The way food sometimes affects me
|‘Food, Glorious Food.’
This is another one of my stories that bear no relation to anything in particular but that I write anyway, often for the sake of just stopping for one moment to actually think about something other than my gut and what’s on TV! Except this is, in a way about my tummy yet again, so perhaps I’m just writing because there is nothing better to do. Perhaps I am writing this because it’s all I can think about right now? Perhaps it’s to try and answer the question of food is so important to me?
Well, I’m sitting here in my new house, in the study, which me and my sister have just decorated. Absentmindedly clicking away on the keyboard, listening to the incessant hum of the computer, while I squint at the too bright white screen. Outside I can see the garden and have just noticed there are plenty of green beans that need to be picked before they begin to rot. I think I’ve left the shed door unlocked. The grass needs mowing and I think it’s going to rain.
I am so utterly bored and so utterly full from all the sweets and other crap I keep eating. Last night I crept downstairs and ran like a little hippo ballerina across the new wooden lounge floor and into the kitchen where I proceeded to eat almost a whole jar of runny honey. Just for the sake of it. I mean what’s up with that? I had such a bad craving for something sweet and all we had was honey and banana flavoured ‘Nesquick’ milkshake powder. I don’t even like it that much, but it was there and I had to dull the sensation that if I didn’t eat it I would burst. An odd feeling considering you can’t burst until something is inside you in the first place. But then, that’s just typical of the way my mind works.
I felt like a naughty little child again. Doing something I know I’m not meant to. When I was younger, my mum refused point blank to buy anything sweet, or any foods she considered bad for our health, bad for our teeth, bad for our skin or just plain bad altogether. No sweets, no biscuits, no crisps, no cakes, no cream, no sugar, no honey, no white bread, nothing. Bad, bad, bad. But daddy used to buy sugar for his tea and if I woke up early enough before he went to work and before mum got up ready to take us to school, he would sprinkle a pinch on my cornflakes, thus making my day. The cute little smile across my face made brighter by the sweetness in my mouth.
I remember getting twenty pence (I laugh at that piteous amount now!) pocket money each weekend that I was allowed to treat myself with if I had been a good girl. That didn’t happen all that much because I wasn’t a perfect child and always did something silly that would get my twenty pence revoked. Twenty penny sweets bought in a white paper bag, which I would devour before I even reached my house again. Sometimes I even left the paper on the little ‘black jacks,’ but I didn’t care. It tasted the same when I was in a rush. The twins, my two best friends would laugh at my black teeth and pink stained tongue.
I remember licking each chewy mass, then wiping it across my lips as if I were applying one of my mum’s brightly coloured lipsticks. I did this so that the flavour, the sweetness, the stickiness of each swipe would linger upon my lips so I could remember what they tasted like. I’d spend the rest of the day licking my lips trying to get back that wonderful feeling I got whilst tasting such delicious morsels and how pleased with myself I felt because I had been good enough to deserve such nice things. Of course I had sore lips for the rest of the weekend, but it was a small price to pay for something I adored so much. That habit would later force me to spend an extortionate amount of money on lip balms, which were always, of course the ones with sweet flavorings: Raspberry Sorbet, Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Honey and Cream. I couldn’t get enough of them!
Sometimes, I would get overcome with the need for something, anything that tasted like something sweet and pretty and lovely. If it tasted good, it made me feel good. It would haunt me and taunt me until I dared to get up and go for it. I would sneak down in the middle of the night and eat spoonfuls of sugar out of the little blue and white striped bowl dad kept it in. And I loved it. Driven by adrenaline and a massive sugar rush, I relished its sweet crystalline flavour, all naughty and nice. The way I would suck each spoonful and wait for it to dissolve on my tongue before letting it slip down my throat. Cream in a can sprayed straight into the mouth, followed by handfuls of rainbow colored sprinkles. Nothing can beat that feeling!
Sweets fascinate me even now. There are so many different kinds, different tastes and amazing textures in my mouth and on the shop’s counters. A glucose and saccharine party, orgasmic on my taste buds. I was the kid who stood staring at all those tasty goods, mouth dribbling with delight and anticipation. I became oblivious to the outside world, mesmerized whenever I saw sweets, saw someone eating them, buying them, or whatever else with them. I was the kid who started a screaming fit it the middle of a busy super market aged 11, because mum said I couldn’t have a lousy thirty pence chocolate bar with little animals imprinted on it. You’d expect it from a small child, but from a private school educated 11 year old? I think not.
I was the kid who stole from ‘Roy’s of Wroxham’ aged 12 when I was helping on a Brownie Guide camp because I had no money and just had to have the red foil covered fudge. I was the kid in the playground at break times asking people if I could have a bite of whatever gorgeous food they had, offering in return a spoonful of cottage cheese or a piece of my rice cake. I am the girl who still stands, transfixed by the site of so many choices of sweets in the corner shop trying to decide if I have been good enough to deserve one little lolly or a piece of pale blue candy, or not. I am the one who still cries when I think of what I can’t have.
Now I think screw it, what the hell! I will eat what I want, when I want because I’m 20 and it’s my choice. Who cares if I get fat or have a million cavities or break out in even more zits? I am already fat, I already have a broken tooth, and I already have spots. See, it doesn’t matter anymore. My mother was right. In some ways, if you eat bad things then bad things will probably happen to you. But, why should I eat dry Ryvita and boiled vegetables when there are so many extraordinary foods out there just screaming at me to devour them whole? Why should I care? I want it all. I want it now, now, now!!!
Then the voice inside my head yells at me for being the fat, greedy, selfish bitch I really am. “Why are you eating this crap? Don’t you care what people think about you? You’re going to get huge and disgusting and no one will like you and you’ll be all alone and no one will care because you’re just the fat kid. Stop eating, stop drinking! It’s bad, it’s not allowed, you’re too big, too bad, too much. I’m not going to let you eat this stuff. Get rid of it, throw it away, throw it up, throw it anywhere, just get it the hell away from me, you revolting wench. What is wrong with you? You don’t want to get fat, but you’re too damn lazy to diet you freak! I hate you. We hate you. You don’t deserve to be happy until you’re thinner, until you’re prettier.”
And I’m thinking, to myself in a rational way that I’m not even close to being fat anyway, so it really doesn’t matter and I try to ignore that guilty voice that never seems to shut up. But then me, the insecure one pipes up. “Just one more thing, please. Can’t I have one more?” I run to my room crying, before it starts again tomorrow. Again, and again and again. Why do I let food and the voices it evokes rule so much of my waking life? When will it end?