The Hunger

My body didn’t like getting smaller.

Michaela Cross

November 30, 2013 | Cake | December 2013

Ever since I got skinny I started having a recurring dream about eating a giant cake.

     It’s the only recurring dream I’ve ever had and it goes like this: there is (without physical or narrative context) a cake, round, and chocolate inside and out.  It is immense, and proportionlessly huge (because there is nothing else by which to compare its size). And I sink my fingers into it, my entire hands, and consume it whole.

It is somehow very important that it’s with my hands: It is the raw act of eating it manually –of the slickening of my fingers by the thick black icing, of the moisture on my skin– that matters. There is more texture than taste: it is chocolate by fact and not feeling. The point of The Cake is not that it’s delicious: it’s that it’s huge, and that I abandon all restraint in consuming it, and that once I consume it I am filled. (Not full, you understand, filled.) And peaceful in my feeling of literal fulfillment.

     And then I wake up, empty and glad.

     My body didn’t like getting smaller. It is a hungry body, this body of mine, one that wants to suck the world into it. It likes big sandwiches and big books; it likes fat thoughts, cavernous cathedrals, packed city streets; excess, in a word. Only when it discovered the exquisite, silver-knife-slick delight of excessive emptiness, of the gaps between pages, between buildings, in my own body, (hunger, in a word) did my body shrink. And as my body shrunk my hunger grew; and as my hunger grew, so did The Cake.

It began as a piece, grew to a whole, and from there grew larger and larger, more moist on my tongue, my skin –though always tasteless– the icing darker and more deep. It grew to an unreachable ideal, so that any attempt to replicate the experience in the real world left me unsatisfied, left me not filled but heavy as rock, filled to the brim with guilt and with sugar, and with hunger, worse still.

      Screaming, black hunger. Light-eating hunger.

The Cake is round, black and expanding. Expanding dream by dream. Black, huge and whole.

     A huge, black hole. 

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