The first time I did was at dinner at Olive Garden during my Senior Winter Formal. Once I had a taste, I knew I had to have more. On what was supposed to be a wonderful night spent with friends and a beautiful date, all I could think of was “how do I get more?!” I didn’t know anyone in the “cooking” business. And where would I get some at this hour?
It only got worse from there. In the weeks that followed I found myself lying to family about my whereabouts. I made excuses to my best friends on why I couldn’t hang out with them. When I didn’t have it, I would go nuts. I was gaining weight from having it so much. So now not only was I suffering emotionally but also I was suffering physically. I knew I had to get help.
There was no denying it. I could no longer hide it from my family or friends. Months of peculiar and odd behavior had worried my loved ones. Finally, I cracked and confessed everything.
Tyler, my best friend was the first one I told. It started off like most weekends. Us hanging out at the Bridgewood house. Tyler came inside to find Sean and I engulfed in a heated match of NCAA 04 on the Ps2. Tyler announced that the guys were hungry, and we were going to eat and break bread like Jesus. Sean excused himself politely (“move dog, I gotta run to my house real quick and get some scratch.”)
“Yo Ruiz, what are you trying to grub? Trying to get some INS (short for In N Out)?” Tyler asked as he struggled to turn off the PS2.
Without even thinking I replied, “let’s go to Olive Garden.”
Tyler face twisted as he tried to comprehend what I had just said.
“Why the fuck do you want to go to Olive Garden? Are you on your period?”
I knew I ‘d have to confess everything then and there.
“Tyler, I love lasagna. I have to eat some. I need some cheese and meat in my mouth.”
I then went on to explain to my best friend how my love of lasagna was taking its toll on me. How I would sneak out to the mall to eat lasagna by myself. How I ate trays and trays of frozen lasagna from O’Brien’s Market. My odd behavior over the course of the last weeks finally made sense to him.
Tyler swore he wouldn’t say anything. He promised me he’d be supportive and help me on my road to recovery. He even offered a room in his house, you know, in case i needed a safe place to stay.
Eventually my need for lasagna wore down, and I resumed my normal day-to-day schedule. My weight stabilized, my grades improved and my family stopped worrying about me. I would never again be caught sneaking out of the house at 1am to buy lasagna from a Wal-Mart. I mean, I could have been stabbed!
But at that time, I would have killed for lasagna. Let’s all be grateful that it never came down to that.