Thursday, February 5, 2015

Narrative: Hunger

When you don't know any better, hunger is a bad thing.

The ache is sickening. It's the ache of failure. It rises up and attacks your conscious mind, beating you about the head. You're too poor to eat every night, or maybe you're too busy, and going to the store hungry is a good way to miss a mortgage payment.

Going to bed hungry is failure.

When you don't know any better.

I'm not sure when it changes. When the ache of hunger, when the feeling a healthy body associates with sickness, changes into the ache of sore muscles after a workout. When it's the ache of accomplishment.

If you can make it to bed hungry then you've won. You can have 4 to 10 more hours before food is even an option for your body to fight back with.

Eventually, the hunger starts playing dirty and instead of just an ache in the hollow of your former stomach, it becomes weakness, dizziness. Sleep isn't a solace anymore when the pain wakes you up in the middle of night.

It's OK, the hunger can keep you company when you're lying awake. It's your constant friend now. It's constant reassurance that you are winning.

Everyone will congratulate you as you continue to win. They'll compliment you and tell you how great you look. They'll say things like, "You're half the person you used to be," and it will sound like music.

You won't need to exercise any more, which is good, because you won't have the energy to anyway. If you're careful, you'll know what times are safe to drive and do things like walk around a store. People will keep complimenting you, "You're so skinny." "Where did the rest of you go?" "Are you OK?"

Sometimes it will make you feel so good that you feel like eating, but by then you probably won't be able to keep down a full meal even if you want to, and why would you want to? Being full is for losers. Being hungry, feeling that ache, that's success. That's what it means to win. That's what it means to feel good about yourself for the first time in your life. That's what it means to look in the mirror and like what you see.

When you don't know any better.

Disclaimer: I'm obviously not recommending anorexia. It's a narrative.

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