Conversion

20 September 2016

I watch people gain weight.
Not in the way a man on the internet pays a woman in another state to eat red velvet cake over a webcam does.
But in the way of tides and sandbanks, or tulips emerging catching flesh colours.
For a while I ate cake every day for breakfast. For another while, ice-cream. Now, every Easter, this is the way I break open the morning. Sweetly.

As girls we had competitions to see whose thighs had the widest gap between them, wider than an egg but which: chicken, duck, Easter?
As they grow now, I feel more a part of the world.
I am taking parts of it. I am turning them into myself.

***

I have an image of the world as a closed system.
A ball on the end of string, attached to other balls, with a papier-mâché sun at centre.
Finite parts.
The more of the world I take in, the more of the world I am.

***

Actually there are no physical boundaries.
The gravitational pull of the earth keeps atoms at different levels of the atmosphere.
We are kept by the gravitational pull of the sun because it is larger than us.
By being more I can bring things closer to me.

***

People are repelled by a certain level of weight.
Maybe weight is not gravitational but magnetic–a certain mass in a certain place and the polarity shifts from attraction to repulsion.
I make a good plain woman. Plump, easy to find a footing on.
Which I like. In metaphor it still makes me a landmass.

***

Whatever the size of my tide-affected body, I am attached to all of it.
There is a follicle on my nose tip that grows a single hair to the size of a centimetre.
If the light catches it my husband will pluck it out.
I keep my face in shadows.
I want to see how long it can grow, how long I can grow.
Our cells are impermanent.
We remake them.
I have to take in as many as I take out.
Do the cells we have since birth say more about us that those we replace?

***

Several of my friends who are Catholic have “body issues”.
One of them traces this to original sin.
Here the body is originary and originating.
There is sin and there is sinning. The body does both.

My body is created in an image.
Not from dust,
not from ribs,
unless it is in a taste for my mother’s oven-baked Chinese sticky pork ribs.

Sometimes I look for the god inside of me.

***

Travelling through Malaysia I learn about Batu Caves. About Thaipusam. The kavadi bearers pierce themselves with offerings.
Other Hindus pierce and hang themselves from hooks.
They pull gods from their bodies. Maybe just a knowledge of gods.

My friend in Perth attends bondage parties. At one they take up a collection to fly down a hook specialist from the States.
She hangs herself from her nipples for the duration of a party.

***

There is a place in the brain that when pushed creates a god in some people and a shining light (and the knowledge of the shining light) in others.
I like binaries.
My body/Not my body.
For a while I thought psychoses could be divided in the same way. Into those where the person believes something is inside them trying to get out and those where something is trying to get in.

Some people think there is plastic under their skin.
They pick it out.
Others feel bugs on their skin. They crush them in sleep. Find carapaces in the grit of their body.
Both types collect the pieces in matchboxes and empty pillboxes.
They take them to their doctor to say I wasn’t making it up.
Almost always they are pieces of their own skin.

***

I know how I will die. I saw it in a movie.
There was a woman who was happily married.
She lived in a house she didn’t have to clean. Which was good because she gets allergic to cleaning products. Then to fabrics. Food preservatives.
She gets tested by pricking her back with hollowed needles tipped with different solutions.
The pinpricks come up like scales.
She moves to the desert.
To a cult. Or just a healing organisation.
She is allergic to electromagnetic waves. All that energy.
She moves into a plastic bubble house.
She dies.
Throughout no doctor can find anything wrong with her body.
There was just a fracture, a disjunct between her body and its being in the world.

If I become my body completely, become a body, a mass, I will be separate.
Apart. Not a part.
In the best version of my death, I push off without leaving.

 


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