Food as a Weapon

Once a week I tend to go off, lose control, and stray over to the other side and there just doesn’t seem to be a god damn thing that I can do to prevent it as it’s got nothin’ to do with willpower or just sayin’ no. Like tonight it started while I was in line waitin’ for my espresso order. I kept lookin’ at the scones that were layin’ there on the counter and I swear they were lookin’ back goin’ all “eat me, eat me” in these little high pitched scone voices of theirs. And not being the type that’d disappoint a wholesome baked good I picked out a raspberry vegan one that weighed about thirty pounds and proceeded to rip its head off and stuff it down my throat.

Later that night at the meeting there were these store bought vanilla crème sandwich cookies and havin’ already started down this road of dietary malevolence I casually slipped a few-a-those babies into my jacket pocket and then when no one was lookin’ I quietly munched one as quickly as I could. Of course after tryin’ so hard to be discrete I just said fuck it and grabbed a handful while I mixed a cup of instant cocoa and then rapid fire like I dunked them in the dark hot syrupy liquid and then wham-bam-shoved ‘em into my mouth with something along the lines of gratuitous gluttony.

Yet the truth be told it’s not like I’m really hungry for any of that crap, or that I actually desire the taste of mediocre commercial confections, it’s just that I’m powerless over my addictive behaviors and with a dormant eatin’ disorder just waitin’ in the background I can’t afford to get complacent or the next thing you’ll hear about is me laying in wait outside the corner store on the prowl to mug underage and therefore hopefully defenseless school children that are spendin’ their hard earned allowance money on Twinkies and Skittles.

Although my voraciously distorted appetite is certainly not just limited to bakery goods or candy, especially when it comes to compulsive eatin’ binges, as tacos, pasta, pizza and sushi have their own special way of invading my thoughts as well. Like right now there this mediocre box of an all natural cranberry ginger vegan crunch cereal sittin’ up in the shelf just biding its time knowin’ that any minute now I’m gonna stop writing and get up, cross the room, and chow down a quick bowl with some vanilla soy milk and the whole time that I’m doin’ it I’m gonna be thinkin’ “This shit sucks! Why am I eatin’ it?”

But that’s the way I do things; obsess, until I gotta act or go insane. Like for example if I’m sittin’ reading and I’m thinking and I’m obsessin’ and then I’m missin’ a couple a words and the sentences just ain’t makin’ sense so I gotta go back and reread and then the obsession’s there again and I gotta either do somethin’ else to make myself stop thinkin’ or I gotta act on it. It doesn’t matter which, but I gotta do it and the whole ordeal is so fraught with anxiety that it’s no wonder that I usually just succumb to my cravings and get it over with as soon as possible.

Yesterday down in the underground I was ridin’ a train back from the dentists and there were these high school kids kickin’ it actin’ stupid and just watchin’ them; the boys showin’ off, the girls in awe, the introverted kids off in the shadows, the extroverted kids all loud makin’ a nuisance of themselves, all I could think about was how painful it all looked. All this growin’ up awkward, unsure, with no directions and I was relieved that I didn’t have to live like that again.

Yet it’s from that exact same period of my life, those oh so wonderful adolescent years, that my eating disorder first emerged, and though it lay tucked away in some unused portion of my fetid brain throughout my professional stint as a drug addict it sure raised its ugly head the minute I got clean and started to eat again. And now whether it’s true or not every time that I look in the mirror I see a fat slob, an ugly person or at the very least someone that just isn’t desirable and believe it or not this leaves me more confused until I just don’t eat anything at all.

Ya know I think that it’s safe to say that my perception of things in general is pretty much warped, it’s no wonder that I used drugs, hell, it’s a total wonder that I can even function without them. Though I do gotta say that unlike bein’ a dope fiend who once in a while daydreams about gettin’ high as a vegetarian I never seem to get the urge to sink my teeth into some freshly slaughtered meat. Well, hardly ever, there was that one time at the Slanted Door and these plates of braised steak kept waltzing by all nonchalant like as I waited for my spicy braised eggplant and for some unknown reason they started lookin’ good. So good in fact that I actually found myself thinkin’ of munchin’ down on a little bloody rare Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. After all “It’s what’s for dinner.” And what kinda ad campaign was that? “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” Well, I guess that I’m not fuckin’ eatin’ then, eh?

