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Old 05-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #51
Jerry Thomas
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Laura was busy in the bedroom when I came home after a long, uncomfortable ride on a city bus crowded with sweating fellow commuters. From the front room I could hear her noisily opening and closing drawers, the rattle of cheap metal clothes hangers, the clip-clop of her shoes on the wooden floor, and above it all the sound of her voice, which seemed to be carrying on an extended argument with itself.

I squeezed myself through the bedroom door. “What are you doing?”

“I’m packing. What does it look like?” She threw a pair of shoes into the large suitcase lying open on the bed.

“You’re going on a trip?”

“That’s right, I’m going on a trip. I have to get away for awhile. I’m going to see my sister in Cincinnati.”

“This is sudden.”

“A lot of things are sudden. Like me finding out you’ve been lying to me.”

“Laura, please, don’t be like this. It’s nothing. It was a harmless little fib.”

“Really? Making me think all this time that you’ve been working out with ‘Mark’ instead of that bimbo, whatever her name is.”

“Her name’s Susie and she’s not a bimbo. She’s been trying to help me get into shape.”

“And since when do you need to get into shape? I never had a problem with your shape before.”

“Laura, we’ve been through this already. You know how I feel about my weight.”

“Yeah, well. And you know how I feel about it too. I guess we have irreconcilable differences, as they say.”

“Does this mean we’re splitting up, sweetie?”

“Don’t ‘sweetie’ me, fat boy. You brought all this on yourself. Things were fine, just fine between us. I was happy, I thought you were happy. I loved to cook for you, you loved to eat, and we had fun in the . . .”

She choked up before she could finish. “Just go, Bruce. Leave me alone. I have to finish. We’ll talk when I get back. But in the meantime you’d better think about where you’re going to be living. Maybe your new friend Susie will have your fat ass. Though I doubt it.”

“Where can I go, Laura? I sublet my apartment to a bunch of college students. I can’t just kick them out at a moment’s notice. Let’s talk about this, okay?”

“We’ll talk, but not now.” She turned her head away from me and pretended to wipe away a tear. “I guess nothing can last forever.”

Outside it was a warm evening. Couples were strolling hand in hand along the sidewalk. It would have been a nice night for a walk with Laura, though she usually wanted me to avoid exercise like the plague, afraid that I might lose some of the fat she loved so much.

I made a beeline for the corner bakery, open late in order to make some extra money from the summer pedestrian traffic. I bought half a dozen cannoli and a big box full of éclairs. Sitting with my cappuccino on a rickety wrought iron chair at one of the tables outside, I scarfed down the éclairs one after another. I was a fat pig, so why not act like one? The people walking by noticed me stuffing the goodies into my face. A few of them, usually the older ones, frowned disapprovingly; the younger ones, especially the women, tended to nod in my direction and giggle among themselves. I knew they were laughing at me, but I didn’t care. I just didn’t give a damn anymore. I wondered if I should save the cannoli for later, but then I decided to finish them off as well. What the hell. What did it matter?

Next morning I stopped again at the bakery on my way to work and bought a dozen donuts, the ones with the white powdered sugar that I liked so much. I missed my usual bus and arrived fifteen minutes late. I took my time walking from the bus stop to the building; the air was already getting sticky and I had a lot of weight to move. I didn’t want to show up all hot and sweaty.

As soon as I was settled into my chair in front of the computer, I took out the box with the donuts and left it open on the desk next to me, making no effort to hide my treasure. I hadn’t had my breakfast yet and I was starving. I took out the first donut and ate it ravenously while perusing my e-mail. Then another, and another one after that. Crumbs of varying sizes were falling on my shirt and tumbling down the mountain of my belly like a small avalanche, making a mess of the black keyboard in front of me. Six of the donuts quickly disappeared into my mouth and I leaned back and rubbed my belly contentedly.

“Taking a break already, Bruce?” Mary showed up out of nowhere with a face like sour milk.

“Hello, Mary. Top of the morning to you too,” I said with feigned cheerfulness. “Just having a little snack to keep my strength up. Productivity uber alles, you know. Would you like a bite?” I held up one of the donuts in front of her nose.

“You can eat your breakfast at home, not on the job.”

“Sorry, Mary, no time. I slept late this morning.”

She gave me a smoldering look that made me think of Mount St. Helens, then she turned and left without another word. I flashed a discrete middle finger salute under my desk.

Later a man from the Fitness Center called to tell me that Susie had taken the day off. “In fact, she’s taken off the whole rest of the week, something to do with a personal problem,” he said. “But you’re welcome to come in and work out by yourself if you want to.” I thanked him but replied that I would rather wait until Susie came back.

I spent most of the rest of the day surfing the internet and making calls to try to find another place to live. It made me sad to think about it, but I knew Laura well enough by now and I realized that she wasn’t bluffing. Our relationship was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.

The afternoon seemed twice as long without my daily workout with Susie. I had a game of Solitaire up on my screen when Mary stopped by at about half past four. “Not going for your exercise today, Bruce? It might be a good idea to work off some of those donuts.”

I could have explained that I wasn’t going because of Susie’s absence, but why should I? Was it any of her damn business? “I don’t feel like it today,” I lied.

On my way home I noticed a rundown two-story brick building with a sign in the window. “Rooms for Rent,” it said, together with a telephone number. I had passed that building two times every day for the last four months, but all of a sudden its existence had assumed a potential role in my plans for the future. I quickly jotted down the number while the bus waited for the light to change. It was obviously a dump, but I was desperate and decided to call as soon as I got home.

A man with a tired voice answered the phone. “Yeah, we got a room available. How soon do you want it?”

Things were falling apart so quickly and I didn’t know exactly when Laura would kick me out. “Next week, maybe. Or the week after that.”

“Do you want it or don’t you? I can’t just hold it for you to make up your mind.”

He told me that the room was furnished, in a manner of speaking: electric stove, refrigerator, toilet and shower combination, couch and a table with chairs, double bed, and cockroaches included at no extra charge. The rent seemed reasonable, payable by the week or the month. I told him I would stop by to take a look.

“Don’t wait too long,” he advised. “Desirable properties like this go fast.”

Sleep was out of the question that night. I tossed and turned in the empty bed. At two I got up and raided the kitchen. The rest of the donuts didn’t stand a chance. Nor did the two quarts of chocolate chip ice cream I had stashed away in the freezer. Likewise the four thick slices of leftover Chicago-style pizza. At a quarter to three I waddled back into bed, feeling stuffed but not satisfied. I slept fitfully the rest of the night, waking up every so often to feel the churn in my tummy. In my unsettled state of mind I completely forgot to set the alarm for the morning.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:24 PM   #52
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Mary was pissed off when I walked into the office at exactly twelve minutes past ten. She glared at me like a female rattlesnake at the wrong time of the month. She said nothing. Absolutely nothing. That worried me more than if she had bent me over and reamed me out.

My intestines were in an uproar after last night’s feeding frenzy, but I had eaten only a light breakfast and now my stomach was groaning again with hunger. The only solution to my distress was to take an early lunch. At eleven o’clock I logged off and headed down to the cafeteria.

Mary was waiting for me when I returned. “Where the hell have you been?” It was the first time I had ever heard her use such strong language. “You come in late, work for 50 minutes, and then leave.” She was two minutes off, but close enough. “What on earth is wrong with you? Lately your work habits have been going right down the tubes.”

I shrugged and smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry, but I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry. I had to get a bite to eat. I was just starving.”

“Starving? You don’t look like you’re starving. There’s enough of you there to feed a whole village.”

“You don’t have to be insulting about it, Mary. I know I’m fat, but I can’t help it.”

“Hopeless. You’re just a hopeless case. You’ll never change and now it’s affecting your work.”

She left in a huff like a frustrated missionary who had given up trying to convert a barefoot heathen. I was a lost soul in her eyes.

Later the man from the real estate agency called to say that if I wanted the room, I would have to come over and make a deposit by four o’clock that afternoon. “I can’t hold it any longer. Other people are interested,” he said.

“Yeah, I know. It’s a highly desirable property. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Four thirty at the latest. Otherwise you’re out of luck.” He hung up abruptly.

I had no choice but to leave the office early. Mary was going to go ballistic, but what else could I do? I knew I was skating on thin ice. I could already hear it cracking beneath my feet.

* * *

I got off the bus and stepped into the graffiti covered bus shelter to catch my breath. I glanced at my watch: it was already 4:23. I hoped the landlord hadn’t gotten impatient and left. Fortunately, the building was right across the street. I walked over and took a closer look. Early 20th century, I guessed from the style and condition of the building. The entire ground floor was vacant except for a bar called “La Mexicana” that occupied one of the corners. The rest was sub-divided into three or four narrow storefronts that were currently in various stages of renovation. Obviously the owners of the building were optimists, hoping that the neighborhood would be the next to go upscale and attract scores of hip young professionals hungry for the urban lifestyle. That time hadn’t yet come, however, and the sidewalk in front of the place was littered with a cornucopia of empty liquor bottles.

The second floor facing the street consisted of a row of double-hung windows in groups of three each. I assumed that each group belonged to a single apartment. Counting the windows, that would mean four units on the front side of the building and maybe another four facing the back. Some of the windows accommodated noisy air conditioners struggling to cool the humid afternoon air. Others were merely open, revealing flimsy curtains hanging listlessly in the motionless heat.

I was wondering where exactly I was supposed to meet the landlord when a balding, middle-aged man in dirty jeans came down the concrete steps of the bar and blinked in the bright sunlight. He looked around with an air of confusion and then walked along the sidewalk in my direction.

