I Ate KFC With a Nazi: Gluttony

Gluttony has always been my favourite sin. this sin is the one that I do accept and understand why it is considered a negative thing. Stuffing our faces and taking more than we need even when other’s need it as well is a horrible thing. Yet i don’t allow this opinion to phase me.

Gluttony is an enormous part of what makes me, me.

and I accept that without hesitation.

“Weight”

We’d made the move from my island home to this hellhole, where the snow was a new stranger I was born to hate. I was deep set into my second bout of depression and I’d only recently found out that my stepmother was pregnant. Overall, I was an unhappy kid who only seemed to fall further into the deficit of sadness and anger that I seemed to be feeding to myself. So, there I sat at the table my eyes focused upon the emptiness where I wished a plate had been. At my father’s home I always sat here and waited for dinner, since my cousins were having their turn at the Playstation. My hair was pulled back in a ponytail and by the way I was slouching you could’ve assumed I was preparing myself to enter some pie eating contest, ready to eat. I could hear my father chattering away in the kitchen and if the watch on my wrist actually worked I would be complaining to him about the passing minutes.

I’d heard the old-style oven beep from the kitchen behind me. My heart fluttered in excitement until I heard rustling from the living room. I stood up from my chair and walked into the kitchen, seeing now my three cousins all-present. The scent of the cooking pizza had attracted their growling stomachs but I was there, my eyes turned in an evil stare. That pizza was mine. My father was leaned down, retrieving said food from the rack as he set it onto the stove. Even he was gaping at it hungrily. I can remember vividly how much hate I felt at that moment, seeing all of them hungering to steal my meal. I stepped forward and grabbed at the pizza cutter before my father could retrieve it, me practically shoving him out of the way to get at it.

I began to roll the sleek medal through the pie, the cheese separating with a smooth ease, the crust crunching beneath the pressure of the blade. I cut it into four pieces only.

“There’s…” My father turned around, using his index finger to count the mouths in the room. “Six people eating,” his voice holding a hinting tone as he eyed the four quarters of pizza that were available for taking.

“But this is my dinner!” I didn’t hesitate to go for the dramatics, tears already swelling up in my eyes on command, me looking up at the man before me. I would never do this to my mother, but I knew my father to be a very passive man with a knack for looking out for my best interest, or more so getting me whatever I felt like I needed. This instance was no different and all I had to do was place those four slices onto a plate and walk back to my chair and to my table and set it down. It filled the negative space i had been staring down before and i felt my heart flutter. I didn’t need an entire pizza, but I wanted it, and I had it. Oh what a couple tears could do.

Little did I realize I only persuaded my father to let me take the food item, I hadn’t been present but my cousins exploded into protest once I had left the room. My father had silenced them mostly but a few minutes later on of my cousins came into the dining room. This boy had some gall, and nowadays I surely commend him for changing my life forever with just a few words.

Now this cousin was my age, so he was a peer without authority. I was a bit brighter than him but when it came to being street-wise I couldn’t match him, so it gave either of us an edge when we shared presence. Yet this time I was too vulnerable as I practically jammed the slice of pizza into my mouth. I let my eyes falter over to him as his hand reached out and just took a piece. He barely got it off the plate before I reached out and slapped his knuckle down so that he dropped the slice.

“Hey!” he looked down at me in anger as I looked up at him with defiance.

“Mine, go get your own.” I was a girl of few words at that point, too desperate to start enjoying this pizza as if it would be my last. He let his own eyes practically bore holes into me with hate, but i didn’t sense it, I was ignorant to his feelings.

“You don’t even need a whole pizza! That’s why you’re so fat!” these words would be words that I’d never forget for the remainder of my life. They hit me so hard and so entirely that I dropped my slice of pizza, stood up, and ran to the upstairs of my father’s home. Never had I been told of my weight, and by all means I had not noticed to the point where I assumed it a problem. Tears burned at my eyes as they streamed down my cheeks, my head buried into my piss yellow pillow.

It took a good few hours before I finally settled down. The pillow was beaten flat from punches and my eyes redder than they’d ever be again. Suddenly I heard a small clank outside of my bedroom door. I got up from my position on the bed and went to it, opening the aperture with subtle curiosity. I didn’t want a person to be present and one was not. The plate was there, with the full pizza still on it. Every ounce of my being begged me to reach down and eat it; it’d make me feel better.

It’d make me feel better in all the wrong ways.

