The art of being me.
I walked into the party with little thought of my weight or size on my mind. It was a beautiful starry night with a slight chill in the air making me long for the greenbelt view in the southland. I arrived at the patio where friends were gathered I noticed him right away. A large fella who was shoved into the too small chair, the exact chair I had sat in so many times before. I introduced myself and was oddly aware of how I felt standing next to him, I tried to ignore it, to ignore his size and caught up with old friends who I had not seen in awhile.
Something in me would not let it go and when I looked over at him, it was like watching myself, the scene of the crime I still can’t leave. I noticed the shirt he wore, it was the exact shirt I had purchased over a year ago at a mens “big and tall” store in a size 5XL. Okkkaayy OK… you have my attention, I am obviously supposed to be learning something here, in this moment of awkward abandon as I sit in a very interesting situation, observing from the outside looking in what it might have looked like to be me…. well me with great facial hair and a deeper voice.
I arrived after dinner was served making sure I was not hungry when I got there, my big spurge was a ginger ale with crushed ice and a lime wedge. I sat in a chair comfortably, but it does not take much for me to be reminded of the suffocating restrictions of a too small seat. The conversation included talk of my weight loss, I could feel his eyes upon me. He was funny, and handsome and while he covered it well I could still see through him, our worlds were painted from the very same brush dipped in a similar palette and our portraits created with swirling strokes of shame, hopelessness and frustration the masterpiece of the morbidly obese.
He talked of food, of desserts and shared some offerings he had brought with him that night. I politely declined not because I am above it, not because I am some magical prize fighter having won any sort of battle with weight or food for good and definitely not because the chocolate stuffed, caramel laced dough did not make my mouth water with anticipation of what the sensation would taste like to dive face first into the sticky sweet indulgence. I declined for one reason and one reason only…I am ready for a new portrait.
When I can honestly see where I have been, and understand why I was there, acknowledging that I do not want to go back, confident that my place is here in this moment…I heal a bit more.
“Hang it in my window let it complicate my view
The separation the glass of you
But I can paint this picture any way that I see fit
The art of pain the subject sits unmoved”