12.09.2012

The Scale of Things.

Last winter I spent hours and hours in bed trying to stay warm, trying to figure out what I was going to do, and dropping pounds ferociously. This week feels nearly identical.

On my last day in Melbourne I found myself drinking cheap champagne on a way-high-up balcony overlooking the Melbourne CBD. With me was Gina, whom I had met on my first day staying at The Disco, and Raz, who joined us after a hot, arduous day at work. A couple sips into my first glass I started to feel a little lightheaded. I had just spent the majority of the day drinking a bottle of bubbly on St. Kilda beach, so I assumed that maybe I'd just had a bit too much alchohol and exposure that day. Or something.

Raz and I took a seat inside for a while. It was still easily 90 degrees outside, so I welcomed a cold pint of ice water and a healthily rotating ceiling fan indoors, especially since I had just narrowly avoided fainting outside.

"I'm so sorry Raz, I feel so weird and I don't know why," I said, apologizing to him for steering him away from what was essentially my going away party, "I mean, the last time I fainted in public I was..."

There was a long pause. I froze. He froze. And then, silently, I raised my left index finger to him as if to signify that he should hold on for just a minute, then retrieved my phone from my bag and immediately opened my calendar.

"Are you okay?" he asked me.

"Well," I answered, looking my three-week-love full in the face, "this is awkward, isn't it?"

Don't bother freaking out. I got my period before even reaching New York, but the symtoms prevailed. By half-five last Saturday I had left JFK and made it successfully to my former lover's empty bed in which I was soundly asleep by six. When I woke up at eleven I was feeling even worse. My sinuses had turned into a solid brick and my temperature had climbed at least a couple of degrees. Sick. Really sick. And I only found out exactly how bad it was as the days have gone on. If you were wondering, I'm still in bed.

I had thought I was feeling better and went out briefly on Thursday. I had thought that I would go to the grocery store, run a couple errands, and then hightail it up to Greenpoint for dinner with Sally, but after just a couple hours of verticalness I started to lose feeling in my fingers and toes. I shook my hands violently in hopes that my digits would pink up again, but then all the blood ran from my skull and my vision filmed over in a pointillist swirl of red and green, and I took a deep breath just before my knees buckled and I fell, in a heap, on the concrete floor of my storage unit.

I was there looking for, among other things, my nail polish remover.

I never found it.

I decided against dinner with Sally, but bought some food on my way home and ate it in bed. I threw up an hour later.

My very favorite dress is a sheer pinstripe number that I picked up at Urban Jungle in Bushwick over the summer, and right after purchasing it I returned home only to promptly hack a foot from it's length. The combination of ultra-short and sheer is extremely revealing, and I generally reserve it only for wear over my bikini. I wore it my last day in Melbourne, and when I put it on that afternoon I noticed in the mirror that I was missing and inch or so from my waist that I swear I had when I left New York, and I remember thinking that I would definitely have some explaining to do when I got back stateside. Now I'm so thin that I actively fear getting on a scale which I will have to soon, most likely, as I'm now eight days in and still can't keep anything down; I'm going to starve to death if I don't see a doctor soon.

I knew long before I left Melbourne that my plans for this winter would change. I planned on fucking off until March on the sunny beaches of Florida and maybe even a stint in Colombia or California. I knew things would be different, but I never thought I'd be shackled to New York by some unknown illness, incapable of so much as feeding myself.

At least if it was pregnancy I'd know what was going on, but it was likely easier to relate to Raz that I was sick rather than pregnant, especially since he's so very far away.

"Well that's good then!" Raz told me after I told him the news, "Although, we would have had a pretty hot baby. Especially if it had your face, your body, your arms, your legs, and my thumbs! I have great thumbs."

Last winter I used to return home to the solace of my bed after closing at Studio with Noah. I'd strip down to my knickers immediately after walking in the door and I'd lie there, in pain, noting how my undies stretched across my hipbones without touching my stomach. I'd splay my fingers into the divets in my chest created by my protruding rib bones. I'd think about eating and taste the bile in the back of my throat. I'd fear having to return to the doctor and step on the scale again.

This week. This feels nearly identical.

--M

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