The narrator of Lost and Found is fourteen years old and much of the book is set on a boat while she is lost at sea. While she is stuck in the middle of nowhere without food or water, she thinks back on her high school school life where themes of starvation and aimlessness were already in place. The in-progress book is fiction.
When I see Kitty in the cafeteria at lunch, I point out my pulsing right eyelid.
She leans forward and examines my eye. “Nothing. Totally normal.”
“Come on. It’s huge and obvious.”
“In your mind.” She pulls a whole grapefruit from her bag and peels the rind. “Maybe you have Munchausen’s syndrome.”
“Is that a side effect of starvation?”
“No, it's like hypochondria, only worse. They’re people who study up on every side effect of every possible thing that can go wrong in the human body. They go from doctor to doctor and persuade them to operate. When the surgeon opens them up, nothing’s wrong. I saw a show about it–it’s a serious psychological problem—in addition to the attention, they’re addicted to the pain. Eventually they become completely covered in scars and that’s how they’re found out.”
“I don’t know what’s worse: that, or the fact that my best friend thinks I have that.”
“All I’m saying is that you need to toughen up. Skipping a couple meals doesn’t cause eyeball explosion.”
I use my fingers to steady my left eye and wonder how Kitty can relax under these circumstances.