I discovered today that my roommate’s English-accented-Anglo Saxon-raised in Mexico-enlisted in the Israeli army boyfriend is nine years her junior. He has been visiting her since October 5th, and thus in a way visiting me as well, since our apartment is about as tiny as they come, and although they do spend a majority of their time in her bed with the door shut tight, the extra presence is duly noticeable no matter the location of this third body. He is an extremely charming and interesting individual, fluent in Mexican Spanish as well as being a citizen of Mexico for most of his life, but speaks English with a British accent (he was born in London for some reason and lived there for a while). And now he is living in Jerusalem, waiting to move out with the army. All at the age of twenty. So I suppose his chronological age does not encompass his experiences, although he does have a shirt that says Coma Caca (stylized after the Coca-Cola logo) which he wears with great pride, and he watches Dragonball Z daily as well as being a huge fan of the “Lonely Jew” song from South Park (he is incredibly Jewish despite his sandy blond hair, and he and my roommate usually speak in Hebrew).

Did I mention that my apartment is attached to the Jewish Resource Center at the University of Michigan? It is a fabulous gray-blue old Victorian house near central campus. I am the only non-Jewish tenant, and am therefore recruited to shut off the fire alarm on Saturdays when the tiny naughty Jewish children pull bright red levers to sound the siren (turning electricity on and off is similar to lighting a fire, which is not allowed on the holy day. That’s why I get to shut stuff off.).

I am in the middle of midterms, and have a Japanese exam tomorrow morning at ten sharp. I need to memorize one hundred ninety three kanji before then. I am procrastinating, as I have far too much time in which to accomplish this task at present. I work best under pressure, and there is not enough of it yet.

I went to my first support group meeting today, which I am not at liberty to talk about in agreement with the rules it is run with. However, I believe it is safe to speak of what I talked about, as I would have done so here anyway, regardless of what was dragged out of me in front of strangers sitting around an antique table in a musty old room. I reluctantly spoke of my above mentioned roommate, and how she tends to take up all four shelves in the refrigerator and leaves none for me to put my meager rations upon. When I say take up, I mean stuff full, with no room left for anything. She is training for the New York marathon and thus eats like a horse, and rightly so. And yet I waste away by a steady two or three pounds a week, devoid of space to even attempt to fill with the nourishment I need to be buying at the store. At present I have some Motts apple juice, three fat free Yoplait yogurts (raspberry, Boston Cream Pie, and strawberry), two single-serving cartons of Egg Beaters, three bottles of Perrier, three pounds of leftover apples, a bag of baby carrots, and eight plastic cups of sugar-free Jello. All I want is half a shelf. Is that unreasonable?

It was kind of nice to be back in the support group therapy atmosphere again, as much as I hate to admit that. I was the thinnest there, which worried me. I was hoping to see girls worse off than me, as horrible as that makes me sound, in order to encourage me to be thinner yet. Now I have no one to compete with. Sick sick sick, I can see this in my thinking patterns without the help of anyone. I am still supposed to set up an appointment with a real counselor at the request of my physician, but that is not going to happen unless I get below one hundred ten pounds. I am not sure I will, as I have been doing remarkably well these past two weeks – I am eating at or above normal most days, and even incorporating such damning food as oatmeal raisin cookies (my absolute favorite) and Skittles. My mother is still threatening to send me back to Iowa, where I learned that being healthy is better than being subjected to endless needles and doctors poking at my bones saying“gain weight or die!” in their cheerful, no-nonsense voices while sticking me in a wheelchair. Makes me want to eat one more bowl of oatmeal in the morning instead of feeling the utter satisfaction of an empty tummy, as the second will certainly lead to months of forced oatmeal and a vacation to the ugliest state in this country. What a nightmare.