Unpacking the Spoons

Most of you have already heard the spoon metaphor by now. It was originally coined to describe what it’s like to have a chronic illness, although since then it has been used to describe mental illness as well. It’s an incredibly helpful tool, but I’d like to take a minute to expand on why those of us who have illness of one kind or another use up our spoons so quickly. There is an invisible aspect to illness that most of us don’t talk about. It’s oddly taboo, particularly for mental illness. Let’s shed some light on it shall we (I’m going to confine this discussion to my particular mental illness because that’s what I have experience with, but I know that this type of thing is applicable to all sorts of different illnesses).

When you’re mentally ill you have to think about more things. Let’s look at some examples of things that I have to think about on a regular basis that most people are blissfully unaware of: (trigger warnings for ED and self harm)

1.Are my hands shaking? Will someone notice? How will I explain it if they do?

2.Will the clothes that I’m wearing expose any of my scars or current cuts? Am I going to be somewhere that I care?

3.Will someone use the word “purge” today? How will I deal with this trigger if it comes up?

4.Will someone talk about my body or eating habits today and how will I quickly escape the situation if that happens?

5.If I eat something, will my stomach be able to keep it down or will it get uppity because it’s not very good at digesting anymore?

6.Will it look suspicious to my family or friends if I go to the bathroom immediately after a meal?

7.If I stay at someone’s house, do I have my meds? I cannot stay at someone’s house unless I have my meds.

8.If others want to do a physical activity, will I be able to keep up? Will I start feeling faint?

9.Did I bleed on my sheets or my pajamas after I cut last night? Can I get that stain out? Did it get on my computer, and will other people notice if I bring my computer out? Also gross.

10.Can I leave the house today without overwhelming self-hatred based on how I look in these clothes?

11.How distracted will I be today by my body? If my thighs rub together while walking, will I still be able to keep it together, or will I start having some really bad thoughts?

12.Will there be calorie counts listed somewhere that I go today?

13.How do I get all my hours in at work and get to 5-10 hours of therapy a week? How do I explain to my boss and coworkers that I’m not lazy it’s just really hard to find good times for appointments?

14.I usually get tired at around 9:00 (probably from nutritional deprivation among other things). Can I go out and socialize tonight? How can I see my friends when I have a full time job and I can’t stay awake past 11?

15.Was that slight chest pain just some anxiety or other minor something, or am I finally getting the irregular heartbeat that is supposed to come with my eating habits?

16.What do I say if people bring up food habits? Fasting? (yes this has happened, e.g. how long have you gone without food). How do I keep myself from blurting out “yeah, I ate once a week for a couple months once”?

17.How much do I tell people?

18.If someone hugs me, will they be able to feel my fat? Will I be ok with it, or will I want to pull away (most of the time it’s pull away. Then I have to be polite)?

19.If I purge, will I smell like puke? Will I be able to get those nasty stains out of my clothes (yes, it gets everywhere. yes it is gross)? What happens if my boyfriend tries to kiss me?

20.How much of my day will I waste thinking about food and debating whether or not to eat and how much to eat? This varies from about 1 hour to my whole day, depending.

21.Sometimes I even waste my brain space wondering if what I expel from my body is the same as what I put into it (yes I am talking about poo).

22.How many layers should I wear? I’m always cold, but I can’t regulate my body temperature at all so I swing to really hot if I’m under blankets or layers.

23.Can I handle looking at myself in the mirror today? Will I look like a complete idiot if I get dressed and leave the house without a quick mirror check?

24.Will someone notice if I start poking at my wrists or my hips to feel the bones? Can I feel my bones? Am I too fat if I can’t feel my bones?

25.Have a fasted/restricted today? How long has it been since I last ate? How much did I eat? If someone tries to give me breakfast, how can I say no?

This was just a list I came up with off the top of my head. Imagine trying to get out of bed while thinking about all these things, plan your day while thinking about all these things, accomplish work while thinking about all these things. THIS is where the spoons go. The reason that doing simple tasks requires so much more energy and effort is not just the physiological difficulties of depression or illness (and yeah, those things often do come with some serious fatigue or pain), but also the fact that everything is inherently more complicated. You are constantly trying to protect yourself from whatever threat your illness brings. You have to plan ahead like nobody’s business. You have to be assessing what’s going on around you and what’s going on internally to make sure you’ll be ok.

