Dear Men and Women I Have Met Lately,
When I walk down the street carrying an oxygen tank, you stare. When you see the tubes coming from my nose, you stare. You see how skinny I am (size 00), so you stare.
I don’t blame you. I really understand. I would stare too. It must seem so strange, such a mystery. Why would such a young woman be so sick?
When you came up to me in Macy’s and told me you’d pray for me, I know you meant those words to be spoken with compassion. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, how do you know that it isn’t I that should be praying for you?
When you snarled at me in Target and told me I shouldn’t have smoked so much, I know you were reacting out of fear. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, what are you doing to your body that scares you so much that you see yourself when you look at me?
When you covered your mouth and pointed at me from across the food court, I know you didn’t think I saw. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, how can people be so disconnected from another human being?
This body does not represent who I am. My mind and my soul are not sick. My mind and my soul are not tired. They are strong and vibrant and very much alive. This sick body is merely a wrapper that contains a healthy filling.
There was a time when my tank and my tubes embarrassed me. There was a time when your stares made me want to run and hide. Now I know that if you take a moment to see past the accouterments and look in my eyes, you will see who I am. The decision is yours. I can’t control if you choose to see me or see my tubes. All I can do is know who I am and let it shine through.
Equally, when I look at you, I have the same choice to make. I hope I choose to see past your wrapper and look in your eyes.
Looking Forward to Seeing You Soon,
The Skinny Girl with the Oxygen Tank Who has a Creamy Nugget Filling