Myles Zavelo

Thin Person Inside

There are two kinds of fat people. There are fat people that were born to be fat, and then there are fat people that were once thin but they became fat, so when you look at them you can sorta see that thin person inside.

Dr. Philipp Anderegg, Anorexia Dreaming

Last summer, at twenty-one, he worked his first summer job: Ice Cream Face.

He tried fried ice cream on his third day.

It tasted delicious, it tasted pathetic.

He gained weight.

It was more than noticeable.

Whole new parts of him had grown overnight.

People were talking behind his back.

He hung around in the borderline moments and eavesdropped.

He heard the things people say when you’ve gained ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five pounds.

Everyone recognized him, that was the worst part.

His girlfriend didn’t comment, that was the worst.

Soon, for her, his kisses became the opposite of kisses.

She was disgusted.

In a flash, she cheated on him.

In a flash, she broke up with him.

He was devastated.

Her voice was so low, so tight, he couldn't decide if he’d heard her.

He learned about the body mass index.

He was aghast to discover what the body mass index said about him.

He caught an eating disorder like it was nobody's business.
He surrendered, without hesitation.

During and after his day shifts, he was a master of his disease.

In his mother’s dark apartment, the retching was particularly invisible.

It was all that trouble: the finger beyond the end of the mouth.

He was pulling the trigger, he was tickling the top of his heart.

(The right index finger is considered closest to the heart.)

He was reading Anorexia Dreaming by Dr. Philipp Anderegg.

An interesting read, sure, but he was technically suffering from bulimia.

He had a big secret nobody knew.

His shame thrilled him—his body was a pinball machine.

He was a young man, but he felt like a minority, and now he was irreversibly hooked.