It’s like the stick between your legs after eight hours of wearing the tightest pair of pantyhose you can squeeze into, after you’ve been balancing on the shank of some cheap high heeled shoe from Payless, when that still existed. It’s moist, and you can feel every particle of every fat cell expanding from the donuts you ate 12 hours ago, and everyone is loud.
“Maybe I could eat, and that’ll kill a few minutes. I never thought I had a food issue. Do I have a food issue? I have always been so misunderstanding of people with food issues. Do people with food issues feel the way I feel right now, so blatantly out of control, but seemingly put together?”
It’s like the ring in your ear after eight hours of hearing men, flocks of inebriated men, self aggrandizing as their bubbly guts pour from their waistbands, and you know that underneath every bit of that fat, there’s a pink indentation on their stomachs from the latch that holds their belts together as they sit in triumphant praise of one another; saying nothing, remembering nothing, but the very interaction is the bread and butter to their own escalation of social status. Every word they say is another pierce to your eardrum, as you see the remains of a piece of asparagus in a crevice of one of their toothy smiles as they go on about how great their son is at football, and the piercing, ringing of it all as you’re forced to sit near it because your husband is one of them…
It’s reading on a park bench, and suddenly, someone comes to change the trash, and the heat that has petrified the vomit at the lip of the can wafts to your nostrils, and you feel the roughness of your nipples perk, reacting to the shift in your intestines, gargling up enough acid to ruin Chapter Three.
“If I call him, he’s not going to answer. But I would like to call him. Why do I always need someone to save me? Why am I not doing a decent job on my own? Why am I jealous of sixteen different people right now that I don’t even know, and why am I thinking about this as I have done for every moment of the last twenty years with different faces in this role? Grow the fuck up already, Andee.”
It’s the eighth mosquito bite, and everyone is telling you how they hate mosquitoes, and why they get bitten by mosquitoes, and for thirty years you’ve been having that conversation about mosquitoes, but no one ever seems to tire of it.
“If I open the bottle of wine, I will feel nothing, but in that I will feel better. If I open it, I will drink the entire bottle. I know I’ll drink the bottle, but then I won’t hear any of this for the remainder of the day. I will be so content in blacking out this day. What’s causing this? If I tell them, they’ll make this about them. I won’t tell them. I could drink the bottle. Maybe I could drink half of the bottle, and someone would drink the other half… But my leg is hurt, and I want it to heal. I want my leg to stop hurting. I never thought I had food issues. Maybe I have food issues. Maybe all of this is related to the food issues and the mosquitoes and the people sitting at this table. But then she’s going to send that text and then he’s definitely not going to answer. She’s so irritable and I don’t miss dealing with her. But if I drink the bottle right now, I won’t have to deal with that until tomorrow, and it will be all together possible that she won’t do anything to disrupt anything I have worked for, if she does anything at all. I think I have food issues. But drinking that bottle will surely make them worse, because I know that the bottle of wine will just make everything I eat contribute more to my lack of abs, and my lack of dignity. And I have a lot of dignity right now but no abs.”
It’s like accidentally touching the pink ooze of a vacuum sealed package of smoked salmon right as you cut it open, watching the oil seep out and over your fingers, covering them in some fishy scent. It’s the feeling of the oil running down your hand, but the towel is on the table, in the other room, and you just stepped backward onto a hardened piece of shawarma meat from a week ago, and you think “how the hell will anyone ever love me?”
“I need to text somebody, but then I’m going to feel guilty for disrupting their day, and I’m going to apologize ten times… They’ll tell me I don’t have to, but I will have to, because anyone who feels this needy absolutely is a burden to everyone. If I open the bottle I can maybe have one glass. No. I won’t have one glass. I’ll have five glasses. That’s two bottles. I’ll have to open a second bottle- and then I’ll have eight glasses. I won’t be able to have less than eight glasses if I open two bottles, unless someone shares the bottles with me, in which case I may have three glasses. If I have three glasses, I will be able to run tomorrow, but not if I have eight glasses. I have no free will over how many glasses I actually have. The people at this table control how many glasses I have, if I have one glass. If I have zero glasses, I control how many glasses I have.”
It’s like the piss on a bedbug infested mattress lying soaked under the scaffolding, as people spit stories of schizophrenic society packaged in disjointed sentences, and it’s walking through them briskly, but finding out you misjudged the time, and now have to wait at a five hour red light while they lasciviously trace the lines of your back side.
“If I have zero glasses, then I have a choice over how many glasses I have, and I have eight mosquito bites, and nobody is listening anymore to anyone, and I’m not even speaking because I might as well yell at the wall over there about how many glasses I would like to have. If I talk about this I will be criticized for my mental health, maybe not today, but eventually. I should eat more. I might have food issues. Maybe I have food issues and repression issues and substance abuse issues and all of this is making me tired. I could have the eight glasses or the six glasses or I could have cake. Or I could have nothing and sleep, but then I will be seen as someone with mental health issues. Maybe my fear of being seen as someone with mental health issues has caused this, or maybe it’s the food issues, or the intimacy issues, or the childhood issues, or the issues I have with the way someone handled something back in 1994, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m just a little tired. If I have three glasses I can run tomorrow. I don’t want to bother anyone on a holiday. If I call him, he’s not going to answer.”