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black rice

black rice

This image is similar to the meal that led to laughter and questions about bugs hibernating between my teeth. I laughed too but wondered if and when I’d ever share my stories about food.

Most of us have a relationship with food that wavers between healthy and abusive. I lean more toward the abusive side, so the process of leaning toward health has required a lot of research, trial, error, and heaping teaspoons of salt, the kind folks say makes you worthy and hopefully absent water retention among other things.

No matter what substances or people we’re addicted to, there’s a common truth that rings around the need for support to distance oneself from the perception of being their addiction, in order to close in on the idea of beating it.

I didn’t escape addiction.

It’s deeply embedded in my familial dna and it’s the kind you can’t hide. It’s in my photos, my demeanor, on my skin and all over my body. Nothing but death can break the cycle of pain made complicated by forced accomplice to life.

I laughed at the idea of bugs making their way through my teeth to my gut where they no doubt would meet with parasites of indecision, a temporary reward for the inscription of breath that passes over my tongue. I look in the mirror feeling a mix of disappointment and hope along with a sense of exhaustion from the fight to break from myself, that I might step outside without feeling as if a physical attack is most surely imminent even if not visible.

I didn’t escape fear.

It’s deeply embedded in my psyche and it’s the kind I’ve learned to hide behind masks that even this pandemic has yet to plagiarize. I am like the child that runs from its shadow in tears, except I pretend that run is to aid another and sometimes it works out just that way.

I show up. They feel better and leave. I run home, hoping they took my shadow with them.

Black rice, salmon and green beans cost me sixty-eight hours of research, twenty-eight hours of copying other people’s behaviors and a lifetime of wondering what it means to nurture and be nurtured.

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