In Transit

In Transit

Three plates of spaghetti. The last supper.

I am eating my homesickness before I have even left yet. After five weeks, I am not ready to leave this place, to return to my self-imposed exile in the great-white-north. I am bound to this place, to my homeland, to Africa.

“You’re a pig,” my brother tells me. I snort my agreement because I am too busy shoveling food down the hatch to stop and talk. We smack-talk each other as a sign of affection. If I try now, my voice will shake, then crack so I keep eating so that he will not hear the sound of my heart breaking. Garlic bread is good for broken hearts. It drowns out the awful noise they make.
“I will miss you when you go back to Canada,” my niece tells me. I wash that precious moment down with chocolate cake. If I don’t, it will eat me from the inside out. I will dissolve into nothing but a puddle of remorse for leaving this child behind.

It takes 2.5 days to get to Canada. Instead of crying or acknowledging the dread of it, I eat. I eat cheese and tomato sandwiches (four in 24 hours). The carbohydrate of reality and the fat of denial. Denial is always fat. It slithers down my throat and coats my stomach, begging to be retched back up. I order chips too. I have to order them in Kenya, because no where in the world makes chips like they do in Africa. I hate French Fries. They are not the same thing. Down they go, slip sliding my heartache to the back of beyond. Two whole plates worth.

Next a latte. A bit later, another latte and on the plane I eat everything they put in front of me even though it is as appealing as dog food. White bread and butter. Since when do I eat butter? Never in my life. Now I smother my sadness with it as I smooth it over the pillowy white bread. I ask the flight attendant for more cheese and he obliges without comment at the tears streaming down my bloated face.

I will have to eat forever to blot out this pain. I rove around the airport looking for something else to eclipse my suffering. At long last I go and lie down, curl up like a tank, bursting, my stomach distended as though I am pregnant. Maybe that is why everyone is kind to me: they think the pregnant lady is crying. In Amsterdam airport I sit in the food court. Two pizzas, extra large fries, a caramel milkshake, waffles…..but I am still alone when the food is gone. At the end of eating, it will still be here, sitting like lead in my stomach this weight of homesickness, this loss, this emptiness that fills me up,up,up.

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8 thoughts on “In Transit

  1. izaoty says:

    Stay strong. At least know you were aware of why you reacted the way you did. There are other times and opportunities in life to learn how to deal with your emotions (homesickness) healthily. Courage. It is normal to miss home ❤

  2. K says:

    Hello love,

    I am so sorry to hear about your sadness. I understand that feeling of homesickness and leaving loved ones behind. I remember a while ago you gave me your email address and I never wrote it down – but I would love to tell you a little of my story. It’s a little too personal to post.

    By the way you are a beautiful writer. And although we are around the same age, you are mature beyond your years. I feel like a child after reading your posts. I wish I had your wisdom.

    Best wishes,

    • K,

      you can email me at

      I would love to hear more of your story and be in touch with you. Fill me in on your news. I am gradually recovering from the jet lag and numbing the homesickness with food 😦

      I am so glad that you enjoy my writing and I enjoy yours so much too. You have so much wisdom in you and so many profound things to say. You have an engaging wit and humour to your posts too. Don’t sell yourself short. You have a voice.

      Hope you are well.

  3. Mel says:


    Your writing is truly beautiful. Seriously. I’m always blown away and humbled whenever i read your blog. You have a talent!

    I feel like I don’t understand the background to this particular post, but do I need to? I just drowned out my own feelings with food tonight. And you’re right: once the food is gone, we’re still alone.

    I wanted to write to you because my health problems have become so severe and I remember reading about yours. I now have thyroid issues and adrenal issues. My metabolism is shot due to the hypothyroidism, and it drives me nuts. I hate other people my age who can eat junk food and not gain weight. I used to be that. But now all I have to do is look at food and I gain weight. And starving myself to maintain my weight just adds to the cycle and makes the disease worse. You know how it is. I haven’t been able to get out of bed the past two weeks due to the illness not being completely treated yet and my parents do not understand how debilitating hypothyroidism can be when it isn’t under control, especially when the person has an eating disorder. I’ve come close to falling apart completely and close to asking to be taken to an eating disorder facility… but for what? I know deep down my eating disorder would be manageable if my body was cooperating a little bit more. It helps me, knowing that I can go online and read your previous posts about your struggles with it and know I’m not alone, that it’s not all in my head.

    We want to feel better and we want to feel better now. And maybe that’s what food does for us. Temporarily. I’m sending warm thoughts and prayers your way… I hope you are feeling more comfort than when you wrote this post. Please keep close to your heart that those bad feelings are only temporary and they too shall pass (easier said than done when you can numb them with goodies, I know!) ❤ ❤ ❤


    • Mel,

      I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with thyroid too. It is the worst thing to have when you have an eating disorder. I am convinced that eating disorders trigger thyroid imbalances. When I look back at a life of starving, puking, over exercising and abusing diet pills and laxatives, it is so obvious. It is debilitating and I wish I could help you. You can email me a if you want to talk about it. I can’t really offer advice except to get on some meds and wait until it stabilizes but even then, weight loss is really hard. In the meantime I will be praying for you and hope that it gets easier and you get better. I am here anytime you need to chat.

      Hugs back at you,

  4. Wow. I can’t tell you how startled i am to stumble across your blog at 1am and read words that I understand so completely. Painfully beautiful. You. Are. Not. Alone.

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