Authors: Christine Zolendz,Angelisa Stone
Sighing and rolling her eyes, she said, “Gained eight pounds.”
“See what I mean! We are on a vicious, horrible roller coaster, and we’re never getting off—unless we do something about it.”
Laughing, she said, “Well let’s be honest, neither of us would actually fit on a roller coaster.”
“Exactly!” I screamed. “But son-of-a-bitch, by the time we get to Vegas in three months, we’re riding that death defying roller coaster at New York, New York… and if we don’t fit, we’re going to stay there until we freaking do.”
“And… meet lots of guys to hook up with,” Christine added, winking at me.
“Well, you can hook up with some dudes. I think I’m going on a celibacy sabbatical.”
“Alright, I’m in. What’re we doing? What’s the plan?” Christine asked, excitedly.
Filling the shopping cart with every food that made our mouths water, Christine and I headed to the cashier’s counter at the 24-hour grocery store. Walking past three high school-aged boys, we got nearly high off the weed scent wafting off their hoodies and winter caps—in the sweltering heat, no less. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a statement and all, but why do teenagers insist on dressing for a blizzard in 80-degree weather?
“Awww dude, look at ‘em, they’ve got the munchies too,” one of the kids said, his eyes not opening more than a sliver.
“Man, maybe if we share our G-funk with them, they’ll share some of those ice cream bars with us,” another surmised.
“Hold it, if you two tell me that you shared your junk food with minors in exchange for illegal substances, then you realize I’ll have—”
“Hahahaha God no!” I laugh, my shoulders shaking in memory of that night.
“I would never contribute to the delinquency of minors,” Christine promises. “Angelisa and I are teachers. There are enough hoodrats in this world—we’re not going to condone that crap.”
“Actually Your Honor, Christine gave them a box of Twinkies, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, Fritos, and chocolate ice cream. Then, she made them promise to never make fun of fat women,” I explain, smiling. “Naturally, they looked at her like she was nuts, but they agreed. One even admitted that he had a crush on the ‘fluffier’ chick in his history class.”
“Oh my God, that’s right, and the other guys teased him, because they finally figured out why he never skipped history when they did,” Christine laughs. “We have to text him to find out if he actually asked her out.”
“He did. I got his text that night we were in New Mexico, remember?” I remind her.
“Uhhh no,” Christine glares at me. “I don’t know much about New Mexico.”
“Oh yeah, my bad,” I say, dropping my head to hide the smile. “Anyway, Travis took Lacey, that’s her name, to a concert. They’ve been dating ever since.”
“As riveting as Trent and Lacey’s story must be--”
“Travis, Your Honor,” I correct her. “And you’ll be happy to know that Travis has since stopped hitting the bong. Lacey wasn’t big on recreational drug use. They’ve actually taken up hiking and biking—”
“Angelisa! She doesn’t care about Lacey and Travis!” Christine sighs.
“Fine, but she should be happy that we stopped one kid from continuing down the path of self-destruction,” I state, proudly. “Anyway, after we left the grocery store, we realized that the boys were walking in the middle of the night.”
“No, not walking, they had their skateboards,” Christine corrects.
“Right, skateboards. So, we let them pile into the back of the Jag and drove them home—safely—before we started the fire,” I explain.
“The fire?” the judge asks, rubbing her forehead and shaking her head.
“Yeah, the fire! But before we get to that, we have to tell you about the cashier,” I say, excitedly.
“Oh my God, YES, tell her about the cashier,” Christine squeals, clapping her hands.
By the time we reached the check-out, we’d already begun our friendship with Travis and his friends. We probably had a ten-minute chat with them about the deliciousness of BBQ Fritos on top of chocolate ice cream. They couldn’t get home fast enough to try our concoction.
As the tiny, rail-thin cashier began ringing up our cart that was packed with junk food, disgust clouded her face. With repulsion, she mentally calculated the year’s supply of caloric intake, but clearly it surpassed her mental math as it glared on the register’s screen. Apparently, the temptation and repugnance was too overbearing, because the waiflike cashier finally spoke up after reviewing our bodies (And possibly chewing on a lemon as well—there was no way that face could come naturally to anyone, but I digress.).
“I know it’s none of my business, but we do have a whole section next to the produce department… produce, that’s uh… like… ya know, fruit and stuff… anyway, it’s a whole section that’s dedicated to organic and clean-eating,” she said, scrunching up her nose and shaking her head at us. “Maybe you’d want to check out that area over there, ya know, for your sake.” We thought she was done with her lecture on healthy eating. But then, under her breath, she added, “And for the sake of everyone who’s forced to look at you.”
Sighing so heavily that my hair blew around my forehead, I immediately shoved Christine out of the way. I didn’t want to prolong our mission. We didn’t have time for one of Christine’s “what for” tirades and tongue-lashings. We had a mission to complete. She must’ve read my mind, because Christine simply cleared her throat, while allowing a gurgled “skank” to escape with a cough.
