Writers Are The Worst Kind Of Exhibitionists, They Keep Their Clothes On

I am reluctant to call myself a writer. I forget how to spell words all the time. I’ve lost my natural flow with words. I find it hard to articulate myself like how I used to. I completely suck at grammar and I’m always self conscious about it on facebook because I have two English professors on my friends list. I am completely grateful for this blog and to Angela for inviting me to be a part of it. If it weren’t for this blog, I’d be on tumblr blogging into the void. Yet this blog in particular is probably why I can’t call myself a writer. All the people who contribute on here are grown up, they have careers, they have babies, they have degrees, they are legit writers but most importantly they just seem to have their shit together. I’m here dreading turning 27 because I’m a fragile genius and 27 is a dangerous age according to Rock N Roll folklore. But I’m no rock and roller(or a genius or fragile.) Far from it. I had my party days, my wild days. Sometimes I’ll go out to LA hipster clubs and grind up against a dude and wake up the next day feeling like I probably looked like that out of place old person at the club trying to rekindle her lost youth, or I’ll feel like the female Michael Cera trying to prove I’m an adult (well if you count the numbers not the merits) with my awkward sexuality.

Faulkner taught me to fuck the credentials. Hemingway taught me to keep it simple, stupid. Miller taught me to keep it sexy. Kafka taught me to stay up all night. Mrs. Parker taught me to keep my head up despite the heartbreaks. And Lil’ Jon taught me to shake my ass and drop it to the floor. All in all, they all taught me one very important lesson, keep it honest. If you can’t strip or bleed on paper, if you’re not willing to face the darkest crevices of your memories, if you can’t face your desires and if you can’t be honest with yourself then you can’t be a writer. I can be a writer.

Right now my stomach is grumbling. I’m trying to ignore it. I’ve been trying to ignore it since forever. I remember my first communion and confessing my sins. On the top of the list, it was a very short list I was 9 or 10, was demanding to eat chicken nuggets. Most of my list involved food because my aunt had told me that overeating was a sin. So I thought, fuck that’s my whole life. I probably didn’t say or think fuck. Even though I was not the chubbiest kid in my family, my cousin was a good 180 pounds at age 9, I was made to feel like I was. That same cousin, clinically obese, would tell me I was fat. I was teased at school for being ugly, short and fat. The way I coped with the pain was to eat more because as cliche as it sounds, food doesn’t hurt you back. Not emotionally at least. Food is comfort. Food is delicious. Food is great. Bad food is the best. I wish I had drowned my sorrows in bags of carrots instead of bags of chips. I suppose my parents were enablers but I can’t blame them. Though, my parents are super thin people. My sister grew up eating worse than I did and she’s a size 4. I’m the Frankenstein of my little family. I feel like my parents just piled on the genes and said fuck it. That was my probably my dad. We have a tendency to start things and just kind of half ass it or give up half way.

My relationship with food is a complicated one. Now in my mid twenties, I am more aware of what I put in my body. I’ve learned to eat vegetables and love them. I love vegan food, vegetarian dishes and I appreciate the simplicity of cooking my own healthy food. I’ll have those vegetarian/healthy kicks. I’ll go to the gym. I’ll ride my bike. I’ll even lose 5-8 pounds and I’m happy because I think it’s easy. I’ll think about how I don’t think about food. I’ll think this is how it feels to be normal. This lasts about 2-3 weeks and then out of nowhere I’ll just feel like pigging the fuck out. I’ll crave KFC even though it gave me food poising. I’ll think about chicken nuggets at midnight. I’ll contemplate going to In&Out and making it animal style, baby. I can recall two awful binges and they stick out like the experiences of an addict. First there is an overwhelming feeling of restlessness. I can’t fall asleep. I can’t read. I can’t watch tv. I can’t do all the things they tell you to do to help you stop cravings. I’ve always been an impulsive person. I want that Barbie and I want it now. I want that dress and I want it now. I want to have sex and I better have it now. I want food and I’m going have it now, whatever time “now” is even if it’s two in the morning. Then the descent begins. I’ve made up my mind and I’m going to buy bad food. I get in my car feeling like a crack fiend. I pull up to the drive thru and I feel an overwhelming sense of shame. I always hope that the cashier isn’t some cute guy because he’ll probably think “typical fat girl getting food at 2am.” Walking from my car to the front door feels like the walk of shame with my fast food bag in my hand and my coke in the other. What must my neighbors think? If they’re up at 2am then they’re losers just thinking about what I am doing with my life. So then it begins. I scarf down the food like I’ve been starving in a third world country. In the moment, while I’m mindlessly chewing my food and its sending electrical waves to my brain and raising dopamine or whatever levels, it’s satisfying. I’m having a fucking Perks of Being a Wallflower moment, “And in that moment, eating a chicken nugget, I knew I was happy.” And then it’s over. And it feels exactly like a cocaine comedown. I just want to die. I’m worthless. Nobody will ever love me. I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I’m fat. FAT.

FAT.  It sounds silly. Even writing it down feels and looks silly. I know, I should get over it. There are worse things to be addicted or sad about. Everyone has their #fatgirlproblems right? I wish I could slap everyone who uses that by the way. I could probably get deeper into the reasons why I overeat or binge. Just like most addictions it’s about trying to replace a void. It’s about trying to find a place where you find sheer enjoyment while everything around is chaotic. You fool yourself into thinking it’s a balance. If I do X then everything is ok but most of the times it’s not ok, it’s worse.

This is a topic I’ve wanted to write about for a while. I don’t think I did it justice and I don’t think I conveyed the seriousness that I wanted to. If you knew me you know I try to see the humor in everything. I once wanted to be a serious and tortured writer, fragile genius at 27. Any creative type entering their 20’s has that wish or goal. I’ve grown a lot. My interests and personality have evolved, as they should. It took me a very long time to find a concrete voice. I’m still learning how to become a writer, a “real” writer. I always have those moments of anxiety where I think maybe what I am writing is not creative nor interesting, it’s just simply too much fucking info. Everyone shares their feelings and their struggles. We live in an age of hyper-information and full disclosure. We put our breasts and penises out there for the world, willingly. Well I don’t but I have sent butt pictures to my friends because it’s funny and the angle and lighting of the picture made my butt look really good. But we need writers. We need real writers. We need poets. We need lyricists. We need writers to convey all the embarrassing, happy, seductive, heartbreaking moments of the human condition in 140 characters or more. We need them more than ever. And this is what I mean about not calling myself a writer because I probably jumped off topic and I’m all over the place and there’s no harmony between my words but that’s ok because I’m a budding 26 year old fragile genius who sees the devil as a piece of breaded chemically engineered chicken nugget.

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3 thoughts on “Writers Are The Worst Kind Of Exhibitionists, They Keep Their Clothes On

  1. Lil John says:

    …can I get one of those butt pics?

    Nice job, Ezra. You sure sounds like a writer to me.

  2. Angela Bartlett says:

    I’m still not able to call myself a writer with complete confidence, and I still sometimes feel the way you feel about food. That’s why I run so goddamned much and am still overweight. You are a writer, and a good one at that.

  3. I’m still not able to call myself a writer with complete confidence, and I still sometimes feel the way you feel about food. That’s why I run so goddamned much and am still overweight. You are a writer, and a good one at that.

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