by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella
There isn’t a bathroom in Philadelphia that I haven’t thrown up in—from the tattered mirror black and white checked tiles of Kung Fu Necktie with the ground dappled in either spit or semen, to the stalls of Johnny Brenda’s with couples kissing near that weirdly opulent goldish couch, to the elegance of the powder room at the Rittenhouse Hotel. My job. The Ritz Bourse. That time I ended up at a Chili’s in Center City on New Year’s Eve, 2013.
The coziness of spearing my tenderly marred fingers down my slug-tongue with oily bubbles of anxiety bursting and erupting through my esophagus, past my now-gravely larynx, and covering my chipped teeth—spilling on the toilet and the floor. Or in the case of my home on 42nd and Chestnut, clogging the white porcelain sink and the black mildewed tub.
If cumming is a release, puking is a physiotherapy. And I’m pretty sure I don’t binge, or purge, or diet, or food-obsess. Never. Not really. I surf the frenzy of worry and the chemical urgency of flight and fight, by resting my head against the cool plastic seat—smelling putrid—and wait for the shaking racks of my stomach.
Sometimes the two pointed fingers feel like cranky accusations, and my body likes to refute the debate of my judge-y hands.
I’ve learned to say “delicious” in four different languages, and I try to pierce apple flesh with my incisors but always avoid using my tree stump molars.
I hang out in front of the toothpaste spattered mirror in my bathroom and look at the cellophane teeth, at how they become opaque when I push my tongue against them.