Just call me Saffron, will you?

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"Are you anorexic?"


That's a question often posed to me. And it still manages to catch me offguard from time to time. I mean, look at it this way, after years of having people ask if I'm anorexic, I shouldn't be too surprised at the question anymore. But I am. Very surprised.

Funny, do I look the part? Are my cheeks gaunt and hollow and my skin a sickly yellowish tinge? Am I painfully thin to look at and my hair dull and mousy? Do my ribs stick out like a sore thumb?

I don't know. Perhaps someone out there would like to provide me with the answers before asking if I'm anorexic.

Me, I'm not all that proud to be thin. Blame it on my genes, blame it on my unhealthy lifestyle. You can even blame it on my high metabolic rate. Blame it on anything you want. But, please, do take a second out, be considerate, and spare me that question.

I'd like to answer questions with an open mind. All the time. However, to come out with a blatant question like "Are you anorexic?" is just being plain rude. Yes. Very rude, indeed.

Of course, it'd make a world of difference if I was actually suffering from anorexia. I might not have admitted it, though. But I bet everyone would be able to see through my denial and lies anyway. That's of course, if I was anorexic in the first place.

One half of the multi-millionaire Olsen twins, Mary-Kate, was recently admitted into rehab for an eating disorder. My first thought was, "Poor kid. Someone should've asked her that question instead of asking me." I mean, look at her. She's rich, she's beautiful, only 18 years of age, and a freaking multi-millionaire. Some people had simply dismissed her condition as being "attention-seeking". Now, how unfair can that be?

Back to me. I'm not that rich. I'm struggling to get more jobs to pay for fuel to feed my Little Monster. But hang on for a second.

Please. Take a good look at me. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I'm laughing. I'm just skinny. Do you have a problem with that? Are you obese? Do you have bad breath? What's that smell you have there under your armpits? Are those boobs fake?

Now do you see what I mean?

"Are you anorexic?"

"No. And screw you."

I'm not a gossip. Seriously. But I hate being the last to know. Esepcially when it comes to stuff I care about.

Just the other day, as I was lost in thoughts of Adrenaline, the marketing manager in my college stopped me on the way to my car and said to me, "Hey, Joy, X says hi." Without thinking, I said to him, "Ohkay. Hi back to him." And I hurried off.

He stopped me again. "You know, he's in the US now," he continued, oblivious to my dismissive reply. That made me stop in my tracks. "What for?" I asked, my interest piqued.

"Oh, you know, for good," he said casually. "Since his Mom is there and all."

For good.

I don't remember what he said next, but I mumbled a goodbye, acted cheerful and unruffled and told him that I had to get going.

I can't describe how I felt exactly at that moment. I didn't know if I was sad, or shocked, or couldn't care less, or plainly missing someone who stopped loving me a long time ago. I couldn't tell.

As it was, the past few months had taken its toll on my exhausted mind. Sometimes, I wanted to laugh out loud. Other times, I'd just want to curl up and will the world to go away. I wasn't sure if I was in touch with the real world anymore. And then, this.

It's funny, how everything good and bad will come successively. The ups and downs come one after the other. And it makes me wonder if God has had enough fun already. Cos I ain't laughing too much, you know.

So, I thought about his departure. I wondered why he never bothered to let me know. Question after question raced through my mind. All unanswered.

Do I not mean anything to him anymore? Not even as a friend? Will I ever see him again? Why must he let me be the last to know? And to hear it from someone I hardly know?

I felt a little sick. I felt as if everyone knew of it. Everyone but me. That instant, I wished with all my heart that I could just bring myself to hate him. I'd probably feel better that way. For all the good and bad moments he'd given me, I wished that for just a while, I could hate him, hate him for what he's done to me. Hate him for all the self-loathing that he'd caused me over the years. And hate him for just leaving me behind without a goodbye.

That night, I came home feeling unsettled. Amidst all the madness of my assignments, competitions, independent shoots and work, the thought of him had inched itself into a corner of my mind. Much as I want to hate him for leaving without a word, I felt a tear trickle down my cheek slowly.

I didn't know what to feel then. But I know that he's left. Left me behind.

For good.