Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rock Bottom

I'll know that I've hit rock bottom if I pull those cookies out of the trash can. At least, that's what I tell myself. Right now, my only form of self-control over snack food is to throw the uneaten portion into the trash. In my mind, the second something’s in the trash can, it's garbage, even though in reality, the cookies themselves are still clean, protected by the mylar bag, untouched by whatever else is around it.

Sometimes, I would throw out unopened packages of candy or snacks that were given as gifts to prevent myself from gorging on them. I try not to think of the wastefulness of it all, thinking only of the benefits to my health, my body and my lungs as I try to squeeze into my suffocatingly tight wardrobe.

I am at work. It is 3pm. I am starving.

I go to the lunchroom and stare at the vending machine for what seemed like an hour. I become one of those people who stand in front of this machine, hypnotized, like it's an oracle telling my future, one where I have to have a great personality instead of being shallow and goodlooking. The thought of having any sort of intelligence or wit in my skull depressed me, but I fear that I am already a lost cause.

As I feed the machine my dollar bill, the irony is not lost on me. I tentatively pressed the "E" button. My index finger hovered at the number "3" for what seemed like another hour before stabbing it, taking the plunge. The vending machine whirs to life, dropping a sinful package of Oreo cookies. My change--a lone, sad nickel--falls into the slot with barely a jangle.

There are four cookies in the package. I take it back to my desk. I rip open the package, quickly savoring thick sweetness of the first cookie.

I take my time with the second one, taking only little bites, hoping that this would fool my stomach into thinking it was having more than it is. However, I knew this wouldn't work, just like I knew that it wouldn't work when my high school boyfriend begged to let him in 'just an inch.'

As I licked the crumbs off my fingers, I eyed the two other cookies, commanding myself to throw it in the trash. The guy in the next cubicle looked at me quizzically. I realized that I said that out loud.

I throw the cookies in the trash.

The cookies sat in the garbage staring back at me, lying there dejectedly, like unwanted newborn babies in a dumpster. I so want to rescue it, cradle it in my arms and then cram all of it in my mouth. I kick the trash can further under my desk so I can't see it.

Babies. Baby Ruth. Sugar Babies. God, this makes me feel disgusting, like a choco-pedophile. I try to think about other things, things that won't make me take that little bag of cookies out of the trash.

Babies make me think of umbilical cords. Some people say it's thick and cutting through it is like cutting through a finger. Or a Slim Jim. I wonder if it tastes like one too? Sorry, hunger is making me a little light-headed.

The cookies are calling me, like my ex-boyfriend who I've given crabs: I'm here, I'm here, I'm here...

I'm reaching in.

Please look away.

Please look away...


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