Natural Disasters and Extra Calories
Mama puts two pieces of pizza on a plate and slides it over to me. Two fat pieces of slimy grease, Shimmering in the dull yellow light of our kitchen. Tears trail down my cheeks. My mouth waters, craving it, wanting it, wishing I could sling it into my throat all at once. That gooey cheese. That warm thick bread curst. The tomato sauce. I imagine my lips touching it, biting into it, flavors exploding into my mouth. Chewing, swallowing, taking another bite. I imagine it all, every blissful second of eating that pizza, that warm delicious pizza.
But then there is the afterwards. Afterwards when the guilt comes to hunt me, when it creeps inside me, expanding, swelling, in my bloated belly. I concentrate on the afterwards so that I will remain strong. I cannot lose. I cannot give up. I have to fight.
I try with words first, soft begging tones. But I know she wouldn’t budge. Her green eyes are fierce, determined and hard with endless despair. Hysteria inflates in my mind. No more words. Just crying. Leo has already gone. I cry and try to escape but end up in the living room instead. Leaning against the couch, looking out into the grey raining world. I stop crying. I am the wall. Hard concrete. Apathetic to what is happening around me. Mama sits next to me; talking to me is soft, persuasive tones. I zone out her words. I have heard them all a thousand times; the same words in different orders, turned, around twisted, an added on here and there, but still the same in the end. Useless words, words without imagination.
I eat in the end I lost. I lost time. I gained calories from eating pizza. I am exhaustive. I drag myself up to my room. I am zombie—hands stretched in front of me, feeling my way through life, unable to think for myself. I lock myself into my room. I think I am going to cry, but I have no more energy left to shed even one more tear.
That night we see a report about the tsunami in Japan. I am a terrible person; terrible evil. I am robbing my parents of money and happiness. I am a parasite, eating away at them, feeding on their misery. I don’t deserve them. I don’t deserve anything. So many people lost their lives and I am crying about gaining a few extra calories. I have to be punished. Somehow I have to be punished. Why do I get to live, and all those beautiful, caring people don’t?