But it really doesn’t matter what I eat cause I just don’t do it in what anybody would call the normal way. Like do normal people think about what they’re gonna be eatin’ next when they haven’t even finished chewing the first bite of what they’ve got? Do normal people keep eating until they’re sick and then never eat that certain food again? Do normal people, after they eat too much, go to the bathroom and throw up? Do normal people…

Ok, enough with the normal people questions cause I gotta tell ya what’s really buggin’ me is that downstairs are two vending machines located off to the side of the lobby by the laundry room and while sittin’ here I’ve been counting my change and visualizing Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Almond Joys and BBQ Potato Chips and Sour Gummy Worms. And it’s not the question of whether or not I’m goin’ to go get some it’s whether or not I do it the crackhead way and just go down and buy one candy bar come back to the room and eat it and then jones for a bit and go back for another? Or do I spend all my money I got and go for the big score?

After all it’s also about not havin’ anybody see you down there gropin’ the machines whacked outta your mind on a sugar binge. And ya know what’s really amazing is that those machines ain’t totally destroyed, ripped open for the change, the candy bars nothin’ but wrappers litterin’ the floor. But I guess they do provide nourishment for the entire building so why would anyone jeopardize their meal ticket by takin’ them out? After all that’s what the laundry machines are for, right?

Maybe I should just call somebody instead sayin’ “Hey man help me, I’m gonna relapse on M&M’s!” And just thinkin’ like that I stop for a minute and slowly run my fingers through my hair easin’ my hand down and resting my forehead in its palm. On the desk in front of me there’s two dollars in nickels and dimes which I push away tilting my eyes upward towards the window and the night sky. The deep rumble of bass from a rap song drifts in over the breeze, a woman’s laughter erupts from the apartment below, the clock on the desk says twelve midnight and if I just get my ass to bed and go to sleep I’ll make it through the night into a new day.

5 Responses

  1. Christi Lee

    It is hard getting off the sugar…As long as it is in your system; you crave it like a tragic hero clings to the frays of his downfall, think The Mayor of Casterbridge…

    I personally love to eat and read; pizza, Calzones, crackers, cheese, wine, pickles, and toast, but not all at once. I could, mind you, but I keep my fridge and cupboards so bear that the few rodents and cockroaches of the building are never found in my apartment, unless they leave money under the mat in high hopes that I will buy some groceries.

    The vending machine seems to be your antagonist. My best advice would be to find a CoinStar and make it your daily sponsor.

    Another beautiful post about the Human Condition.

  2. Adriana Bliss

    Uck. Sounds like my life, recently. Food has taken on a whole new meaning at this late stage of the game.

    As usual, Patrick, you write misery so damn beautifully.

  3. Green Glass Beads

    Sweetie, I laughed so hard when you destroyed the scone!Are you hungry when you eat this stuff? I mean do you “just have a snack” when you could manage a full-blown meal?I am not saying I’m normal, but I too have been wondering about my obsession with food so I started asking people about it and I figured this(for what it’s worth):
    Obsessing about food is better than not eating.
    It’s better than doing drugs.
    Look at most animals.What do they do all day, given half a chance(I’m not talkin rabbits, I mean cows and horses and stuff)?
    You need food so it probably is an addiction of sorts.
    Most healthy people who like their food obsess about it.
    When I eat well it doesn’t matter if I have some junk or not cos I don’t put on weight.Only when I eat badly. Maybe eating well is the key? Dunno if this helps, but hope it does

  4. SB Stokes

    The ending just kills me. Funny and bleak and insightful all at once. How do you do that?

  5. lab munkay

    I dunno what you are talkin about. Just because I ate half a lemon merange pie that slide out of its pan and landed on the counter upside down, and I hate lemon merange pie, doesn’t mean I have a problem. Those pie making suger pushers gotta make a livinf too.