Flash Fiction: A Tub of Fat

My second flash fiction story in 2021. It’s sort of dark but completely written on the fly.

In all the wrong places, in all the wrong angles, I sat there. I barely could keep my butt on the tiny seat underneath me. It was as if it was built by a tiny craftsman. One that didn’t understand how to make a chair for someone as fat as me. Forget about the muffin top bursting out of my pants. Forget about the rolls hanging over the expandable material. I was uncomfortable in all the wrong places. I imagined this craftsman laughing as he was making his tiny chair, a masterpiece as he referred to it. You know what I call it. A tiny heap of matchsticks whittled down into smaller matchsticks. You know the ones sharp enough to poke into my butt and inflict pain.

As I shifted on that tiny seat, my mind kept going to one situation I experienced long ago. I was only fifteen at the time, still fat but not as fat as today. How much a person weighs shouldn’t reflect on the way I tell my story. Those viewed as most educated as often the cruelest. I used my experience as an introduction to the classes I taught after I graduated with the necessary credentials, but students stared more at the size of my gut than the words coming out of my mouth. They simply couldn’t believe a fat man knew as much as I did. Besides this negative part of my job, I had not wanted to ever leave the classroom. It was my sanctuary. It made me feel at home.

It stoked my ego on many levels and crushed it on others.

This moment of constant rejection by those I was hired to teach thus began my new image. I sought to incorporate ways to change my views about food and exercise. I found ways to overcome my stubbornness, laziness, and procrastination. I simply wanted to attain what others I considered friends would never reach. They were too busy huddling together every Monday night, complaining about how others made fun of their endomorphic bodies, and plotting out revengeful plans on how to outsmart their ectomorphic enemies. They dreamed of the day to become mesomorphic models. I was able to reach that mesomorphic status but it too became too much for me to handle.

My students did not know how to react to my new body. Not one congratulated me for my hard work or recognized the struggle it took to go from eating a whole pizza to half a pizza to a few slices of pizza once a month. It never dawned on them how their rejection hurt me. I eventually gave up. The healthy lifestyle was not of interest anymore. I quit teaching. Progress was fruitless. I quit learning. Loneliness was enough. I quit caring.

Moral of my story.

Give up if you want to. No one will stop long enough to pull you back up. Don’t rely on others. They don’t exist. I lived my life and now it is near the end. A tub of fat will always be a tub of fat. The question is will you take me as inspiration or failure. The second question is did any one of my previous students learn any thing from me. The third question is there any guilt for being insensitive. The most important question of all is will they feed on the weakness to continue as they always have or find the strength to surrender as I once did.

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