Oranges

Last night was weird. I kept trying to decide how much wine to drink out of the bottle.

I finally did drink the whole bottle of wine.

It was a big bottle -- and cheap. It got better as I got drunker. But then, what doesn't in this world?

I remember in junior high, my friends and I would trade diet tips in the bathroom while applying pink lip gloss and adding another coat of mascara (we believed in the power of mascara above all else). We would save our lunch money and buy diet pills at the drugstore after school or shoplift them depending upon the mood. Sometimes, when I wanted to lose weight, I would go for a week eating nothing but saltines and oranges. As I got older, I started developing different food rules-for example, I could have half a slice of pizza after school only on the days that I also had ballet because then I could work off the calories. I could never eat more calories than I could burn off.

About ten years ago, I used to have a friend, M, who was my "Diet Pal" on the road to thin thighs. We used to spend hours together at the gym, counting calories, thumbing through magazines. It was a relief to have someone as a friend that I didn't have to pretend to eat around, that I didn't have to pretend it was weird to turn down dates so I could walk for twelve miles in the rain. She got it.

We ate a lot of oranges together.

And then, for no obvious reason, M decided to give it up, to give it all up, to try and actually be happy and have a normal life. I'd like to say that I was a big enough person (no pun intended) that I could actually have been happy for her, but I couldn't. I was so mad at her, I absolutely hated her for a long time. I just couldn't understand why she had left me. I envied her because she was doing what I was terrified of. She had just let go and decided to try having a real life.

Weird how eating an orange for lunch today reminded me of all that stuff.

2008-05-08 at 2:33 p.m.