He didn’t seem like a landlord, just an ordinary working man having a drink after a long day, but I decided to take a chance and ask. “Do you know anything about these apartments here? I’m supposed to meet someone named George about a rental.”

“I’m George,” he replied with a gravelly, cigarette damaged voice. “You’re the guy who called about the room? Felton, right?”

“Yep, that’s me. Bruce Felton. Sorry I’m running late.”

“I thought you might be here sooner, but when you didn’t show, I went in to pass the time with a brewski or two.” He jerked his thumb towards the bar behind him. “Good thing you came now. I was just about to leave.” He took a step backwards and looked me over, a smirky smile spreading over his thin leathery face.

“I had to leave work early, but the bus just crawled. I really need a place to live. My girlfriend is kicking me out.”

“Girlfriend?” He looked me over again and the smirky smile turned into a disbelieving guffaw. “Girlfriend! Well, I’ll be damned. She must be a helluva good cook.”

I was used to such comments, but even so, my stomach tightened into a little knot of anger. “Yeah, she’s a great cook. Great in bed too. But that’s over now.” I deliberately tried to provoke him. “Could I see the apartment now?”

He made a face, as if the idea of this whale-like creature in bed with anyone represented the ultimate in human degradation. “Sure, sure, it’s right upstairs. Just follow me, big guy.”

We entered the building through a door around the corner, on the other side of the bar, and he led me up a flight of narrow, poorly lit stairs. It was only one floor up, but I was out of breath by the time I reached the top. He stood there waiting for me. “Sorry we don’t have an elevator,” he apologized, “but it’s only a two-story building and most people don’t have trouble climbing the stairs.”

“It’s okay,” I puffed. “A little out of shape, that’s all.” Despite all of Susie’s efforts, I was still just a sluggish blob. My heart was pounding inside of my chest.

He paused for a moment to let me to recover and then we walked down a musty corridor to a brown metal door with the number 7 painted on it in faded gold paint. I was right; there were eight apartments in all -- four in front and four in back. He inserted a key into the lock and pushed the door open. “Go right in.”

The sight that greeted me was enough to make a strong man puke. The floor was strewn with a combination of beer bottles, uneaten food waste, and scraps of old newspaper. It would have been totally unbearable were it not for the open windows in the back, letting in a steady stream of warm, but relatively fresh air. Two of the windows were decorated with dingy white “curtains” that looked more like old bedsheets. The third window was merely covered over with newspaper.

“Needs a little cleaning up, but otherwise it’s a nice, cozy place,” George commented.

“Definitely a desirable property,” I said. “Mind if I look around?”

The apartment was really just one large, sparsely furnished room. On one side against the wall, which was painted top and bottom in two tones of equally disturbing green, was a broken down brown couch, flanked by a small end table and an old-fashioned floor lamp. In the middle of the room there was an oval dining table with four wooden chairs, one of which was split by a jagged crack halfway across the seat. The kitchen was in one of the back corners near the windows, furnished with a 70’s era Kenmore refrigerator that was leaking water onto the floor, a Broan electric range, and a stainless steel sink.

“The sink’s new,” George said. “Stainless!”

I opened the door of the stove and closed it again quickly. It looked like a small animal had exploded inside. One of the burners on top of the stove was damaged and probably inoperable. I opened one of the doors of the cupboard above the counter and disturbed an extended family of cockroaches, which retreated into the shadows. I was beginning to feel sick.

“No microwave?” I asked, trying hard to stay focused and ignore the churn in my belly. I couldn’t imagine myself cooking, much less eating, in this dump.

“Nope, no microwave, but there’s plates and cups in the cupboard, pots and pans under the counter, and some silverware in the drawers.”

The so-called bathroom was next to the kitchen and looked like it had once been a pantry. It only had enough space for a toilet and a shower stall that measured about a yard square. It was enclosed by a moldy yellowed plastic shower curtain hung on a rod that drooped at an angle. No way was my body going to fit in there. No way.

George and I stepped over to the space opposite the kitchen and inspected the “bedroom.” It consisted of nothing more than a rickety old brass bed shoved into the corner, looking like it might have seen service in a New Orleans whorehouse in one of its previous lives. It was the kind of bed I had once imagined myself occupying with certain good-looking girls from high school. Lay lady lay . . . Despite my lurid fantasies, I had my doubts whether it would hold my weight without collapsing.

George piped up. “It’s an antique, you know. Lots of folks would kill to have a bed like that.” I wondered how many people had been killed in that bed.

The windows in the back of the building looked out on the garages where the Transit Authority housed and maintained its fleet of city buses. The air smelled of grease and diesel fuel.

“Too bad you don’t have a view towards the street,” George said, “but this is the only unit available. I’ll give you ten bucks off your rent.”

The place was a real hovel, truly something out of the slums of Calcutta or a novel by Dickens. Hardly fit for a pig. But I was a desperate pig and I shuddered to think of my 400-pound body sleeping on a slab of cardboard on the sidewalk.

“I’ll take it,” I said. “How soon can I move in?”
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:17 AM   #53
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Another great, well-written addition!
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #54
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I hope we hear more back from Susie, that seemed promising
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #55
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Thanks for your comments. Nice to hear from both of you. This story is now well over 22,000 words and it just seems to go on and on. I hope it is not getting boring. Believe it or not, I DO know where I am going with this, but I just need to get there without rushing the action. Here's the next episode . . .
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:07 PM   #56
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“Where’s your friend today?” The waitress noticed that Laura was not sitting across from me at the table that Sunday morning. “Is she sick?”

I sighed and pulled on my T-shirt to try and keep it from clinging too closely to my belly. “No, she’s away. She went to visit her sister. She . . . she won’t be coming here anymore. At least not with me.”

The waitress chewed more intensely on her wad of gum, trying hard to comprehend the meaning of my words. “Not coming? Why? Doesn’t she like it here anymore?”

“She doesn’t like me anymore. We’re splitting up.”

“Oh my, I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s tough, really tough. You two come here all the time. Our favorite couple. She hardly ordered anything, and you . . .”

“. . . and I always ordered a huge amount of food.”

“Well, yes,” she laughed. “You did. We always thought that was funny.”

“Funny? Funny how?”

“Uh, you know,” she hesitated. “Funny because, well, she ate so little and you, um, you ate so much.”

“I like to eat. Can’t you tell?” She shrugged her thin shoulders and looked away, embarrassed, now that I was putting her on the spot.

“It’s okay to eat,” she said. “You’re a big guy. Lots of people here order big meals.” She smiled at me in a way she never had when Laura was with me. “What can I get for you today, hon? We’re running a special – free pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream when you order a full breakfast.”

“Bring it on. I’ll have the Super Grand Slam Value Breakfast with the all-you-can-eat pancakes, and don’t skimp on the pie and ice cream.”

I rocked back and forth contentedly like Humpty Dumpty after gorging myself on the scrambled eggs, the breakfast sausages, the hash browns, and three large stacks of pancakes with butter and maple syrup. She brought the pie a la mode and placed it in front of me along with the check, no doubt hoping that by now I really was finished eating. She wished me a pleasant day and was just turning to go when I called her back.

“Could I order one of the apple pies too? I mean the whole pie, not just a slice. You know, to take home with me?”

“You want more pie? Well okay, hon, sure, that’s no problem. I’ll wrap it up to go.” She smiled again and glanced at my full round belly. “You want something more for when you get hungry again, right?”

“That’s right. I have a long Sunday ahead of me.”

* * *

After breakfast I drove to Laura’s apartment and started packing. She wasn’t planning to return until later that evening and I wanted to take advantage of her absence to clear out before she came home. I hoped I could avoid an emotional scene likely to feature an unhealthy mix of tears, shouting, and recriminations.

Luckily I didn’t have much to move. My clothing, a few books, and a variety of unimportant odds and ends. The combination clock radio and CD player on the bedroom dresser belonged to me. Should I take it along or leave it behind for Laura? I decided to take it – my new abode was already barren enough and at least I would be able to listen to some music and get up on time for work.

I found the infamous pink swimming trunks in one of the drawers. They were stiff from newness and still had the price tag attached. Laura and I never did go to the beach together. I picked them up and stretched them to their full width. They were big enough to run up a flagpole. I felt a stab of regret. Was it my fault after all? Maybe I should have let Laura have her way, let her feed me to her heart’s content, let her dress me up in embarrassing clothing and take me out so that she and other people could amuse themselves at my expense.

I threw the trunks into the cardboard box I was packing. I wanted them as a souvenir, as a reminder of why we were breaking up. They were a symbol of all the things that had gone wrong in our relationship.

My car was soon packed and I was ready to go. I walked around the silent rooms for one last time. Here was the bedroom where we slept together and made love. Here the kitchen where she cooked breakfast for me while wearing nothing more than her apron. The table where we sat across from each other as she shoved forkfuls of food into my eager mouth. I sat down and wrote Laura a brief farewell note. I told her that I enjoyed our time together and was sorry things didn’t work out. I told her I hoped she would be happy in the future. I gave her my new address so she could forward my mail. Then I folded the note in half and put it in an envelope along with my key to the apartment. I closed my eyes and put the envelope to my lips. I left it on the table where she would see it, locked the door from the inside, and walked out.

* * *

The Wal-Mart Superstore was on my way to the slum where I would be living for the next couple of months. True, it was only a temporary arrangement and eventually I would be able to move back into my own apartment. But I was determined to make myself as comfortable as possible in the meantime. First of all, I would need new sheets and pillows for that brass bed. No way was I going to sleep on the bedding that was there now. Then I would get a broom and some disinfectant so I could clean up the place and make it at least minimally fit for human habitation. A few roach motels for my little friends too. And maybe I could get some real curtains to replace those ghetto bedsheets and the newspaper that currently covered the windows. That would be enough for a start.

