I’ve been doing a lot of visual research for my book and today found two pics from my 20s that really freak me out. I wrote last week about my struggles with anorexia nervosa, but the photographic evidence was still tough to see. Back then I thought I looked so fly but in the one at left I am covered with a pelt of fur and at right I am literally concave. Please note: There’s nothing inherently wrong with body hair but it’s disturbing that the thick dark hair covering my limbs and abdomen fell out when I started eating regularly.
I may be flattering myself but I think in my zaftig 40s I actually look younger. Certainly it’s unclear if I’d be heading round the bend to 50 had I not found a way through my anorexia. At 25, I had auto-immune issues, joint problems, a jaundiced complexion, digestive disease, and frequently fractured bones. Yet no doctor connected these problems to the fact that I was severely underweight. It is a betrayal of the social contract to ever comment on another’s weight, yet I received so much approbation for walking around obviously ill that I was drafted as a model. (Not a humblebrag, modeling is fecked.) To be fair, it may have been hard to tell I was eating-disordered since I have my mother’s strong and sizable bones. Still. My head loomed like–well, my head loomed like fucking Barbie.
I could pretend what’s pictured here is a kitchen sink salad but it’s more of a garbage pail salad. Meaning I have all kinds of motley ingredients in my fridge and I work at home and hate to throw out food. So this contains chopped blue cheese and pickles and capacollo and kale and asparagus and even a bit of chive and parsley and o shit mint. it’s fine—actually it’s pretty good, salty and fresh and filling and a little oooomami—but i’d never inflict it on anyone else.
Instead I made it after rising at 5 am to revise yesterday’s book pages and then write the film lecture I’m delivering later today out on Long Island. Before editing said lecture, I worked out in the gym recently installed in our basement while doing laundry in our building’s new washer and dryer. (Anything to seduce Williamsburg tenants during 15 months of a modified L Train.) I felt so glamorous doing all this in my own building, on my own time. Herein lies the strange beauty of living and working alone–a spiky, highly singular economy within which I feel most myself. I’m even more grateful for it lately because your support showed me how not-alone I really am. (PS I’m back in book, finally.)