so many things reminded me of my own struggles with weight, that I enjoyed this. The main character deals with a lot of issues, handling them through anorexia and cutting, but at the same time tries to be the best big sister she can.
The buzzer sounds. Students float from room to room. The teachers tie us to our chairs and pour worlds into our ears.
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the library aide who hides in Fantasy.
I am the circus freak encased in beeswax.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
When I get close, they step back. The cameras in their eyeholes record the zit on my chin, the rain in my eyes, the blue water under my skin. They pick up every sound on their collar microphones. They want to pull me inside of them, but they’re afraid.
I am contagious.
This girl shivers and crawls under the covers with all her clothes on and falls into an overdue library book, a faerie story with rats and marrow and burning curses. The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.
I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how anybody does it, waking up every morning and eating and moving from the bus to the assembly line, where the teacher-bots inject us with Subject A and Subject B, and passing every test they give us. Our parents provide the list of ingredients and remind us to make healthy choices: one sport, two clubs, one artistic goal, community service, no grades below a B, because really, nobody’s average, not around here. It’s a dance with complicated footwork and a changing tempo.
I’m the girl who trips on the dance floor and can’t find her way to the exit. All eyes on me.
pg. 161 (in response to the old friend’s mother wanting to know why her daughter threw her life away)
Why? You want to know why?
Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes yoru regular clothes as long as they are tight.
Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all “a disappointment.” Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don’t want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and cut and drink because you need an anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it’s too late because you are main-lining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can’t stop.
Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heart-beat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you.
“Why?” is the wrong question.
Ask “Why not?”
I am locked into the mirror and there is no door out.
I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world. The tiny elf dancer became a wooden doll whose strings were jerked by people not paying attention. I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.
I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness.
Cassie did, too. We leaned on each other, lost in the dark and wandering in endless circles. She got too tired and went to sleep. Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help.
I spin and weave and knit my words and visions until a life starts to take shape.
There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.
I am thawing.