THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST

a small piece of a story I still don’t know how to tell

I.
I was in a love affair with disappearing. In high school I chopped off a foot of hair with safety scissors, painted my face like a made-up corpse only to sob it all off in the back corner stall of the hidden bathroom before the late bell, and learned how to count calories, carrot by carrot, instead of passing calculus.

Which, by the way, I only flunked because I was too busy chasing the thrill of my own death to realize that, when it comes to mathematics of the body, the limit does not exist.

Not because I wasn’t good at math.

I was good at math. I was good at measuring my worth in poems and pretty boys and performances. Everything I did was a performance in how artistically I could fraction myself to be small. Thinking this way, the mind slowly enters a state of cool reduction, its own sort of rigor mortis. In ballet class, I stopped thinking about landing my triple pirouettes and more about the way the tight elastic on my skirt cinched around the waist. I don’t remember much about dancing other than the cold sweat of believing that I shouldn’t have been, not with this body, at least.

You can only live so long divided in digestible segments until you learn that this is no definition of a life at all.

When it comes to mathematics of the body, the limit does not exist.

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