etiology of bulimia
Slightly sexual. So is most of my stuff. You're used to it.
“This is my city,” he said, of the place where I was born and raised. “You’re lucky to be a guest.”
Then he snapped his fingers and made my heart stop. Only for a moment, but the moment said it all.
“I’ll try to go easy. I’m sure you’re not that used to power.”
That night I didn’t come. He didn’t know the difference.
I went home and washed. Elbows, knees, scalp, vagina, extra fierce on the soles of my feet: the arbitrary sequence the therapists said I had to learn to break. It didn’t help this time. I soaped up my belly and his energy kicked back, a feral psycho-fetus. My heartbeat shuddered hollow and dormant. My breasts were somehow under- and overstimulated at once.
In my bed I finally gave in. I let his coiled energy unfurl and funnel down, and I released it the only way I knew how.
I’d meant to take the day for myself, but when he arrived at the coffee shop, I didn’t throw him out. I should have. “What can I get you?”
“I’m not here for the coffee,” he said. “Face it, this place is a shithole.”
“It has a two in Zagat’s.” My loyalty was suddenly hawkish.
He shrugged. “Zagat’s is run by mortals. Come on. Get someone to cover your shift. I’ll take you someplace real.”
The coffee we drank tasted too thick, musky, almost meaty. Almost human. “I shouldn’t be drinking this.” I imagined a live-action CAT scan, buzzing clusters of caffeine undoing the synaptic order my medication fought so hard to regulate.
“It’s fine. It’s psychosomatic. I don’t even know why you think you need medication.”
“OCD is real.”
“It’s a matter of control. Why cede it over to some drug? Learn to do it yourself.”
“Some of us are mortal.”
“No excuse.” He was grinning now. “Hey, come here.” He reached for my waist. His fingers were five tasers. The energy raced through me and shocked my caffeine-addled brain. I pulled away, reflexively, and retched.
“I barely touched you,” he said. “Get hold of yourself.”
“You said you would go easy.”
“That was easy. Jesus.”