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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Laura Jane Gives Back: "Let It Be Beat," by Laura Jane Faulds
And now: it is.
If you are gifted, it means that life has given you a gift, and it is your duty to always be mindful of that. I've been lucky, but I've also worked hard; mostly: I'm lucky to be a person who works this hard.
Sloth is every bit as deadly as they think it to be. But maybe there is no laziness; only, acquiescence.
I. LAURA, OR, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
I wrote this because I am brave and want to help people. I wrote this to help myself. I wrote this because the truest strength is that which comes from admitting weakness.
How to know if you're sick again: You're lying, a lot.
Anorexia is about controlling powerlessness; bulimia is about indulging it. Binging and purging is a process, an enterprise. Proximity and Possibility are unguessable. The fear of this, is what anorexia was protecting you from.
Today was a Perfect Eating Day For Bananafish. You smiled, laughed. The afternoon was sunny, and maybe you wrote something good, made jokes. People laughed at them. You saw your best girl, or maybe a sweet dog, or- or, or, or.
The wrong second ticks. The clock strikes who-the-hell-cares. The contents of your e-mail inbox are unsatisfactory; she's not home. You're not star-struck, you're star-stricken. It's a directly traumatic experience, made even scarier as per how gracefully I learned to hide it. I mean- did you know?
Nobody did. That loop-de-loop, the same dumb sentence, which burned: how "happy" and "healthy" I look. Even forgiving the loadedness of the term "healthy" to the anorexic vernacular- it feels accusatory. I'm resentful of the weight I've recently gained because I know it is a symptom of this terrible thing I've done to myself. It did not happen healthy. There is a small flap of skin really far down the back of your throat, maybe it's your trachea? It's a cove. I have discovered that, if you scratch at it with toothbrush bristles, you puke really good. I wake up the next morning with a raspy voice. My heart beats so fast; you'd think I just saw a boy I have a crush on. The hems and the heaves and the haws, the hows. Your sad-tears mix in with the ones your body makes naturally, because you're puking.
This has been the most powerless I've ever felt. But I didn't feel powerless because I did it-
I did it because I felt powerless.
The New Rules:
1. You must use a toothbrush; preferably, the orange one.
2. You must lift up the toilet seat, and stand on the toilet. Inevitably, you will puke on your own feet. "How Humiliating," you will think.
3. Look to external sources for validation.
4. Make absolutely no effort to prevent yourself from doing it.
5. Do it.
6. No writing, no wine. No friends, no music, no cigarettes. Any of these things may make you feel like you don't need to do it, which is the opposite of the point.
7. Every binge must (must) include either ice cream or cereal: it's easier to get it up that way.
8. How to know if you're finished, both literally & figuratively:
It tastes like bile.
II. SOMETHING ELSE, BY LAURA JANE
Ten minutes before the wedding, I could not find my mom. The people loitering outside the church were Asian and black, so I knew it wasn't mine. Mine was supposed to be Italian and Beatlesy, I mean, "Liverpudlian." It was the second wedding I'd ever been to, the first since I was four. That one was a boat wedding, and I was the flower girl. I remember dumping all the petals to the ground with my first step. Everybody laughed.
I found my mom. I shifted my facial expression from "elegiac" to "elegiac, lessened by a compensatory cocked eyebrow." I did my best. I treated her to a crow's foot.
St. Adelaide: for Empresses, brides, abuse victims, princesses, and prisoners. A bunch of old people my Mom used to be kids with.The last time I came here was for a funeral. Today, I came here expressly to cry, the same way I will put on sad songs not to jerk my tears, but to legitimize the ones that already are.
Ally told me she goes to the church on Church Street on her lunch break because it is pacifying. I told her that's what the Varsity Arena is for.
"Laura Jane's Ultimate Binge" (which lasted seven hours): Walker's Shortbread, a sandwich, Everything pretzel chips, Miracle Whip, English muffins, herb & garlic cream cheese, a cheese bagel, oatmeal raisin muffin, Can't Believe It's Not Butter, 7-layer dip, Sun Chips, mini-packs of butterscotch pudding, dark chocolate with almonds, almonds, the end of the peanut butter, cornflakes and frozen yogurt, shredded coconut with milk & Mini-Wheats, pasta shells and garlic cream from when I was a kid, water, Diet Lemonade.
I felt really weird at the grocery store.
What kills me most- are all the Great Lost Headphones Walks.
III. LAURA VERSUS POWERMAN
Me then; me now: the difference between stitches and a scar.
There is no easy way to learn a lesson. First Lesson Learned, Autumn 2009: I will never put anything negative out into the world.
Hey You. Kid, maybe you've done it too. I think more of us do than any of us know: what a shame, how shameful it is, for real. But I promise, it can be over forever. Nobody's lucky for nothing, especially not you. Perfect You! My bit-nailed hand's upon your back. You can sweat if you want. You kids are my lifeblood. I love you all so much.
Lesson #2: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, or it will kick you in the face.
Lesson #3: If you want to throw a Big Gulp at somebody's head- JUST DO IT ALREADY!!!
It's slapstick. There is more more comedy you couldn't even guess of. Life is a hilarious joke, which is why happiness cannot be situational. Only you can break your heart; only you can save your life. It's inconvenient how I keep learning that and then forgetting it.
In Swiss-German, "teaching" and "learning" are the very same word. I have learned to teach myself how never to feel powerless again. See, you'd think, that to save yourself from powerlessness, you'd need to learn how to make yourself feel powerful. But the acquisition of power is as problematic as is the lack of it; it implies a power imbalance. And those things are tragedies.
The opposite of "powerless" is not "powerful."
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