To borrow from Anne Carson, desire produces three characters. You, me, and the barrier between us. The beloved is desirable because you can never achieve oneness with them, never dissolve this barrier. A sample beloved: the burnt Basque cheesecake on the kitchen island. We stand, beholding, imagine plunging our fingers into it. Now sense food passing the valves in the throat and entering into the body proper, through the unclear boundary of inside/outside. There is a barrier between us.
At the start of last year my gastrointestinal complaints escalated from ‘probably reflux’ to ‘unable to eat without spontaneously vomiting’. In the grey time waiting for diagnosis, and then treatment, my relationship to food buckled and warped. In The Undying, Anne Boyer writes:
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