La Queen Sucia: Cold Turkey Staying Down:
Fast forward nine years. I am a staff writer at the Boston Globe. Insanely busy, stressed. Too poor for a car. Fingers frozen from waiting for the bus on Roslindale Avenue, then the train at Forest Hills. I am not 19 anymore, teaching 25 aerobics classes a week. And the pounds are creeping on. I used to weigh 118, back when I lectured my metalhead roomie. Now I hover near 145, and can't figure out what went wrong. The first time Christian, my boyfriend, calls me a fat whore I rush in my sadness to the nearest Dominican restaurant and order two takeout containers of stewed chicken with red beans and salad. I stop at Dunkin Donuts for extra support and get six crullers. I go back to my drafty, under-furnished apartment, sit on the floor, watch a rerun of Home Improvement and shovel it in. Then, food in stomach, I decide to despise myself for my failure to remain thin, for failure to win the approval of an unpleasable man, and I go to the bathroom and lift the toilet lid. I grab my toothbrush. I avoid eye contact with my reflection, bend over, and gag myself. The dinner comes up like nothing. Just a couple of bloodshot eyes and a thick mouth. Nothing I can't take care of with some Crest and dental floss. I catch my reflection as I walk out. "What?" I ask. "It's just this once. I'm not bulimic. I'm not like her."