when i knew him then he seemed pretty average physically. tall, but not too skinny. not a lot of muscles, but not too much of a beer belly either.
at some point (i don't know if it was before or after (hopefully before) he told me he had an eating disorder) i said something to jim about how he'd look a lot sexier if he toned up a little. i vaguely remember it.
it wasn't a big deal. i mean, obviously, what the fuck to i care about boys with muscles? and jim was hardly unattractive at the time.
but now it's two years after i left jim in wichita, and he still remembers that one silly sentence.
after dinner last night, he told me that, if he were at home and had just eaten a big meal like that, he would have gone straight to the gym afterward to lift weights for at least a half an hour. he used to just run, but he thinks the weights are a healthier outlet.
i'm not going to lie. jim does look better now than he did then. he looks healthy, but, given his history with anorexia, i'm not sure he is. so i was really torn about telling him i thought he looked good. i didn't know if telling him would encourage bad behavior. and i didn't know if not telling him would make him think he needed to try harder.
my only real experience with friends with eating disorders is saying the completely wrong thing at the absolute worst time. and, apparently, whatever i said to jim two years ago was one of those things since he brought it up several times.
i wish i were more careful about the things i let fly from my mouth. i know how much it can sting to hear things like that from people you consider to be your friends, especially when you're already down. those words stick with you forever. it's worse than a seed of doubt. it's like a weed that you just can't find the root of.
"what a waste of talent."
"completely unattractive in every way."
"i never loved you anyway."
"you disappointed us all."
"i expected so much more from you."
"you were the only one out of that group i even considered close to a friend."
i don't know if it's possible, but i wish i could find the right thing to say to jim now to nullify whatever i said to him two years ago. i'm tired of making things worse.