? What this felt like? All the times it made me feel like dying. How ridiculous, for something so superficial to make you feel like you cannot. go. on.
All the times as a child I prayed to wake up thin. To wake up somewhere else. To sleep and dream forever.
It’s been a long time since it was that bad, but there have been times in the last 5 years when I have just felt. so. tired. Lose. Gain again. Lose less. Gain again. Lose more. Gain again.
In Sunday school I was told a story about a little girl with brown eyes who wanted blue. Every night she lay down and prayed that when she woke up she would have blue eyes. God never answered her prayer and she was so angry. So hurt. She thought God did not love her. When she was grown she went to a country far away on a mission. She went to convert non-Christians. There was a temple the missionaries wanted to gain access to, to convert people but you could not enter as a Westerner. So they dyed her skin with coffee. Without her brown eyes she would not have been able to gain entry to the temple. God had a plan for her.
The less said here the better.
There is no plan. I can be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to be ready now, I have weeks, months. I don’t want to ever forget.
I wake up every morning, I put my clothes on and I ride my bike to school. It takes me half an hour. I don’t eat breakfast and I don’t take lunch. I sit on my own and I read. I stay in the out of bounds areas. I come early enough that no one will see me and when the bell rings I slip back into the crowd. I am 163cm tall and I weigh 62kg. I want to lose 10 but I don’t know how to make it happen. I am too ashamed to ask how. I am enormous.
There is one small mirror in the bathroom at home and I have to stand on the corner of the bathtub and lean forward to see myself. I stare at my body and I wonder what I am doing wrong. I wonder why God hates me so much. I am 12 years old.
It wasn’t always like this, but it was like this in one way or another for a long time.
‘If you keep eating like that you’ll end up as big as a house’.
Sometimes everything is fine. Sometimes there will be a fight before dinner ends. I will sit at the table on my own and finish my food while I cry.
I am on the ground, curled around my stomach. I look up and through the kitchen window I can see my neighbour, 2 years older, and another girl from school, my age, looking down at me, watching. I know they can hear.
I don’t like eating when I am upset. There is a horrible feeling in my stomach.
I don’t get upset that much anymore. I am mostly happy.
I am 22. I was 92 kilograms in March, I am 96 in July. I am sitting on his bed cross legged eating a bowl of ice cream. I am wearing his hockey jersey and a pair of underpants. The jersey is long and it goes halfway down my thighs when I stand. J is telling me that he kissed another girl. He was very drunk. He touched her breast through her shirt. He couldn’t get hard. She tried to touch him through his clothes and he left the room and left her in there. I can’t eat the ice cream. I go upstairs to stand with his Mother and help her with the dishes. The kitchen is bright and the house is full of dull, homey noises and warm cigarette smoke. J tells me that he will never ever do it again and I cry and he kisses my face.
I want to go back to every time she cried and hold her.
I will be ready. I will never forget her.
I will be ok.