The Parade- 5

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Before reading: I, in no way condone self-loathing. Nor eating disorders. Personally, I've had times where I've hated being as thin as I am, and times where I never felt thin enough. Nobody's completely happy with their bodies, but no one should take it as far as this is. Self-confidence is something that should be held onto tightly.

-Courchesne.

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The laundry room mirror hollers at me like I seem to "make" you do all the time, Mabry, B, Dear- It stays, nailed to the old door, never changing. I find myself here, looking at it, like I should be looking at you- looking up to you. Staying the same, never changing, never lying to me. My eyes keep falling on the lock I'd pressed in so hard, the force had popped my knuckle. My eyes fall to the locked door in insecurity, I know it won't change unless I make it. Yeah... right? I'm in control. I turn back around to face the dryer, pushing in two quarters, taking a deep breath.

clink; drop; fall;

tumble; pause; hum;

My eyes dart over to the lock again, quickly, then leaving. I caught a glimpse of myself there, in the mirror- pathetic, cry baby. I release a sigh, dragging my feet up to the mirror. I let out a laugh, why does this fight, seeing myself, feel worse than the withdrawal pains? I notice now the tear stains itching where they zig-zag on my skin. I rub them away as harsh as I can make myself.

funny; joke; game;

I'm not that tall of a guy, not even tall for a woman's height. Ha- Weird, funny looking, I'm a joke. This is all a game. I ruffle my tear wettened hair. I need a haircut, badly is an understatement. My lips look thirsty, my skin has lost it's color. When was the last time I went outside? Remember... Remember? Yeah-! That one time, not too, too long ago.. No. I shake my head, no I didn't. Look at me, lanky as hell. Goofy looking, awkward. I feel my lungs drop down by my stomach. -Wait... maybe, not so much.. I pinch my stomach through my shirt. I haven't gotten too big since I quit.. have I?

I turn to the side, lifting my shirt, sucking my stomach in as hard as I can. I attempt to shrink my ribs back too, this is how I'd look if I stopped eating all that sugar like that. God, why? Why am so.. eugh.

Nose: Too big. No- Much too big.

Ears: Too big also

Wow look at those eyes, HUGE. Eugh, bug eyes. FAT CHEEKS- Goes right along with it, yeah?

I release my stomach, yanking the shirt off my back, I drop my pants and kick them away from me. I make sure to kick them with much effort, ignoring the pain in my joints, burning a any fraction, any bit of a calorie- hopefully, probably not. I lift my arms out to the side, facing myself. I grab my arms, pinching anything I can get ahold of. " I can grab that. " I squeeze my other arm. " Look at you, I can grab all of this " I slap my arm, it jiggles furiously. I feel sickened with myself, I look away, only to return to my face, my...body. I wish this weren't me. Everybody's beautiful, everybody's beautiful but me. Old, young, big, small, short, tall- beautiful faces, bodies, lives, voices. Why can't I be like that? I'm never skinny enough now, before I was never big enough. " I can't gain any weight, why can't I be big? " Well, nice. I never got what I wished for. I slap my stomach " NOT flat " I squeeze down my stomach with both hands, all the way past my belly button. " Rolls- ROLLS- Look! " I twist to the side, pinching into the jiggle. " Look! Look what I found! Rolls, rolls for everybody! Wanna eat? Here, can feed your whole family. " I slap my thighs, watching them shake like that- I wait impatiently for them to stop shaking, I laugh loudly at myself " Hey, I got a whole thanksgiving feast here- look at that fat move! Wouldn't hurt if it weren't there Allen- This wouldn't hurt " They're laughing at me too, they're all laughing. Guess what they're saying? " Happy Meal Allen, Hungry boy. Piggy- " I jump up and down now. " Look at you- look at that! " Who's a tired piggy, who's in pain because they're a freak? Me! I'm a pig- Hey look at me! I'm jumping because I'm a PIG!! " I grab my cheeks, jumping faster. " OINK OINK!! Who wants me!?! NOBODY! " I pinch over my hips. " Call these hip bones? Fatty, look at this, MEAT- It's MEAT " My jumping slows, my heart's beating to fast, " I see, I knew it! I'm tired already- " my chest heaves, burns too much. My throat goes dryer with my desperate breathing. Just keep going, please- " GO!! " I scream at the mirror, kneeling down, sitting back on my feet. Not even I want the piggy. " I HATE YOU! " My stomach churns, nausea catching up with me. I make you treat me like this.. I've gained weight- I've gotten too chubby for you. I couldn't have you back if I wanted someone to love this.. " I don't want to be loved! " I don't. Nobody deserves this fate, putting up with me. Ohhh, look at me, I'm a BOY- How could I call myself a man? Cry baby, getting owned. I don't want to be loved, okay? I shove my palms into my eyes. Scratches, bruises, so what? It goes away, the fat doesn't. The self loathing doesn't. The drugs don't leave me. I feel the room, this chilled room

