Monday, October 4, 2010

Battenburg and Bakewell

Today was strange.

We went to visit my sister who is in San Diego doing some freelance work right now. That city is so emotionally charged. It isn't neutral for me like Los Angeles or Seattle. I associate it with Comic-Con and TR (who is obsessed with his home town and like practically every San Diego native thinks it's the best city in the world. Weirdo.) So I always feel a little sad going there, it's like walking into an old memory. Seeing ghosts everywhere.

But today it was compounded. We were trying to figure out things to do, and I suggested we stop in this British imported goods shop.

Literally everything in there made me so wistful. In the back of my mind, I tried to remind myself "When you lived in London you were hospitalized or at A&E 3 different times in 8 months... it wasn't as great as you remember it now". But I just kept thinking to myself, as I gazed at the Cadbury chocolates and Twinnings tea boxes, that my life would be so much better if I was still there.

Obviously with some minor details like my own kitchen and a job, but still.

I don't know. I'm just now coming to grips with the notion that my life there is over. It all feels like a dream. And if I didn't know that Anise, Lulu, and Lola-Rose would quickly remind me, I might think that perhaps it never happened.

During that time, I walked down the lane, looking at myself at my absolute thinnest and later at my loathsome stubborn neutral weight. At different points, I wore size 4/6 and 10/12. Sometimes I liked to put my teeny tiny Topshop skinny jeans on top of my fat cheap Primark jeans. Like it told a story. In reverse.

At the import shop, I bought a box of Mr. Kipling's Battenburg cakes (which may find itself atop the fourth plinth in Trafalgar apparently) and Cherry Bakewell Tarts. Some of you may remember they comforted me many a night during my kitchen boycotts.

They're still sitting in the bag on a countertop. I don't think they've ever lasted this long before. Perhaps I'll freeze them. It was lovely to see them and though I almost cried at the thought of my favorite delights, I have utterly no desire to eat them.

Maybe it truly is an emotional addiction I have to food. It's not that I don't want to eat anything, but I'm worried that I'll eat a battenburg cake and it just won't taste as frantically good. It wouldn't be associated with lonely nights in my 8x20 room watching TV and spending 16 hours in bed. I didn't have to throw on clothes and an awful hat, doing a walk-of-shame to Sainsbury's just to get them before the shop closed so I could survive another evening.

It would just be food. It would just be the remnants of a memory.

And it's not really about food. Never really. It's about thoughts, and desires, and obsessions, and sadness and loss. It's about eating my ups and downs. It's about finding something that doesn't want to be found. It's about filling up a bottomless hole. A gaping wound. It's about love. Hate.

It's just a cake now.


not.quite.ana said...

keep your chin up, you never know if London will be back in your future :) btw i was looking through past whyeat threads and i saw your username! it's too bad you're not active anymore but i suppose it's for the best~

Kelly said...

Food is always disappointing when you're filling a void, I used to cry when I binged because it was never what I needed, it didn't make me feel as wonderful as I imagined. It is just cake, it can't fill our voids.

I'm still looking for ways to feel whole & I think through my search is when I finally realized how fucked up my marriage is. I accepted every negative thing he said about me as the truth and I would eat to cover my emotion and then purge, hoping to rid myself of all the anger, jealousy and sadness as well.

Ana's Girl said...

Trust me, darling, its a good thing that those cakes are merely cakes to you and not something that will fill an emotional void. Food really doesn't fill the void even when that's what you're using it for. Hang in there. It'll all get better soon.

what if summer... said...

What shop did you go to? I can only think of the one in Coronado and the one in La Mesa. The one in Coronado has tons of imported food. Kidney pies and all! lol

newsoul said...

So for the past couple of days, I have read all your posts from the beginning.. and I would just like you to know that you are a fantastic writer. Really and truly. Funny enough to make me laugh out loud, and deep enough to pull some heart strings. I could relate so much to your words. Hopefully, one day food won't be this monster lurking in the darkness waiting to pounce when we are weak minded, only to gather in MY THIGHS.
Anyway, sorry this turned into a damn essay, but I really thought you should know that i've been stalking all your posts and they were inspiring and charismatic and lovely and melancholy and extravagant.

with love.

Anonymous said...

oooooh i loved this post! Yes you were definitely there, even if i was consistently, resolutely hungover every time i saw you, this much i am sure of....

and it wasnt as good as you remember - it never is. My time in france seems like one blissful holiday now even though i was eating whole cream cakes and purging and crying and on skype to O all day.
And I have eaten so disappointing many pain au chocolat since then here in london.

But then of course, you COULD always come back so we can knock the rest of the american back out you until you accept that DAVID ATTENBOROUGH narrated planet earth, NOT morgan freeman!!!!

p.s im about to touch one for-teee on les scaaa-allllls and im trying not to freak out about it but i want to do is eat and eat and eat to prove i dont throw up anymore. yikes!

pps are you living with TR now or what is your general situation??

Anonymous said...

ppps im quite stoned and have weirdly punctuated that last comment. My apologies xx

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