100 Days Project

Anita/Fern: Now and Then

Some days I look at my husband, our three children, our cat, and our home, blink, and think "How did I get here?"
I find myself constantly wondering how my life's events led me to this exact moment in time. How did I become the person I am today?
In an effort to figure that out, I am going to spend 100 days reflecting on the way things are now, and the way things used to be.
Every day I will take note of a single moment or event as it occurs, and will use it to remind myself of a moment or event from my past. I will then write about both my "Now"s and my "Then"s as openly and honestly as I possibly can, in an effort to give myself and others a little insight into both the person I am, and the person I once was. Are we really one in the same?

It’s coming up one o’ clock and I haven’t had lunch. I had a late breakfast of porridge and sultanas and it’s really keeping me going. I don’t feel the need to eat just yet, but I figure if I make myself some food now, then I’m less likely to overeat. Plus, if I hold off much longer the baby will probably wake up and then I’ll be stuck on the couch with my boobs out and eating won’t be an option anymore. My decision is made. I head to the pantry.

I swing the cupboard doors open wide, and grab the toasted sandwich maker from off the bottom shelf. I turn, place it on the bench, and plug it in. The bread is already out waiting for me. I just need to choose my fillings. I know the pantry holds a lot of options, but there’s a container in the fridge with some leftover tinned spaghetti in it, and if I don’t use it up it’ll go to waste. I’m not that keen on spaghetti, but I decide to eat it anyway. My husband’s Dutch heritage must be rubbing off on me.

I take a slice of bread from the bag and place it on the digital kitchen scales. I don’t turn the scales on until the bread is on top. I don’t need to weigh the bread, but I do want to weigh the spaghetti. I want to be sure I’m tracking the exact number of calories of everything I eat. I don’t like guessing.

I take a spoon from the cutlery drawer and use it to scoop out a big blob of spaghetti. It doesn’t look at all appetizing. The sauce has gone all runny around the sides. I try to remember how many days it’s been sitting in the fridge, but I have no idea. I give it a quick sniff and decide it’ll probably be OK before I dump the spaghetti blob on the bread. I’m not looking forward to eating it.

The scales tell me that I can afford to load my incomplete sandwich with a bit more of the dodgy pasta, and as I attempt to collect just a half a spoonful more, I remember…

I’m sitting up in bed watching TV. I’m alone. It’s morning and I haven’t been to sleep. I was awake all night last night, and possibly the night before that as well. I’m not too sure. It’s been hard to keep track of the time lately. I don’t even know what day of the week it is.

I’ve been watching TV for hours, even though there’s nothing good on. I just sit here numbly smoking cigarettes and staring at the screen. I think I might be getting tired, but I’m still really up. I have that strange full body tingly sensation I always get when it’s starting to wear off. I’m still up but reality is slowly sinking in.

My stomach is hurting. It takes me a while to figure out it’s probably because I haven’t eaten. I can’t remember the last time I ate. I can’t remember the last thing I ate. I don’t really eat much these days. I like that. I like that I don’t need to sleep or eat. I can just be.

I get up off the bed and head over to the kitchen. It’s only a couple of steps away. My legs feel empty, my head is light. I really do need to eat something. I open the fridge door and find a plastic bottle with a swish of milk in the bottom. I see a small amount of cheese that’s gone all hard and cracked around the edges. I don’t see anything else. I close the fridge.

I side-step over to the food cupboard. It’s not a pantry, just a cupboard, and we used to complain that it was too small. We couldn’t fit all our food in there. I pull hard on the handle and it opens. I see a crust of bread. I see a lone tin of spaghetti. I don’t see anything else. I consider going back to bed for a cigarette, but my body wants food and I don’t know what’s going to happen if I don’t have some right now. I take the spaghetti out and put it on the bench. I hunt down the can opener. I crack open the tin and hold it upside down over a bowl. I have to shake the tin up and down to get the spaghetti out. It makes strange sucking noises before it all comes plopping out. It’s kept its shape; it reminds me of one of those sandcastles you make with a bucket. I smash the spaghetti castle with a fork.

I’m back in bed with a bowl of spaghetti. I’m eating it slowly because my stomach is churning. I’m finding it difficult to swallow. I tell myself that if I eat it all I can have another cigarette. Cigarettes are better than dessert. 

Day 14:

The Pantry

The reward cigarette wasn't even good.