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Twigs & Bark: Scavenging Food (Part 2)

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At my last class of the day, I heard a rumor. Bread would be available at breakfast. I cut morning class to beat the hordes. Unfortunately, the hordes had the same idea. I moved with determination to a table crawling with people like hyenas scavenging the kill. I elbowed a large woman out of the way, energized with equal parts gluttony and desperation. Grabbed the last piece of bread, stuffed my bread scrap into my tube top while running to my table. I had a moment of intense pleasure. No one was taking the bread from me without a fight. I made another foray searching for butter, fat of the Gods. No butter. No margarine. Only that putrid orange liquid sludge. I sat back down and pulled the scavenged bread out of my top. It smelled of me, greasy oily me after 48 hours of un-wash and yoga. I ate it and immediately threw up on the empty seat next to me.

My sobbing was interrupted by the woman I had elbowed earlier. Leaning over me, she smiled.

“You shouldn’t want so much.”

“Mind your own fucking business,” I hissed.

“That’s the poisons talking. Let yourself become full of air and detoxify your body with fasting.”

“Listen, you crazy bitch,” I said. “You were there with me, fighting over scraps of bread. Be thankful I didn’t barf on you.” I got up and left. Crazy goddam cult. It was time for my massage.

Smelling of sweat, vomit and most of the deadly sins, I went upstairs. The massage therapist was clean, shiny and condescendingly compassionate.

“I can see and smell your detoxification.”

“Okay.” I had no energy to contradict her. It wasn’t detoxification. It was desperation, hate, violence, hunger, loneliness, and exhaustion.

“We should work on your heart center. It’s closed.”

“No. Leave my heart alone. You should work on my colon center. It’s closed.”

She opened her eyes wide. “This may be uncomfortable.”

“Listen, lady, be nice. I haven’t pooped in three days. I’m hungry. My heart is broken, and I just threw up. I feel like I am having heat stroke. I’m not interested in anything but escaping this hell hole.” Tears belched out of me. It seemed every orifice was open but one. She wasn’t getting a tip.

An hour later, I had been pushed, pulled and rocked into a numb state. Thinking this might have done the trick; I spent an unproductive half hour in the communal bathroom making truly scary sounds. The bowels of hell. I skipped the other massage that day to lie sweating in my bed expecting a red-costumed visitor – the Pizza Delivery Man or Satan.

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