I struggled up the steps with my boxes. I was heavy enough as it was, but with the extra weight from carrying my belongings, it was almost impossible for me to climb those stairs. I realized that if I were to gain just another twenty or thirty pounds it would considerably reduce my mobility, to the point where merely getting up from a chair or climbing a flight of stairs would be pushing the limits of my physical capabilities.

I encountered a woman on my last exhausting trip up the stairs. She was coming down the steps just as I was going up. I raised my head and saw a small, slender person with cinnamon brown skin and dark eyes and hair. She was wearing jeans that seemed glued to her thin figure and a canary yellow halter top. From the sharp points of her nipples visible through the flimsy material, I could see that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She stopped halfway down the stairs and stared at me.

“Hello, hi,” I said, as I gasped for breath.

She was silent for a moment, but then she laughed, a short, piercing, irritating laugh. “Oh! Qué puerca gordíssima! ¡Hola,gordito!”

Despite her Hispanic appearance, I wasn’t expecting to be addressed in Spanish. The only words I recognized from my high school Spanish class were “fat” and “pig.” I suppose the meaning was clear enough.

I didn’t budge from the spot and she continued towards me before I could think of anything to say. “Move your fat ass so I can get by, okay tubs?” she said in a rough street accent that sounded like New York or New Jersey. She rudely shoved both her hands into my soft gut as she squeezed past. She brushed against me and I could smell the heavy fragrance of her cheap perfume. “Fat sow!” she shouted from behind me as the she walked out the door.

Welcome to the neighborhood, I thought as I struggled up the last remaining steps to the corridor and unlocked the door to my room -- Number Seven. Maybe not such a lucky number after all.

* * *

Next morning I ran into one of my new neighbors. He was coming out of his room, Number Eight, just as I was leaving for work. He was a small guy, delicately built, with close cropped graying hair. He, too, had a preference for cheap perfume.

“Hello there,” he said in a neutral tone that was neither friendly nor hostile. He looked me over carefully, not bothering to hide his curiosity. “My goodness, aren’t you quite the super chub,” he giggled. “You must be the new boy. George mentioned that somebody would be moving in. A really big guy, he said. I can see that he was spot on about that. You certainly are more than a mouthful.”

I didn’t like him from the very start, but I tried to be as civil as possible. “My name’s Bruce. I just moved in yesterday.”

“Oh, Bruce. Bruce! How precious!” He laughed, revealing a set of nicotine-yellowed teeth. I noticed that his tongue was pierced. “My name’s Richard. Richard Stainbridge. But my friends call me Francesca.” He giggled again and held out a limp right hand. I tried to give him a regular handshake, but only managed to touch the tips of his outstretched fingers.

“Pleased to meet you, Richard. Well, until later then. Don’t want to be late for work.”

I tried to go, but he wasn’t finished with our little conversation. “Have you met your other neighbor yet? The one in Number Six?”

“Other neighbor? No, I don’t think so. The only other person I’ve run into here was a short little Hispanic woman with a nasty tongue. Yesterday afternoon.”

“That would be her,” Richard replied. “Gloria. Everybody’s sweetheart. We’re going to be quite a happy little family, the three of us. Well, tah tah.” He sped down the stairs ahead of me and was out the door before I could take three paces.

* * *

My room was closer to work than Laura’s apartment, so I arrived at the office fifteen minutes earlier than usual. And my bus stop was just across the street. What could be more convenient? A historic building, steps away from public transportation, vibrant city living, charming neighbors, etc. It sounded like an advertisement for an upscale condo.

I hoped that my problems with Mary would be over. I was determined to make a fresh start. No éclairs or donuts at my desk this morning. I was hungry, but I could always sneak out for a snack later. I immediately turned on my computer and got to work, quickly reading down the list of e-mails. Most of it was garbage, as usual. But one message in particular caught my eye. It was flagged with a red exclamation mark (“high priority”) and bore the title “Your Employment Status” in the subject line. Mary had sent it earlier that morning.

I opened her message and began reading:

Dear Mr. Felton,

The world of information technology has undergone vast changes in recent years. As you are no doubt aware, aggressive competitors in emerging markets such as China and India are increasingly forcing us to adopt stringent cost-cutting measures. If we are to survive going forward into the future, we must transform ourselves into an agile, fast-moving, lean organization and eliminate bloated structures that slow us down and hold us back.

Thus it is absolutely essential for us reallocate resources and focus on our core competencies. This will necessitate a strategic reduction in the expanding size of our workforce, whereby only those team members who are able to adapt to the new realities and pull their own weight will be allowed to remain on staff. Out of necessity, we must tighten our belts and cut excess fat in order to remain competitive in today’s business environment.

I therefore regret to inform you that, effective immediately, your services will no longer be required by the company. Please remember that under the terms of your employment the company has the right to terminate you at any time, with or without cause and without any advance notice.

Please contact the Human Resources Department immediately to ensure a smooth transition. You may be eligible for limited severance pay based on your years of service . . .


I didn’t bother to read the rest. I clenched my fists and started to hyperventilate. That coward! A cold, impersonal e-mail! Rotten, dirty little bitch! The underlined parts were certainly her idea, a final twist of the knife in my fat gut. I took a deep breath and sat back in my chair to consider my options. What now? I could walk into Mary’s office and beat her to a pulp, or maybe just sit on her face until she suffocated under my fat ass. Or I could delete crucial files and sabotage their system. Or come back with an AK-47 and shoot the place to smithereens. Or curl up into a fetal position under my desk . . .

I decided to reply to Mary with a poison pen message of my own. I would tell her where to shove her corporate double talk. The computer had logged itself off so I re-entered my user ID and password. **Access denied** I must have mistyped. Try it again. **Access denied** Crap! One more time. **The computer has been locked and can only be accessed by a network administrator** Well, hell, I was a network administrator, but I knew it was hopeless. I gave up. I was defeated.

Two guys from the company’s on-site security service approached my desk. One of them, a middle-aged man who had probably lost his own white-collar job and been forced to take a minimum wage position as a security guard, read me my rights. “Mr. Felton, we’re here to escort you out of the building. We will give you a few minutes while you gather your personal belongings.” He folded the arms of his blue long-sleeved shirt and stood like a statue.

I’m not the kind of person who decorates his cubicle with all kinds of personal mementos. The only personal belonging I had was a framed picture of a smiling Laura in a lovely summer dress. I had taken it during one of our Sunday afternoon picnics in the park. Happy times. I took it from the top of my desk and got up from my chair to take that long final walk to the gallows, the guards on either side of me as if I might try to escape. “One last request,” I said. I walked up to the “Don’t Let Obesity Slow You Down” poster next to my desk and tore it off the wall. I managed to get most of it. Another souvenir for my collection.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #57
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Default Depressing.

So, is this story ever going to be positive for the hero?
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #58
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So, is this story ever going to be positive for the hero?
Agreed, it's becoming a real downer.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:39 PM   #59
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Don't pay attention to them, i think it's intriguing
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:20 PM   #60
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At least it was over. I was without a job, but I was a free man. No more Mary to persecute me. No Laura to feed me. And since I no longer had a right to use the company Fitness Center, no Susie either. A lone wolf. An outcast, a leper. Me versus the World.

For lunch I stopped at the Chinese buffet on the way home from what was now my former place of employment. It was cheap and the food was practically limitless. The shy Asian girl who took away my empty plates was impressed. “Oh, you so strong. You big, strong guy. You like food, yes? Lots of food, yes?” I always had a thing for Oriental women, but when I tried to strike up a conversation, she just smiled and nodded her head. “You come again,” she said as she brought me my fortune cookie. Romance is right around the corner, it said.

I stood at the light waiting for the next bus. I looked around the corner, but so far no romance was coming my way. People who put their hopes in fortune cookies are pathetically desperate. Grasping at straws. I was one of them. Any ray of light, however weak, is welcome when you’re at rock bottom. Maybe things would get better. Maybe soon.

With excruciating slowness, I climbed the steps to my room on the second floor. Don’t believe what they say about Chinese food not being filling. My belly was stuffed and lifting myself and my lunch up those stairs required a superhuman effort. After all, wouldn’t you be exhausted if you had to haul something weighing 400 pounds up a flight of stairs?

I flopped onto the broken down brown couch and took a nap to let that immense lunch settle. Eating made me feel better, especially now that my life was total shit. Everyone has his or her addiction, and I had mine. Maybe Laura had the right attitude. Better to live for the pleasures of the day and not worry about the consequences tomorrow. If you drink, you get drunk. If you eat, you get fat. So what? What does it matter?

I felt a little less sluggish when I woke up an hour later. The first thing I decided to do was to get rid of those filthy, semen-stained bedsheets that were hanging in front of my windows. To help circulate the stuffy air, I opened the door to the corridor. Nobody was around; it was quiet. I took the curtains out of the Wal-Mart bag and wondered how I would be able to hang them up. I wasn’t tall enough to reach the top of the window. I pulled over two of the fragile wooden chairs from the table and managed to hoist my bulk up on top of them. This is suicide, I thought, trying to steady myself. Balancing precariously like a circus elephant performing tricks for the audience, I fumbled with the curtains until they were more or less in place. They were too short and didn’t quite reach all the way down to the window sill, but they were still a big improvement over what was there before.

I carefully climbed down and stood back to admire them. I was getting in touch with my inner interior designer and I swished my big round tush as I waddled back to the dining table so I could see them from a distance. They were pink and white in a lovely cherry blossom pattern. A Japanese theme, yes. I wondered if a dainty lace tablecloth with a vase full of freshly cut pussy willows would be appropriate to the decor I had in mind.