I didn’t pick up the pizza, instead I decided to take the other low road and just slam my door, in hopes of making whoever dropped it off feel bad. I knew my cousin had done it. Even that kid could feel guilty for saying something like he had.

I never received an apology, but to this day I realize I didn’t want one.
Everything he’d said was true, and well, it sort of helped me, even as horrible as it was.

“Coke”

Caffeine and anything with any form of carbonation has always been a driving force for my life. I cannot operate for too long without it, and even before the headaches began, I still craved the sting of soda at every point in my life.

It’s hard to say I’ve gone a day without just one sip of soda.

In my childhood my father had pushed for us to never drink any form of soda. He was against the idea of it and actually sheltered my sibling and I from it till it was too hard to do so. I’m not going to blame him for my addiction, but I can definitely see that because of his banning of it, I only wanted to try it more. My first sip of soda was when I turned ten, I was at a friend’s house and she offered me the liquid. It was already in the glass and the soft bubbles that reached for the surface seemed to intrigue me. I didn’t really trust the dark syrupy substance at first. It didn’t look very good, and by all means it had no smell so I wasn’t comfortable. But the way she was staring me down made me decide to buck up and just drink it down. Obviously this delicious little mystery was something I hadn’t been aware of, and I didn’t want her to think less of me.

My life was never the same.

At first I didn’t actually enjoy the feeling. It took me by surprise when I felt the sensation in my throat and mouth, but once the initial shock had ended, I was thirsty for more. My habit didn’t grow at some alarmingly quick rate. I started out only drinking a 20oz per day. I’d steal some coins from my parent and walk to the store. I’d go to the soda cooler and eye each different flavour. I always took in their labels and memorized their names but I never tried anything apart from regular Coke till later on in my caffeine conquest.

I’d like to confess here that anytime I went into a convenience store or gas station I’d pay for that soda.
But I wouldn’t pay for the pack of skittles tucked away in my pocket.

My habit only grew as time passed, as most habits do. My parents didn’t really help to wean me off of it. I didn’t expect their help, and I truly only blame myself, but still. Usually people only learn lessons from outside sources, so I think if they punished me for my growing addiction I would’ve maybe changed my ways. I went from a 20oz a day to two 20oz a day, and it only grew. By the time I’d gone up to five sodas a day I did my math and learned that a two liter would be cheaper. My addiction, at first, was something i did when I got bored but as all addictions do, it began to run my life. Anytime my mother would go out for a cigarette run I’d chime in my “can you get me some soda?” more often than not she’d forget and my blood would boil.

“I don’t think you should drink so much soda.” she’d say as an excuse for not purchasing me my liquid gold.

“Why don’t you give up drinking.” I’d reply, and the conversation would end,

I was always just a little too clever for anyone to truly talk me out of my consumption and I always took that as a sign that no one cared. If no one wanted to coax me into stopping my caffeine intake then they wouldn’t let me clever but illogical retorts truly persuade them. I almost half wish I would’ve been sent to a rehab, since as I write now, there is a Coca-Cola travel mug staring me down, and a half sip of soda left within it. I’ll pick that up in between words and take a big gulp, that god damn thermos can’t hold enough.

At the peak of my addiction I would drink two and a half two liters per day.
In case you don’t know, that’s eight and a half 20oz per day.

Now before you say you’re “That’s unhealthy” or “Don’t You have self control?” I’m going to go out and say I don’t particularly care about the degrading effect that soda supposedly has on my system. I am the glutton of Gluttons because I don’t really put into thought how bad these things are for my health.

I will probably have a caffeine heart attack at twenty-five.
But this doesn’t affect my decisions now.

I know this may make me sound stupid, and I know you will all judge me on this before you read anything else to judge me on, but I accept my addiction and I embrace it whole-heartedly. I do it to make me happy, and if that tickling sensation in my throat is the thing that makes me happy, then I don’t see why it is a problem.
I could be addicted to much worse things.

“Reform”

This section of this chapter may be debatable. I cannot say for sure that this instance of gluttony is really my worst, since it was committed only so that my gluttony of eating would be abolished as best it can be.

After the instance with my cousin I had the idea of my weight constantly on my mind. I still ate more than I should because of my lack of will-power but I was at least aware. I would let my weight fluctuate frequently. I would weigh one hundred and fifty pounds one month and one eighty the next. I knew it was unhealthy but I didn’t have the control or the knowledge of how to drop my weight and keep it off.

