Friday, October 20, 2006

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe. --Goethe

Earth's the right place for love. I don't know where it's likely to go better. --Robert Frost

Winter is coming.

The cold is already stirring, ready to creep over the hills and settle in for the long dark months ahead.

People are settling too, at the same time as they're striving (particularly during this crazy part of the semester). Defenses kick in.
The slow slide begins.
It's all downhill from here,
picking up speed
with no resistance,
no trees to block the mad descent.

I wanted to say something, too, about the sixth sense that those of us with/ recovering from eating disorders develop. I wanted to say that I can recognize 'one of us' from across the quad, or in a sports photo, or in line at Libe Cafe. The arm which, though covered by a thick sweater, clearly strains to lift a purse. The veins that stand out on wrists and hands, like those of old women. The jeans--already a size 0 or perhaps a 2--that are just beginning to bag, although they fit fine at the beginning of September. The girl who's at the gym every time I go, pedaling away on the elliptical machine as if she were actually going somewhere, moving steadily towards the land of the models in the Cosmopolitan she reads as she exercises. The other women I pass from time to time when I run at night, dragging their bodies through their paces, running on adrenaline and grit (but certainly not food). The empty eyes. The stare. The mad rushing from cafe to class and back again, carrying a coffee (black, of course, with two packets of Equal) and a cigarette. The crew that heads to Tasti-D-Lite around seven in the evening, substituting four ounces of vanilla soft-serve for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch). The appraising glance at my body as I run past. And despite these disappearing acts, I know they want nothing more than to be seen. If you're reading this, I see you. Indeed, I'm haunted by you. You are known.

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