This food feels like ...

 My extended family ate big when we got together. My grandmother would cook huge meals and seconds were always encouraged, everyone would be happy and laughing and eating and talking. This food felt like happiness.

I remember being very young 5 or 6 and my mother working early shifts at the hospital and my step-father driving her to work at 4 or 5 in the morning. I was obviously too young to stay home so I would go with him and it was his responsibility to feed me breakfast. Usually after we dropped off my mom we would go to the 7-11 and he would buy chocolate milk and I would get "breakfast" which was usually my own chocolate milk and a donut or pastry of some kind. I would be taken home and put in front of the TV to eat my "breakfast" and watch cartoons while he would go and sleep for a few more hours. I remember this feeling like a treat, like he loved me so he would buy me junk foods and candy for breakfast when my mom made me eat cereal or toast. This food felt like love.

 At some point, around age 8 or 9 I think, my step-father decided that I was fat and ate too much and something had to be done about it. I remember conversations when he would tell me that I was fat and that there was no way a 9 year old should wear the same size as her mother. He began restricting food. He would bring food into the house that was "just for him" and it was always the food that any kid would want to eat. Soda, chips, cake, fancy cold cuts and cheese, chocolate milk, etc. Junk food, crap food...but I wanted it, and I wanted it even more because I could not have it. My step-father and I had a bad relationship. He was abusive, to me and to my mother. I hated him, plain as day, I hated him. After he started restricting my food, including portion sizes at dinner and the "off limits" foods, I began sneaking food. I would go into the fridge and steal "his" food. I would cut slivers off his cakes so he couldn't tell I had eaten some, I would ever so carefully open the packages of cold cuts so I would not tear the seals and take some then carefully re-close it so that, at a glance, it looked unopened, I would take small glasses of his juices, sodas or chocolate milks and then refill the containers with water to make up for the lost amounts. I hid food in my bedroom, it started with "his" food, but then became any food, even healthier foods I would steal and hide in my room, only to gorge myself on it later, in the night, when the rest of my family was asleep, being so quiet to not rustle packages or make chewing noises. This food felt like rebellion.

He worked out of town a lot and my mother worked long shifts, so most days I would be responsible for bringing my brother home after school and making us a snack until dinner when my mom got home, and later on in years I was often responsible for dinner too. I was teased a lot in school, because I was fat, because my family was poorer than others and I could not afford the fashionable clothes, mostly just because I was smart and different. This hurt me, I felt unsafe at school, I felt unwelcome there and I longed to get home where I could be alone. As soon as I would get home with my brother I would make us food and we would eat, alone. It was a relief, it was relaxing and it made me feel happy. This food felt like comfort.

After I moved out on my own at 17 I was, of course, responsible for my own food. I could buy whatever I wanted, I could eat it however ever I wanted, as often as I wanted and as much as I wanted. I had never had this before. Growing up in a poor family we could never have brand named foods or expensive treats, and sometimes we hardly had any food at all. Being able to control my own food intake and the kind of food I wanted to was heaven,  it was like nothing I had ever experienced.  So many aspects of my life had always felt so out of control, and now I could control them all, especially my food. This food felt like freedom.

Now, at 28 years old, I don't want food to feel like anything. I just want it to be food. That thing I put in my body for fuel, for nutrition, so that I can live my life. I still want to enjoy foods taste and texture, and I will always enjoy preparing food, especially for others, I just don't want any emotion attached to it. But I don't know how yet.



I knew I could never save it, it was doomed from the start.
I had seen the end of the story and I knew no matter what I did it would die, it would be gone, taken from me.
This did not stop me.

"Love" is a paltry word, meaningless and full of short comings. I spit the word "love" out of my mouth like a distasteful morsel of food, a rotten piece of fruit, it is a dirty word that lacks power and could never encompass this feeling I have...this feeling that is all consuming , down to my core, it makes me ache, physically pains me and I pulsate with it.
This feeling is a thousand tidal waves crashing into me, slamming me on rocks. It is the tearing and ripping and rendering of meat from my heart.
It is all the power of all the emotions in the world stuffed into me until I am engorged and going to explode with it.
I cannot have this feeling , I am filled with a screaming sadness and desire when I realise this cannot be real, is not real, and no matter what I do, it will be taken away from me.
It will be ripped from me like a dream is ripped upon sudden waking, only to linger and tease and taunt and then slowly fade through the day until all that is left is a residue that cannot be clung to.. an oily blackness  staining my hands , too slippery to grasp.
Dissolve slowly and then gone.


A letter to Insomnia

Dear Insomnia,

I just wanted to let you know how I felt about you.
I don't like you all that much truth be told, I far prefer your sibling Sleep. However you do always come with interesting gifts to give and things to share.
Its is 3 am and I am sitting here trying to decipher how my plant feels about being re-potted today. I have decided the plant is unsure about it's new home and surroundings, doesn't really care for this new, clean soil and is really just trying to make the best out of it. Because of you , Insomnia, I am treated to the pleasure of watching my dog sleep on the sofa next to me and twitch and growl at dream cats. She is softly barking at them now. Another gift from you, Insomnia, is listening to the sleep talk of my partner in the bedroom, at no other time would I have the chance to hear such gems as  "Piano Lobster!!" or "Why are you eating my shoes?"
I see people that are not there because of you ,Insomnia, and I am convinced that the man in the building across the alley is watching me from his darkened window...and that is a little creepy. Really though Insomnia, I think the thing that irritates me about you is that I never have anything good to do when you come visit, which is pretty often. I would be much happier to see you if I had a large canvas and some paints or something like that, but I don't ... what kind of art do you think you could create with some ketchup and mustard from the fridge? Also, this song never sounds as good as it does in the wee hours of the sleep deprived morning with imaginary people dancing in my peripheral vision and for that I thank you.

Sincerely yours,