Eating My Pain Away

— Melanie Barry —

A Philosophical Short Story of Foodism and the Fat Biatch 

Yea, so I’m a fat biatch. And yes, that’s “biatch” with an “a.” It’s become my signature spelling and allows me to refer to people (women, men, animals) in a light-hearted, inoffensive way. Anyway, back to my being fat. Do I hate it? Not necessarily. I get two seats on the subway and when I apply a menacing look to my face, skinny biatches run in fear (no really—they do). I’ve also never technically had to hit someone. My size, accompanied by my loud mouth, really intimidates people. I, however, like to believe it’s my beauty and my wit. When you’re fat, you have to be witty. Otherwise, you become a shell of yourself, allowing the insults and rude remarks to eat away at you (pun intended), which in turn, forces you to eat.

Well, it used to force me to eat. Nowadays, nothing forces me to eat, I just do it. Eating, for some, is not just nutritional nourishment; it’s soul nourishment. It’s comfort on those days when only a warm hug from someone you love will do. It’s guaranteed satisfaction; a definitive food orgasm of flavors and textures. And for a single New Yorker who lives alone, food provides the comfort and satisfaction that I sometimes don’t receive elsewhere.

My dad passed away 6 years ago; my mom passed away 3 years after that. And my favorite aunt, whom I loved like a mother, 6 months after that. What does this have to do with my being fat and in love with food? A lot, actually. I’m an only child. I grew up feeling so special and so blessed, thinking that I was such a gift to my parents that they didn’t need any more kids; just me. Growing up being showered with unabashed and undivided attention and affection really does something for a kid. In my case, it created a monster. I sincerely grew up thinking that everyone should treat me as my parents did. And boy, has life been a letdown! My family was my entire world, my core source of affection and attention. Since their demise, and probably before, I have been searching for someone who treats me the way I’m used to being treated. Some people call it spoiled, but I call it knowing my worth. So, as you can guess, and in case you didn’t get the point before, I’m alone. No man and no kids. Did I have opportunities to bear children? Yes, but could I imagine that man being in my life until I died? No….HELL no. Do I lament my many missed opportunities? No, I just eat. Pizza and chocolate provide me with more comfort and satisfaction than most men I’ve ever met.

It’s easy for people to judge. We all do it every day. With the onslaught of obesity in this country, we’re bombarded with ads for exercise and healthy living. Of course, these ads are followed by those for Burger King’s new burger featuring bacon, cheese, and lard on a Krispy Kreme donut (ok I made that up). For some, it is easy to lead a healthy life. But we all have our vices. Next time you’re at the gym next to that sweaty, muscular guy in the pants so tight you can see the outline of the sperm in his scrotal sac, think about what his vice is. If it’s not food, it could be alcohol, gambling, drugs, cigarettes, sex. Logical reasoning may cause you to infer that he likes to be peed on in the bedroom. Hey, works for me. After considering these other options, I’m happy my vice is food. It could be worse. I could be a drug-addicted, chain-smoking, gin-swilling, prostitute who blows casino dealers for insider tips on blackjack. It’s much easier to go to the grocery store and buy a bag of Oreos for $3 than buy a salad for $10.

And instead of ending up as a dumb prostitute, my future looks to be filled with lots of laughing. Laughing as I ride my Rascal down the streets of Fort Lauderdale, off into the hot-flash heat of a Florida sunset, ‘cause where else do fat biatches on Rascals go to retire? But as you judge away, remember that being a fat biatch is sometimes not a laughing matter, as the girl with rolls standing next to you with the hearty, belly-jiggling laugh may actually be crying on the inside. Remember, the skinny biatch that gives the appearance of “having it all” may just have come from some seedy gas station bathroom where she stuck her finger so far down her throat that she chipped her Chanel nail polish on her ribcage (or maybe she just has a equally great plastic surgeon). Fat biatches, skinny biatches, I raise my girdle to food: my lover, my confidant, my comfort and satisfaction!

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