STEVEN WEISSMAN

The worst part about having an eating disorder is not even realizing you have an eating disorder until a friend looks you dead in the eye and says, "I think you have an eating disorder." When we met up in front of the movie theater, I was disoriented and could barely stand because I hadn't consumed anything other than diet soda and water for more than three days. Walking toward Pine and Sixth to find you on the busy sidewalk was strenuous enough without me constantly thinking about how that girl on the bus stayed so thin and how unfair it was that she could probably fit into a size zero while I barely squeeze into a three. But what really got me talking was when you looked at me and asked if I'd eaten today, as if you knew what I was thinking. You couldn't have known, but you asked me with so much goddamn conviction that I couldn't lie like I wanted to and make up some story about reheated spaghetti noodles and how full I was. It all slipped out. Everything. Every thought I had kept bottled up inside of me for almost two years poured out of my mouth, and instead of telling me I was being childish or it was just some phase, you looked right fucking at me and said: "You don't have to be afraid of food anymore. You don't have to be afraid anymore." You split a sandwich with me, and for the first time in a while, I asked the waitress for a regular Coca-Cola instead of a diet. Thank you so much.

—Anonymous