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Story: Delusions

As told to C. Rosenberg

“Would you like some more soup?” “Okay. Aren’t you eating anything?” Aren’t I eating anything? As if I didn’t eat enough today.… He’s got no clue. Naftali knows nothing about anything beyond the confines of his little world: work, shiur, family. He doesn’t read the women’s magazines that explore every potential problem — physical, mental, emotional, social, or even imaginary. Ironic. He’s so well educated; his knowledge so broad — in some areas. In others, he’s so, well… ignorant. Naive.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Snakes in my stomach coil themselves into tight balls and unleash a hiss, tiny but venomous. He is so innocent. So trusting. And I? Am I betraying that trust? “Nah, I’m not hungry.” No. No way. It doesn’t affect him in any way. I am well aware of the mental-health disorders related to food. It has got nothing to do with me. Absolutely nothing! I don’t stuff food up my sleeves, to be disposed of later. Nor am I bulimic. Occasionally, only occasionally, do I need the relief of an induced vomit. Occasionally? Really? Inner voices torment me. Definitely! After supper, I spend an hour cleaning up the kitchen and trying not to think about all the chocolate left over from Pesach. The pull is too great. I wrench open the cabinet, grab a few creamy squares. And more. And more. I eat until my throat is sore and my tongue fuzzy. Finally, I stuff the few remaining bars into the basement freezer. Away. Away. I feel dirty inside, my stomach full of badness. No choice, now. I run into the bathroom, squat on the cold, tiled floor. I tilt my head, listening for footsteps in the nighttime stillness. Nothing but silence. I bend my head low, place one hand behind my back. Must get it out! All out! Must get it all out! I urge. Everything must come out! Everything! Throat sore, eyes watering, I thrust my head forward. More! More! Mooore! Good! Enough. I am exhausted. I lay my burning cheeks upon the cool tub and feel the regret stab right where it hurts most. What am I doing? I’m a wife, a mother. How can I? How dare I play with fire? I know of the possible harm. Of the terrible danger. All right. This was the last time. The very last. It will not happen again. 

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