I deleted my previous blog post. But prior to doing so, I made a duplicate and saved it as a draft - unpublished. I have a rule, (not surprising, I know), to never take back that which you put out to the world. It is what I consider to be a form of transparency. Transparency is one of the foundational tenets of journalism. I am not ashamed of transparency because it is a way of proactively informing and communicating to an uncensored audience. And yet, I feel like I have found a pigeon-hole to this self-imposed, some might say obsessive, rigid, perfectionist and trivial rule. That said, I didn’t delete the post in totality. It is still here and is floating in space. The point is, is that it takes up space. It is matter. It matters, because it happened. I truly felt that way. Things transpired. Words were exchanged. Tough love could not be more accurately defined.
All my mother wanted was for me to take up matter. She wanted for me to exist. I have apologized to her multiple times. My father as well, and my brother too.
Tears streamed down my face, with such frequency, such force, day after day, that another day came as no surprise. But this time, the tears surfaced from subterranean altitudes. They didn’t surface from the surface. They were 2-D - planar and artificial. I could have bottled them up and become a millionaire off of the first human-grade re-wetting lubricant eye drops: Out with ReNu and in with ReShmi.
2-D: think of a stick-figure. That is what it felt like when walking on the days leading up to my third-Anorexia-related Emergency Room visit. I was walking on stilts. There was no cushion around my pelvic bones, or crotch. There was no insulation on my coccyx or tail bone - the skin of which was dry and cracked - black - bone threatening to protrude from beneath my skin. My right knee felt like it was buckling and would give out. I stealthily had fetched the Icy Hot roll-on from the medicine cabinet in my parents’ bathroom so as not to stir up concern.
On the day of scheduled plans and unforeseen circumstances, I dressed in olive green sweater tights, monochromatic pleated tea-length belt-waisted skirt, and a short-sleeve white button-down collared shirt with multi-color piping tucked in. I threw my Citizens of Humanity denim jacket over it. Multicolored stitching etched on the back and along the sleeves. Despite the warm temperature, I swept and swathed a Kashmiri silk scarf around my neck. I put on my sequined bubblegum pink Mary Jane shoes and opted for my heavy leather backpack in order to save another trip up the stairs to fetch a more dainty purse that could prove fatal. This act proved counterproductive because the backpack ended up being heavier than I had ever remembered it being. Two magazines, a half-filled water bottle, wallet, and cosmetic bag, felt like I was carrying my Apple laptop, a brick or two, and 2 two -gallon containers of milk: Whole milk - because that’s what my altered mind had equated the beverage as being - weighing more in caloric units of energy and a force opposing gravity.
I entered the car and despite the beauty of the day, swaddled myself, arms wrapped around me in a sulking embrace, loosened hair freely blowing in a curtain as I leaned forward, top of head facing the forceful wind from the front seat windows that were open. I nestled my neck into the wound up scarf. My eyes were shut tightly, though I suspect they were still slightly ajar because the skin was tugged tautly outward to such a degree that the spherical eyeballs seemed they would jut out at a moment’s notice. I envisioned my portrait on the cover of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, eyeballs about to fall out, hanging by sinewy rose-pink vessels.
The temperate warmth that prefaces a late Spring birthday and the forthcoming Summer was one of my favorite times of year. I was enamored by the idea of a road trip, especially through the ventricles of Queens and into the heart of NYC, headed toward the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s steps. I would have loved to roll down all the windows and let me hair billow and bounce about alongside my profile.
In the years prior to a diagnosis, I would sit proudly and somewhat arrogantly, in an effort to exhibit my outfit to the driver’s seat side of the adjacent cars. And now, especially after being home bound and alone, I wanted nothing more than to engage with the elements. My mind craved to see the sights pass by and my lingual glands longed to taste the lingering aromas of ethnic cuisine in the air.
But instead, I sat in a version of the fetal position in the backseat on the passenger side. My father slowed to a rolling halt before I squinted and caught sight of the first verdant greenery marking the forthcoming season. It was the street sign that read, “Museum Mile,” before I quickly saw the lush green canopies of Central Park’s trees’ tops. I saw the MET’s steps materialize and suddenly became that Gossip Girl fan from high school who had adorned her ponytail with a bow and/or stroked her bangs back with an embellished headband.
My mom and I had been arguing and so she quickly exited the car and clamored up the steps. I slowly followed, a puddle that seemed to extend as far as the eye could see separated me from the car and the MET. I took my time, gingerly sidestepping out of the car, as if to save my shoes from disrepair as opposed to what I was actually doing: trying to figure out just how to not step in the puddle. I finally hopped successfully as my mom gazed on.
She sat at the far left of the expansive steps. I managed to make it to the stairs and then gravity pulled me toward the ground with the force of God tugging just so from above so that I could still glide along Earth’s surface. I slowly made my way up one step, hand firmly gripping the rail in an effort to pull myself up. After what seemed like the gargantuan American Ninja-level task of climbing up a vertical wall perpendicular to the ground, I stealthily made my way toward my mother who looked horrified.
I slowly sat down next to her, my flat and bony butt gently rocking on the concrete. She looked at me dead-on and said, “You cannot walk. Something is terribly wrong. You’re dying. I’m taking you to the hospital.” I looked at her, and knew she was right, yet I kept saying no. I kept answering no. And I continued to disrespect both of my parents as we finally reached our destination: the Emergency Room.