Chapter 1 - Not Today

Feb. 1, 2015 – I've got to stop this shit. It's pathetic. Disgusting. Weak. I'm pathetic.

Feb. 3, 2015 – Twice today. I can't keep doing this.

Feb. 7, 2015 – who cares. i don't care. not anymore. i deserve it. it's my fault.

Feb. 9, 2015 – I'm not going to. Not again. I ate half a chicken breast and a cup of broccoli. That's it. I'm almost there. I can do this. I won't have any more. Today, I'm going to make it. Today, I'm going to

Black slanted lines blur and shiver on a crisp sheet of white that holds so much promise. If I can just finish the sentence, I'll be okay. Subject, verb. If I can just form a few more tentative lines and wavering loops, I'll be okay. Make two stiff pieces of cardboard meet, bury the journal with a lumpy pillow, close my eyes, sleep.

If this day will end, I'll be okay.

But I'm not okay now. My hand trembles as I try to join the tip of a fat ergonomic ballpoint pen with its designated target. I feel cool tingles of numbness in my fingers while they struggle to maintain their grip. The pen clatters when it falls onto the paper. It mocks me with a few lazy spins, a compass needle searching for direction. I'm desperate to see the course it chooses, but my body won't allow it. I sway unsteadily in my seat as my vision fades in and out.


I knew this would happen when I gave into the repugnant need to eat. I couldn't have put it off much longer: I was too hungry and faint. The meager dinner I consumed, however, did little more than remind my digestive system that it had a purpose after all. Saliva trickles down my throat, enzymes and hydrochloric acid gurgle plaintively, stomach walls stretch as they continue their endless warmup sets.

After three hours of patient expectation, my body has given up the hope of a voluntary action. A message is sent in no uncertain terms that it requires sustenance.

I pray that another yogurt container filled with its carefully measured amount of broccoli will be enough, but it isn't. I decide to eat the rest of the chicken and make another attempt at completing my journal entry. Surely, one breast of chicken and two cups of steamed broccoli is a reasonable meal.

But after choking down the last bite of chicken, I can't force my legs to take me from the kitchen. The gummy lumps of disgust and loathing thump heavily against the sides of my slowly churning stomach as it tries to glean life from the sacrificial offering while it has the chance.

If I'm lucky, the tortoise's steady pace won't fail, and it'll be able to eke out a draw at the finish line. The gallant contender hasn't lost a race yet, but I know it's only a matter of time.

I sink to the linoleum-covered floor with a dry laugh and wait for the hare to catch up. It sprints along the folding pathways of my brain, no hindrances or resistance in its course. I know from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of similar failed attempts that I'm powerless to stop its advance.

The cycle has begun once more.

Short story with short chapters. Probably.