spinning; drifting; pulling;

Me. The pig. The fool. The boy. I am fat. I am ugly. I am disgusting. You're right, I am hungry. I'm empty now, this is what you wanted? Am I really goofy, B? Am I really too big now? I am tired. I do wanna lay in bed all day. I do wanna cry now, that's what you want. You want me weak and broken, I know you want to trick me. It's what everyone says, you want to hurt me. You're honest about me, just not to me. So who am I supposed to trust? You open my eyes, you give me something to always strive for, to strive to be. Bettering myself to finally good enough. I want to make it, but I feel like it keeps getting further away from me- Like you're pushing me down- Or maybe I'm just weighing myself down. I'm blaming my faults on others, yeah? That's not what they say.. Should that really matter though? You took me in, you cared for me, you fixed me when everyone around me threw me away. You lifted me from existing, showed me how to live- Not them. They weren't there when you held me, not there when I was always crying. They weren't there to make me strong like you did, they didn't see you kiss my cheeks, my forehead. They didn't see you swept me off my feet like Superman. They don't know you carried me many days when I couldn't walk- They have no clue how you made my heart flutter, how many flowers you've brought me. They couldn't answer me if I asked how many piles of my vomit you've cleaned up, pulled me out of. They don't know about you putting the pencil in my hand, and crushing yours around mine- how you dragged my hand across the paper and pushed me through 10th grade. They don't know it was only you that got me through school, you saved me from falling through the cracks. Or when you stood me on my feet and physically helped me move my legs, when I thought I couldn't go on. You and I are the only ones who know you've helped me more than hurt me, they don't see I'm still deep in your heart. I know you'll never listen to me but I still see the hero, I know you'll return to me one day. I know I still love you, and I'm pathetic- I just can't be with you when you lay a hand on me. This isn't the 90's, you aren't my Dad, and you can't be. I know, they know you hurt me badly. We hurt each-other on purpose, race each other to a worse hell. They see it when I cover it with hair, head hung low. That's why you've kept me away from family I should make up with, ones I should apologize to. You made me burn every bridge I could possibly use to run away from you. You make me feel scared, guilty, terrible. You force me to stay with you, like you stayed with me when I was awful to deal with. They know you lay fists on me, and I have to help myself first. They know I can't fully let go, no matter how hard I try. I know I'm stupid, I know you're stupid- You just can't see it. Blinded by the alcohol, the only time you put the bottle down, it's on me. You fall down, drag me with you. They know we're like fire and lighter-fluid, they know we're both idiots. Why'd you steal what was left of my self-confidence? Why'd you keep me a baby? Best if you two would go your separate ways. I'd never forgive myself for leaving you stranded, I'd really hate myself more than I hate you now. Then why does that sound so good to me, a world away from you. When I could never trust you without regretting it, I could never stop. I could never love myself again- No matter what I change. I could never tell you any of this.

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