The Holiday Gorge is when I was a glutinous pig from Thanksgiving 2004 to the Epiphany 2005 which is an amazing stretch of time even for gluttony. It was extreme gorging. I am not typically a gorger. I'm not one to throw up my hands and declare Fuck It as I dive headlong into the warm embrace of a bag of Oreos. Or at least I haven't done that in a long time; not since my friends Mint Chip Ice Cream and Mr. TV were my babysitters. Don't get me wrong. I can polish off a bag of vegan cookies if I let myself. Wait -- is that gorging? Now I've confused myself. All I'm saying is that in the adult portion of my life, there has been nothing compared to the colossal gorging as The Holiday Gorge 2004.
The HG was a direct result of shutting down a business which Mandy and I owned. I won't go into too many details about the business because it still makes my stomach hurt, but let's just say that smarts and humongous balls can't compensate for running out of money, in business anyway. In November 2004, we knew we needed to Pack It Up and by the time Thanksgiving rolled around we were diving into the details of a shut down and deep in apologies and back pedaling. It was 24 hours of What The Fuck Am I Gonna Do Now and How The Fuck Am I Gonna Get Myself Out Of This One and Will The Bank Make Me Be Their Slave and They Can't Take My Family Away Because Of This, Right? I was a complete mess, with a smile. Ooooo I held up a good front. Mandy too. We were spectacular, but in private we'd look at each other and in the secret whispers of two scared and brilliant ghetto girls, we'd wonder how much we had really fucked ourselves. We'd drag ourselves into the office and we'd sit on the floor and give ourselves tarot card readings instead of making yet another We're Screwed And So Are You phone call. We'd ask the cards, “Can they make me their slave? What can they take away?” And the cards were kind and told us to buck up, that this was not the end of the world, and that we would be left with the things that are most important to us: Free will, loved ones, smarts and still some good-sized balls. But nothing else.
And in an effort to keep up my front during the 24-hours of this sleepless, gut-wrenching Soul Test, I gave up control of my health. Everything I did was about supporting a fragile emotional state. I stopped exercising which seems counterproductive, but exercise was ONE MORE THING TO FUCKING FIND TIME FOR. And I ate whatever my Id wanted. FUCK IT. I hadn't eaten cheese in 5 years and I was like, Pizza? Sure. That used to make me feel good when I was a teenage jock. Mint Chip Ice Cream, my old friend? Please give mama some comfort. TV? I love you. It was all mindless, and I shoved and shoved into a void that remained a void. No human could save me -- I don't know how to ask for help -- but trying to self destruct physically was a cry out that didn't really work.
The crescendo was when we went to Puerto Rico on Christmas day with the family and we stayed at Husband's grandmother's house. And I stared at the Caribbean Sea begging Her for answers or at the very least a jolt back to Hopeful. My gorge was losing some steam, but as I've written a million times, PR is not exactly the capital of healthy eating. Hurricane Andrew had battered the mangos and grapefruits that usually yield beautifully on Abuelita's trees. And the idea of vegetables on the island is a bit of a mystery. There is a favorite dish called Arroz con Gandules where pigeon peas are hidden in pork-laden rice. The dish should be called Donde Esta El Gandul (Where the Peas At?) but that's typical PR for you. We took a trip to the Museum of Ponce where Flaming June is housed, a painting I've always loved. Husband took a picture of me standing next to June and when he showed me the photo I said, "Do I really look like that?" because it looked like my arms were blood sausage stuffed to capacity; in general I looked like .this Botero painting with bigger boobs. I was convinced it was the digital camera working some evil warping distortion on me, but Husband answered, "Kinda." Kinda? Kinda . . .
We came home from PR and I was tired. I still had no answers, but I felt a tiny bit better, calmer at least. The doors of the business were closed but there was still a lot to do. And no one swooped down to save me from the mess I had made for myself. That's when I became a vegan because I needed to just save myself, and because being a vegan really is what my body and mind want from me. I had been ignoring them -- or had them on hold -- during the Holiday Gorge. And I have to tell you, it's taken me 10 whole months of clean eating and exercise and water and supplements and pleading and crying and the sincerest of apologies to get my body back to pre Gorge state. I can't believe it took that long, but I'm happy to report that though I'm not exactly over the failure of the business, I am totally over the Holiday Gorge 2004