meatI hate being the fat kid.  Everyone looks at me, teases me and laughs at me.  Did I say I hate it – ’cause I do.

I go home one night and my family is already at the table eating dinner.  That’s ironic because I’m hungry and fat.  Do I keep saying that I’m fat – ’cause I hate being fat.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of food left.  I groan noticeably.

“Jack, you know we have to leave some food for the prophet”.

There they go again with their mumbo jumbo religion.  I’m still a kid here but somewhere else I’m an adult and I’ve grown out of their religious beliefs.  I decide to take them on.  I look at my father.

“No one cares about your beliefs.  It’s all garbage.  I’ll eat what I want.  You didn’t even leave enough for me anyway.”

My dad stares at me.  He looks me right in the eye.

“There’s a bigger world out there dad, “ I’m responding to the look, “You live in such a closed community.  No one gives a rat’s arse about your religion or your prophet.”

My mother looks at me in shock, as if I’ve become the devil.  I know what it is.  I said “rat’s arse” and she hates swearing.  Goddamn, does she really think that “arse” is a bad swear.  Still, she looks upset and I stare at her right back.  It’s not my fault if she’s so sensitive.

I eat my fill, which is a lot.  The prophet can starve for all I care.  I’m getting fatter I think, if that’s possible, but who cares, right?  I mean we’re all different; nobody’s perfect.  People have to accept that we come in all shapes and sizes.  I can be fat.  It doesn’t make me bad, right?

I go to bed and have strange dreams.  The next evening we’re all back at the table again ’cause it’s dinner time.  I’m surprise; truly surprised.  My mom’s cooked some really big steaks.  There’s enough for everyone, even for their stupid prophet.  Okay, maybe we’re getting somewhere here.

I feel pretty sick.  I can’t explain it.  I feel weak and vulnerable.  It’s like something’s missing.  I’m numb all over, especially in my torso.

Next evening and dinner again.  Great whopping steaks again; delicious and plenty for the prophet.  Still feel under the weather.  I seem to be getting weaker.  Don’t know how to explain it.

It’s Friday and we’re having dinner with friends of my parents.  They have a son and daughter.  Daughter is two years younger than me.  She never looks at me ’cause I’m fat.  Strange, but tonight she’s eyeing me.  The adults keep talking and we go with the “kids” to talk.

Suddenly their daughter’s all over me.  We’re in her room.  How did we get there?  Where are the other kids?  She’s kissing me; can’t keep her hands off me.  What’s going on?  Not that I don’t like it, but what about being fat?

Now my head’s in her chest.  She wants to go further but uh oh.  Daddy’s calling her.  He’s coming towards the bedroom door.  All bets are off.

I feel more attractive but why?  At home, shirt off and I’m looking down at my usually flabby stomach.  Wait, what?  It’s pretty flat.  I’m thin.  My god, I’m actually thin.  How fantastic.  But what happened and how?

Then it dawns on me.  The sick feeling and better dinners… mmmh delicious steak.  The steak is me.  Mum’s getting back at me because of the religion and my so called swearing.  I want to feel angry but I’m not, as long as she lets me live.  I don’t mind if I’m thin. I decide not to eat myself anymore.  Mum’s okay about that and she makes me a side dish.  I’m not as hungry anymore.  I mean I don’t want to eat part of me, but the other’s can.

Then I wake up.  I’m not with my parents anymore.  I’m the adult I always knew I was. I’m fat again.


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