She was there again, the woman who comes to the Y sometimes. The woman who is so painfully thin I can see the shape of her femurs through several layers of clothes. The woman whose gaze is inward, whose face has the haunted look I recognize.
This time I tried to engage her before class--to reach out. I said hello. She looked at me and turned away. I haven't seen her talk to anyone, so maybe this wasn't surprising.
Usually she stays at the back of the class, but not today. Today she took a spot front and center, right behind the instructor and in front of the mirror. The harder the workout got, the more broadly she smiled at herself in the mirror. The more she smiled, the more sick I felt.
In the end I had to leave. I grabbed my coat in the middle of a song and ran out of the room, into a bathroom, where I cried and cried. I can't celebrate the joy of moving to music I love when I'm looking at her and imagining how many calories she's burning, how little she eats. When I know that she looks in the mirror and sees something completely different from what I see.
I don't know what to do, truly.