My friend Arnold says, “Do you know you're fat?” No, Sherlock, when I'm at the plus-size store trying to find a dress that doesn't look like someone hemmed a tent, I'm thinking, “I am a sylph, I am a wood-nymph, I am a goddamned will-o-the-wisp. Man, I hope there's no wind outside, because otherwise, when I step out that door, one good gust and I am gone.” Not that I say all that to Arnold. Because he might actually, just for an instant, get a clue. Then he'd catch that I'm being sarcastic. Which I figure would hurt his feelings.
And God forbid we should hurt our friends' feelings.
“You could work out, you know,” Arnold says. Wow. Hadn't thought of that. Nope. Never crossed my mind. Not when I collapsed after five pushups. Not when I ran out of breath after one flight of stairs. Exercise. Now there's a concept. Oh yeah.
“And maybe you shouldn't eat so much.” Sound the trumpets! Part the clouds! It's time for a REVELATION! If I didn't EAT SO MUCH, I might not be fat.
Only, you see, small problem: I do eat so much. And not the good stuff. Oh no. No greens for me. I want my pasta, I want my brownies. Brownies with ice cream.
That's how I roll.
Oh, and in case you're tempted to ask, have I tried? Have I tried not to eat so much? Only since I was eight. It's like I have my own personal Passover, my one-woman Ramadan. Every year there's that stretch on the calendar marked “That time when I try not to eat so much”.
I should give it a name; I should come up with a ritual. Some way to celebrate my annual relapse. “But,” Arnold says, “Don't worry about it.” (Me, worry? Hey, I'm carefree. Plus-size and jolly.) “It's not like it matters. Not to me,” he says. “I still like you anyway.”
Big of you, Arnold. Big of you indeed. Because I'm guessing that's your way of making me feel better, right? And you know, it just might do me some good. Because you've got me thinking how I could dump a whole bunch of pounds, all at once. A hundred and some pounds of unhelpful friend.

Copyright 2012 James B. Chevallier

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