What's Not Good for Me


Violetta Tarpinian


On a little, square, beautifully carved stone soap dish on my kitchen table lies a tiny chocolate bar. It is packaged in red foil with golden stars and tied with a printed golden ribbon, crosswise.

I see it every day and think how cute it looks. And how much I want to eat it.

Chocolate is not good for me. It gives me heart palpitations, insomnia, and intestinal cramps. And it makes me fat.

The tiny chocolate bar would actually do me no harm. It is only large quantities of chocolate that make me sick. I want large quantities of chocolate.

So I leave the tiny chocolate bar on the stone soap dish as a reminder of what's not good for me.


On that stone soap dish, there also lies a cigarette beside the chocolate bar.

It's a clove cigarette, consisting of 60% cloves and 40% tobacco. Clove cigarettes were first manufactured in Indonesia, containing 100% cloves, as a treatment for respiratory illness.

Smoking pure clove cigarettes is actually good for you and me.

The tobacco was added later on so smokers could cut down on their tobacco consumption and, at the same time, do some healing to the damage done to their throats and lungs by smoking tobacco.

If I were to smoke that cigarette, I would smoke it not for its beneficial cloves but for its tobacco.

The cigarette lies there beside the tiny chocolate bar as a reminder of what's not good for me.


One of these days, I'll eat the tiny chocolate bar. Its taste will make me hunger for more.

I think I will also soon smoke that clove cigarette. It will make me crave more cigarettes, chock full of tobacco.


My heart has been hurting me these past few weeks, with stitches and a feeling of constriction and ominous flutterings.

It is love that has been doing these things to my heart.

Perhaps I should put love on that beautifully carved stone soap dish to make a threesome with the tiny chocolate bar and the clove cigarette.

I will walk by love every day and look at it when I eat breakfast and dinner. I can keep love there as a reminder of what's not good for me.

If I eat the chocolate bar and smoke the cigarette, I won't need love because I'll have chocolate to make me sick and cigarettes to kill me.

But before they do either, I have my moments of bliss without any complications. No doubt, no frustration, no asking, no negotiation.

Just take, eat, smoke, happy.


I have an alter ego. My alter ego is a fat woman who lies in bed all day and eats chocolate voraciously and chain smokes and has thoughtless, ruthless, multiple affairs with men who like to fuck fat women.

It is a little fantasy of mine.

I wonder if I should live my fantasy and not give a damn about stomach cramps and lung cancer and love.

Eat, smoke, fuck: happy.

And fat.

Well, there's always something.