And then, there is a pause, a moment of perfect still, complete calm, a sense of rightness.
Nothing to reproach herself about, nothing to make her fall into the abyss of self-hatred which she knows will follow.
At this point, she could, she knows she could, turn it all around, simply pick up the still packed grocery bags and with one decisive, beautiful movement, dump them straight into the bin. She has done this before and lesson learnt, now knows to spray kitchen bleach onto the packages.
She could still save today, coke zero, peppermint tea, an hour of net surfing, seeking out thinspo – the perfect collar bones, the thigh gap, jutting hips to make a bikini bridge and then the gym.
After all, now she has the whole week-end, no ties, no commitments, she could, really she could make the whole week-end a 48 hr coffee fast.
She stands in the hallway, body twisted around itself, a pretzel of indecision, of contradictory longings and is unable to move.
And then, she walks into the kitchen.
First off, there is housekeeping, minimising the damage that the next few hours will inevitably bring.
This is, if she is being honest and honesty plays such a small part in these lost weekends , so much lying, to herself, all to X, Ys, As,Bs and Cs, hell she even lies to women in supermarkets who don’t even care, but this, this is big lie, the one she doesn’t even admit to herself.
She tries to not even notice what she is actually doing, as she sits here, right here, right now….fingers popping out a pile of tiny yellow pills, 7,8,9,10. It is becoming more difficult to buy laxatives locally. She fears that the pharmacy staff will start to recognise her, dreads an altercation, even questions, a request to account for her actions.
She has started using unfamiliar pharmacies, choosing the busiest, the most impersonal and squirrels away, hoards away in drawers and cupboards that she generally tries to pretend don’t exist, little boxes and packets. She finds them worryingly comforting, even if she can, almost, pretend that she had nothing to do with their presence there.
Now she is, like a junkie with a bag of fat rocks, edgy, wanting to make a start. The day, less face it, the rhythm of the weekend, this lost weekend, is already set.
All she is doing now is delay, she opens the kitchen door, regards the mountain of food, the just beginning to melt ice-cream, the cakes, pizza box and flanking it all, the super sized sugar free drinks.
First things first…ice cream in freezer, oven on, cake sliced and resisted. It’s not time yet, there is still some pretence of control, of eating like normal.
She even sets the table, fills a glass, gulps down the first glass of cola, washes down a handful, two handfuls of diuretics.
She waits for the pizza, the Indian ready meals….mouth salivating , she paces in front of the oven, one ear open for the microwave ping.
And the first 6, 7 minutes of eating is glorious, she has been so hungry for so long , stomach empty, always cold, skin too thin to cover bones.
She knows, tries not to know, that she is making that noise, a keening, moaning of physical pleasure, as she dips naan bread into chicken tikka and crams the bread, chicken combo into her mouth.
And every time, at this moment, she wishes she could stop now or in 2 or 3 or 4 more bites. This would be normal eating, a little greedy, but salvageable. She even tries a pause, wipe the sauce up, licks her fingers.
She could stop now, but smell of warm cheese, hot dough is filling the kitchen.
It’ s all too late now…..she knows how this will play out
Minutes later, the first onslaught is over, she licks her fingers, sucks the spicy, sweet processed food, mops the plastic containers with another piece of naan bread. There is no room for social niceties, for crockery, cutlery.
Not during a lost weekend.
Her stomach feels full, warm, she rests her hands there and then disgusted, punches hard, enough to almost wind herself
“Disgusting, useless, fat bitch”
She needs to wind herself up, get up a stream of hatred, stop feeling comfortable.
Grabbing and chugging the first bottle of coke, she checks her watch…12 minutes…..no damage done yet.
Upstairs, bathroom, do what needs to be done and afterwards, sitting on the bathroom floor, tears, fat tears, well what else would they be?
Experimentally, she tastes one with the tip of her tongue, warm, salty.
She wonders if tears have calories and the irony of that thought, pushes her to her feet.
The pizza will be ready, needs to be eaten, eaten quickly, fast enough to risk a burn to the roof of her mouth.
Real, external pain, a reminder of just how bad she is, how there can be no pleasure in any of this.
Later, much later, she huddles on a kitchen chair, its wooden back pressing into her spine, she presses hard against it, hoping for bruises, more pain.
Her throat hurts, burns, eyes sting and she can feel her stomach churn, waves of discomfort with the threat of more pain, her body, her desires brought down to simple, shaming function.
She is reduced to hunger, shit, puke….and tears.
Almost new-born but with no hint of promise, no hint of salvation.
Just 2 more lost days until Monday morning.
And before that, late, very late on Sunday night, she will creep from the house, face swollen, stomach distended, body hidden in an over-sized sweat shirt and take the bin bag full of empty packages, boxes, tins, wrappers and drive a safe distance from home before shoving the bag into an empty bin and pushing the evidence far away, far from home, far from her.