“Hi. I’m fat.”
Everyone in the room looks at me with escalating disgust which is only intensified by those last words out of my mouth.
I stand facing a large seated crowd. I can feel my forehead begin to bead with nervous sweat.
A young fat child yells out to her mother, “his name is Fat?” I now realize my mistake and quickly I correct myself.
“Sorry, I meant, I’m Dan.”
I search the room, desperately hoping to meet the gaze of any familiar eyes. I find none.
“Are you making fun of us?” One fat woman from the crowd yells out. “We’re fat. You’re not fat!”
An angry fat man stomps his foot and glares at the woman. “Are you blind?! Of course he’s fat. Look at him! Don’t let his fitted clothes fool you.”
My heart sinks. I again look around, completely unsure of how I got myself into this situation. More fat people begin arguing. And then more. Soon every person in the room seems to become angry as they stand and debate whether or not I, the fat man in front of them, am actually fat.
I feel my arms clamp tighter to my sides in an effort to mask my girth. I close my eyes and beg God to give me the words and thoughts to calm the mob down.
Suddenly, dozens of fat people begin moving toward me, screaming with mob mentality, shaking their fists.
I panic. I run. I am fat, but I am not as fat as them. And I run.
“Oh there you are,” the Farmer’s Daughter says. She is standing in the hotel lobby, waiting for me. “Why are you all sweaty?” she asks.
I tell her there is no time to explain as I grab her by the arm and drag her toward the door until she picks up her own pace.
Together we run.
“What are we running from?” she asks me.
She is slowing down now. We can’t slow down. “Come on, they’re all angry because I’m fat. Or because I’m not fat. I’m not sure.”
She suddenly stops. I stop several feet in front of her. “Come on!” I urge her.
“You’re running from fat people?” she asks. And she starts laughing.
“This isn’t funny!” I scream. “Come on!”
She won’t come. Her laughing intensifies.
And suddenly, her laughing stops. She looks at me, her now cold eyes burrowing deep into mine.
“You are fat, you know.”
My heart shatters like tempered glass. “What?”
She rolls her eyes in disgust. “You are fat. You are disgusting. You know I can’t really love you unless you look like that guy,” she says, pointing to a poster of an underwear model in the window next to us.
“Are you being serious?” I ask. I look at my reflection in the window. She’s right. I am fat. There is no doubt about it. I turn back to her. “I thought you of all people would…”
“I’m just kidding,” she says and she begins to run once more.
I can’t remember what she’s running from. I can’t remember what I’m running from.
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