“How sweet! You should get Richard to help you.” I was startled by a voice behind me. Standing in the doorway was the little bitch who had called me a fat sow. “Maybe you two got something in common. Richard’s quite a fashion bug too.”

I turned and stared at her. I was still pissed off from yesterday and in no mood to forgive. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Nice guys finish last.

“You’re not sore, are you, puerquito? I’m not shy and I say what’s on my mind. Brutally honest. Some people take it the wrong way, that’s all. It’s a tough world and you gotta be tough too.”

“You’re right about that. I really am just a big fat sow, but my friends call me Bruce.”

“Bruce? Hah, that’s a good one. Seriously?”

“Yes, my name’s Bruce. It’s no joke, though I suppose it could be.” I should have added that it was a pleasure to meet her, but that would be a lie.

“Okay, fine. Then I’ll call you Bruce too. That means we’re friends, okay? I’m Gloria. Gloria Escobar, originally from San Juan, then Miami, then the Bronx, and finally this god-forsaken asshole of a city.”

“You’re Puerto Rican? I thought maybe you were Mexican.”

“Mexican? Oh please, don’t insult me! Todas las mexicanas son feas. Do I look like some ugly ass Mexican bitch to you? I’m a hot chick from the island and don’t you ever forget it. One hundred percent Puerto Rican and proud of it!”

I never thought Mexican women were particularly ugly, but then again, I was largely ignorant of the rivalries prevalent among the various Hispanic ethnic groups.

“So, Brucie, what’s a nice fat boy like you doing in a place like this?”

“It’s a long story. I lost my girlfriend. She kicked me out. And now I lost my job too.”

“Girlfriend? You had a girlfriend? That’s funny. Was she blind?”

I didn’t reply. I was starting to dislike Gloria more and more.

“Just kidding, puerquito,” she added quickly. “I’m not serious. Lots of girls like guys like you. You’re safe. We don’t have to worry that you’ll run after another woman. And all that pork is kinda fun.” She reached out and poked my belly. So who was I, the Pillsbury Doughboy? “Anyway, I hope you have better luck than the last guy who lived here.”

“Why? What happened to him?”

“He croaked. Died from an overdose. Heroin.”

“He died? Here?”

“No, not here, fatty. The cops found him dead in an alley somewhere. Poor fucker. He was kinda nice too, even if he was just a junkie who sold his ass for money.” She smiled, watching my expression to see if I was shocked. I was, but I tried not to show it.

“Life’s tough, ain’t it, sweetheart?” I tried my Humphrey Bogart imitation on her.

She laughed. “Sure as fuck is. It’s a fucked up world. But I gotta run. Here, here’s something for you. Welcome to the neighborhood, tubby.”

She took a box out of a plastic grocery bag and handed it to me. A dozen Hostess powdered sugar donuts. “Even in hell a man’s gotta eat,” she said. “I thought this would be perfect for a fat sow like you.” She winked at me.

I was surprised at her sudden display of hospitality. “Well, thank you, thanks. That’s very nice of you.”

“Nah, think nothing of it. You can pay me later.”
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:15 AM   #61
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So, is this story ever going to be positive for the hero?
Actually, I think this story is getting more and more interesting.

You're doing a good job in showing there's more to your characters than eating and gaining, which adds the much appreciated third dimension to them.

So looking forward to more!
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:20 AM   #62
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You're doing a good job in showing there's more to your characters than eating and gaining, which adds the much appreciated third dimension to them
.

Thanks, everyone, for the latest comments. I decided I wanted this to be more than just a typical "feeding" story, although that had been my original intention when I started. I appreciate the feedback - it helps me to know what you are all thinking, positive/negative/whatever. Next episode should be online later this week. Have a good week!
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #63
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That night in bed I found it impossible to sleep. Loud Caribbean dance music penetrated the wall from Gloria’s room. I heard Gloria’s shrill laughter and a man with a deep voice. Somebody pounded hard on the wall. “Bruce, wake up! Party time!” It was Gloria, obviously drunk. A bottle or glass shattered, followed by more laughter. They were obviously living la vida loca. I wondered whether I should get up, go over there, and tell them to keep the noise down, but I was wearing nothing but my oversized boxers and I didn’t feel like getting dressed. A fat guy standing in front of their door in his shorts would only have added to their merriment.

Irritated, I tossed over onto my other side, trying to ignore the disturbance. Richard seemed to be entertaining guests as well. I heard numerous male voices, more subdued, but chatting in a lively, excited way. They seemed to be having fun. Above the voices floated the sultry Mediterranean melody of Bolero, its sensual theme repeating itself over and over and over again. I caught an unmistakable whiff of pot, overlaid by the heavier fragrance of pungent incense.

The party in my room was in full swing too. Positioning myself so my belly would droop to one side, I reached around and under it, searching for an old friend I hadn’t seen in ages. I was so fat, it was hard for me to reach the damn thing. I pushed my belly flab out of the way with my arm, groped, and finally found it lurking in the mound of fat covering my groin. I gave it a gentle yank, then another and another. As it started to grow, it became easier to hold on to. I was interrupted briefly by the sound of another glass breaking at Gloria’s place, but then I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate. I thought about Susie, about the day I pretended to be Rocky Balboa on the treadmill and she reached over and so tenderly touched my belly. And about the other time when she pinched my fat between her fingers and measured its thickness, clearly enjoying every minute of it. I jerked more vigorously and began thrusting with my hips.

All of a sudden my one-man party was over. I squirted upwards against the new Wal-Mart bedsheets. It didn’t take long at all. From both sides of my room, the festivities were still going strong. I relaxed and fell asleep to an unusual musical mixture of Ravel and Ricky Martin.

At about a quarter to four an unfamiliar sound woke me out of a dream: I was sitting on a patch of green grass with Susie. There were big trees, the leaves were turning yellow and orange, it was shady and cool. It might have been in a park, but I wasn’t sure. Between us there was a large wicker picnic basket. Susie was taking food out of the basket and arranging it on a red and white checkered tablecloth that she had spread in front of us. She smiled at me and held up a dark red cherry by its stem and slid it between her lips into her mouth. She began chewing, slowly, savoring its tart sweetness. Then she took another cherry, I opened my mouth and she . . .

My eyes popped open in the dark. What was that sound? Squeak – squeak – squeak. I listened carefully. It seemed to be coming from Gloria’s room. Squeak – squeak – squeak. Steady, rhythmic, vaguely metallic. They followed each another at one second intervals. Soon the squeaking sound was joined by a low moan. The moan got louder, accompanied by a series of short Oh sounds. It was Gloria’s voice. Squeak, squeak, squeak – oh, oh, oh! The short oh’s turned into a couple of longer ah’s – aaahh, aaahhh. And all the while, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak! Never ending, steady like the patter of summer rain.

Now I knew exactly what the sounds were. I took my pillow and covered my ears, I didn’t want to hear. Through the material of the pillow I heard a long, loud, final Aaaahhh! Then the squeaking stopped, suddenly. Silence! The next sound would have been the heavy exhausted breathing of two sweaty bodies. I couldn’t hear it through the wall, of course, but I imagined it. I turned over and tried to fall back to sleep, but it was too late. I was wide awake.

* * *

In the days that followed, I became a regular visitor to the local branch of the public library, spending hours at a time using their internet connection in a half-hearted effort to find a new job. One of the librarians, a middle-aged woman with prematurely gray hair, made a special effort to help me, as if I were some poor ignorant dope who had never touched a keyboard before. Little did she know that I was the famous Bruce Felton, former network administrator for a major corporation, now temporarily unemployed through no fault of my own.

She pulled up a chair close beside me. “First, you must create an online account using your library card. You do have a library card, don’t you?” I shoved my card under her nose. “Yes, of course, thank you. -- Bruce, that’s a nice name. My name’s Pauline. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.” She smiled, revealing a set of slightly crooked front teeth. She moved her chair closer and leaned towards me while she pointed at the screen and explained the features of the library’s free online job search resources. Her other arm pressed against the side of my belly bulge. She turned her head and smiled her crooked smile again.

“Um, thank you, Pauline, thanks a lot. I think I can manage by myself now.”

“Certainly, Bruce. But if you need any help, just give a holler. I’ll be at the reference desk right over there. Glad to do it, feel free to ask me, anytime.” She walked away and looked back at me with yet another little smile, this time without showing her teeth. She exuded a vague but intriguing sex appeal, in spite of her orthodontic challenges.

I continued surfing the Net, but my search was fruitless. No jobs in my field at all, at least not anywhere within commuting distance of where I was living. There were a few openings in distant cities, but given my momentary financial and emotional weakness, it seemed like too much trouble to apply for a job in a faraway city and then be forced to relocate.

And what would happen if I did get an interview? I imagined myself dragging my poundage into a strange office, sitting across a table from some bored woman from Human Resources who would ask me inane questions while staring all the time at my lard. “You’re very qualified, Mr. Felton, but . . .” She wouldn’t come right out and say that I was too fat, of course, but she might make some lame excuse instead: “We’re really looking for someone with more of a background in blah, blah, blah.” Something like that.

I gave up on the job search for now and started looking at the local news. There was an article concerning rumors that my former company might be purchased by an out-of-town investment group. I glanced over at the reference desk and caught Pauline gawking at me. We made eye contact, she smiled an embarrassed little smile and quickly dropped her eyes to the book in front of her.

One quick game of Solitaire and then I was done at the library for the day. I deliberately gave my belly a wiggle as I passed Pauline on the way out. Just for fun. “Bye, Pauline, see you soon. Thanks so much for your help.” I gave her a big smile, maybe it would make her day. Why not, it didn’t cost me anything. She seemed surprised. “Yes . . . Bruce. Come back again soon. The library’s resources are, uh, always at your disposal.” She cleared her throat and shyly waved her fingers at me as I left.

