Tuesday, December 6, 2011
24/7 - chocolate cake, lies and suicide notes
Well I was going to go through everything that I listed in my last post but something has got in the way and I feel like I must write about this. This isn't something that I talk about with my friends and so I will write about it here! You girls have become some of my best friends anyway. I know I've turned this blog into a sort of agony column, but I hope that some of you get some sort of entertain value from it.
Most of these are about the professor, and this is another one. Don't worry, it's weight related too. I've written him a suicide note. I cry every time I read it. But I owe him a thousand apologies for being such a space occupying lesion and I can't bring myself to speak the words. So I will whisper them from beyond the grave. I'm not going to kill myself now, but when the time comes I want to just do it and not have to delay it by writing many goodbye notes.
I've now got 24/7 access to the labs at work. This is how dedicated I am to work! So dedicated that even the professor is pricking his ears about it a bit. I ended up chatting to him today. He's a real gem to me sometimes. And he told me I look too thin! Which always makes my day. It's been a while. He asked me how much I weighed and how tall I was and I accidentally spat out my BMI immediately afterwards.
I said it to calm him because my BMI is 21 which is perfectly normal. But later I realised that most people don't really know their BMI off the top of their head. It's little things like that that will give me away. Or, what I really mean by that is that it's things like that that will give me away to the professor. He kept asking me if I'm okay and I said yes, and I almost said that I'm doing better because I'm not taking laxies. He is the main reason I stopped taking them and I had temporarily forgotten that he never knew about them in the first place. Still, I'm lucky that I didn't let it slip. It would have been awful if I had accidentally said that I was better and had to explain why. No laxies for a week! I'm proud.
I thought he had forgotten about the weight loss thing. It's been a long time since he last mentioned it. But he's watching. Always watching. He actually embarrassed me in front of the entire department today.
We were having cake to celebrate the promotion of some of the staff members and I was eating mine very slowly. It wasn't anything conscious, I just do that out of habit now. I was staring at the dense brown chocolate that was the cake. The mousse layers called to me, called to a part of me that I buried a long time ago. I looked over to J, the professor's wife, the only person in the department who had refused a piece. Why hadn't I done the same? Just last week a whole bunch at them beat me for not eating breakfast or lunch. Refusing cake seemed to be too risky. What if someone suspects something? Then an icy grip tightens around the core of me. Nobody is allowed to find out.
So I take the cake with a smile. And I have an animated conversation, hoping that good company will distract me from what I'm spooning into my mouth. But it doesn't. Laughter and happy words that spill from my own mouth seem like muffled sounds in the background. The mousse, the brownie base, that is the only thing in my reality. How many calories are in this? I have no idea. But I keep spooning it into my mouth, slowly, slowly, as if that somehow lessens the calories. The very core of me is screaming for me to stop but the action is totally automatic and mechanical. This is what happens when the professor is near me. He's sitting one seat away from me. I have to eat or he might find out.
I slowly work on it during speeches and when they had finished there was this silence and I was still slowly picking at my cake. So there is this silence and I'm just staring at my cake because the silence is an awkward one for me. I'm the only one still eating my piece. I've barely made it through half of it. Are you playing with your food? I look at him, confused. Yes, I am talking to you. The entire department is staring at me. I can feel the redness rising in my face.
I'm just eating it slowly, I reply, unable to look him in the eye. TS leaps in to save me. He's the man who saves me from the professor, my saviour from my saviour. It has half the number of calories if you eat it slowly! People laugh and start their own conversations. I can't look at the professor again.
Later that night I tell the professor about Fat Piggy. Her suicide attempt weighs heavily on me. Every suicide attempt does but she means so much to me. I don't say much. But I tell him. It's why my work is so overdue. I can't focus. I tell him about my friend who has just had a car accident. I don't tell him I'm restricting again, but he suspects it. I'm sure that's why he keeps asking me to clinic and theatre. That way he can feed me and he knows he can make me eat. You're not going to do anything like that are you? It's the second time he's asked me about suicide. This time I'm more prepared. I look him in the eyes. No. But I can't tell if he believes me or not.
Why are you so defensive? See how I'm sitting? I'm relaxed. You are looking very defensive and you are quieter than usual. I try to consciously force my body into a different posture. It immediately reverts back to my "defensive" stance though. It's been a hard week but I'll be okay. He looks at me, I know the face. You don't believe me do you? I ask him and I know I've just made a mistake. Believe you about what? We both know that he knows what I'm talking about. He's just using a nifty trick, one that I use to lure more information out of patients. But I know every trick in the book and I'm not about to fall for it.
I can tell he wants me to say more but I stop. You can come talk to me whenever you want, about whatever you want. You can talk to me as a doctor, or a boss or a friend. I wear many different hats. I say thank you politely. I think he knows I'll never talk to him. He asks if I confide in any friends. No I don't. Not even on here to I put all my twisted thoughts. I'd be writing forever if I did. He stands up and walks around from behind his huge mahogany desk. You look like you need a hug.