With mental illness, many of these thoughts are intrusive, paranoid, and irrational. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean you can turn them off and that doesn’t mean that you’re expending less emotional energy by having them. These thoughts are intrusive, distracting, and oftentimes pervasive, which means you’re taking a lot of your executive function to refocus your brain on the task at hand. All the time. Over and over.

For many of us who are dealing with a low spoon count, we don’t even realize that this is where the spoons are going: all we know is that things feel hard. They feel exhausting. We’re more worn out than other people even when we’re doing what appears to be less. Again, the key appears to be patience with yourself and with others, as well as clear communication about what you’re feeling. Many of us don’t want to speak up about the things that are hard for us, whether because we don’t want to appear weak or because there is a strong taboo against them (most of the things listed above fall into this second category). If we can get better at telling others what we’re really feeling, maybe this whole spoons thing will start making more sense to everyone.

 

Eating Disorder Pet Peeves

I’m not feeling very well today. I think I’m sick and I’ve just had a fairly emotional week thus far. Because of that, and because this is my blog and I do what I want, I’m going to write about being cranky. Specifically I’m going to talk about those things that drive me and my eating disorder CRAZY. I assume they drive other people with eating disorders crazy too, but I’m not really sure. So here they are, my eating disorder pet peeves, aka things not to do around someone with an eating disorder:

1. When I say that I ate something, this is not an invitation to comment on my weight.
I mean really actually nothing is an invitation to comment on my weight unless I actively invite you to comment on my weight or unless you’re my doctor or dietician. Otherwise you can piss the fuck off because when you ask me how I’m “so skinny when I eat ice cream” I feel both like a fraud, and like I’m completely crazy. I also want to yell at you “BECAUSE I NEVER EAT”, so please just don’t do it.

2.Don’t talk about how many calories are in things or how bad they are for you or how sugary or fatty things are.
Again, just WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? I’ve had a near stranger come up and comment on how many calories are in my food. Why? All you’re doing is making people feel guilty and drawing attention to something unnecessary. Counting calories is a really unhealthy way of controlling your diet, it’s incredibly triggering, and it’s really just not helpful to anyone to talk about calories. If you’re a calorie counter, then count your calories! Hooray! Just don’t tell me about it.

3.I don’t need to know about your workouts. I really, really don’t. I am competitive and exercise is a trigger. Please just don’t tell me. I come up with enough overzealous workouts all on my own.

4.Don’t give me that special look. You know the one. The one that says “is she going to blow up today?” or “did I break her?”. I’m not a doll, I’m not fragile, I’m not on the edge. You can talk to me. Use your words if you think I’m having a bad day, don’t just give me the concerned face. Don’t tiptoe around. You can say words to me.

5.If you expect me to take care of myself, I sure as hell expect you to take care of yourself. Don’t act all worried and terrified if I don’t eat and then turn around and skip meals. In particular, your workaholic nature and your negative self-comments affect me.  They normalize treating myself like crap. It’s important that you understand this.

6.DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use the words “depression” or “anorexic” in casual conversation as vague descriptors of things. It trivializes hell to me. Just don’t.

7.Pretty please ask before physical contact. You don’t necessarily have to use your words but like…instead of a sudden glomp you can open your arms and wait for reciprocation. That’s cool. I am a tad sensitive about my body and sudden contact freaks me the heck out.

8.Please don’t make fun of me for being physically incapable of things that seem easy to you. These include things like running a mile, staying awake for more than about 15 hours at a time, or having enough energy to go out and socialize. My body is tired. Respect that. If you can be aware of it, that helps oodles too. I will push myself to keep up with others, and if someone doesn’t notice that I can’t keep up it’s fairly miserable.

Most of these things seem self-explanatory to me. Generally avoiding topics like weight, appearance, and exercise are a good idea because those are stressful and triggering to me. In general, those are also things that you have no business butting into other people’s lives about, so overall I don’t know why we have to have this conversation. Just don’t do it.

Fat Stigma: Change of Perspective

Hello all! Today’s post is going to be short and sweet because it’s my birthday and I said so. This week is fat stigma awareness week, and so I wanted to talk a bit about my own experience of fat stigma through the lens of something that happened to me this morning. I am well aware that I have internalized a lot of fatphobia and it’s something that I fight against as often as possible.

