June 30, 2008

"A fixed or established mode of procedure or course through life, usually dull or uncompromising."

When I was little I bit my fingernails like a fiend. My mother hated this habit and, in an attempt to deter me, would rub my fingers in chili peppers so that they would be too hot to put in my mouth. I was momentarily afraid, but after tentatively touching my finger to my tongue and pulling it away quickly I discovered that I rather liked the heat. After eventually sucking all the spiciness off of my newly delicious finger tips, I asked for more. This was simultaneously the beginning of both my love of extraordinarily spicy food and in the masochistic patterns of behavior that, as an adult, I would perfect in the form of new and anguished psychological ways to torture myself by being unwilling or unable to let go of situations that caused me pain--because the pain was REAL. Its absence was terrifying.

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