Saturday 27 May!!!
alcohol units 0, calories 1,800.
is an historic and joyous day. After 18 years of trying to get down to
8st 7, I have finally achieved it - without even trying. It's no trick
of the scales, but confirmed by jeans. I am thin.
is no explanation. I have been to the gym twice in the last week, but
that, though rare, is not freakish. I have eaten normally. It is a
miracle. Rang up Tom, who said maybe I have a tapeworm. The way to get
rid of it, he said, is to hold a bowl of warm milk and a pencil in front
of my mouth, (tapeworms love warm milk), then, when the worm's head
appears, wrap it carefully round the pencil. "Listen," I told
him, "this tapeworm is staying." I love my tapeworm. Not only
am I thin, but I no longer seem to want to smoke or glug wine.
you in love?" asked Tom in a suspicious, jealous tone. He's always
like this. It's not that he wants to be with me, because, obviously, he
is a homosexual, but if you are single the last thing you want is your
best friend forming a functional relationship with somebody else. I
racked my brains then stopped, shocked by a sudden, stunning,
realisation. I am not in love with Daniel anymore. Maybe that explains
to Jude's party tonight, clad in a tight little black dress to show off
figure, feeling fantastic.
are you all right?" asked Sharon when I walked in. "You look
really tired." "I'm fine," I said, crestfallen.
"I've lost half a stone. What?"
no, I just, thought..."
you've lost it a bit quickly off your... face," she trailed off,
looking at my admittedly somewhat deflated cleavage.
was the same.
Have you got a fag, angel?"
I've given up."
blimey, no wonder you look so..."
nothing, nothing. Just a bit... drawn."
continued all evening. There's nothing worse than people telling you you
look tired. They might as well have done with it and say you look like
five kinds of sh*t. I felt so pleased with myself for not drinking but
as the evening wore on, and everyone got drunker, I began to feel so
calm and smug that I was even irritating myself. I kept finding myself
in conversations when I actually couldn't be bothered to say a single
word, and just looked on and nodded in a wise, detached manner.
"Have you got any camomile tea?" I said to Jude at one point
as she lurched past, hiccuping happily, at which point she collapsed
into giggles, put her arm round me and fell over. I decided I'd better
there, I got into bed, put my head on the pillow but nothing happened...
I kept putting my head in one place, then another place, but still it
wouldn't go to sleep. Normally I would be snoring by now and having some
sort of traumatised paranoid dream. I put the light on. It was only
11.30. Maybe I should do something, like, well, er... mending? The phone
rang. It was Tom.
you all right?"
I feel great. Why?"
just seemed, well, flat tonight. Everyone said you weren't your usual
I was fine. Did you see how thin I am?" Silence.
think you looked better before, hon."
I feel empty and bewildered - as if a rug has been pulled from under my
feet. Eighteen years - wasted. Eighteen years of calorie and fat-unit
based arithmetic. Eighteen years of buying long shirts and jumpers, and
leaving the room backwards in intimate situations to hide my bottom.
Millions of cheesecakes and tiramisus, entire packets of Emmenthal
slices, left uneaten. Eighteen years of struggle, sacrifice and
endeavour - for what? For nothing. I feel like a scientist who discovers
that his entire life's work has been a mistake. Eighteen years and the
result is "tired and flat".
week my mother turned up on Sunday morning in floods of tears. I
wondered if her new self-perpetuating sexual power surge had collapsed
like a house of cards with dad, Julio and the tax man loosing interest
simultaneously. But no. She had merely been infected with "Having
it All" syndrome. "I feel like the grasshopper who sang all
summer," she sobbed, "and now it is the winter of my life and
I haven't stored up anything of my own." I was going to point out
that three potential eligible partners gagging for it, plus half the
house and the pension schemes wasn't exactly nothing, but I bit my
tongue. "I want a career," she said. And some horrible mean
part of me felt happy and smug, because I had a career. I was a
grasshopper collecting a big pile of grass, or flies, or whatever it is
grasshoppers eat ready for the winter.
though, she was positively blooming. "My godfathers, darling!"
she said, steaming through my flat and heading for the kitchen.
"Have you lost weight or something? You look dreadful. You look
about 90. Anyway, guess what, darling," she said, turning, holding
the kettle and dropping her eyes modestly and then looking up, beaming.
"I've got a job as a TV presenter."