This morning while I was on the bus, someone who was overweight and using a walker got on. I noticed that I instantly questioned why she needed the walker: whether it was just because she was overweight, or did she have “actual” health problems. Particularly because she left it at her seat and went back to pay the bus driver, I was judgmental. I noticed this and told my brain to shut the fuck up because it was none of my damn business and I didn’t need to police anyone, but I knew that I was still judging her.

This woman was sitting next to me, and as the bus went around a corner her purse fell off the walker and onto the floor in front of me. I bent down to pick it up, and as I did her wallet fell out and some business cards spilled onto the floor. I apologized profusely and picked them up for her, and as I was doing so I noticed that one of them was for The Emily Program, the same place that I get my eating disorder treatment. Instantly any judgment I had for this woman was gone and all I wanted to do was hug her and punch her eating disorder in the face. I wondered what else her eating disorder had taken away from her besides her mobility and I wished I could help. It was amazing how having one thing in common with this woman suddenly humanized her. It was a major lesson for me. Despite how hard I had told myself to judge her not before, it was only once I had the tiniest glimmer of understanding that she struggled that I could have real empathy. And that’s a problem.

From now on, I’m going to imagine that every person I come across who is different from me has something written on a card that tells a bit of their story. I’m going to imagine seeing it fall to ground and imagine how it would change my perspective and give me sympathy for them. EVERYONE has those things. We need to learn how to see them.

Food: I Love It

The following blog post is a personal challenge for me inspired by the following quote: ‘‘I love to cook so much . . . food represents to me something truly positive, fun and liberated, and sensual and loving . . . it feels to me like being in control, not in the . . .bad and neutralizing sense, but in the sense that I do not let external forces control me and tell me that I cannot eat.’’ In the spirit of this quote, I want to tell you what I love about food, and why I view eating as a radical feminist act.

 

Food is comforting. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but when you get home from a long day, all you want is something warm to put in your mouth. The sensation of chewing something with a good texture, of letting the flavors sink into your tongue, of feeling yourself heat up from the inside, is reaffirming: I am here. I am alive. I deserve this good thing. I can feel myself regaining strength when I eat food. I can feel my mood brightening. Food gives me life. It affirms to me that I should be in this world, not in a far-off intellectual space with no body. When I eat I feel solid.

And food. Food tastes AMAZING. A piece of really good chocolate, fruit, or ice cream? I could eat them all day, letting them melt on my tongue and sink into my consciousness, sweetening up my day. Or the deep, delicious savoriness of a pizza, which you can’t quite replicate anywhere else. Or simply the taste of MEAT. I’m sorry, but as a recovering anorexic, I cannot explain to you how perfect a hamburger is. And salt. Salt and vinegar potato chips, hash browns, FRIED FOOD. These things are delicious. I love the experience of eating them, of tasting them, of gobbling them down. And textures are stellar too. I had some pasta last week that was the perfect kind of chewy, and I just wanted to keep eating it forever so that I could have that texture in my mouth indefinitely. It makes my teeth almost hurt just thinking about it. Or ice cream on a sore throat. Food makes you feel good.

Food can completely change your experience of a day or a temperature. A hot drink on a cold day leaves you shivering as you feel the warmth reach out into your belly. Cold ice cream on a hot day makes everything suddenly ok. Food can define experiences.

Food is a mental game. You wait for it. You get excited while you cook. You see it and smell it before you can taste it and taste it before it’s really yours and in your belly. You can savor every little bit of it. You can build it up and appreciate the excitement of it all day. Cooking is an art and baking is a science and you can create and play and explore the world around you by changing it into something it wasn’t a few hours ago. It’s fairly amazing, and it reminds you how powerful we are. We can change our world in order to make it taste better. It’s a powerful form of creating culture by changing the natural materials we’re given. It makes us more human.

Food is an experience that is hard to replicate. Each meal is the coalescence of a place and people and culture and history, all come together to create what is now. Your food means different things at different times and in different places. It comes together through your culture, mediated by cultural symbols. Your food represents where you are coming from, but by definition it is where you are going because it is the sheer fuel that allows you to go there. Food is time, because what else is growth and maturation and ripeness and cooking and every other process by which our food becomes appropriate for us to eat? Food is all these connections. Perhaps the most beautiful of them is the community. Sitting down to a good meal with a pile of friends is one of the best experiences in life. Everything becomes a bit warmer, everyone a bit more vivacious, more talkative. We move closer to share, to ask about each other’s food. Sharing food is a sign of trust, of care, of closeness.

