You are not hungry. Not really. You know what hunger feels like because your latest therapist made you write it down in your food journal: an emptiness; a scratching plea. That's poetry, she tells you. You would very much like to sleep with her, even though you are straight, and when you confess this to her, she says that such feelings are common for patients in therapy because of the intimacy of the relationship.
Then she takes you up on it. It goes pretty well for a first time. The rug in her office is soft and smells baking-soda clean. Her bones are sharp and beautiful. After, she climbs up onto the couch and curls up, small and lovely. She cries and says that she is so, so sorry and you hold her and she says that she can't be your therapist anymore, you understand that, right? You tell her not to feel too badly because you have lost two other therapists exactly the same way!
Even though you say this to console her, she cries even harder and says: oh-my-god-what-have-I-done? At SuperAmerica you buy everything that you need: a five-gallon pail of Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream; two large bags of Cool Ranch Doritos; a box of Cocoa Puffs; a gallon of milk; eggs; bacon; Double Stuf Oreos, and Ex-Lax. At home, in your yellow kitchen, you eat until you have to stop. You rest a moment and then you let everything go.
After, you write this down in your food journal: a barren completeness; a wicked accomplishment. You take a nap and dream about birds, because birds are everywhere these days (mugs, lampshades, college-ruled notebooks) but you loved them first. You sleep hard until six-o'clock when your cell wakes you with "Eleanor Rigby" for work. You put on your black shirt and pants and bike to Vinnie's. You have been working here since your mother told you to get help or get out. She sends you a big check every week and you get a brilliant rush when you log on to Zappos and use most of it to buy designer shoes that she would hate. You are now an apprentice to the bartender at Vinnie's. When he is not smoking weed on his break, he is pressed up behind you, his hands over yours, teaching you how to mix drinks.
You do not tell him that you knew how to make every drink your first week, just by watching him a few times. People have never understood how your memory works. Besides, you get paid whether you are in training or working solo and you split the tips either way. Tonight you will have sex in the supply room after closing because you don't like the bartender enough to bring him home anymore.
Your ex-therapist called this an odd progress, but what does she know? That bitch couldn't even stay out of your pants. Vinnie's is quiet tonight and the bartender is resting his head on the counter. You pour him a Guinness; place it in front of him. He doesn't ever say thank you, but lifts his head and drinks it. You have a Ketel One and tonic, and he tells you to stay away from the expensive shit, will you? You tell him not to worry, you drink like a bird, you say. He puts his arms around your waist, pulls you close. You sure do eat like one, he says. Yes, you tell him, stepping away, just like a bird. I do everything like a bird.