August. I felt no remorse watching the sun rise through a west-facing window day after day until I essentially became nocturnal. An inverted cycle, once a frivolity, presently a luxury now drained from my abilities. Glazed with sweat, I fidgeted between sheets not belonging to me. Waking was the worst of it, as the sun had just barely tipped past it’s highest peak, broiling me & my deluded expectations. The idealization waxed & waned, as polarized romances are wont to do. August. I once more found myself stirring between foreign sheets. Central air was generous this time, the writhing now provoked by unease & foresight. To my right, subdued, vegetated, resolute. Soon, clarity drizzled as the clouds simultaneously released their weight, breaking the heat. West-facing, I dried off. August. Curled up in coral between floral sheets of my own. Solitary, but not forsaken. Moderate weather, moderate mindset, moderated me. Clarity, outpouring words with emotions no longer propelling them. Contemplating with no concern for minutes, yet hours away still is the almighty sunrise. Spewing out words visualized in monochrome- just outcomes of red-letters.
1:43 am • 10 August 2012 • 2 notes
Taylor had one of those Plymouth Voyagers, the kind that blew stale, lukewarm air- no matter the desired temperature. It was miserable in the humid summer heat, constituting a windows-down policy. This night, however, was mid-December, I sat bundled up on the middle bench. It was the 18th, don’t ask me how I remember that, seven years ago. We watched a show at our most-frequented venue, I can name each of the eight people in the room. It was enjoyable, an exhibit of Chicago talent, which at the time was experiencing a huge boom of musical output. Related to that wave- “talent” and “taste” are debatable. On the drive back to the suburb which notoriously boasts a 25 MPH speed limit, we stopped on Ingersoll Ave to warm our insides with fast food. One of the last specific memories I have of carnivorism- I ate a Taco Burger while air more dusty than thawing drifted out of the vents. It was equally as nondescript as most of the near 2500 days which have elapsed since. Ordinary, yet peculiarly imprinted.
11:41 pm • 9 August 2012 • 1 note
I went on a bike ride the other night after getting off work at ten. For me, long rides serve to decongest the clutting bouncing around my thoughts. I told myself it was time to shake off my irritation and to get out of my own selfish mind. The original plan was to ride over the Golden Gate & back, a plan thwarted by how incredibly dark & scary the trail through Crissy Field was at that time of night. Already petrified after venturing through Fort Mason by myself, I decided to follow a squad car to some dead end path near the base of the bridge. I accepted defeat & fear, and pulled up Instagram- in an effort to be a cliche or something of the sort. It didn’t turn out, clearly the aesthetics were literally clouded by fog & night.
I rode over to the cop car, now sitting idle without lights, and asked him if I was safe to head to the bridge. He got out of the car, and assured me that I was perfectly safe, and the only one out there. I’ve spent years watching Forensic Files & Law & Order: SVU, and quickly pictured the Zodiac killer jumping out of the shrubbery. Then, another flash to the thought of my parents sorting through my belongings & hard drive. No thanks, all around.
The officer asked why I was riding by myself so late at night, and when I expressed that I was a bit cranky, he joked “Don’t tell me you’re in a bad mood and going to the bridge!” I laughed, and said “No way! I’ve seen that movie!” His eyes shifted, and he told me that at 73 minutes in, there’s footage of him pulling a girl off the railing. “Look for the bald head.” I shivered in awe, chills brought on by instant intrigue rather than the breeze rolling off the Bay. It turned out that his main assignment was the bridge, and the Presidio. I groaned that seeing such trauma must be devastating, to which he disclosed that he’s “screwed in the head”, but over time he’s come to compartmentalize it. I believe it must be true, as he has used the term “squeegee” to describe the process of removing the lifeless bodies of jumpers from the rocks below the bridge. Curious, I asked about the process of determining that someone was likely to jump. He explained to me that while there are exceptions to the standard behaviors, the basis of his job boils down to learning how to read people. Above all details of the conversation, I found this to be the most revelatory & unexpected. I guess I had never viewed police surveillance as such, but it was obvious when the idea was presented to me.
Despite the officer’s insistence that the Presidio at night was “nothing” compared to Capp Street (haha), I decided not to take my chances, and headed back toward the Marina. I couldn’t shake the idea of this bald-headed man falling soundly asleep every night after preventing & witnessing traumas. Traumas others never recover from, whether the victims or the grieving. I pedaled quickly, adrenaline & hunger burning deep in my muscles. I’ve had a pretty draining week at work, I feel rundown & stressed. I thought back to an hour prior, trying to convince myself to be more appreciative of my surroundings & less concerned about the petty going-ons of my own life. Never in my life will I have to carry the emotional burden of other people relinquishing their own existence. At least not that frequently. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.