And food tells us what we deserve. It is something we take for ourselves, something we should never question whether we deserve or not because it is the most basic thing that everyone deserves. It tells us that we have the right to take up physical space, to interact with things and people, to speak, to be in space. Food is our right to a body, and tells us we have the right to exist in the same space as others.

Perhaps my favorite part of food is the memories that it creates. Whenever I want to imagine my childhood and the things that made me happy about it, I imagine eating spaghetti. When I think of my current relationship, I see it in the story of meals that we’ve eaten together. Certain people I remember in the scent of food. Certain foods can reduce me to tears or laughter with their memories. I love how human food is for this reason. I love remembering.

I love food for these reasons. It is hard for me to say that I love food, but I love the experiences of food. Food is not something you’re supposed to love. You’re supposed to eat it for sustenance and health, but not for your soul. Well I call bullshit on that. Food is intimate: it is one of so very few things we put into our bodies, and we are certainly discriminatory about our sexual partners: why shouldn’t we give the same care and attention to our food? I love my food because it represents so much of the beauty of being human, so many of the deeper experiences, because there is so much to question, explore, and learn about how we come to have the food that we do.

I tell myself this over and over because women who love food are Bad. They are out of control. They are self-centered. I tell myself this because I have made myself an imperative. Taking care of myself against the messages that I have gotten that others are more important, that work is more important, that accomplishing is more important, that I can rest when I’m dead, that my happiness is secondary to what I create and accomplish has become my revolution. I am my oppressed minority, and eating is our protests, eating is our bombs, eating is our artwork and songs and stories and essays. “Eating is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of radical “ Audre Lorde. This quote is our mantra. Every beautiful thing I recognize about food as I put it in my mouth is another blow to every message that says “be less”. When men tell women that they exist as objects, I choose to eat something and TAKE ANOTHER BEING into myself. Objectify that. When people call me crazy and say that psychos are just making it all up, I eat my dinner and reflect again on how impossible that was a year ago and know I am stronger than anyone who has never thought twice about their dinner.

My very existence as someone who is mentally ill and female is a struggle to claim as my own. My food is the last symbol that I can choose what to do with my life and my body. When I stop choosing purposively to eat, how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat, I give up the most basic level of control and self-assertion I have. Food is my revolution when I allow myself to take up space, when I refuse to give up on my potential, when I connect myself to my family, to my memories, to my stories, when I write my own narratives, when I deeply experience the world. Food makes me more human. It forces me to recognize my humanity, on par with anyone else’s, no better and no worse. I don’t believe in God, but I believe in the power of food to connect people to each other. I believe in how fantastic food is.

Post Round Up

Hello all! You might have noticed that this blog has not been quite as active lately as it has been in the past. I’ve started a new job and I’m BUSY. I won’t neglect you all though, I promise. The other reason I haven’t been posting here quite as much is because I’ve also been busy across other parts of the internet. So here’s an update of what else I’ve been up to and where else you can read my work.

I’m really excited about a post I’ve got up over at Mental Health Talk right now. It’s about the experience of being in the middle of treatment for an eating disorder. It’s pretty personal and in-depth about the ups and downs of life while fighting a disorder.

A while ago I also wrote about porn over at The Quail Pipe. Yes I watch porn. Yes I’m going to tell you about it. Why? Because I’m sick of the idea that only men are sexual beings who get sexy.

You should also probably check out what will likely be my last post at Teen Skepchick, about the relationship between feminism and atheism for me. The reason it’s my last post is because I’m moving over to plain ol’ Skepchick! I couldn’t be more excited!!!!

And last but not least, my birthday is coming up real soon. Now usually I’m the queen of asking for EVERYTHING on my birthday, but not this year. This year I want one thing: I’m asking for donations to The Emily Program Foundation. The Emily Program is the place where I receive my eating disorder treatment, and overall I’ve had a pretty stellar experience there (as stellar as it can be to have all your coping mechanisms and safety blankets challenged). I love my providers and they treat me like a for reals human being instead of a problem. The Foundation does a lot of great stuff including scholarships for treatment, education, and Recovery Night. If you’re interested in donating, I’ve set up a fundraising page over at GiveMN (which is where I work now!). Consider sending something their way if you like my writing, because I would not be capable of all this if it weren’t for them.

