By Linda Davis

I felt it today and then, even worse, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror and sure enough, plain as day, there were two thick slopes of fat on my back. I reached back to feel it again with my sweater on. It reminded me instantly of the back fat on an enormous man I accidentally found myself kissing not long ago on a warm night looking out at the Bay. The view, the fog horn and the warm air were wooing me far more than this almost complete stranger who was huge and large and so foreign to any concept of a man I might want to kiss. But he wasn't catching my drift, so I played along briefly and as I spied the lights on the schooner outside I felt large lumps of back fat under his pinstriped shirt. I never once thought I might have those strange lumps on me. It was this very sweater I was wearing that night and my hands keep discovering the folds of flesh again and again. Is this some kind of a virus? Back fat. Fat back.What else has gotten fat? Suddenly I feel smothered by my own flesh surrounding and choking the thin person I like to think of myself as. At the water cooler today I reach back and pull my bra over the fat to keep it in. Here is a new little idiosyncrasy to fight ugliness and obsess my mind; is my stomach sticking out? Do I have something stuck in my teeth? Is my back fat showing? Time to start running again and watching what I eat but oh, the utter depression and poverty of low fat meals but ah, the power of a low fat back. Don't look back - it's fat back there! I need to sit down and have a talk with myself about this but there's so much else to do rather than snap this familiar old thought-container back into shape. It's a lifelong battle. Better start now before the fat takes more territory and has the run of the place and grows into my brain where it clouds my sense of reason and hope and fills my head with thick, bulging, slow flesh that oozes out my nose and mouth and all that I speak is fat and finally I can speak no more and my eyes are covered over and my ears are full and all I can hear is the slow beating of my hypertensive heart.

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