I got a job.
I got the first job I interviewed for. I am a finalist for the other—going on a two-hour interview tomorrow. If I am given that job, I will have to decide whether or not to give up the other.
I agonized about interview clothing, went shopping, couldn't find anything that didn't fit weirdly over my lower-belly pouch, cried in the dressing rooms just like old times, was late to meet my father for the theater, said "fuck it" and cobbled together interview clothing from my own patchy wardrobe: printed dress with johnny collar outside black cardigan, Oxford shirt with tiered jersey skirt, season-inappropriate knee-high boots. I sweated and crossed my ankles and smiled and got the job. Somewhat startlingly, I never felt that moment of taken-aback, the moment that makes me want to tuck "[bullet]Fat" somewhere on my résumé. "Special Skills," perhaps. This was a pleasant surprise. And all of my interviews have been successful ones.
I am not a happy camper, nonetheless. I don't know what I want to do with my life and I'd like to lose 30 pounds. The not-fitting-into-my-pants 30 pounds. I need a nutritionist and a shrink; I may have found a trainer; I need to get my annual; I need a psychopharmacologist. I need what they referred to inpatient as a Team. I need a Team. I keep putting it off, getting the Team together.
My head is all in the wrong place. I am in the starting-a-new-diet-every-tomorrow wrong place. I am in the creating-subtext-to-my-size-six-sister's-salad wrong place. I am in the crying-to-my-boyfriend-when-Tim-Gunn-calls-the-size-four-model-"zaftig" wrong place. Wrong, wrong.
In this place, I will watch women shamelessly. I will turn my head on the street to watch their curves sway, trace and retrace the lines of their bodies like In the Penal Colony, burning those lines into my own skin. In this place there is nothing that is not an opportunity for shame and self-hatred: not a bus ride, not a family outing, not a book. I feel myself sinking into this place, settling in it, and the proof of the place is that the only door marked OUT in my head is also marked LOSE THIRTY POUNDS, OR MAYBE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY.
I have not yet reached the place of crawl-out-of-my-skin, of cut-it-off-me, and for this, for this I must remember to be grateful. That is the wrongest place.
But still, I can feel myself settling here, and I can feel it, this place, circling around me and cutting me off, absorbing the energy that would otherwise go to other humans, to a GRE prep course, to polishing up my German, to making new friends. When I feel that I realize that I was not telling lies about the freedom that I have felt (and will, I swear on all things holy like fierce Scarlett O'Hara, will feel again), because it is not about what I weigh, it is about how much I am thinking about what I weigh.
(I am avoiding here the way/weigh pun.)
And I want, in a way I don't recall ever wanting before, to talk about it. I want to tell people, a lot of people, about the way this works, this place, its sinkhole. About how easy it is to go under and how hard to fight. About how easy it is to be surprised (see: Tim Gunn) and how hard to object. I want to tell. In my more preposterous manifestation, I want to tell Tim Gunn. That's a dumb idea. But I do want to tell.
That is not as wrong a place.
I need a Team. And juuuuust maybe, I need to re-quit reading Vogue and quit watching Workout and do a quick refresher course in outpatient treatment.