Portrait of a Disorder

In a cold glass cup, stacked high are cubes of watermelon, marbled edges with white transparent rind.

She tips back her head to let the grainy squares of juice and water melt down her throat, and the potion releases a fountain of youth, turning her skin into a glow and her breath to gentle vines that wrap around your wrist and pull you towards her.

Her transformation temporarily complete, her vile urges thwarted by a piece of fruit that will satiate her body for the next thirty seconds. Until the next ugly thought of heavenly fat creeps through her empty living room and falls from the light cast off of the TV screen and reaches up to grab at her ankles.

She feels an itch. What’s next? What’s on the list? Why feel so guilty right now for languidly resting on the couch, daydreaming of mermaids and old men’s smoking pipes? Why the peppering of thoughts and urges that constantly rearrange her goals and ideas into tidier and more disciplined stacks of to-do’s?

She turns over onto her stomach and searches around for a small tin canister and the sleek personality of hand blown glass. Soon a sweet stink enters the air around her and she imagines herself Alice in a wonderland of disorders and smoking caterpillars.

The watermelon potion…could that be the answer? A cheshire cat of smoke near the ceiling drifts towards the windows…”perhaps.”

“Eat me” and “drink me” signs mentally tacked to every edible material in her apartment. The smoke makes it worse, and instead of being too hazy to find her way to the kitchen, it instead seems to lure her in and soon she’s running her fingers over every ugly ingredient she can use to poison herself.

Briefly, the thought of a mermaid waving to her from a rock then dipping below enters her mind, and she can see the mermaid’s fingers running along towers of kelp and playful streaks of light bouncing around under the water.

Her throat feels dry, and she looks for more potion but finds a bone dry cardboard box of powders and noodles first. The mermaid darts out of her mind and is quickly replaced by warm, dark shadows that melt her willpower, that seduce her over to the oven near a pot of boiling water.

Soon the dish is cooked and soon the dish is gone. Her frenzy churns her mind dark and makes the lovely watermelon waters go murky before the urges gave way to a total blackout of tastes and shame. Her belly swells and her skin turns scaly, she feels her body sliding beneath covers and her bulk pushes against her clothes.

Her hazy wonderland is now a sunken island and her stranded body frightens her. Her thoughts soon follow and her mind is filled with lonely spinsters and large pants. Though a beautiful voice inside her sings that she’s young and the world is open to her, that large pants are fine and spinsters aren’t necessarily lonely, it still causes a shudder throughout her swollen body and she rejects herself, despising the poison she continues to feed herself.

Copyright 2014 Susan Ricker.