*Pictured: One of Rei Kawakubo’s installation at The MET’s Costume Institute exhibition, Comme Des Garçons.
That moment: you glance at the upper right-hand corner of your iPhone and your eyebrows furrow. The battery life is dwindling down, and now you have to ration your use of it until a charger or an outlet becomes available. The battery isn’t so low, but you know you will use it up in no time.
And then it dawned on me: I find that amount of battery life to be too low and yet the number is higher than how much I weigh on the scale.
Scary times we live in - I live in, isn’t it?
I’m at odds for what to do. I’m seeing a fork in the road. I’m seeing twigs stemming from a single branch. I’m taking a double take. I need a second opinion. I am a Gemini.
My mind is flummoxed. I want to yell and scream at the world. Why did this happen to me? Why do people say that I did it to myself?
I want to eat more, but every time I’m about to, something happens. I get a terrible cramp in my side, I’m uncomfortably constipated, or my darling mother wills herself to workout and not eat breakfast or lunch just to spite me and to feel better about herself for the discipline it took- a character trait that landed me here in eating disorder land.
I want to will myself into not being phased by her antics, but I can’t shake it off. I can’t shake off that memory of me wearing the black A-line scoop neck shirt with the striped net panel as the back that she decided to wear today. I cannot ignore the flashback of having worn the drapery shirt on more than one occasion. I was complimented whenever I wore it. I can’t shake off that memory of having gone to a local ethnic market in Philadelphia during college, bending ever so slightly to pull out money from my wallet and then catching the cashier attempt to score a glimpse of my delicate décolletage - It was ever since that moment that I had decided to give the coveted shirt to my mother.
Moments like those, when I attracted unwanted male attention, made me feel unsavory and vulgar, in no part due to anything I had done, but it didn’t feel that way.
What I would do to endure catcalls again than have to remain circling endlessly around my house, trying to stave off fullness and get in some movement. What I would do to not feel forced to wake up before dawn daily, just so I can squeeze in some time to move before I am monitored.
I used to think that the car was my refuge. It was my rocking chair that lulled me into a peaceful slumber. The truth is, my body is exhausted and sitting in a moving car forces me to stay still and gives me some much-needed respite. It was the same during college, when I was sleep-deprived for more valid reasons. Or rather, more socially acceptable reasons - to study, to dance, to earn a degree - body and mind, correct?
During those times I would fall asleep anywhere - on the couch in the living room when I came home and of course, whenever I was in the car. My parents would find it sweet to see their baby girl drift off into her dream world.
This is no longer the case. They reprimand my tendency to fall asleep in the car. I’m boring now, they say. I need to sleep “normally,” at home and in bed for at least 8 hours. Everything I do is considered abnormal now.
I was always considered a hipster before the popularization of the word, or as my father says, “not part of the mainstream.” He seems to think that he should have put a stop to my uniqueness in how I approached everything from putting a vent underneath my laptop to prevent it from overheating, to scowling at men with wandering eyes and setting up rules like not stopping my run on the treadmill until the person next to me had finished first.
In some ways he had a point: I always created rules for myself, like some sort of disciplinary boot camp as way to achieve self-actualization, perfection, that would just make things more difficult for myself and less “happy.” As a child, I would give myself conditions, loops that I had to jump through, in order to get at something I wanted: Don’t step on any cracks when walking down the sidewalk, for example. It wasn’t a game. It was an obstacle course.
You can imagine the frustration at skipping a beat and stepping on the lines during chalked up hopscotch.
I had to be as close to perfection as possible. I never would swear, as in curse. I was considered a “goody two shoes,” back in grade and middle school. Turns out my peers who I still keep in touch with really respected that trait.
Now I throw shit to the wind and swear “like a sailor.” Here’s to actually throwing shit to the wind - to eating more and reclaiming a metabolism, an appetite, and life.