Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fat Dave

I am a shape shifter and I’m not able to conceal my darker truths. If I were capable of wearing my heart on my sleeve I could be discreet but I wear my heart throughout my entire body.

When I was seventeen I went on a Joyce Carol Oates Jag. I remember riding the Bi-State bus home from school past my stop. I took it all the way back around because I couldn’t stop reading her novel Them. She’s not for everyone but she was perfect for a brooding, self-conscious adolescent.

A character in the book named Jules, in an act of desperation, rolled someone in a public restroom. At that moment the spirit of the lord left his body. That resonated with me.

When I’m fat, my body is a soulless shell. It’s too easy to read my state of mind.

I was a fat kid. I became a skinny teen-ager. Every time someone asked me how I lost the weight I could only say it was girls and drugs.

It isn’t the act of sex but the very idea of it. I’m capable of willing myself skinny. It’s a state of mind.

At the end of my marriage I hadn’t really noticed I got fat again. My body was a soulless shell. I was spiritually, emotionally and intellectually dead.

When the marriage fell apart I woke up. I remember going to the Hibernian parade in Dog Town. I was still living at home but my ex and I were leading totally separate lives. I ran into Kim and a friend of ours named Danny. He looked at me and asked, “What’s up, skinny?” I became thin again without realizing it.

The mother of one of my daughter’s friends asked how I did it. “Crystal meth and a tape worm,” I joked. Two weeks later she asked, “What were the two things again?” She had taken me seriously.

Photo of Vince, Tracy and me taken at the end of my marriage by Dominic at his apartment. Photo of me in the mountains a couple of months later at the beginning of singlehood.


Dominic said...

I love the photo that reveals your inner pinhead! I have one, too- i take it to see "Freaks" now and then and read it "Zippy" comix to let it feel at home.

I'm at peace with the fact that I'm past the point of being physically attractive to women... no great loss- i still have music.

Dorothy said...

I have the same heart trouble, and my weight has begun to reflect it!! I can say nowadays, I used to be skinny! Still easy on the eyes, though! Hah!

I must have taken the same Logos class on Joyce Carol Oates, Dave. I remember reading one about a pregnant teenager (how fitting!), A Garden of Earthly Delights. Maybe we each read a different one. It kind of depressed me. You know how emotional pregnancy can be.

Crystal meth and a tape worm!!! That's hilarious!

And Dom - you're attractive!