Master of Mastication

I had an eating disorder when I was 10 because I thought too much about chewing.  My teacher showed our class a video on how food gets chewed up, swallowed and slowly slimes its way down the esophagus and into the stomach.  The video was of a man standing behind an X-ray machine.  Do you remember that movie?  You could see nothing but his solid bones and translucent skin and the gooey food in his gullet.  It was the grossest video I have ever seen.  Night of the Living Dead never scared me as much as this movie did.

Teacher – “Digestion starts in the mouth.  Our saliva breaks down food into small mushy bits so the stomach can digest it better.”

Small mushy bits…..chewing…..the man when he swallows – Oh God the horror!

This is what I thought about when I ate;  I pictured the food being masticated in my mouth, then I pictured what it would look like after mastication.  The visual I got in my head didn’t look at all like something I would eat.  I couldn’t eat solid foods for maybe a year or two, until I came to my breaking point.

One New year’s or Christmas eve, my parents took me and my brother over to my aunt Carols house for dinner.  I was frail, pale and stick thin.  I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  We sat down at a big long table with a bunch of other people there.  Somebody made me a plate of food and set it on the table in front of me.

What I usually did at home was pretend to eat.  I found a way to throw almost all my food away in napkins.  I lived off of mashed potatoes, soup and salad.  For some reason salad never bothered me.

So there I was at the head of a table full of people looking at me and saying how cute I was.  I closed my eyes tight and taken my first bite of food.  I chewed it slowly, feeling the dead animal carcass being ground up in my mouth.  I saw myself behind the X-ray machine and froze.  I couldn’t swallow.  Shit.  I chewed some more.  Slowly turning the food over and over with my tongue – the more I felt its consistency, the more I cringed.  I started to feel nauseous as the food digested and liquified in my mouth.  I couldn’t take it anymore so I got up, went to the bathroom and spit the food out in the toilet.

I actually remember this!  Man how I hate my long-term memory.

I sat back down and the same thing happened, only this time instead of getting up and going to the bathroom, I spit the food out in a napkin.  This was when I hit rock bottom.  I looked at everyone at the table totally oblivious to me – just laughing and having a good time.  Did they not know about the savage monstrosity happening in their mouths?  I decided right then and there that what I was doing had to stop.  And I mean it HAD to.  I had no choice and I knew I had no choice.  I knew I was not normal.

And so I picked up my chin, cut a big hunk of whatever it was we were eating and shoved it in my mouth and chewed.  At that moment I overcame my phobia completely.  I said to myself  ‘Just swallow, just swallow.  I don’t care how nasty, do it anyway.  Just do it anyway.’  And I did it.

Why tell you this story?  I don’t know.  Maybe to show you how I see the ugly side of things.  But on the flip side, I see total beauty everywhere I look when I’m in the mood to see it.  My brain is so contradicting it makes me crazy.

Anywho…..

I was tired after working yesterday.  My last client was a huge muscled up brick of a man who wanted a two-hour massage.

Client – “How do you find the stamina to massage for two hours straight?”

Me – “It’s about having the right body mechanics.  I can actually massage for six hours straight.”

Client – “What?!  What?!”

He was a hefty, virile black man who was super impressed with my strength and stamina.  That doesn’t happen everyday.  I love my job.

Client – “Where do I fit in with these six hours?”

Me – “Today is actually only a five-hour day.  You’re my last client.”

Client – “Only five?  Only five she say’s.  Ha ha, well I tell ya you’re doing a great job for this being your last massage.”

Me – “Yeah.”  I absent-mindedly said ‘yeah,’ and then quickly regretted it so I followed it up with “massaging is easy,” which I also regretted saying because I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t trying – or that my job is so easy that tipping would be silly.

Client – “Well, easy for you, easy for an expert.”

Then we want on talking.  I gave him massage pointers and told him to have is wife walk on his back to save her hands.

By the end of my shift, I was dead tired.  So thirsty, hungry, tired, I wanted to crawl in bed and play video games.

I have love affairs with video games.  The affair can last weeks, months, sometimes years.  But like most affairs, they have to end.  I’m starting a new affair.  I have an unbelievably strong force compelling me to play video games.  I bought Red Dead Redemption and Valkeria Chronicles on Amazon.  They should arrive tomorrow thanks to my prime member free two-day shipping.