I didn’t want to share my kitchen with the cockroaches and I wasn’t much of a cook anyway, so most of my meals were fast food. Sometimes I stopped at the supermarket and bought bagfuls of ready-to-eat junk food to take home. I stopped at McD’s on the way home from the library and ordered four quarter pounders. That was a full pound of beef, assuming each burger actually weighed a quarter of a pound like they said. Add to that three orders of fries for my daily quota of fattening carbohydrates and a super-sized vanilla shake to wash it all down.

I found a place to park my SUV-sized ass and started eating ravenously. Not that I was all that hungry, really, but the sensation of the food filling my mouth, and then my stomach, was comforting to me. I ate rapidly, stuffing the food into my mouth so that my already fat cheeks puffed out like a squirrel’s. I had lost all sense of good manners, of pride and concern for my outward appearance. I smacked my lips and grunted loudly while I ate, true to my animalistic nature as a big fat pig, and the people around me began noticing me. They either glanced away quickly in embarrassment and disgust, or they elbowed their companions and nodded in my direction. I met their look without the slightest bit of shame and licked my lips. This they found to be immensely entertaining. The only thing missing was my tight pink T-shirt. Otherwise, it was almost like that other time, eons ago, when Laura took me to the Food Court at the mall and put me on display for the amusement of the crowd. I finished eating and waddled with exquisite slothfulness up to the counter for a pair of ice cream cones dipped in chocolate, a sweet little dessert to top off my feast.

Other than my occasional trips to the library and my brief forays to shop or eat, most of the time I stayed holed up in my room. Now and then I would run into Gloria in the hallway. She would often poke my belly when she saw me, typically accompanied by a teasing or insulting comment, depending on how you looked at it. “Not losing any weight, are you, Brucie? I want you to stay fat.” Sometimes she would even knock at my door and drop off more food for me. She would give me a box of donuts or another calorie-laden snack and insist that I eat all of it while she sat next to me on the couch and watched. My resistance was completely broken and I would automatically eat whatever she fed me. “Eat, Brucie, eat, here, have some more, more! Eat, you big fat sow!” Whenever she did this she was almost like another version of Laura, but in a more crude, more evil incarnation. She would swig on a bottle of cheap wine while I gorged myself, then demand twenty dollars to pay for the food, roughly three or four times what she had actually paid for it.

Sometimes I would protest, mildly, but most times I caved in to her hustle and gave her the money. After all, other men willingly paid for a few moments of female companionship, why shouldn’t I? It seemed like a small price to pay. So desperate was I for company that I even started to enjoy the lash of her sharp abusive tongue.

One day she stayed in my room after I finished eating all her food. She told me about her life growing up in San Juan, about how her older brother had been killed right in front of their house in the crossfire between two rival gangs. She moved to Florida in her late teens and worked as a maid in a Miami Beach hotel. There she met her future husband and moved with him to New York, where he made his living dealing drugs in the Bronx and beating her up in his spare time. The marriage didn’t last long.

She eventually moved to our city and found work as an aide in a nursing home in the suburbs. “All those old codgers, sitting in their wheelchairs drooling on themselves, just waiting to croak,” as she described it. I shuddered to think that someday I might be dependent upon a woman like Gloria for my health care. Now I understood why people dreaded spending their final days in a nursing home.

“So, Brucie, tell me about this girlfriend of yours. What’s she like?”

“Ex-girlfriend,” I corrected her.

“Whatever. What did she look like? Was she real fat like you? Did you two, you know, do it together?” She smiled unashamedly, amused at the thought of two hugely obese people copulating.

I briefly described Laura, causing Gloria to laugh out loud in disbelief. “You mean, she was slender, skinny? Like me? You gotta be kidding. So, how did you do it? You must’ve done it, somehow.”

I didn’t want to go into the details, but I knew Gloria wouldn’t be satisfied until she got an answer. “Well, it was, basically, fat boy on the bottom, skinny girl on top. Then I would just lie there and she would . . . you know, up and down, on top of me.”

“You fat lazy pig! You let her do all the work. But that sounds cool. I’ve never done it with a fat boy before.”

She looked at me with a hint of interest and for a fleeting moment I had the impression that maybe I’d have an opportunity to squeak a few old bedsprings with her.

“You’re just like my Tio Alberto,” she continued. “He was so fat. The fattest man I ever knew. Until I saw you. When I was a little girl, I would sit on his leg and snuggle up against his big belly while he told me stories. Such a nice man. But then he died. He used to let me poke his fat tummy, just like this.”

She laughed and gave me another sharp poke to the spot where my ribs should have been. I realized that my similarity to her dead uncle greatly reduced my chances of sharing in anything more intimate with her.

From outside in the corridor we heard a rustle of paper bags and bottles clinking together. There was a knock on Gloria’s door. Then after a pause another knock, angrier this time. “Gloria, open the goddam door! What the fuck!”

“Oh my God,” she whispered. “It’s Carlos. He’ll kill me if he finds me in here with another man.”

I was pleased that she had finally acknowledged my existence as a real man. Not so pleased that in a few seconds I might have Carlos’ switchblade wedged between my layers of fat.

“Come with me to the door,” she commanded. “Let him see you. I’ll do the rest.”

“Gloria, is that really a good . . .”

She led me to the door, opened it, and stepped out into the hall. “You can pay me for the groceries later, fat ass. But next time you buy your own fuckin’ food, you fat tub of lard. Don’t you think I got better things to do than get stuff for you to shove into your fat face? You fat sow, why the hell don’t you go on a diet?”

She scolded me coarsely and then smiled at Carlos. “I had to go shopping, so I dropped off some food for fat boy here. He’s too fat and lazy to shop for himself. Can’t fit through the doors.” She poked my belly and then both she and Carlos started to laugh.

“You sure you’re not messing around with him?” Carlos joked. “Maybe you like that fat belly of his?”

“Him?” Gloria laughed again, cruelly. “Him? That fat piece of shit? How would he even do it? He’s too fat to fuck!”

She and Carlos went into her room and closed the door. The next thing I heard was the lively romantic beat of Latin music.


[Author’s note:] Listen in on Gloria’s party here (via You Tube) -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YtBZ...feature=fvwrel
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #64
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I like the twists and turns of this story and not being sure where it's going It's well told too
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #65
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Thank you - I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. Here comes the next chapter . . .
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #66
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The days passed in monotonous sameness. I bought a small flat screen TV so I would have something to keep me occupied during my idle hours. I got into the habit of watching soap operas and daytime talk shows while my fat immobile ass pressed down into the worn out cushions of the couch, an ample supply of munchies conveniently within arm’s reach.

Although it was already late summer, the days were still warm and I was uncomfortable in the stale humid air of my room. Unless I was going out, most times I didn’t bother to put on a shirt, but lounged around lazily wearing only a pair of comfy sweatpants or just my boxer shorts. My fat belly hung out obscenely, but who was there to see it?

My nice shirts, the ones I used to wear to work, didn’t fit me anymore. I didn’t have a scale, but I was gaining weight, I could tell. I must have been well over 400 pounds by now, maybe even over 425. I wondered what Laura would think if she could see me now. She would be ecstatic, no doubt. All that junk food was having an effect. Not much else to do but eat, sleep, watch TV, read magazines, or listen to the small collection of CD’s I had brought along from Laura’s apartment. I ate all day long, either snacks while at home or burgers and fries when I made the rounds of the assortment of fast food places that I was helping to keep in business. The only time I stopped was when I was at the public library, where eating was not allowed. I was living large, but not really lovin’ it.

Even taking a shower was difficult, owing to my enormous size. The stall was cramped and I was constantly bumping my big rear end or my elbows into the wall, or else the wet shower curtain would cling to my protruding belly with a creepy clammy feeling. I began skipping showers altogether, making do with a quick face wash in the morning. My body smelled and in a weird way I was enjoying my gradual transformation into a stinky, dirty, lazy, gluttonous pig. I avoided human beings as much as possible and took refuge in the safety of my room whenever I could.

One Friday evening at the end of August I was sprawled across the width of my couch reading a book from the library. It was a guide to romance for overweight people. It was wonderful, I thought, that someone would take the trouble to write such a helpful book for big girls and guys like me. We needed love and affection just as much, and maybe more, than everyone else. But for me the essential element was missing. I could read about sex and love until the cows came home, but without that special someone in my life, it was futile.

The building was unusually quiet. No sound at all came from Richard’s place. He had probably gotten himself all dressed up and gone out to cruise the cluster of gay bars that were located in a former industrial neighborhood about a mile or two away. Gloria must have been home alone because the only noise I heard from her side of the wall was the Spanish-language channel she was watching on TV. Maybe Carlos was being entertained by another woman tonight.

For once I felt relatively comfortable in my room. It was starting to get dark outside, the old-fashioned floor lamp cast a gentle incandescent glow, the music was mellow and calming, and my fat flowed free and unencumbered around me. My loose fitting gray sweatpants and a pair of beach sandals were enough clothing for the moment. I had a big bag of potato chips next to me and a two liter bottle of Coke. Maybe life wasn’t so bad after all.

I heard light footsteps outside in the corridor and then a quiet knock on Gloria’s door. That was not Carlos, I was sure of it. Someone else, a woman perhaps. I heard another knock and then Gloria’s loud voice as she got up to answer it. “Just a fuckin’ minute, okay?”

Gloria opened her door and I heard the unknown woman’s voice. Whoever it was, she was so shy and timid that I couldn’t make out what she was saying. It sounded like she was asking questions and I thought I heard my name mentioned.

