Well hello! I am back from an AMAZING trip to New Zealand which of course included the New Zealand Fat Studies: Identity, Agency and Embodiment Conference. I have SO much to tell you about the trip and the conference, and I promise I will do that soon. Today I just wanted to share the piece I wrote for the Fat Out Loud Reading Event, co-ordinated by Jenny Lee and Cat Pausé, which was held at the Palmerston North Public Library the night before the conference. It was an AMAZING night, with some incredible pieces presented. Any that I can post online sources to, I will do so on my Facebook page. I’ve already shared the video of Gurleen Khandpur delivering her awesome piece.
I’m not sure if there is any video of me giving my piece, but here’s a photo my friend Kerri took of me doing so:
So… you wanna read it? Well, here you go. I call it…
I feel your thigh press along mine under the meeting room table. I steal a glance at you and you are smiling, your eyes flick towards me and you wink. Later over a coffee to discuss the meeting, your hand drifts to my thigh under the cafe table. You are all bedroom eyes and innuendo. Time and time again you offer secret touches, suggestions of private meetings, sneaky travel together to places far away, out of sight.
But as soon as I suggest we are seen in public on a social level, you make excuses. You’re busy, but never too busy to suggest we meet secretly.
We are 15. You come to my house on weekends and sometimes after school. We lock ourselves in the downstairs bedroom, telling my mother we’re playing computer games and keeping my annoying little brother out. We make out, every time. At school, you tell your friends we are “great mates” and flirt with the popular, thin girls in front of them and worse, in front of me.
In the dim hallway of a bar and restaurant, you stop me coming back from the ladies room, and the hot kisses you bestow along my neck, behind my ear, whispering “You turn me on so much.” before reaching my lips promise of something exciting.
But as soon as another person turns down the hallway, you leap away from me, as if you’d just been caught stealing. In the light, where other people can see us, your tone is brisk and business-like, as though I was unrecognisable from all the other party-goers in this venue.
I am 17 and at a new school. You come up to me and sit with me at lunch time, and are talking to me. I feel awkward and uncomfortable, I hate this school and very few people are nice to me. I start to relax, thinking maybe I’ll make a new friend. Your friends all turn up. Everyone is talking and laughing, when one of the girls says “Will you go out with Damien?” Before I even draw breath to answer, everyone is roaring laughing and the girls are cackling “As if!!” You never speak to me again, except to humiliate me in front of your friends.
I’m on a blind date at the football. It’s not going well. You’re sitting behind me and over one, with a small boy who calls you Daddy. Despite the fact that I’m on a date, every time I turn to the right, I can see you looking down the front of my top. When I get up at half time, I see you looking right at my chest, and you look up to meet my eye and lick your lips. At the end of the match, your little boy says “You’ve got big fat boobies.” I respond “I know, your Daddy has been staring at them all night.” You go beet red and my date says “I doubt that.”
You stagger, smiling drunkenly, up to me at the bus station as I wait for the bus home from a funeral. I am red-eyed and sagging, emotionally exhausted. You gesture for me to take my ear-buds out so you can speak to me. I lip read you saying “Hey gorgeous.” I say “No thanks, I’m not feeling well.” hoping you’ll leave me alone with my grief.
But instead you scream “You fucking ugly fat slut! You know what a real woman looks like? This is what a real woman looks like!” and you hit me in the face with a porn magazine, open to a page with a silicone-breasted and collagen-lipped porn actress, spread-eagle and open-mouthed pouting. Of the hundreds of people standing around, nobody asks if I’m OK, they all just look down and shuffle their feet. I call the police, you run away.
I’m on the train home. It’s really crowded because the buses are out. I’m standing in the aisle, everyone is fairly closely packed, but I feel your breath on the back of my neck. Then I feel your erection pressing against my arse. You rub against me, out of rhythm of the jostling of the train. I say “Ew, get off me you creep.” Two guys in front of me laugh and say “As if, ya fat dog, who’d hump you?” Several people laugh.
“Hey baby! Hey honey! Baby, you gonna talk to me?” I don’t know you, but you’ve decided that you want to talk to me as I walk to work one morning. When I shake my head and hurry towards the train station, you scream “You fat fucking moll, I wouldn’t fuck you with someone else’s dick! I just thought you’d gobble on my cock, like all fat cunts!”
Everybody and nobody wants the fat girl. They want to fuck us but don’t want to be seen with us. We’re everybody’s dirty little secret.
Except not any more. Not me. If you can’t be seen in public with me, proud of me by your side, then you don’t get access to me. Your shame is not my problem. You’re the broken one, not me.