4:03 pm • 30 July 2012 • 6 notes
I spent my Saturday night alone in my bedroom, organizing my distastrous cosmetics collection. I’m the messiest person you’ve ever met, no amount of self (or parental, hi Dad!) discipline has been able to shake that. Now, I tidy up out of absolute necessity, as the sheer volume of “stuff” I have makes it easy to turn my bedroom from barracks to bedlam in 5 minutes flat. I’ve never been one for moderation, this aspect of my persona makes me highly suceptible to things such as disordered eating, or compulsive consumerism. In the past, I used ostentatious clothing in an attempt to fill an emotional void. I tried to control where attention was drawn, subconsciously believing that it would mask personality flaws & physical defects. I still feed that behavior in less obstructive manners, specifically with the aid of cosmetics, but I’ve grown to a place of passable self-esteem & have shifted priorities. Probably the most laughable, and ironic, of all my unnecessary collections is the drawer full of swimwear. Why does a person with dormant body dysmorphia act so counter-intuitively in owning items that provoke public immodesty? Well, because I like to have fun, even at the expense of my anxiety. But on a deeper level, your guess is as good as mine. I have all these “possessions”, which are admittedly wasteful & frivolous, collected from breakdown after breakdown. I’ve since found myself with a new mentality, one of more character & compassion, while the relics of my anguish remain in my bedroom, exhausting my storage options.
This weekend, while avoiding social obligations, I looked around at all of my stuff, luxuries rather than necessities. I feel ashamed that I’ve ever been ungrateful for even a moment- how I could have ever fashioned myself so tortured? Reflecting on depressions past, I have to come to terms with realizing that not even the most coveted of material posessions has had any ability to truly enlighten me and they certainly have never acted as cataysts to emotional growth. In fact, all of this “stuff”, all of these pretty or special “things”, have only served as hindrances to facing reality & were used to mask the pitfalls which I ultimately had to face anyway to change. I fell, and am still falling, right into the ploy of society & the media, which tells me that my natural state of existence, be it physical or emotional, is in dire need of a more flattering veil. I’m sad that a multi-billion dollar mindset has been established by exploiting fantasy and the second X chromosome. Materialism, vanity, and the vicious cycle they have played on my bank account & search for happiness has created a version of myself more likened to Narcissus than Athena, which is intrinsically more unflattering than any bad hair day. I wish I could say I am ready to do away with all of these things I don’t need, but I do inherently enjoy them and continue to use them situationally to ease my lingering neurosis. Yeah, sometimes I still spend upwards of an hour planning a makeup color scheme before an anticipated outing, believing that feeling confident about my lip color will lead me to feel confident in a social situation. Just as a year ago, I would have never imagined a reality where I wore jorts in public, I hope for a day when my love of expressed style will be purely for recreation, rather than to distort my realities. I’m obviously unsure of how distant in the future that day is, but I’m displeased to admit it isn’t likely to be today.
11:11 am • 9 July 2012 • 6 notes
Commuters fly by, into the gray haze encasing the city. Each looks different than the last, but each pedals with intent, focused on the destination. The haze turns into an infrequent and unintruding mist. However innocuous, most still choose to congregate inside. It’s pleasant to be inside, but looking at the outside world. Bikes are tossed haphazardly onto stand-up racks, some secure a lock, probably as a ritual. It’s pleasant to be inside, surveying each male patron with that particular haircut, hearing songs familiar, whirring machines and caffeinated chatter become white noise. I’m face down in a magical elixir which eases the regret of lying awake until 2am, listening to the babble of reality tv. I consume it quickly, leaving a meticulously chosen shade of pink on the ceramic rim. Suddenly my eyes are a bit brighter, the impending babble of *my* reality looms closer. I wonder what all these other people are here to wake themselves up from, to wake themselves up for. I wonder if the commuters made it to their destinations, a near-certainty that personally does nothing to alleviate my constant worry over punctuality. I wonder if the thick fog will dissolve, leaving a day as beautiful as yesterday in its wake. I don’t know, I haven’t checked the weather. I don’t know, I didn’t see the morning yesterday. I don’t know, I’ll be indoors all day.
9:40 am • 21 June 2012 • 3 notes
There’s something about the water, the Pacific to be more specific, that fills me with a feeling of security & serenity. I moved to San Francisco because of the ocean, and obviously I head straight there in times of emotional turmoil. As a child, I spent many weekends in Santa Cruz, running in & out of the water, scorching my paternal Irish complexion, until I matched my Italian mother in tone. A carefree time as a child, with now-deceased grandparents, and now-divorced parents, and mostly before my brother came along. I don’t think I’m alone in missing the ability to dive in & out of the ocean, or climb a tree with a book, worry-free & semi-reckless. So when I hopped off the N a couple years ago, I ran right into that Pacific. Cold, very cold, as May in San Francisco always is. But most remarkable was the familiarity that literally washed over my now-adult bones. It felt like some innate idea of “home”, though I had never actually lived in San Francisco, only in the surrounding area. It not only reminded me of a life I wished still existed, but one I could create in the future. Happy & fulfilled nowadays, I still have those moments of confusion where the only place to dissolve my burden is at the coast.
