Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unexpected Pleasures

I’m feeling giggly, silly, happily unhinged by this day that has been devoted to pleasure. It was not my intention to languish inside happiness. In fact, the day began with an agonizing breakfast—having to talk myself through every spoonful of yogurt and granola and blueberries. Yesterday, I pulled on my go-to black dress pants, my teaching uniform, and they felt tight. Much tighter than last week when they slipped on easily over thighs and hips, buckled a bit even at the waist.

This week? I’ve uncharacteristically spent the last week or so indulging in desserts: a few slices of Christopher’s homemade pumpkin pie and my homemade chocolate chip cookies. I ate them because they looked good, ate them without ITs barrage (the one-sided conversation that usually goes like this: Eat that and you’ll get fat, you pig. You don’t deserve dessert. You haven’t earned it. You’re not even hungry anyway.) But it seems I am now paying for my (just) desserts with pants that feel tight.

Of course, this could just be the delusion of my anorexic brain which doesn’t like anything to fit, especially pants which should ideally be getting looser and looser, should not touch skin, should gape and flutter and drape around my body. Not fit to form. So perhaps what’s bugging me is the fact that the pants fit as they should, which is to say, to size.

If IT was silent through my week of desserts, it was hollering at me this morning over breakfast. Slowly I swallowed bite after bite until all that was left was the berry-stained bowl. Why did I eat? Dr. B. has given me the okay to start running again. A very modest distance and only a few times a week, but running! It’s been almost two months since I was able to open up and lope around the track, hobbled as I’ve been by an imposed walking-only program. My own fault, of course, because I’d been purging and my weight kept fluctuating, so stability was elusive. Hence, Kerry on slooowww motion. But running is now reinstated and I want to keep this privilege so that means I need to keep my weight stable, as well as no purging, so I ate breakfast, licking the spoon clean. And kept it despite IT pinching my hips and stomach.

My run was lovely, liberating, and loose. An easy two miles. I didn’t even break a sweat but that was okay because I was on the move again, limbs reaching forward, crossing ground. I felt like some thoroughbred too long cooped up in the stall and suddenly, the stall door opens and a wide, expansive meadow lies ahead, beckoning me out into the air. I felt as if I was floating.

Since Wednesday is my day off, I came home, took a long, hot shower, then made myself an extra-large cup of chai tea and curled up on the couch with the latest novel I’m reading: Sacred Games, a book written by a friend from grad school—for two hours I was swept up in the criminal underworld of India, roaming around hot, sweaty Mumbai with a weary police officer and far, far away from cold, rainy Meadville.

Then the phone rang. Christopher on the other end. “Hey,” he said, “if I came home right now, could I find you naked in bed? The kids are at school and we could have a little late-morning delight.”

But of course! “And afterward,” I said, surprising myself, “maybe we could go out for lunch together?”

A lunchtime tryst. Bodies moving together in pleasure. All of it before noon. Could the day get any better?

Because I was feeling so good, so at ease, I decided to spend the afternoon cooking dinner for us all. While I type this entry, there is a deep pan full of baked ziti in the oven. My kids are in the kitchen rolling around on the floor with the dog, giggling and squealing. My husband is on his way home from teaching. And I am absolutely content and deserving of this pleasurable day.