Life with Ana

A few days after Halloween 2004, I came home from visiting my cousin in Texas and found a letter from my grandmother. It was late at night by the time I arrived at my apartment, and it was election day, so I turned on the television, hoping to hear reporters announce the next president of the United States. I might have eaten a snack; I don’t remember. I do remember several trips to the vending machine while I waited for my flight in Dallas and then devouring slice after slice of the homemade bread my cousin had sent home with me. I was so hungry. I kept trying to calculate calories, and the numbers went up and up, but I couldn’t help it. With every slice, I hoped it would be enough to finally fill me up. But it never was. I think that was my second binge. The first one, a couple of months earlier, was very brief and involved chocolate and French bread. I wrote it off as a fluke, a tiny blip in a long, neat pattern of discipline. I wasn’t starving then. I don’t think I knew yet what it was to be so hungry I couldn’t see straight.

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