11:04 pm • 11 June 2012 • 9 notes
I gazed around at all the stickers stuck to the walls, and the square slices of pizza, and the “cash only” sign that hardly appeased my card-only wallet. Stewart ordered a couple slices, probably veggie & pepperoni, and said “I’ve got yours”. I averted my eyes, and claimed I wasn’t hungry, clearly a lie exposed by the fact that I had scheduled the dinner plans. As he ate his slices, my stomach started doing flips of both panic & hunger. Pizza, why did it look so fucking delicious? For a few seconds, I was nearly sure that my stomach was about to defy everything we know about anatomy, and expel itself from my body & consume that cheesy square without the help of my extremities. Stewart offered me some of his veggie slice, and that’s when it happened. My eyes welled up in fear of the ambiguously high fat content and it was at that moment, while putting on my Wonka-shaped sunglasses indoors, that I realized I had entirely lost my mind. It’s clear to see a need for re-evaluation when the sight & smell of pizza scares you to the point of tears.
The pizza incident was a bit over a year ago, probably last February. I learned in the next few months, that the human body is an incredibly resilient machine, designed to survive. It may scream at you through non-verbal symptoms including bruising, sleeping, and blacking out (and waking up at the bottom of BART stairs), but holy shit can one 5’4” body take a beating before it truly gives up. Luckily, I found the confidence and clarity to pull myself up by the bootstraps, with some help from a few friends & a pair of awesome specialists. The first time I ate a meal after six months of fueling myself with only oatmeal, fruit, and water (never exceeding 500 calories per day), it was like my body was on autopilot. I ate a bowl of rice & beans in probably three minutes tops, my survival instinct had kicked in & I literally couldn’t stop my arm from scooping up a portion & hurtling it toward my mouth. I cried again, as I kept a mental inventory of what percent of the bowl I had eaten, and how that translated to caloric content. I was given the advice to eat everything and anything, but it hurt so badly. My abdomen bloated up in literally the same manner as an Ethiopian child of famine, which makes it near impossible to sleep or sit. At 92 pounds, I was lighter than nature had ever intended me to be, but everything around me felt so incredibly heavy.
I’ve alluded to it in nearly everything I’ve written since that time. I’ve found myself wondering why after hours upon hours of therapy & treatment, I can’t just get the fuck over it. In fact, I’ve been morbidly ashamed of my disease and have been adamant about keeping it a “secret”. A lot of it has to do with the shame of the stigma an eating disorder carries, and knowing that I can do very little to change our culture’s view of it. I will attest that it is a slippery slope in the way that starving depletes (non-renewable!) brain matter, and without a well-functioning brain, rationale is depleted as well. It isn’t hard to see how it sucks you in & plays fickle games against you. People most commonly believe it is a disease rooted in self-image or control, for me it was about feeling constantly inadequate & trying to be the “best” or “most” at something. I’ll just say it- I thought people would like me better if I weighed less. In hindsight, I realize the amount of absolutely crazy I was made me to be probably the least personable & likable I’ve ever been. Also, it actually made me the least physically attractive I’ve ever been, with skin sullen & gray, hair falling out in clumps, and shoulder blades that could slice whatever food item I refused to eat that day. Hardly seems worth it, yeah? Another reason I’ve tried to avoid talking about it is the fear that people will be unable to separate their perception of ED Lindsey from Current Lindsey. I guess if someone judges me for the skeletons(!) in my closet, they A) pretend they have none or B) are not worth my friendship or C) are not good with discernment. Le Shrink always warns me about the dangers of carrying deep shame, and I’m working on melting that away with the vigor which I directed toward my body. So, you get to read about it on the internet in an attempt to face the fact that making mistakes is okay, and part of being a human.
As of a few days ago, I think I’ve actually “gotten the fuck over it”. I feel that same freedom & ease that I wrote about after going to Iowa. I’m not concerned with what you internet people think about my battle with self-esteem & the social hierarchy. I’m not concerned with any change in perceptions by my friends, I trust & love them with a dedication & sincerity that I’ve never before felt. They don’t even know how accountable they make me simply by planning brunches & dinners ~5 days a week. For a disease absolutely rooted in secrecy, this is the easiest way to make sure I can’t get away with the thoughts that yes, sometimes still cross my mind. In an attempt to prove to myself that there are actually viable alternatives to starvation as a method of body reshaping, I’ve now signed up for those fancy Marina-esque Pilates/cardio classes on Valencia. I hate these classes, but I am gritting my teeth in the determination to do without any significant amount of backsliding. For the first time in my memory, I saw a photo of myself today & wasn’t filled with humiliation, hatred, and anxiety. It may have been just that moment, or for today, but I had an accurate perception of what I present to the world. That brings the score to: body dysmorphia: 666,000 vs Lindsey: 1. Baby steps, tiny victories.
I shot Stewart a text message, I inquired about a dinner date next week. “Sure, where/when?”, I quickly replied with “Golden Boy, 6:30?”.
11:46 am • 10 May 2012 • 15 notes