Gloria’s voice came through loud and clear. “You’re looking for him? The big fat guy? He’s not here. You got the wrong apartment. Try next door, number seven. He’s probably home. He rarely leaves. Too fat to move.” She slammed the door shut, aggravated at having her telenovela interrupted for nothing.

There was a pause, as if the woman needed time to gather her courage and recover after her brief encounter with Gloria. I wondered who could be interested in visiting me at this time of day. Finally the knock came at my door, quiet and timid as before. It took me awhile to hoist myself up from the couch and I stood panting for a moment to catch my breath. In the meantime the mystery person knocked again, and then again. Like Gloria, I was getting irritated that my quiet idyllic evening was being disturbed.

I walked slowly over and opened the door. The door swung inward and I stood in front of the doorway, naked from the waist up. I blinked, not sure of what I was seeing. I opened my mouth to speak, but the words wouldn’t come.

She smiled. “Hello, Bruce. How are you? Long time no see.”

“I’m fine. Fine. Thanks.” I stood riveted to the spot and suddenly became embarrassed as I realized that she could see my fat in all of its blubbery glory.

“Aren’t you going to ask me in? You’re not going to let a pretty girl like me stand out here in the hall all night, are you?”

“No, of course not. Come in.” I stepped aside and she walked into my room. She looked around and seemed appalled by the depressing squalor of the place, even though she tried not to show it. She looked me over carefully, checking me out, observing how I had changed. Don’t look! I wanted to say. Please don’t look at me!

She didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed. And why should she be? It wasn’t the first time she had seen me like this. “You’ve gained weight, Bruce. You seem heavier than you were before.”

Was she pleased? Disgusted? I couldn’t tell. “Yes, I am fatter, I’m afraid. I’m on the Fast Food Quick Weight Gain Diet. It works every time.”

“I see you still have your sense of humor.”

“I guess so. Might as well make the best of a bad situation. You’ve changed too.” She was wearing glasses and her hair was different. She had gotten rid of the ponytail and had even gained a little weight herself. Not much, of course, but her breasts and hips had pleasingly soft curves that I hadn’t noticed before. “The glasses make you look smart,” I said.

“You mean I didn’t look smart before?” She smiled and playfully pinched one of my love handles. That part about her hadn’t changed.

“How did you ever find me?”

“When you stopped showing up, I called your office number, but all I got was a voice message saying you were no longer there. I didn’t know what to do. I missed you terribly and I was afraid I would never see you again. Then I remembered that I had a home phone number on your paperwork from when you first started with me. I called and a woman answered. Your girlfriend, I suppose. But then she told me that you weren’t there either, that you had moved out. I asked her if she knew how to contact you. At first she didn’t want to tell me, but then she gave me your address, here. She refused to give me your cell phone number.”

“So that’s why you’re here?”

“Yes, that’s why I had to show up at your door unannounced. I’m sorry, I would’ve called first if I had been able to. I’m so glad to see you, Bruce. I really am. You can’t imagine.”

“I missed you too, Susie.”

She stepped forward and put her arms around me and squeezed, so tight that her arms pressed into the soft flesh. I could feel the tips of her fingers as they dug into my back fat. She laid her head on my chest and her tears tickled as they ran down my bare tummy. I put my arms around her too, but I couldn’t say anything. I was embarrassed that she would find me in this condition, unwashed and even fatter than before. I hoped my body odor wouldn’t turn her off.

She didn’t seem to mind. She put her hand behind my neck and pulled me towards her. We kissed, shyly at first, but then more passionately. I opened my mouth and our tongues touched. The smooching, smacking sound made by our lips was like the noise I made when I was eating with unrestrained delight. Except that she tasted so much sweeter than any food I had ever eaten. This was food I wanted more of.

We stopped and smiled at each other. “More of that and I could stop overeating for once. Maybe forever.”

She pinched my chubby cheek. “It was nice. I’m so happy to be with you, Bruce. But let’s not talk about weight or eating. Not now. Don’t even think about it. I’m not your fitness trainer anymore.”

I took her by the hand and led her over to the couch. “Would you like to sit down and have some wine? Maybe I should go and put a shirt on.”

“Don’t you dare,” she answered. “Why are you so shy all of a sudden? Have you forgotten all those times when you were on the treadmill? With your naked belly showing? I guess I never told you how much I enjoyed that.”

While Susie was making herself comfortable on the couch, I fetched a jug of Carlo Rossi Chianti from the fridge. I didn’t have any wine glasses, but I did have a couple of styrofoam coffee cups. I found a block of American cheese slices and arranged them in what I thought was an artfully overlapping pattern on a paper plate.

I handed Susie the cheese plate and poured the wine into her cup. “Wow! You sure know how to treat a girl right, Bruce.”

“Only the best, Susie. But I’m afraid the hired help is off tonight.” I raised my cup to hers and made a toast. “Here’s to good friends.”

“Just friends?”

We sat next to each other on the broken down old couch. My weight caused my side to sink almost to the floor. The cushion where Susie was sitting shot up into the air. We were like two mismatched people on a seesaw. The imbalance caused her to slide against me, almost making her spill her wine. “Are you alright?” I asked.

“I’m fine. Did you plan it this way? Is this how you get women to snuggle up to you on the couch?” She cuddled up beside me and put her hand on my belly.

I told her all about my life ever since the company canned me. She listened sympathetically as I described why the company had let me go, my problems with Mary, the breakup with Laura, and how I ended up living in this godforsaken place. I even told her about Gloria and the night of the squeaking bedsprings.

Although she didn’t want to discuss food or eating, I told her about my feeding binge of the last few weeks. “That’s why I gained so much weight,” I explained. “I’m not much of a cook, so most of the time I went out for fast food, and lots of it.”

“That’s not good for you.”

“I know, but the food seems to help.”

“Helps what, Bruce? How has it helped you?” There was an undertone of reproval in her voice. I shrugged. “Life is hard,” she continued. “It sucks, more often than not. But it can be nice too, like when two people care for each other.”

“Been there, done that,” I replied bitterly.

“Maybe she wasn’t right for you.”

We sat together in silence and sipped our wine. She relaxed and made little geometric patterns on my paunch with her fingers. She seemed to be thinking about something. I shifted my weight and put my big arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer. “Is this okay? You don’t mind, do you?”

“Not at all. What took you so long?”

She kissed me again and pinched one of my rolls. “You really like to do that, don’t you,” I said.

“I love it. But I can’t tell you what I went through before I could admit it to myself.”

“Tell me,” I said.

She took another sip of wine and I refilled her cup. “It’s hard to explain. When I first saw you, I was shocked. You were just so . . . big. I mean, your waist measurement was the same as your height. Remember? And when I calculated your body mass, it was astronomic, off the charts. I had never seen anything like it before. I was worried too. I thought, this guy’s a dead man. He’s going to drop any minute now.”

“But I didn’t, did I? And I didn’t do all that bad with the exercising either, right?”

“You did fine. Much better than I expected. But you were still too fat to tie your own shoelaces, remember that?”

I remembered, and a shadow of shame and embarrassment crossed my mind. “That was terrible,” I said. “I was just mortified.”

“Actually, I thought it was kind of cute. In fact, I think that was the moment when I first started liking you.”

“Really? Even though I’m so tremendously fat?”

“That was the hard part for me. Me, the stuck up fitness fanatic. The one who would rather die than skip a day without jogging, no matter what the weather was like. I realized that I was attracted to this huge guy and I didn’t understand it. What would my friends say? Susie’s gone off the deep end, they would say. She’s got some kind of fat fetish.”

“Do you?” I asked.

“Do I what?”

“Have a fat fetish?”

“No, I don’t think so. It’s just that you’re so massive, so powerful. Like a sumo wrestler or something. It’s amazing. And I love your softness, I love touching you.” She took a big gulp of wine, drinking in more courage for her confession. “You’re just so . . .”

“Fat?”

“Well, yes, damn it. You’re fat. Very fat. You know it, and I know it. I mean, after all, we’re not stupid. But why should it matter? I like you because you’re you. Fat, thin, whatever -- it isn’t that important either way. Though I have to admit, I do enjoy playing with it.” She gave me another pinch and laughed with a snort. The wine was starting to have an effect.

“Anyway,” she continued after another sip, “it took me some time to come to terms with my . . . preference, let’s say. And my relationship with my boyfriend Brett was going nowhere. He was so built, so muscular, sexy, everything a woman should want, but . . .”

“In other words, everything I’m not,” I interjected. I had a mental image of this Brett and I was feeling inferior.

“Exactly, Bruce. You’re right. He was everything you’re not. He was boring, conceited, humorless, and crude. He had no idea how to treat a woman, no idea how to make a girl laugh. So, yes, he was the complete opposite of all the things I love in you.”

“You don’t mind that I’m just a big fat lazy pig?”

She suddenly became angry. “No, Bruce. Stop it! You’re fat. And maybe you’re lazy too, for all I care. So what? But don’t you ever call yourself a pig. I’m not in love with a pig, I’m in love with a man.” She fell silent. She realized she had said more than she intended to. “There, I’ve said it. Now you know how I feel.” She slid closer to me and lowered her voice. “I love you, Bruce. I’ve been trying to deny it all this time, but I can’t anymore. I want to be with you. You make me happy. And I want you to be happy too. And healthy. God, I don’t want to lose you!”

She leaned her head against me and I held her tight. “Susie, why didn’t you say something sooner? I thought maybe I was just imaging it, the way you looked at me, the way you touched me. I thought it was impossible, impossible that I would ever have a chance with you. The fat man and the fitness freak. What an odd couple we’d be.”

