It’s been well over a decade since I last took myself to a movie. Today, I did, and I had a whole new experience.
Years ago, when I lived in NYC, I went to movies by myself all the time – between work and meeting a friend, during the day on the weekends and even after leaving a bar at night when not wanting to go home alone.
What I remember about those times, is not the movies – what I remember is my eating disorder.
Often, I’d go to a movie instead of eating. My daily quest was to eat as little as possible – keeping myself busy helped keep me away from food. I’d go to a movie and allow myself two tootsie roll lollipops and the biggest jug of diet soda I could buy. Usually, that was the only sustenance I’d have allowed myself all day.
Sometimes, I’d get so weak from hunger during the movie that I’d rush out to the lobby and buy a candy bar, then allow myself a couple of squares of chocolate, drink more diet soda and chew a lot of sugar free gum. Once, during “Godfather 3”, I passed out from hunger, but did wake up in time to watch Al Pacino die. I passed out kind of regularly back then. One time, I took down a perfume display at Macy’s. After that, I allowed myself a whole half of a tuna sandwich and felt miserably guilty for days – and not about breaking a bunch of bottles of Chanel #5
During my laxative years, I missed a lot of each movie because I’d desperately need to run to the bathroom to shit out the multitudes of Correctols I’d taken the night before. I’d return to my seat exhausted and queasy, but delighted to feel lighter and hopefully, thinner.
In the bulimic years – I’d throw up all night, starve all day and binge all evening – I didn’t and couldn’t focus on the movies. I only thought about food, all day, every day. Years later, I’d watch the same movies again and not remember anything about them.
Today at the movies, I didn’t have anything with me – not even a water or a stick of gum. I watched the movie and remember every minute. To the average person, that sounds perfectly normal. To me, it’s glorious.