That’s all for now kids!

Losing Reality

I haven’t spent much time on this blog, or really much of anywhere talking about body image. Obviously I think about it: I don’t like my body and I never have. I have issues with my body that I take out on it through violence and starvation. But body image is simply not one of the aspects of my eating disorder that I find fruitful to write about, and generally when I bring it up in person I just get frustration and straight out disagreement from my audience. While I understand the impulse to tell me “YOU’RE WRONG” when I call myself ugly, there are times when I want to be able to express and explore my feelings about my body without being immediately shut down. This is one of those times. This exploration may not have a clear point, but I think it’s important to give voice to the thoughts and feelings that are a part of the disorder.

 

Lately my bad body image has been acting up quite badly. I’ve increased my food intake and put on a bit of weight. This means discomfort in my clothes, discomfort in the mirror, discomfort when I eat. But the worst part of it is that when I worry about my body image, I often find that I cannot accurately identify reality.

 

No, this does not mean that I hallucinate. I don’t see my body growing larger before my eyes, I can tell that I’m smaller than many people. However despite all this, I cannot understand what the truth is about my body: is it acceptable or not? Is it too skinny or not skinny enough? Is it healthy, or do I need to lose weight or gain weight? Now most people would find it fairly easy to figure out the answers to these questions by consulting a doctor, by looking at their weight in numbers, by assessing their current diet and activity level, and generally thinking about how they feel in their skin. However when I do these things I am left with strong evidence for mutually contradictory things. The scale tells me that my BMI is a certain number. That number is within the healthy range. Certain magazines tell me that the number is unacceptably high. My dietician tells me it’s acceptable but that I’m still not getting enough calories and need to increase my intake. My eyes and emotions tell me that my body is hideous and fat and horrible. My mind flicks between sources, trying to decide who is the most right, who I should believe, what combination of sources are right, where reality is.

 

It’s enough to leave anyone feeling as if they’ve completely lost their grip on reality. When that happens, all I can do is meltdown. When you don’t know what reality is, you don’t know how to proceed. You are left with no appropriate steps. When faced with a meal in this state, every choice feels wrong and every choice feels right. It leads me to a deep feeling of self-hatred that I cannot figure out even the most basic question of whether or not to put food in my mouth. The reason my body image drives me up the wall is not just because it’s bad. It’s easy when it’s just bad. What’s hard is when it disconnects me from any sort of rational thinking. For someone who prides themself on intelligence, skepticism, and clear-headedness, it destroys my concept of self.

 

It leaves me feeling like my concept of myself is a battleground between different messages of what’s appropriate and what’s not. I don’t want to live in a battleground. I don’t want to live in this body.

Fiction Round Up

It’s been a while since I’ve graced you all with anything other than essays (I sound so full of myself don’t I? Don’t worry, it’s all an act to hide the insecurities I feel about my writing), and so I figured that today would be a good day to put up the bits and pieces I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. Some are drabbles, some are poems, some are…God knows what, but here they are for your amusement.

 

Solstice

Midsummer in the North is surreal. I watch the sky like I’d eye a Dali painting, wondering if something will melt under the impossible sun. I came here to escape. I came here for dark and silence, for the endless cold stretching out before me as if I could see it. I came here because at night I forget. But today there is no night, only days and days contained in 24 hours. It is incomprehensible, this solstice of the pole. It is maddening. I look up at the heavens and yell curses at the sun that refuses to set.

 

 

Pain

They asked her how bad the pain was on a scale of 1-10. She replied that it was an 8. Physical pain or emotional pain they wanted to know. They seemed very serious, as if the answer would change everything.

Without warning, she burst out laughing, and they looked at each other to silently say “72 hour hold”. There was no mind left to this one.

When she caught her breath there were small tears seeping from the edges of her eyes. Her face caught some of their seriousness and they looked at her expectantly.

“You think there’s a difference?”

 

There’s a loneliness to it that you can’t understand until you’ve stood before someone

Claiming they love you

And asking you to climb Everest on a broken leg.

There’s a distance placed between you

That is uncrossable until you’ve gotten the passport stamp of depression.

