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Stymie Magazine

Autumn & Winter ‘11

in her hand is the same as a needle in her arm. She’s putting junk in her body. Mom says, “I never bugged you about your weight.” I wish she had just told the fat kid to go run laps around the neighborhood. Instead, Mom signed herself up for the Weigh Down program with the mantra “Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.” She talked about a self-control exercise of having only one M&M from the bag and then putting the rest in her purse. Later, there was an empty wrapper in the garbage. I go to the fridge to get some water. On the wall bordering the kitchen and Mom’s study, there’s a photo of Mom and her sisters when they’re all in college. And Mom is skinny. Her short-shorts are cuffed. Mom’s thighs are milky smooth with no hair, no dimples, no cellulite. At the fridge, I fill up my cup from the water filter. I stopped drinking soda as soon as I wanted to make the fat kid thirst. I lost 10 lbs in a few months. I drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. My piss is so clear I don’t have to flush. As I gulp water I watch Mom, still eating. She looks at me and says between mouthfuls, “You work so hard.” I want to tell Mom I believe the quote from 5 foot, 6 inch and 105 lbs super model Kate Moss that “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Sometimes, I want to be skinny enough to not have to work out anymore. I know of some runners who have such a low body fat percentage that in summer they have to wear a jacket outside or else they will shiver in the sun.

The intern follows me out of the office door. He looks at the hallway’s carpet where I’m still pointing. He claps his hands together. This is his last chance to give up. But he gets down on his palms and starts to puff out his pushups. I respect him for being a man about this, but I am going to show him what it takes to be a machine. I get into position for perfect pushups: my hands at my shoulders, my butt tucked in, back straight, and elbows locked ready to bend down to 90 degrees and back up again. My hydraulic arms pump. I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth like an exhaust pipe. I hold each pushup for one second, idling, and look at the intern struggle. The intern does his 16th pushup with his arms shaking, just able to lock his elbows back up. His knees plummet into the carpet. I finish a set of 25 by leaping onto my feet and standing up, brushing off my hands on my pants. The intern is gasping. He looks disappointed with himself. I look into the office. My boss and the other interns aren’t watching. I don’t know if they’ve seen any of this. I want to point to the ground and say, “Look at this,” like something happened here that was important.

Now, I weigh 165lbs and am 6 feet in my running shoes. I wear medium sized T-shirts that are loose over my chest and 33-inch waist jeans that I always have to wear with a belt. When I knock my knees together, my thighs do not touch until the cleft of my groin. Depending on if I shit or just ate, my In the office, I call an intern weak. I weight fluxes as low as 160 and as high as 170. I mean it jokingly from one guy to another. The use the same scale, in the same grocery store, at intern takes it personally. I guess it’s because he’s the same time to weigh myself every week. It pudgy. Before I know it, the intern says he bets might seem like I’m obsessed. But I don’t have a he can do more pushups than me. scale in my bathroom. If I did, I’d weigh myself I lift one eyebrow and smile with my lips every day, and then I would be obsessed. closed. I pull my shirtsleeve back and show him my baseball-bicep. My veins look like stitching At the grocery store, I stand on the scale. through my skin. I watch the needle soar up the numbers and The intern stands up, staring at me. stop. My eyebrows furrow and I look down at “Alright,” I say. “Right here, right now.” my feet, stomping the metal sensor. I point at the intern and then to the hallway. The scale reads 156lbs. I am not dyslexic. [ 90 ]

Stymie - Autumn & Winter 2011  

The Autumn & Winter edition of Stymie Magazine featuring work from Curtis Smith, Corey Mesler, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Carol Gloor, Nick Ripatraz...

Stymie - Autumn & Winter 2011  

The Autumn & Winter edition of Stymie Magazine featuring work from Curtis Smith, Corey Mesler, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Carol Gloor, Nick Ripatraz...

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