Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls I once heard an old TV preacher say, “Be careful what you pray for, you might just get it,” but thisthis is not what I prayed for. And I’m not having a bad dream either. I’ve never had a bad dream, all my bad stuff happens when I’m fully awake. Like now, like here, like in this place. I’m fifteen years old and I spend two nights a week sitting in circles with rich white girls. I did not pray for this. So if you choose to remember anything, remember that my prayer was to have been born a rich white girl, not sit in circles with them. However, that doesn’t matter anymore—nothing matters anymore. See, I’ve been caught, busted. By the school janitor and the guidance counselor, no less, who instead of mopping the floors or handing out college brochures decided to play Cagney and Lacey and stake out the boys’ bathroom during 5th period to catch whoever’s been throwing up. It took them a while, but, then again, they weren’t looking for me—they were looking for some rich white girl who they assumed must be sneaking into in the boys’ bathroom after lunch. So here I sit, the only boy in a circle of rich white girls. What nobody gets not my parents, not the teachers, not the counselors is that, on a bad day, throwing up is the only thing standing between me and the knife, the bridge, the cliff or the front grill of a truck. And on a good day . . . well, I’m not sure—I haven’t had one. They think they’re helping, with their psychotherapy and self affirmation exercises but they aren’t. For Christ’s sake, since I’ve been coming here I’ve seen at least a million doctors, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and analysts. The only person that has a clue is Penny, the fat art therapy lady, which trust me is not reassuring. Now “my team” is in the conference room brainstorming about the next breath therapy session or doing whatever they do behind closed doors. All the while, I wait outside for my weekly appointment with one of a million counselors, in perhaps the ugliest hallway I have ever seen. The walls are painted a color resembling wet, dull-gray cement. The carpet is a thick, rust-colored shag, but not in a Benetton maple-leaf sweater kind of way. No, this carpet looks like the kind of **** people load into their cars at midnight and drop off at the Salvation Army donation bin. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not bitter, jaded or anything tragic, like on those ABC after-school specials. I’m just a fifteen-year-old gay black boy, who’s owned more scales than toys, weighs himself at least three times a day, and eats until stomach cramps force him to stop, only to throw up so he can do it over and over again. And thanks to Cagney and Lacey it’s my over and over again that landed me here, sitting in circles with rich white girls. Quiet as it’s kept I’ve had a four year head start on a lot of these girls. I know what you’re thinking: four years and no one suspected anything? How could they not have noticed my long and multiple trips to the bathroom, dramatic weight loss, the constant sound of running water and the toilet flushing twice, three times before I came out? I guess that’s one of the perks of having a rich white girl disease: if you’re not a rich white girl, staying off the radar isn’t difficult. Anyway, it’s not about the numbers, I mean, if you can remember how many times you’ve thrown up, well this Bulimia Camp ain't for you. But if I had to guess, I’d say between four and five thousand times. But I’m not here because of the number of times. Please, you think I’m telling them how long I’ve been doing this? No, I’ve decided I’m just going to wait them out. This will all blow over; because lets face it this is one profile I don’t fit. And I’m guessing it will probably be a while before anyone develops a treatment plan geared towards fifteen-year-old gay black boys, even if they own more scales than toys.