I try to yell across to you

And give you the details of the landscape

But all you get are echoed words, bits and pieces of a painting

That will never be whole.

The space distorts words.

There may be others with me, but we have no time for each other

Each too busy yelling across the void to someone or other

Wishing they could go home.

Someday I will make a camp here

And forget the other side.

Inviting each new person inside to warm themselves at my fire

And we’ll be together

Alone.

 

The following is a set of drabbles entitled “Food”:

First Day of Treatment

The bowl of pasta was large. It seemed to grow as she looked at it, drowning in alfredo sauce. Reluctantly, she picked up her fork and began to twirl the strands around it. It was a painstakingly slow process. Fork to bowl. Turn. Pick up noodles. Mouth. Chew. Swallow. By the time she was halfway through it was cold, the sauce congealed. How would she finish? She felt eyes heavy on her as she took yet another bite, her stomach already churning. But she couldn’t stop: they were watching. But she knew how to fix it: fingers down the throat.

Love

When he speaks about food, he is intense. She rarely sees him like this otherwise, leaning forward, eyes sparkling, hands gesturing madly. She understands his passion; food can turn her into a different person too, but it’s the love affair with it that makes no sense. It excites her though. She finds herself making up excuses to eat with him, to spend money she doesn’t have on beautiful dinners. She listens with unblinking eyes when he talks, trying to capture the essence of his speech. But every night after they eat together, she goes home to pinch at imagined fat.

Binging

She’s hungry. So often she forgets to feel hungry, or convinces herself it’s something else, but today she feels empty and it is undeniable. There is a gnawing, pulling, dark sensation at the very bottom of her, telling her that nothing will satisfy. She searches for the cure: meat and potatoes, ice cream, comfort food, fascinating flavors, good company. No matter what goes in she remains hungry, until the desperation and calories blend into a shocking kind of nausea, but always an emptiness. Nothing will fill her, so she picks up her phone, hoping his voice will do the trick.

Life

He tells her stories of food. Aztec is his favorite. He tells her how bodies became food and food became bodies and the earth regrew itself out of the gods. Food and memory and existence wrapped together. Her favorite is when he teaches her words. Poutine. Macerate. Cassoulet. Her world expands. Some days he shows her how he likes to cook, dousing everything liberally with truffle salt. When they go to restaurants, he waxes rhapsodic about the foods he loves: oysters, pate, and wine. She tastes his words and his food and begins to eat life for the first time.

Empty Plate

Rule: never eat in the morning. It was 10:30 AM. They ordered a waffle to share. She took a few moments to try to observe it. There was fruit topping it, fresh and plump, but her eyes were drawn immediately to the sizeable heaping of whipped cream. The smell was forceful and immediate, sweet and full, almost golden. She breathed deeply, closing her eyes to take in only the scent. It smelled good. She reminded herself that it would taste good, she liked waffles. Five minutes later, there wasn’t a bite left. It was more than an hour before noon.

Victory

He pushes the plate towards me. I feel a flutter of uncertainty. Rabbit. I’ve never eaten rabbit before. He’s taken a bite of it, and his face tells me that he just ate a bit of rabbit-flavored heaven. Something in me snaps and I grin, pulling the plate closer. A deep desire to be here in this moment, tasting the food before me, sharing the conversation around me, has left no space for anxiety. The rabbit looks juicy and tender, covered in some deliciously unknown sauce. One bite tells me it’s complex, balanced, intriguing. A smile flutters across my face.

 

 

I’m sitting and waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but I hope that someone will tell me soon. I don’t like to wait. My muscles clench and unclench. My jaw grinds away at itself. My eyes fall out of focus.

But boredom is the kiss of death. My mind has nowhere to go. It runs and grabs and discards ideas at spitfire speed. I begin a thought and it falls away as it’s devoured by something new. What where how do I think? My mind eats itself, a dog chasing its tail, Ouroboros.

I am no phoenix to grow again when I’ve fallen, and I wait. I rip open my fingers, biting at the skin. I chew on my lips. I crack my knuckles. Nothing ends and so nothing may begin.

Where is the exit?

My legs will not stand because I know the rules and someone will tell me what I’m waiting for.

I will not look away. I am eternal and eternally incomplete.

I am a constant reminder of loss.

Why is there no exit?