I so desperately wanted to look at least a little better that I even turned to eating disorders.

Now i never stuck my finger down my throat, but I would go four or five days without eating and assume it was helping.
Even doing this, I only gained weight.

One night, when my younger half-sister was visiting, I was on the computer and about to bite into my dinner when my mother came up to me and looked me over with a sort of judgmental glare. She had always been obsessed with losing her own wight, and since she constantly did things to make herself feel better, she insulted me.

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough today?”

The woman might as well have reached out and punched me in the face. It was impossible to stomach that comment. No pun intended. The comment brought back a wave of negative memories, on how children used to have nicknames for me, and how I was commonly left alone on the playground because I was so overweight. I felt so isolated that my mother wasn’t helping.

“I have had enough,” I remember choking out through tears as I pointed to the computer. “I want to attend weight loss camp.”

Before you quirk your brow and ask how this is negative I’ll illustrate to you the cost and conviction it takes to go to weight loss camp.

I have relatives all across the country that have good amounts of money, but with a lot of money comes the urge to not spend it. I begged my mother into admitting me to fat camp, and in turn, she also had to pay for it.

The two week session at the camp totaled over six thousand dollars.
We practically lived in a trailer.

nonetheless my mother commissioned our relatives and eventually found a way to pay for it. I felt thankful at the time but by the beginning of camp I was very deeply regretting my decision. I hadn’t taken into account my lack of food items that I can eat, and I’d been to summer camp. It’s never a range of choices for food. this fear was strong in me but my mom had already dropped me off at the airport.

She hated to pay for me, but she was happy to get rid of me.

Once at the camp I felt increasingly uncomfortable. I was with other persons of my age group, but i had never been one to participate in the mere idea of group showers and the fact that I had to walk to get to a bathroom was of no help. The one aspect of the camp that I remember best was “The Field”. As much as I did enjoy sports, I only liked sports that I could win.

I wouldn’t participate in soccer.
I wouldn’t participate in football.
I wouldn’t participate in Lacrosse.

The only game I’d play was Capture the flag. Now, this may be because of my obsession with war and army formations, but I felt I showed areal talent for this game. i was a remarkably fast runner for my weight, and well, I had the drive in me that would lead my team to victory. We never lost a game. Now, before i go into my obsession over Capture the flag, I want to illustrate what we had to go through in order to get to that god damn field.

The field was on high-ground, so naturally we had to hike uphill to get it. Many of these uphill hikes left me breathless and with thoughts of my death. I hated it, every moment of it. I’m very well-known to be a person that will not do anything that I must do, so I rarely ever hiked. The idea of roll hadn’t yet made its way to the camp officials so it wasn’t hard for me to use my cunning and disappear.

I’d hide in the woods for hours.

I felt that this made me greedy because my mother was paying a fortune to keep me there and yet every camp official wanted me gone. I didn’t listen to reason, I only listened to the sloth within me.

My eating habits were also a very large problem. I remember sitting at the table with my friends all around me. It was about the fourth or fifth day where a counselor approached and asked all of them to leave, keeping me where I was. I looked up into her face and the defiance must’ve been something she can sense. She pushed the vegetarian chili closer to me, and I simply pushed it back. The counselor’s had little authority but the camp director was someone we all respected, and slightly feared. The counselor knew his so she simply called the woman up.

I couldn’t speak during the entire scene, I couldn’t argue except for shaking my head no. I couldn’t stomach the food comfortably, and I wasn’t going to pack it down and throw it up later. I needed to make my statement. Eventually they let me go, since the tears stinging my eyes and cheeks were something to feel guilt for. They hadn’t come across a person like me, someone who only could eat ten or so foods.

I only lost eight pounds at that camp, while everyone else lost twenty.
I was a failure in every sense of the word and still feel guilty for it.

My mom was disappointed when I returned home and looked practically the same. It affected me in a way that I hadn’t been known to feel. It was unfamiliar because i cared that I had disappointed her. I had let everyone down.

I was a glutton for taking in the most attention I could get.
I was a glutton for becoming what I was.

Since then I’ve rallied up my strength and eventually lost thirty-five pounds total.
So I suppose I’ve gained back my honour on the matter.

I Ate KFC With a Nazi: Gluttony

Amber Kipp

Key West, United States

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Artist's Description

A chapter of my Novella “I Ate KFC With a Nazi”

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