I’m currently enrolled in a college course which explores the role of play in human development, in healing from trauma, and in the making of performance art. Each week has a focus: for instance, puppetry. Several weeks ago we read Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass and were asked to create a puppet that represented our “daemon,” or soul. We then had to come to class and perform as our puppet. This is what mine looked like:
This week’s unit is eating disorders. We were assigned to watch a film about Karen Carpenter’s death by anorexia, which allegedly uses music and Barbie to tell the story. I wouldn’t know; I haven’t watched it, and I’m not going to. I emailed my professor telling her I felt unsafe confronting this material with the group, and that I would neither attend this week’s session nor do the readings. She told me to say no more, and that in lieu of this assignment, I was to write a monologue from the perspective of a doughnut. One page, single-spaced.
I was grateful for this assignment which I could do in isolation. I felt relieved and safe. But as luck would have it, my professor got sick and canceled this week’s class altogether. To compensate, we would each write a “Fatty Food” monologue, film our delivery, and present the videos at the beginning of next class. I was crushed. This was my assignment, and now everyone was going to do it. Not only that, but the eating disorder unit would carry over into yet another class. As open as I am about my eating disorder, I have not yet brought it into this space, and it’s been a nice vacation. But alas, it follows me everywhere, and it was only a matter of time before it entered this class.
Below is the video I made for my class, which I’ll play for my peers next week. And below that is the transcription of the monologue itself.
I’m grateful for my ability to ask for what I need this week, as well as my ability to face my discomfort. I’m grateful to 7/11 for the $1.15 doughnut and for not having a card minimum. I know I can neither avoid eating disorders nor discussion of them, and accepting this is part of my work in recovery. And with that, I leave you. Enjoy!
* * * You Dunk Me, I Am Your Doughnut * * *
You know the feeling, don’t you: Of being jettisoned from your center. Knocked off your axis, disconnected from your power. It’s a special kind of hurt, yes?
Your pain is real. As is your ambivalence. But you, you are privileged.
You have more than you know.
For you, this split is temporary. A little love, a little faith, and like magic you’re restored.
But me? I am stuck. Vanquished. Doomed. Trapped.
I am damned till the end of my time.
Let me introduce myself: I am a doughnut, exactly what you see before you.
But I am more than that, or shall I say, less.
I am your oral sex slave.
Do you miss your gut instinct, in those moments when it’s gone?
Well, try having it ripped from you in the wake of your birth.
I was born whole, as are all God’s beings.
But while my dough settled, you dismembered my soul.
While I was unconscious, you conducted a procedure: a medically unnecessary, cosmetic procedure, purely to sate your own fetish.
You transformed my body to feed your sense of control.
You made me your oral sex slave.
You humans mold us to your liking, from chocolate glaze to nude plain cake.
Feeling vicious, you might stuff us with jam.
For me, you chose frosting, gushy and pink, doused with rainbow sprinkles.
But your careless application left me asymmetrical.
My left shoulder has a thick blob which makes me undesirable.
It’s because of this defect, given to me by you, that I’m stuck on this shelf, 3 days old, going to waste.
But my longevity has made my wise.
I watch day by day as fresh babes lose their centers, as they’re sealed into suffocating boxes.
I’ve seen some heinous acts from my spot on this shelf.
Some take dainty bites and save the rest for later, prolonging the painful death process.
Some take gruesome chomps and thoughtlessly trash the remains, leaving unwilling amputees to rot.
How can you treat us so cruelly? Where is this human decency we hear so much about?
If you must inflict misery, at least put us out of it. Devour us whole, or taste us not at all.
As I said, I am older than my fresher peers, steadily growing stale.
In 24 hours, I will expire.
If I am not purchased by closing time today, I’ll be discarded, doomed to rot.
I don’t know which is worse: death by teeth or by dumpster.
But why make a distinction?
My frosted fate is sealed.
I have frosting, but no freedom.
I have sugar, but no soul.
I have sweetness, but no say-so.
I am a doughnut.
And I am powerless.
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not resonate with everyone; take what you like and leave the rest. If you liked what you read here, I invite you to share it, as these messages are for all.