“I think we’d be a wonderful couple, Bruce. And I’m not ashamed of you, not in the least. I was thinking, well, maybe this is a guy I’d want to spend some time with, like for the future. Long-term. Fat or not.”

“So all this soft stuff doesn’t bother you?” I took her hand and put it on my stomach.

She didn’t answer. She emptied her cup of wine and gave me another belly poke. Then one more, and another, and another one after that. We wrestled like two silly teenagers horsing around. I finally had to beg her for mercy.

We sat on the couch a long time and talked. The jug of wine was already more than half gone. I struggled to get up from the couch and she had to put both hands on my ass to push me up. She giggled and started to hiccup. I put a CD on the clock radio’s built-in CD player. “Would you like to dance?”

“Love to.” *Hic*

We danced slowly in circles to an odd medley of romantic tunes from the 60’s to the present. The bare floor was perfect for dancing. I was a little awkward because of my size, but she closed her eyes, laid her head on my chest, and put her arms around my middle like a girl at a high school dance. We swayed back and forth and I pressed her against me. For once, I felt like I was in love. Really in love.

“You’re a good dancer for a big guy,” she said.

“Thanks. You’re a good dancer too. For a skinny girl.”

We danced to vintage hits like A Whiter Shade of Pale and Santana’s incredibly sexy Samba Pa Ti. By the time we heard Whitney Houston’s voice, it was too much emotion for both of us and the tears started to flow. And I . . . will always love you . . . Will always . . . love you . . . You, my darling you, bittersweet memories . . .

The song ended and we stopped dancing. I brushed a tear away from her eye and we kissed. “It’s late,” she said.

“Yes, it’s getting late.”

“I really should be going . . .” We kissed again.

“Stay with me, Susie. Please. Just for this one night. I’ll sleep on the couch.”

“Yes, I will, Bruce. I’ll stay with you. But neither one of us is sleeping on the couch.”

We discovered that the old brass bed still had some life left in it. She fell asleep with her hand tucked into the deep crease beneath my belly. I fell asleep with my hand between her legs, guarding a treasure that would soon be mine.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:47 PM   #67
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It was raining when we woke up late on Saturday morning. The raindrops made gray streaks on the dirty windows. Outside a few Transit Authority buses were moving slowly in and out of the garages. The softer light filtering through the rain clouds gave the ugly urban landscape a mellow look, a rare tranquility, as if peace had suddenly returned to the world. The same scene would have appeared different to me yesterday. Life can change in an instant, with a knock on the door, a kiss, a hug.

Susie lounged in bed while I went into the bathroom to take a shower. The hot water felt good on my body, but as usual I could hardly maneuver in that narrow space that was much too cramped for a person of my dimensions. I held the bar of soap in my hand, but I still couldn’t reach certain parts of my body and I kept hitting my elbows against the wall. I swore loudly each time, frustrated that I was too big to take a decent shower like a normal person.

Unexpectedly, I heard Susie’s voice from the other side of the curtain. “Bruce, do you need help in there? Maybe I should wash behind your ears for you.” After so many weeks of solitary existence, I had almost forgotten that I was no longer alone. She pulled back the plastic shower curtain and watched as the drops of water rolled down my curving belly and disappeared into the drain. It was a little like the shower scene from Psycho, except that I wasn’t a shapely young lady and she wasn’t Anthony Perkins holding a knife.

She was stark naked too, and if I hadn’t been so big and the shower stall so small, I’m sure she would have stepped in to join me. Instead she held out her hand. “Give me that bar of soap, big boy. I’ll wash your back for you.”

I carefully turned so that my back and rear end were facing her. The water was splashing off of me and onto the floor, getting her wet in the process, but she came closer and lovingly soaped up my shoulders, moving slowly down to the back fat covering my shoulder blades, and then on down to my lower back.

She didn’t stop there. I felt both of her hands on my ass cheeks, lathering and scrubbing them with a degree of thoroughness that surprised me. She moved her hands around the fat on my butt as if she were measuring its heft, lifting it gently, and then pushing the cheeks inward against each other. Ever the professional, I thought. She’s probably making body mass calculations in her head.

She continued working her way downward and washed the back of my legs and my feet. She stood up and brushed the moist hair away from her face. “How’s that? Now at least you’re halfway clean. Do you want me to do the front too? Hmmm?” She smiled and gave me another one of her signature belly pinches.

All this was a bit much for me. Too much, too fast. I wasn’t sure if she was really serious. “Um, no, I think I’m okay for now. Maybe some other time.”

“Fine. Some other time then. It’ll give me something to look forward to. Now rinse off and get out of there. It’s my turn.”

I walked out, careful not to slip on the wet floor, and she moved past me into the shower. The water was still running. “Now you have to wash me,” she said.

I soaped up my hands and washed her shoulders and back, amazed that I could feel the sharpness of her shoulder blades through her skin. I got as far as her waist and stopped. “Not done yet, Bruce. Keep going.” I gently washed her bottom and couldn’t keep myself from massaging and squeezing her round compact cheeks. I estimated they were about a tenth the size and weight of mine. I gave her a little pinch on her butt. “Hey, watch it there,” she yelped. “This isn’t some Italian movie.”

She turned around and seemed pleased with my work. “And now the front too. You might still be too shy, but I’m not.” I held her firm wet breasts in my hands and rubbed the frothy soap over them. She closed her eyes and arched her back, thrusting her breasts at me in all of their natural beauty. I continued soaping them up, devoting particular care to the nipples, which were now hard and erect. I was erect too. She was starting to breathe faster and suddenly she put her hand on mine. “Stop now, Bruce,” she whispered. “Otherwise we’ll both end up back in bed.”

She quickly finished the rest of her shower, turned off the water, and we stood together in a sticky naked embrace before drying each other off with a rough towel.

She smiled and held my hand as she led me back into the main room. “That was quite refreshing,” she said. “But I hope you don’t think I do that with everyone. I’ve certainly never done it with anyone like you. You never cease to amaze me, Bruce. Maybe I do have a little bit of a fat fetish after all.”

She had no choice but to put her clothes back on from yesterday, but I dressed in a clean pair of khaki trousers and a red T-shirt. It was a little tight and didn’t quite cover my belly all the way to the waist, but it was the best I could do. I was panting slightly from the effort of getting dressed.

“Want me to help you with your shoes?” Susie teased. I sat down on the edge of the bed and she put the sneakers on my feet and tied the laces, securing them with a double knot. It was the same pair of shoes I had worn while working out with her at the Fitness Center.

Susie’s car was parked on the street where she had left it the night before. I walked around it slowly, inspecting it for damage, relieved to see that it had escaped any random acts of mindless vandalism. She slid nimbly behind the steering wheel while I squeezed myself into the passenger’s seat. I had a sudden sense of déjà vu.

The waitress at the restaurant was surprised to see me seated at the table with a different companion. “Oh, you have a new . . .” I discretely put my index finger in front of my lips and she had the intelligence to shut her gum-chewing mouth. “What can I bring you this morning?" she asked me. "You want the all-you-can-eat pancakes, hon?”

“No thanks. I’ll have the two poached eggs with whole wheat toast instead,” I ordered.

She turned to Susie. “And you, dear?”

“Actually, I think I’ll have the pancakes. All you can eat, you said? That’s exactly what I want. I have a hunger like you wouldn’t believe.”

The waitress took our menus. Her facial expression was a picture of confusion.

We chatted pleasantly over breakfast. Aside from my daily workouts at the Fitness Center and our occasional lunches at the company cafeteria before I got fired, this was the first time we had gone out together. She filled me in about the latest gossip at work. Rumor had it that the top management was in discussions with a Chinese investment group who wanted to buy the company and move the entire operation to Shanghai.

“That means Mary would lose her job,” I said with malicious glee. “Unless she speaks Chinese.”

“It means I would lose my job too, silly,” Susie remarked. “I don’t know Chinese either.”

“I found something online at the library the other day. It was for a systems administrator in the IT Department at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Right up my alley. Too bad it’s so far away.”

Susie swallowed a mouthful of buttermilk pancakes and abruptly put down her fork. “Hawaii? Are you kidding? We finally get together and now you want to leave me for sexy hula hula girls with flowers in their hair?”

“No, Susie, I don’t want to leave you. Never. We belong together.” I smiled and took a bite of toast, stringing her along. “But . . . it just so happens that the University also has an opening for a physical education trainer at its Fitness Center for students and faculty. It would be the perfect job for you.”

“Bruce, that would be a dream come true. Do you think it would really work out for us? Imagine the two of us living in Hawaii!”

“Why not? We should apply and see what happens.” I took her hand in mine and looked into those beautiful brown eyes of hers. “But I swear to you, I’m not going without you. Unless we both get the job, it’s a no go. No doubt about it.” She squeezed my hand and leaned across the table to kiss me. I tasted pancakes and maple syrup.

“You’re going to need new clothes, Bruce. Whether you get the job or not. The ones you have on now look a little snug, don’t you think? Let’s go to the mall this afternoon and do some shopping.”
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #68
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Great continuation, thanks.

I am really enjoying this story.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:26 PM   #69
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Default The Circle is complete.

Good place to end it.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #70
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Good place to end it.
End it?? No! Good place to keep it going
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:07 PM   #71
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Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments. Well, the story isn't quite finished yet . . .
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:23 PM   #72
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I had avoided going back to the mall ever since the day I was there with Laura. Susie took my arm and we walked slowly past the shops, looking but not really doing any serious shopping. Just like the last time with Laura, curious glances from the other shoppers accompanied us wherever we went. They seemed incapable of believing that a grossly fat guy like me could be seen strolling arm in arm with a shapely attractive woman like Susie. It just didn’t fit into their view of how the world was supposed to work. Maybe he’s rich and she’s with him because of his money? Or maybe she’s a paid escort?

