If you are one of the seventy-million people who wish to be empty, then continue to read the following paragraphs, if not, I urge you to turn away, for the following is not a safe road.
You set aside loose fitting clothes before bed, along with a row of happiness—filled capsules.You find a soft spine measuring tape and place it beside your bed. You turn up the thermostat as high as it can go and put on many layers. You make sure to stack as many blankets on you as possible, heated ones on high are best. You feel even better when you remember the hot water bottle. You are burning up but you smile because you know that with every drop of sweat you spill, calories begin to panic and run away from your stomach. Your thighs.
When you wake up, your alarm blares ‘Skinny Love’, an anthem for the empty. You run the faucet over your hair, and you pin it back so that no strays will get stuck in your possible failures. You then retrieve the measuring tape, coiling it around the lumps of flesh that extend from your heart and spine. Then write down the numbers that appear where the two ends of the tape meet. Look at how high they are. Disgusting. Tomorrow they will be lower. They will.
Pull on your loose clothes, assuring that they don’t reveal your protruding skin. You place the capsules at the back of your mouth, quickly swallowing with the aid of ice cold water. You make sure it is at least a pint glass, with every gulp of H2O, your body believes that it is not empty. At least for a little while. As you fill up on water, you make sure you leave room in your stomach for the coming ounces of shame.
You begin to construct a standard breakfast, dirtying far more dishes than are needed. When the breakfast is completed, you post a picture on Instagram advertising how filling and delicious your breakfast was. You take the food and shove it all inside a Ziplock back, placing the bag in your backpack. You do not clean up the dishes. Then you slip your shoes on, noting how big your heel is. Tomorrow it will be smaller. It will.
You are transported to school, the means of which are irrelevant. You go to the nearest cafeteria trash and toss the bag away. Drink more water. When lunchtime comes, your friends ask why you aren’t buying the calorie and fat-filled patties from the lunch line, you remind them of your earlier Instagram post and say that you are full. You approach the vending machine and swipe your card, pressing C6. You walk away with a diet Snapple in your hand, the 10 Calories smiling wickedly up at you. You pull out a stick of gum, breaking it in half. You now have two five calorie killers in your palm. Place one on your tongue and chew. You save the other half for later.
When you arrive back home, you start on your homework, ignoring the snack your mother made for you. You are simply too busy for food. Drink more water. The clock strikes five and you are at work. Your manager asks why you haven’t taken your dinner break. You tell her that your mother has begun preparing a big dinner at home and that you simply cannot spoil your appetite or she will have your head. You instead take a small break, downing three Coke Zero’s and half a stick of gum. The appetite suppressing chemicals in the soda tickle the empty space within your body. You muddle through the rest of your shift, your one liter water bottle grasped in your famished fingers.
You drive home, Skinny Love once again pulsing in your speakers, in your head. Your mother asks why you won't eat dinner with the family, you tell her that your manager ordered the staff a pizza and that you ate four slices. Drink more water. You note that you have had 20 calories today. At least, you have if you managed to be successful. If you failed the day, you proceed to the bathroom, kneeling atop the ceramic tiles and tickling your stomach until you see your failures spill from your greedy mouth.
You set aside a line of happiness capsules beside some loose fitting clothes and a soft spine measuring tape. You put on layer after layer. You pile on blanket after blanket. The room heats up degree by degree. You feel the calories ooze from your skin. Success will feel like headaches and chapped lips along with shaky knees and bony wrists. The less visible you get, the less you are a burden to society. Success will feel empty.