Iridescent fish stare up, their eyes dead as dead, saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” Like a puppy panting at the pet store, no sentient being wants to let their life be for naught, even if they are dead to this world.
Minestra di pesce. Fish soup. That’s what I needed. My stomach had gone on strike. If I had called the doctor here in Italy, he would’ve told me, “mangiare in bianco.” Eat white foods. For ten days. I can be a doctor to myself, I thought, and at least cut out the cappuccino and the vino and surely that will help.
But my temperament is not to fast, or to cleanse in the traditional sense of the word. My tendency is not to renounce food, but to eat with a vengeance, anxious to fix a stomach that feels broken. I cook something elaborate and detailed as if my life depended on it, even as I’m bending over in pain.