June 03, 2003

When Life Gives You Lemonade,

When Life Gives You Lemonade, Make A Lemon

There's this girl I see every time I go for my five mile run around Rochester's much-valued Silver Lake (so named to give a positive spin on all the goose shit, I'm sure). She's anorexic. Totally and completely anorexic. She's so thin I wonder sometimes how she's able to convince her left foot to place itself in front of the right in the practice known as walking.

I can always see her coming. She's my age, I think. She wears a plastic sweat outfit that does nothing to hide her skeletal frame, her face shows off every facial bone and her legs display the sharp cut of her femurs and tibias as plainly as the sun shines. She also chews gum perpetually, because that, too, allows her to lose weight in a small way.

The first time I encountered her, I was shocked, and I'm sure I recoiled in horror. And my reaction probably just fueled her belief that she has some hidden reservoir of fat she should lose. She'll kill herself, I'm convinced, within the next couple of years (maybe months).

I find myself trying to stitch together a story about the girl. Perhaps she was a homecoming queen, or maybe she had parents with aspirations of her being a great scientist. She had a great future in front of her, I tend to think. A great mind, a sharp sense of humor, a wit that could cut through the biggest ego (even mine?).

Instead, she found herself unable to think of anything except her own weight, and her delusion that she's nothing if she's not perfectly thin, which is an ideal so entirely her own, and thus impossible, that she'll only attain it once she's a pile of bleached bones somewhere underground. So, she walks around Silver Lake in perpetuity, chewing gum and hoping that last fictitious gram of fat will magically disappear, which it won't, because only she sees it, and she probably always will, no matter what the best and brightest minds at the Mayo Clinic tell her.

I don't dispute that she has no control over herself. Her mind has built up mental barriers to ensure she'll kill herself, as plain as I'm typing here on a dirty keyboard. She'll die, and the world of seven billion people will move on, not caring one whiff if she was fat or thin. But, she thinks it will.

I'm not sure what my point was with this post, but I think I'll sleep a tad better knowing that it's not entirely locked exclusively in my mind.

Good night.

Posted by Ryan at June 3, 2003 12:23 AM
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