I glanced at her as we walked side by side. Was I dreaming? Was this just a cruel trick? I was so happy, there had to be something wrong. Sooner or later she would burst out laughing and point at my fat belly. You fool! How could you ever think I would be attracted to a fat slob like you?

But every now and then she squeezed my arm and turned to smile at me. She seemed supremely happy too. It had to be true, though I still didn’t understand it. A fat man happy and in love. It just didn’t seem possible. Fat people were supposed to be lonely and miserable.

We went into Sears and headed for the Big & Tall section. I always wondered why they called it that. I suppose it sounded better than Short & Fat. Susie started going through the racks of men’s shirts, looking for the largest sizes she could find. “You need some nice comfortable shirts for when you go on your job interviews,” she said. She was more of an optimist than I was.

As we were looking for a size that would actually fit me, I saw an extremely large Hispanic man with his girlfriend or wife looking at trousers nearby. She was just like Susie, short, trim, and very pretty, but he was huge – he must have weighed as much as me or more.

He was holding up a pair of extra, extra wide blue jeans, and she was standing very close beside him and discreetly caressing one roll of his belly fat. Susie noticed them too.

“See?” she said. “You didn’t think it was possible for a woman like me to be into a big guy like you. That gal’s crazy about him, no doubt about it. Wait until they get home.” I got goosebumps. Was she a mind reader too?

“But maybe he was skinny when they first met and then he got fat gradually over time,” I said.

“That’s possible, but either way, she’s totally into him just as he is now.” She paused and touched my belly. “When you’re in love, you love the whole person, body and soul.” She gave me a sweet little kiss and out of the corner of my eye I saw that the Hispanic couple was smiling. They were watching us too.

I was about ready to give up, but after another ten minutes of diligent searching, Susie found three dress shirts that might fit me. “Go into the fitting room and try them on. Maybe we’ll get lucky.”

I came back wearing one of them, a beige long-sleeved button-down shirt. Susie walked around me checking the fit. She pulled on the material covering my round belly. “Still a tiny bit tight in the front, but I think it’ll do. If you lose just a few pounds, it would be perfect. Did I ever tell you I have a treadmill of my own in my apartment? You are hereby invited to enroll in Susie’s personalized fitness program for new boyfriends.”

“Oh, do you put all your new boyfriends through an exercise program?”

“Only the extra special ones like you. And don’t start complaining already. You’re going to love it. It’ll be just like old times. Plus I get to watch you again and see you move that beautiful body of yours. That’s a pleasure I’ve really missed.”

I paid for the shirts and we headed back into the mall’s main atrium. It was even more congested than when we first arrived and my size and width forced the crowds to yield in front of us. I felt like Charlton Heston parting the waters of the Red Sea, or like the Titanic, majestically plowing my way forward through the waves of people. They smirked and laughed at me, or rather, laughed at us. Nine out of ten women wouldn’t be caught dead being seen in public with a whale like me, but Susie was completely at ease. She didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. We were on top of the world.

“I’m famished, Bruce. Let’s head for the Food Court and get something to eat.”

Man oh man, that was about the last place on earth I wanted to go that afternoon. Memories of my previous humiliating experience were still vivid. We sat down at a table just a few steps away from where I sat the last time when I was the mall’s featured fat man du jour. But then again, Susie wasn’t Laura, right? It was a new day.

I was about to head off to get us something to eat when Susie pushed me back down onto the metal bench. “Stay here, Bruce. I’ll go find something for both of us.” I groaned inwardly. Why did this scene seem familiar to me? Talk about déjà fuckin’ vu.

As Susie disappeared into the crowd, I sat and watched the humanity around me. This time, nobody really paid much attention to me. I was enormously fat, of course, but at least I wasn’t wearing that eye-popping bright pink T-shirt. And my body wasn’t covered with tattoos, I didn’t have any body piercings in my lips, nose, ears, or nipples, and I didn’t have a mohawk haircut or hair dyed some color that doesn’t occur naturally in human beings. All in all, I was pretty “normal.” If I was a freak, so was everybody else.

The food vendors were busy, even though it was already well past the traditional lunch hour. The line at McD’s was the longest, populated primarily by pimply teenagers and young couples with small children. Three or four people stood in line at Mrs. Field’s Cookies. At the head of the line, a fat guy was buying a huge bag of cookies. He was younger than me, had blond hair, and a smooth soft baby face that looked like it had never felt the bite of a razor blade. He looked like a college student or maybe a recent graduate. He wasn’t as fat as me, but if he ate goodies like that all the time, he would soon be my rival in obesity.

As he took the bag from the clerk and started to move away from the counter, I was able to see that he had a female companion. His big body partially blocked my view, but then he took a few slow steps and heavily plunked his bulk down on a bench under a ficus tree (or whatever those spindly little trees in indoor shopping malls are called). Now I could see his girlfriend clearly. She was grinning from ear to ear as she opened the bag and began feeding the big guy cookies that seemed to be six inches in diameter.

It wasn’t possible, was it? I looked again just to be sure. It was unmistakably Laura. My Laura. She hadn’t changed a bit. And the feeding was definitely her m.o. Her new boyfriend passively opened his mouth as one cookie after another disappeared down his gullet. I could almost see him gaining weight. Laura was in seventh heaven, sitting close beside him, pressing up against his soft fat. I wasn’t sure if I should feel sorry for him, knowing full well how rapidly he would pack on the pounds in the future. Or maybe I was a little bit jealous.

They were too engrossed in each other to care much about the people around them, but there was still the chance that she might glance randomly in my direction. Should I try to move further away so she wouldn’t see me? But that would probably attract even more attention. Or hide behind one of the little ficus trees? Yeah, right. My three foot wide body lurking behind the four inch wide tree trunk. Very stealthy, Bruce. So I decided to stay put, holding my breath, trying to blend into my natural surroundings like a river hippo on Animal Planet.

Finally Susie showed up with our meal, providing a momentary diversion. The tray she was carrying was piled high with fast food. Five cheeseburgers, two orders of fries -- one large and one small -- a super-sized vanilla shake, and a diet Coke.

I looked in horror at the amount of food on her tray. “Susie, that’s unreal. Is all that for me?”

“Of course not, sweetie. This is for you.” She handed me one of the cheeseburgers, the small fries, and the diet soda. “The rest is for me. I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Even after that big breakfast, I’m still hungry. I could eat a horse.”

She launched voraciously into the cheeseburgers while I nibbled delicately on my fries. I had never seen her eat like that before. In less than fifteen minutes, she had finished everything except for a noisy gurgle of the shake remaining in the bottom of her cup. She sat back and burped, rubbing the little round bulge of her tummy.

“Ahh, that was delicious!” she sighed contentedly. “I’ll have to hit the treadmill when I get home. I really made a pig of myself.”

I laughed. “Susie, I’m not in love with a pig, I’m in love with a woman!”

She laughed at that too and sat there lazily while her immense lunch settled. “Help me up, Bruce. I can’t move. I’m positively stuffed.” I gave her my hand and she stood unsteadily on her feet. Unlike me, she was obviously unused to eating so much food at one time.

We carried our shopping bags and walked slowly towards the exit. I held her arm to support her as she waddled along like a pregnant woman. “Come on, fatty,” I teased.

On our way out, we passed a shop selling swimwear. They were having an end of summer sale. Susie stopped and looked at the bikini-clad mannequins in the window. “We should go to the beach while there’s still time,” she said. “Do you have a pair of trunks, Bruce? Swimming is an excellent form of exercise.”

* * *

That was our first and last time together at the mall. At least, at that particular mall. As things turned out, we did have a chance to go to the beach. Waikiki Beach. On the weekends when we weren’t working. My new supervisor, a middle-aged Japanese-American named Mary Hashimoto, was very nice to me and didn’t seem to mind my weight at all. In fact, it was she who informed me about the amateur sumo wrestling club on campus. I was easily the heaviest wrestler of them all and I enjoyed bouncing the “little guys” out of the ring. Susie was my unofficial trainer.

She landed the job at the University’s Fitness Center. She taught a special class for women called “Fitness for Fatties.” It was her idea. You see, she believed that overweight women would feel more comfortable working out with a trainer who was somewhat plump herself. Oh, did I forget to tell you? Susie had developed some exceedingly pleasant curves herself. Maybe it was because of my influence. I loved taking a thick wedge of her belly fat between my thumb and index finger and pinching it. Sometimes I would give her a poke. Occasionally I even did it with my finger.

We had a traditional Hawaiian wedding on the beach just as the sun was rising over the top of Diamond Head. I was wearing a colorful aloha shirt and white trousers. Susie was wearing a holoku, the customary white Hawaiian wedding dress with a crown of tropical flowers in her hair. The ethnic Hawaiian pastor who officiated was a fellow member of our sumo team. We didn’t plan on going to Hawaii for our honeymoon because, well, frankly, we were already there.

Susie soon started putting on even more weight and her belly swelled and swelled. Now she really did waddle like a pregnant woman. She developed a craving for cheddar cheese and strawberry smoothies. Little Brucie had a cute, chubby, kissable face, just like his father (that would be me). Boy, did that kid have an appetite!
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #73
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Very nice ending.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #74
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A Spectacular Read And Nicely Finished. I Sure Hope To See Some More Of Your Work. Congrats On A Piece So Well Written
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:51 PM   #75
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This was so enjoyable - and it sure did keep me guessing! Very well-written, and I love your sense of humor - it really comes out in your writing.
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