There’s a scene toward the end of Cowboy Bebop where two characters eat and eat and eat. They’re in mourning. This weighty scene retains its relevance nearly twenty years later because it’s rooted in fundamentally realistic emotion: they act how we act. We compulsively overeat, and overindulge, when faced with overwhelming circumstances. Unfortunately, no matter how much we eat, we’ll never fill that hole. Even if we identify this vulnerable state, can we fix it?
I thought about this scene while overeating.
I had been so good. I avoided the usual buffet, any of the restaurants that would tempt me with too much, or even the innocent snacks. I had a moderate meal after getting home from the bad news, which could have been significantly worse, did my responsible exercises to exorcise the stress demons that were lingering stronger than normal.
I was doing well until I gave in.
I ate and ate and ate. I felt better after each bite, like each calorie was temporarily soothing a deeper pain. I then thought back to Spike and Jet eating all those eggs they’d prepared for everyone while “Call Me Call Me” played in the background. I wondered why I was eating so much. I wasn’t hungry. I could stop but I really didn’t want to stop.
I was trying to fill the hole where stability had once been.
I know stability will return. I have seen the stability return even as of this writing. I imagine it’s something deeper. I know this feeling, it’s like being a victim to circumstance, even though I’m not the one that was directly impacted, it’s still in there as this sense of security was taken away from us for no reason other than pride and pain.
I wonder why.
I don’t really want to explore this feeling. I want to get over it. I can’t. I let this negative emotion influence me, even on my drive to clear my head, each stop I was just floating along physically there and mentally observing, but not really ‘there.’ I was elsewhere. I was being driven by emotional sensations over logic and reason.
I still am.
I still want to fill this hole with pleasure and naiveté. I want to escape into a videogame world where the rules are clearly established. I want to escape into an anime where characters may face hardships but ultimately bounce back. I want to live in a world where we hold ourselves and others accountable for actions.
I dislike this chaos in my world of order.
I need to learn to start rolling with the punches more. I know this is a particularly negative situation, but there are many others like this, and most I have no control over guiding. I can adjust my behavior to face that which pains me rather than hide away or overindulge in anything that might help me feel better.
I don’t want to accept the likelihood that this, and other holes, might not be fillable.
|Sources: Fighting these stressors.
Inspirations: Things should be better by the time this publishes. I wrote this on the 28th.
Picture: Just what I felt like drawing after writing this essay.