You’re looking at a snack. A too-many-things-are-changing-all-at-once kind of a snack.
I didn’t need it — I’d already eaten breakfast. A perfectly lonely breakfast.
I didn’t even especially want a second breakfast, but there was a $5 minimum and without it, I wasn’t meeting it.
If you’ve ever been in line for coffee with your mind not quite made up (perhaps at 8:55 in the morning in downtown Manhattan?), then you can understand how I might have not thought this all the way through. This pastry purchase. I thought the sea of suits behind me was actually going to swallow me whole. Great, this girl is going to take forever. No, no, no, I was not! And so I impulse-bought, and was immediately sorry. And hated their shiny shoes and superior smirks, all the way back to my seat.
I tried to shake it off. I sucked down some coffee and cracked open the lid to my laptop, and took a second look at that pastry. Still scary. I hesitated. Then I took two big bites, like a person starved, and, still chewing, practically vaulted out of my chair. Stood over the trash can, stared down the chute.
Do you know what I did? I know. I threw it away. That still-warm whatever it was — I threw it away. What a waste. And then I felt sorry for the money gone, and sorry for the homeless people, all over this damn city, and, mostly, sorry for myself.
I’m supposed to be over this by now. I was over it. I was doing so well. There was no one who was enjoying food more than me. Because it’s meant to be enjoyed. What happened to fig jam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
I guess I know. Fifty things happened, all at once, and I couldn’t control any of them, and I grabbed hold of the one thing I could.
I haven’t missed this — this not sleeping through the night, this pushing myself to a bruising pace, this scolding myself through meals. I go around and around. Hate myself more with every step. Every bite.
I know better. I know better, I know better, I know better. And I know that writing will make it all slow down, help me turn it into something I can wrap my arms around, but I can’t write.
I’m supposed to be writing a book proposal, and I can’t write. I can’t write about these things that have happened — are happening — because I might end up hurting the people that I love.
How do people ever write anything raw, anything real?