The Encounter With My Body

All I know is that there was a time in my life when food and guilt did not seem like things that would go together.

It was a fine morning, a rather fine one. I got out of bed and looked in the mirror and there it was, staring at me with all the awkwardness of a first meeting.  I had walked past that mirror and looked into it countless times. But never before had I seen this thing, so troubling, so strange. I let out a gasp only to feel embarrassed. Have I not always had a body?

How do i describe it? It is an impish sheet of paper made out of flesh and blood. On its surface is imprinted every single thing that passes through my mouth. It is a remarkable apparatus. It is my book of the knowledge of good and bad diet. If you call it an archive, you’re giving it way too much credit. This thing cannot tell the difference between what I ate five months ago and last night’s dinner. It does not even have the sense to let go of the 20 ounce latte I had a year ago. It just accumulates things and clutters me up.

Since that first meeting, it has decided to hang around. Honestly, I would not have cared much. After all, did Victor Frankenstein not make his own monster with his own hand from scratch? I simply met mine. Big difference there. It is the guilt that kills me. I cannot eat a pin drop without doing a penance of fasting and fatigue or dieting and exercise, as my loony doctor likes to call it. It is all so baffling. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I do not have a bone of the ascetic in me.

My body is a tyrant of sorts. It’s taken over everything–mood, desire, mental health, and all.  Meanwhile, there is the little ole me fighting this attempted overthrow, warring against my body parts. Perhaps, I’m not a human anymore. What do you call a being divided against itself?

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “The Encounter With My Body” Subscribe

  1. Ose 2011/05/27 at 22:27 #

    This reminds me of my own body, truth be said that one day you just can’t recognise your own body. It appears to be another entity.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Brittle Paper Literary Awards: New Date for the Announcement of Winners

The announcement of the winners of the inaugural Brittle Paper Literary Awards was scheduled for 23 September 2017. However, a change […]

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]

New Website Collects Everything Binyavanga Wainaina Has Written Since the Late 1990s

A new Website has collected everything published by Binyavanga Wainaina since his writing career began in the late 1990s. The […]

Opportunity for All Writers | Submit to Vanguard Literary Services’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Anthology

To mark the 2017 World HIV/AIDS Day on December 1, Vanguard Literary Services, a bookselling company in Nigeria, has called […]

The Graywolf Press Africa Prize Launches with Igoni A. Barrett as Judge

igoni a. barrett

A new award just dropped: the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, for “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing […]

Nnedi Okorafor Celebrates Everyday African Life in New Superhero Comic

okorafor comics

A little over two years ago, South African Sci-fi writer Lauren Beukes collaborated with D. C. Comics on a Wonder […]