Epistolary Enterprise

Asad Hussain Jung

ISSUE NO. 1 • To Have a heart

I wrote this piece after a bad break-up that reactivated some poor eating habits from my childhood, problems I thought had long been conquered. This is a little peek into my idea of self-love, and how food and nourishment plays a role in it. To anyone that has dealt or is dealing with eating disorders or problems, food is a human right. You deserve it.

Dear Body,

Food is a human right. You deserve to be nutrified. I know that after she left us, her, who was our air, our water, our nutrition, our sunlight, our strength, it felt as though there was no more power in us to feed ourselves. We felt so empty that not even food, nor water, could fill us, could make us feel whole. For days we have had nothing to eat, our sleep was accompanied by a vacant stomach, and the lack of energy pushed us further into the bed, further into half-sleeps, waking dreams that were drooling, unsure of what they were craving. When food was laid upon the table, thinking back, it was the most succulent mutton, the naan thick with ghee, a meal that would satiate the hungriest man, the sustenance that normally would fulfill a wanting tummy for days and nights, our eyes could see nothing but things we did not deserve, our nose inhaling scents it was too numb to enjoy. Moments came with a morsel, or a sniff, enjoyment rode in on a blinded horse, pain struck with each step, lashes of guilt. As we went through the motions, a giddy sensation took us over, a borderline hallucination of near-starvation induced euphoria, an intense lack of love forcing us to react, an imitation of self-love. Near tears, in a shifting classroom, we wished for a full belly, for the feeling that came with it, but not for the process, not for the path. Food is a human right, you deserve it, I tried to convince you. I forced you to bite into a piece of something, it didn’t seem to be food, akin to a hologram, a forgotten parcel, a lost message. You rejected it vehemently, but you swallowed.

We build self-love slowly. It’s a process. Bite by bite, sip by sip,

We will get there, together.

Food is a human right. You deserve it.