I’m anorexic. Always have been and now always will be (in essence, anyway).
It started when I was too young to even know what fat or thin were. I just knew that the more I limited my food intake, the more in control I felt. Like my mouth was a portal, and only I could decide what was allowed through it. As I grew older, the control I exerted over this portal tightened and relaxed according to how invasive I felt the rest of the world to be. When it wasn’t forcing itself upon me, I let in. When it was, the portcullis would come down on my portal and admittance would become strictly regulated.
Then I secured the job of my dreams – which turned out to be nothing like the job I dreamed of. I worked at a talent agency, dealing with royalty payments for their acting clients. It was high-pressured and relentless and, far from feeling a greater intimacy with the famous names I can in daily contact with, they became nothing to me but account codes, weekly subs & commission percentages. Just numbers.
Just like me…
Because I’d always defined myself by numbers. My weight, my height, my BMI, my hip-to-waist ratio. My daily calorie intake. Just numbers. And now I was obsessing over numbers every day at work, too. So I thought: If I can gain control of the numbers in me, I can gain control of the numbers I work with. I mean, I can’t guarantee that production company pays up on time, but I can guarantee how much my body gets paid.
So that’s what I did. But when a client was severely underpaid, I decided I had to strip it all back to basics, so there could be no leeway for error. I had to stick to essentials: stick to binary code.
I only ate foods that resembled a zero or a one… yet even that felt too much. Zero is such a, well… chubby number. Look at it: 0. Whereas one – 1 – that looks perfect. Lean and pure.
So then I just ate food that resembled a one: raw celery, carrots, cucumber. And only one a day.
In no time, I looked like a number one. I thought I’d achieved purity. But I’d forgotten that the purest number isn’t one. It’s zero. That’s where binary code begins. That’s where everything begins – and ends. And where I ended, when I forgot to eat.
That’s when I deducted all that was left of me. My mouth, gaping open like a zero, had nothing to eat; but it had to eat something, so it sucked the rest of me inside it, pulverizing and purifying what was left of my flesh until there was nothing. I was nothing.
What was once my body, is now a black hole.
The purest zero of them all.