Two weeks ago, I dreamt of anorexia. (I also dreamt of playing hide-and-seek with zombies on an oceanliner.) I meant to write about this dream (this ghost, because that’s what dreams are), but I was scared sick. It’s taken me fourteen days, a number of drowning girls, raw-hearted progressive metal, and Amanda Palmer’s TED talk, but I’m here. I’m writing this.
I’m writing this to put starvation and stomach-coiled mind-fucks into prose.
I’m writing this to end my haunting, or at least expose the ghost in my gut.
I’m writing because I don’t want to. Because I don’t want you to read this and because you will. Because somehow, the potential for exposure is enough to drive me to write. Writing naked. I’m writing naked. (No I’m not; I’m wearing blue flannel, and head phones, and an ancient bell from a Viking settlement in Russia.)
Just like my ten-year-old self once prefaced her journals:
Don’t read this, don’t read this, don’t read this.
I dreamt of anorexia. I dreamt of dead things. Before the sea-faring zombies, a dream-someone asked me–Are you anorexic? And I said–Yes, I’m anorexic.
Which was (is?) a lie. But only a small one. Like I said, dreams are ghosts, are hauntings–recurrences, past leaching into present (as if you can peel the two apart), a hand wrapped around your spine, sinking through your plastic skull. So I’m not anorexic any longer: I bleed every month (I once went–eight months, a year?–without blood), I’m not 5′ 7.75″ and 112 lbs (still 5′ 7.75″–but I’m 130 lbs now), I don’t keep a brain-log of calories, I don’t put food in my mouth and spit it out (not like I used to, at least).
But I won’t say I don’t agonize. Or make rules (eat this, not that, that, that). But I eat more than I restrict.
And…THE END, for now. I have no clever witticism to end this blog post with. No red iron ribbon to tie it up with that says NO MORE. My short stories often end in placenta. So should my other writing. This writing. Anorexia is not something with an ending. (As in: I hope I haven’t screwed my bone-density too badly.) Like Imp says at the end of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (page 309):
You will always be haunted, but it’s done.
Imp follows done with the words You can go now. But I can’t. I’m starting at India Morgan Phelps’s ‘ending,’ reading her writing her story her haunting her memoir to begin the (so called) ending of my own.
But enough, Jenn. Enough for this sunblindingly blue-bone Montana evening. More ghosts for you later.
One more thing: I’ll tell you now: I WILL write more, I have to, no matter this isn’t blog post fodder, the stuff to advertise ME, to get people to click LIKE or FOLLOW–this blog is just a convenient place to put my mind (belly). Public, digital journaling is easier for me than the cover-hidden dead-tree kind. Maybe because I know it’ll be found. I can’t burn it.