Purging (and Bingeing)

OK, I think I owe you an update... Remember a few weeks ago when I met Anna (the Columbian from America) and she gave me her email address? And then do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I actually emailed her and invited her to that one party?  Well I forgot to tell that a week ago she finally responded back with something like:

"im sorry. im sick. i've been throwing up :( ill text you as soon as i get better, xx"

So, as is my habit, I wrote back with something kind of inappropriate, slightly mean, and very funny:

"Sorry to hear that. Is it serious or is it just like a normal everyday bulimia sort of throwing up? Just kidding. Actually, are you bulimic? If so, I'll never offer to take you to dinner. That would be a waste... Anyway you didn't actually miss much, hope you feel better. oo"

Apparently she has a sense of humor because she emailed me back and said something like "haha, I'm better now, call me next time you go out" and gave me her phone number.

First of all I can't believe that email worked. I mean, there is always the possibility that she didn't actually know her phone number until I accused her of being bulimic. But most likely she knew the damn number but was not sure that she wanted to give it to me... until I accused her of being bulimic...

Secondly, notice how she never answered the question. Now, I'm not saying she is bulimic, but she's not saying that she is not... that's all I'm saying. Not that I would blame her though. I think that the desire to purge is natural. Not purge in the throw-up-all-the-food-you-just-ate sense of the word, but more like purge in the sense that one might want to cleanse and purify and empty oneself. For Example, my life has been plagued by sinus infections. Sometimes when it gets bad and I am really stuffed up, and I'm walking around with bags under my eyes, like the flesh is dropping off of my face or something, and a mouth that gapes wide open like I'm some sort of semi handicapped child, and I look (and feel) like a zombie, those are the times that I just want to stick a vacuum up my nose and suck all of the shit out. It wouldn't even matter if I sucked up my brains with it because I'm already a zombie, the important thing is just to clean everything out, to breathe freely again.

I feel the same way about myself sometimes. Like I wish I could just hang my soul up on a meat hook and strip off all of the calcified pockets of terrible that I have let myself become and just be clean again for a while...  I guess that's kind of what life is about isn't it? Doesn't the bible say something like God is a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purge us like gold and like silver? I still believe in God I guess, it's only that sometimes I'm worried that I'm not actually the gold or the silver... certainly there are times that I feel more like the dross.  Still, every now and then, I actually do go through some sort of "cleansing". I promise myself to make changes, to stop doing all of the things that I know I shouldn't... to start doing all of the things that I know I should. And I always tell myself that this time, it's for good. I say that this time the changes will last, like I actually believe it or something. Even though experience would suggest otherwise. But now I understand that nothing ever lasts. This is something that Paris has taught me. I'm not saying that people can't change, I sure hope they can... but maybe life is more about processes than it is about results.

This is a tangent, back to Anna. Using her newly obtained phone number, I invited her over to Nico's. She showed up late, mascara running like she had been crying about something. Nobody mentioned it. Anna is interesting. She is a Jewish Atheist from Columbia who went to high school in Tennessee but lives in Paris. Interesting. She is beautiful, but not as beautiful as I remembered her being three weeks earlier, maybe it's the lighting... or the running mascara. She is South American but looks European. Dark hair, blue eyes, fair skin (Hell, maybe that is what Columbians look like, I've never been to Columbia). She is twenty-one, which old enough, but still young. Some twenty-ones are younger than others. She is a young twenty-one. I got the impression that she didn't know what to say sometimes because she didn't know me well enough to know if I would agree... and hadn't yet decided if she cared. We watched some youtube videos. She didn't laugh much, didn't feel safe yet I guess. Apparently she has a boyfriend back in America... but that didn't keep her tongue out of my mouth when I walked her home that night.

We took the one to the Hotel de Ville and walked through the latin quarter. She was telling me that the reason she hadn't given me her phone number at first was that when she had met Drew and I we were dressed in shirt and ties and holding bibles, and she thought that we were missionaries. Then she stopped.

Anna: This is the Rue du Chat-qui-PĂȘche, do you know it?

Me: Fishing cat street?

Anna: Oh, so you can speak French?

I followed her down the road which was much more like an alley... a narrow alley.

Anna: This is the narrowest street in the city. It's not even six feet wide.

Me: Must be a popular place for muggings. Did you bring me down here so that you could rape me?

I stopped her and she turned around. I looked her in the eyes and she looked down.

Anna: I have a boyfriend.

I took a step toward her pinning her up against the wall.

Me: In America, or in Paris?

Anna: America.

And that's when I kissed her. She went right for the tongue. Interesting. I thought about feeling bad for kissing another man's girlfriend, but I couldn't quite bring myself around to it. Not with her tongue in my mouth, distracting me. And I've never had much respect for long distance. Relationships are meant to be experienced in proximity. And then I thought of you. But I didn't think about you too much. It wasn't more than a blip really. She started gnawing on my ear and it pulled me right back into the moment.

When I finally dropped her off and made my way back to Nico's, Drew and Nico were waiting for me. They wanted a full report which I gave. There was a mixed reaction. Nico was laughing and giving me high fives, Drew was shaking his head. I knew Drew was right. The girl had a boyfriend. I mean at very least I could have gotten to know her a little bit before turning her into a cheater. But the worst part was that I didn't even mean it. It was empty. I guess this is me bingeing. I spent last week crying and puking and bleeding and now I need something to fill the hole, so to speak. Like I said, nothing stays empty for long. And if you don't fill your holes with something they find a way to fill themselves.

I guess the real problem with bulimia isn't that people eat, and it's not even that they throw up afterwards. It's that they become addicted to the process. They eat because they like the way eating feels but they don't really mean it. They don't use any of the food that they put in their mouths, they just spew it up into toilets and trash cans, . Eventually they keep throwing up because they like the way that throwing up feels, whether or not there is anything inside of them to get rid of.

Kind of makes me wonder why I am sitting here spewing my heart and my soul and my self all over these letters. Am I just purging because I am addicted to the way it feels. Is it all just empty? Is it all just grey skies and bullshit and sadness? I guess I am writing to tell you how I am doing, but that doesn't really mean much if you are never going to read any of it. Maybe I am just becoming addicted to the process.

I thought that I had decided against sending them... but maybe once I figure out how I feel... I should let you know.



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