A Short Short Storyby Madison Dettlinger
When you are sixteen and sixty-five pounds, you are all shadows. You are angles and holes and the shapes of your collarbone poking out so sharply that they could be wings and you could be an angel or a broken bird or both.
Sixteen and sixty-five pounds feels good. It feels like symmetry. Sixteen. Sixty-five. Like poetry.
It feels like winning.
October 19, 2012
1 piece avocado toast
1 cup strawberry smoothie
2 bowls popcorn
When you’re sixteen and sixty-five pounds, you have to hide sometimes. From your friends, your teachers, your parents especially. You wonder if it’s obvious, but you hope it’s not. They want to send you to treatment again. Treatment makes you weak.
The thing about not eating is it takes strength. Secret strength too, which is the hardest kind. You are at war with the Hunger and one of you has to lose. If you eat something small at breakfast—a piece of toast, a granola bar, a bowl of sugar-free oatmeal—then go five hours without eating, you can go the rest of the day. The Hunger will do battle with you. It will toss and roll and growl and come alive inside you. But if you make it to five hours, something amazing happens, where the Hunger admits defeat and falls silent and you have won. You’ll feel dizzy and lightheaded and far, far away from anything and everything, but you will have won.
You will fight this battle again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. And you will win. You are strong. You are a silent warrior.
November 3, 2012