playing with trains.

i am going to tell you something i’ve never told anyone before. one night last year, when i left at 1230 in the morning and didn’t come back until after 3, i was going to end it. i had decided to walk to the traintracks and get pegged off by a train. i decided to do this and decided if i wasn’t meant to die then there would be a sign in the time it takes me to walk to the traintracks & wait for a train. and i decided that i would wait by the tracks & if i happened to change my mind in the time it took the train to get here, then okay. i was in a selfdestructive mindset and put the choice of whether i carqed or not into the universe.

two things happened that night, before i found my train.

i got a phone call, randomly, from an old friend i hadn’t spoken to in ages. you know how rare it is for me to get phone calls, but she called as i was walking. and we talked as i sat & waited for my train. i didn’t tell her what my plan was, & only briefly mentioned that i was upset, but we had a nice bitch sesh. when she went to bed a random old guy out for a walk took her place. i think he felt obligated to see how i was as i was sitting alone. we talked for half an hour; him about his troubles with his wife & college-aged son, and me about.. nothing, really. i talked about stupid fluff bullshit & didn’t even notice the strangeness of the scenario; two strangers sharing a moment & a park bench at 3am. it’s surprising how candid you can be when you think you only have a couple hours or so to spare.

we were still talking when i heard the horn of my train; so loud i could feel it. my train. my two sides fought internally as i sat a lot stiller than i felt. i contemplated running, leaving the man of the night and climbing the fence and finding the tracks. there wasn’t much time to decide.

the man, oblivious to the reality he’s sitting next to, continued to ramble on about his insomnia and how it gets too hot in his apartment so he likes to walk at night, when it’s quiet, when he can think.

i decided i couldn’t leave a witness other than the anonymous train conductor. i figured even in my fucked up state i couldn’t give someone who took a minute to talk to me the image of all of me splattered against concrete & hot steel so instead i turned towards the train & watched it pass.

i swear i could feel it chugging in my veins.

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a self-destructive mind to match my self-destructive body. (a tribute to autoimmune diseases & my diseased logic)

i am lemon yellow
& leaking from the wrists.

in battle by myself,
again,
i am trying to fight
the part of me
that thinks i can survive on tea & smoothies
because everything else
makes me sick.

‘trying to get better’ is my full time job & i
work all the overtime
for the paycheque i have yet to get.

on doctor’s orders i
cut out cane sugar, cut out gluten, cut out dairy, cut out starches, cut out beans,
cut out all the things that give me medical mood swings
& make me feel like shit.

permission to restrict? no problem
almost afraid to admit
justify my insane meal plans this time because
celiac disease
is such a convenient excuse.

disordered eating;
disordered mind
saying the only things anorexic about me are my
eating habits
& my BMI.
always questioned but escaping diagnosis
because i don’t try to lose weight &
i don’t think i’m fat
i just don’t think

i deserve to eat

but they never ask me that.

my doctor prescribes me 30 pounds;
she recommends 3,200 calories a day
my mouth coats with cotton
there is no fucking way —
she’d settle for 2,500
but while we’re wishing unlikelies
can she prescribe me wings? so i
can soar away from the world where even
1000 calories sounds like a challenge.

i’m just naturally underweight, my mind says
i was born with the ability to survive
on sunshine & well wishes & words.

scapegoat celiac perfect excuse for why
fasting feels fine;
& why it’s normal to me
to not be hungry, to stop long before i’m full, to restrict when i’m stressed;

& to always be stressed.

it’s not until i see pictures
when i’m unrecognizable —

knobby knees, arms like sticks & small clothes that don’t fit.

they say the camera adds ten pounds
but to me it takes away twenty;
always a shock to see on film
what i can’t in the mirror.

denial so tight i confuse it for skin.

i am stiff joints & shaky arms & stumbling,
i am feeling like a fraud but still
i am running until i see spots.

i am used to feeling
my heart fluttering when i’m sitting
tripping over it’s own beats &
trying to escape.

now i am justified
celiac disease provided permission
to scribble another fifty things on my can’t-eat-this list…
disgustingly proud, glorified for restricting suddenly being so healthy
after a positive TTG blood test.

cruel irony in that

i am autoimmune; most food makes
my body attack itself from the inside —
medically diagnosed self-destruction & i wonder how the hell
could my mind ever be fine.