Christine and I were shocked that our pothead buddies were about to become our new best friends and knights in shining armor. “Hey Lea,” nose and lip-ring, said behind us. (We later learned his name was Jay.)
The cashier looked up, as she handed Scott-the-cheater’s credit card back to Christine. “Yeah?” she said, looking at him like he was a crusty cum-ball left in her hair from the night before.
“I talked to Lance; is it true you have Gonorrhea of the throat?” he questioned, smiling and feigning innocence.
Lea’s eyes widened as horror splashed her in the face—apparently, just as many other things have done so in the past. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she mumbled quickly, looking away.
“Dude, I heard that too,” eyeliner boy concurred. (His name was Tony; we didn’t know that yet.)
“Yeah, but you also had to tell Ty and Mick, because you wasn’t certain whose load gave you the STD,” Travis chimed in, happily.
“I’m… I’m… I’m on break,” she said, leaving her register as well as all the bagging of our snacks to us. The boys laughed, high-fiving each other.
Laughing hysterically, Christine looked at me, and said, “Come on, it’s got to be Whore 101 to know that if your name’s ‘Lea’ you can’t—you just cannot get Gonorrhea.”
“I know, right?” I said, feeling quite validated.
After dropping the boys off at Jay’s house where they were spending the night and finding a field a few miles off the highway, Christine and I unloaded all of our snacks. Making the trips back and forth from our new “campsite” to the car wore us out quickly. Panting and completely out of breath, we sat down to go over our plan. Finally, after opening our booty of snacks and making a fire with all of Jake’s financial papers and the leftover grocery bags, our tiny, meager fire was ready to burn.
“Alright, I’m going first,” I announced. I took a bite of a Twinkie and savored the taste and texture of it in my mouth. Holding it my hand, I addressed the pastry confidently. “Goodbye Twinkie, it’s been a wonderful ride, but it’s time to let go. I just wish that I could go back in time to the pep rally. I’d show up to that pep assembly proudly, tumble my way onto the gym floor, and pick up a Twinkie and eat it whole—in front of the entire student body. Then, I’d tumble my way back to my spot in the routine. But I was too embarrassed, too scared back then. But not anymore. I’m done. I’m not hiding. Goodbye Hostess!”
I flung the Twinkie ceremoniously into the fire and let it burn, beginning our
Farewell to Food Fire
, fueling our future of being fit, fun, and fabulous.
God, the scent of the charring Twinkie was tantalizing and titillating. Wow, I never thought to heat up a Twinkie. Oh well, can’t try it now. Those days are gone forever.
“You’re up,” I said to Christine, sitting down on the ground next to her.
“Okey doke,” she agreed, struggling to get up off the ground. Taking the apple pie out of the McDonald’s bag, Christine opened it and took a long-lasting, savory bite. Then she said to the apple pie, “I thought you had the power to make all my problems go away. But the reality is, you made my problems worse—you always have.” Christine chucked the apple pie into the fire, and sang “Bye bye delicious apple pie, made my ass so fat, I wish I could die.”
I laughed and sang along as Christine came over and sat down next to me. “So we’re really going to do this? This is the final farewell to food? The end of all of it?” she wondered.
“Nah, it’s just the beginning,” I said, opening an Oreo and licking the cream out. After one bite of the cookie part, I threw the entire bag into the fire. “This is for that damn seatbelt that didn’t fit me on the flight to Turks and Caicos.”
I looked over, and Christine was throwing handfuls of M&Ms into the fire. “This is for Andy Baker saying my ass needed its own Wifi.”
“Screw him! He just needs more Wifi for his porn addiction,” I consoled. “This is for Elisea Reynolds telling me that I was too fat to come to her boy/girl party in eighth grade,” I yelled, throwing a bag of Doritos into the flame.
“Whoever she is—she’s a bitch. This is for that Bedazzled Bed-snatcher for calling me a fat-pig and stealing my husband,” Christine bellowed, throwing a gallon of chocolate ice cream into the fire.
“Yeah, whore,” I said, tossing a dozen cream sticks into the pit of mourning. “This is for every single hot guy who called me over at a bar to ask me what my friend’s name was.”
The ceremony of goodbye lasted over an hour with each of us recalling our most humiliating moments of indignity and self-destruction. As the embers began to dissipate and smolder into a smoky fog of the past, I felt a sense of sadness and regret. I didn’t regret what was about to happen, where we were going. I regretted that it took me so long to do this—to open my eyes and see the reality of the situation. My life didn’t suck. Actually, nothing at all sucked about my life. I, on the other hand, was single-handedly sucking the life right out of it.
“Hey Chris, I didn’t do this for Elisea Reynolds from middle school or some old seatbelt on an airplane,” I admitted, resolvedly. “I’m doing this for… for Matt… and for the boys… and Chris, I’m doing it for me, too.”
“Yeah Ang, I know. Me too. Me too.”
Twitter: Sweating and crying would be a lot funnier if every drip and tear would come out screaming Wooowhoo! #TripleX #YogaNazi #SixteenCandles #Vagina
“Old pick up trucks… shooting at ducks…”