Doug Bruns

Too much pizza. Too much beer.

In Books, Memoir, Writers, Writing on May 24, 2012 at 6:00 am

I wrote this a month ago, saved it as a draft, thinking it best not to post it, for reasons which will be soon apparent. But I’m nursing a brainwave flatline and like its shallow mellowness. So, rather than get the synaptic camshaft cranking, I’m going to swallow my pride and roll with the post. What the hell.

__________________________

Carole is out of town and so tonight I eat out. BBQ chicken pizza at Portland Pie Co. Carole does not care for their pizza so this is my place when she’s gone. And beer. I drink beer here too. Copious amounts.

I divide the pizza: eat this half tonight, this half tomorrow lunch. I eat. And drink beer and eat more. The first half is gone and I peel off a piece from the second. I hate myself for doing this. I order another beer. The hate increases.

I eat and drink and read. I read when I eat alone. Often, I read with company for that matter. Once I left a party we were hosting and went upstairs to read, the party being so very something other than what I thought it’d be. I was rude, of course. Just writing that makes me feel like a jerk. But that is a different story. I eat the whole thing. Drink more beer even. I leave loathing myself. My discipline has abondanded me. I am lost.

Tonight I read Joyce Maynard‘s At Home in the World. It is one of the finest, if the finest, memoir I’ve ever read. Maynard was a child literary prodigy–she writes like an angel– and came to the attention of old man J.D. Salinger living as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire. She moved in with him. She was nineteen. He was thirty-five years her senior. I was reading the part where he teaches her how to induce vomiting after eating food he deems toxic. There is a reason Salinger was as he was.

Things begin to turn ugly.

I leave, paying the tab, in a state of gastro distress. As I walk home I think about Salinger, two years younger than me, puking. I think about life imitating art. I rush home, miserable more so now that it all has settled and capped off my GI tract. Into the bathroom I go, kneeling in front of the toilet. I look at my middle finger. Is the nail clipped? I think of Brando in Last Tango.

I plunge the finger down my throat, curious at what’s down there. Interesting. I wretch. But no pizza, no beer. Just a little phlegm. Lucy is sitting to my left, looking at me. I reach out and scratch her ear, tell her it’s alright, then plunge the finger down my throat again. Again, nothing. My eyes watering I give in. This is obviously not a solution. I’m not made this way. I must pay my dues, suffer for my sins. I must digest. I ask Lucy if she wants to go for a walk and she tells me that yes, indeed, let’s go for a walk. I get the impression she thinks that to be a better solution to my current trouble than whatever it is I’m doing.

After our walk I come home and recline, the only position that offers up any comfort, and continue reading how a nineteen year old woman came to live with J.D. Salinger.

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