As I anxiously watch steam billow from the covered pot that houses a late breakfast I suddenly realize that there is so much more at stake here than a morning meal.
Our little apartment kitchen has felt revolutionized as of late because of the sudden and extensive use being impressed upon it. It does not escape my notice that I sometimes flee into the kitchen to escape thoughts and theories and calculations when they become too heavy to hold. It does not escape my notice that, in turning to the kitchen, I turn into conventional femininity—often making food that I have no intention of eating myself, but that I feel others will enjoy. When I turn towards the kitchen, I turn towards my own troubled history with food—not the troubled history that is partner to eating disorders, but rather, my own seemingly unique past that simply does not like to eat. I sometimes wonder, “Does anyone else feel this way?”
At night I must be somehow occupied in order to fall asleep. I listen to audio books or music or the sound of my own breathing. If I don’t listen to something I stay awake thinking of that woman worlds away who gave birth to me once.
I wonder if she could answer my call, “Does anyone else feel this way?”
I think that I have been rebirthed over and over since that time, so many years ago. Birth often seems to mandate death, and I sometimes feel haunted by the shells of my existence. What to do with these things? What to do with these castaway feelings, besides drive to Pacific coast and set them adrift hoping against hope that some might find a home.
It is a small triumph when I pull the bowl of egg pudding/custard out of the steaming pot. I know that I cannot eat my way closer to the woman who is not there. Still, I count it as a success because, in making this simple dish, I have become more corporeal, have moved closer to the person I am learning to be.