Okay, so anyway, my hunger far out-weighed anything else and going out to a nice dinner sounded so good that I drooled over my electronic cigarette while driving to Sam the Clams to meet Lisa.  I poured myself onto the chair across from Lisa and stared at a menu.

Lisa is a great talker and very entertaining.  I didn’t have to say much of anything and we still had an awesome dinner conversation.  After I drank half my bud light and ate a few fried oysters, I was happy as a clam.

We went back to her condo for some splendid after dinner drinks and watched girl movies all night.  After the first girl movie, we smoked a little pot.  First off I just have to say this cause I don’t want to get Lisa in trouble, but she doesn’t smoke much pot.  She just happened to have some because a guy left it at her house (I think it’s from when he broke her coffee table and felt bad, so he gave her a bag of weed).

So there we were, two single gals with nothin’ to do but a bag of weed between us.

I took a few hits and started feeling it.  I let it wisp me away to wherever it wanted to take me, but oh no, no no, not this, anyplace but this!  It wanted me to go on a ramble about a certain Japanese cartoon.  Noooooo!  Anything but the Japanese cartoon!

I was jolted alive when I remembered the cartoon I watched the night before and it reminded me (very excitedly I might add) that I needed to buy something very badly because my dear poor soul depended on it.

Me – “You know what I need to buy?”

I was amped-up, sitting on the edge of my seat.  Lisa being stoned, sunk down low on the sofa.

Lisa – “What?”

Me – “I want to buy a new…..PILLOW!”

It was just like that.  I nearly shouted the word pillow.

Lisa starts laughing.  “Why do you need to buy a pillow?”

Me – “Okay, so I watched this cartoon last night.  A  japanese cartoon and it made me really want to buy a new pillow.”

Lisa – “………..”

Me – “There was this guy that had all his bad dreams coming true because a little ghost snuck into his pillow.  The ghost made his dreams come true!  The ghost was a mushishi.  That’s the name of the cartoon, Mushishi.  It’s a cartoon about these little ghosts.  Anyway, this guy realized that the problem was in his pillow, so he got a sword and sliced the pillow, only, when he sliced the pillow, it also sliced him.  He sliced the pillow, and then a big gash appeared on him!”

I mimed the sword slashing to make sure Lisa understood what happened.

Me – “It turns out that the pillow, after years and years of sleeping on it, becomes a part of you.  In latin, pillow mean soul or something – that’s what the cartoon said.  I want a new pillow because of all the years and years of having bad dreams has wrecked my pillow.”

I reasoned that I had an abundance of negative energy stored up in my pillow from bad dreams and bad thought’s.  It’s bad feng shui to keep things like this around.

Lisa – “What if your old pillow ends up at the dump?  What will happen to you?”

Me – “Well, I guess I should keep it in the closet then.”

Lisa starts laughing.

I stayed a few more hours to sober up and then went home.  I fell asleep right away and woke up at 8 am to a nightmare.  I was attending some prestigious medical school.  There were doctors there wearing bloody scrubs, holding up their “sanitized” hands that were also bloody.

I lived at this morbid school but I didn’t think of it as morbid, I just thought of it as my home.  But I was scared of something, I’m not sure what, but I was very anxious.

Something happened to my jaw during this dream.  I had it clenched down so tight that it became locked.  I couldn’t open my mouth to speak and I felt real pain.  I mean I felt actual physical pain in this dream.

That’s when I considered myself very lucky to live in a school of medicine.  There were so many doctors close by that could help me, only I couldn’t open my mouth to speak.  No one could hear me.

Then my front bottom tooth wiggled free.  I held it in place with my tongue.  Then my bottom right molar was wiggling in the gum.  I jammed both teeth down into place, but they still wanted to come out.  My teeth were beginning to break down and shatter under the pressure of my jaw.  I felt everything.  It felt so real.

I went to my dorm room and a girl was there that helped me.  She was studying to be a doctor and knew exactly how to fix me.  She made me bite down really hard on something in order for my teeth to squish back in place.  I woke up before seeing if it worked.

My goddamned pillow strikes again!  Stupid demon pillow.

I went to the mall today and bought a $60 pillow from JC Penny.  It was marked down from $90.

I don’t know what else to say.  Well, I have more to say but it relates to nothing here and I think you had enough for one day.

I’ll just end with this quote “Some people try too hard that they stop hearing the music.”

I found that quote written down on my little notepad.  I forgot what movie I was quoting.  But I like it, it makes you think.  It might be from Amadeus.

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