Heavy Things

“You live in the city?” she asks, her eyes widening. She is overweight. She is borderline obese. Hell, maybe she is obese. I’m not a doctor.

It’s weird being back home upstate. It’s weird waiting for my mom to get her hair cut while the girl behind the counter stares at me and clack-clack-clacks her acrylic nails. If she was chewing gum, I bet she would crack it. I pick up a worn copy of New York magazine and flip through the real estate section.

My mother says a lot of the people up here never leave. Some of them only go down to Manhattan every few years. “Some of them,” she says, narrowing her eyebrows, “have never, ever, left.”

I laugh. Sort of. “I don’t know if they can leave!” I say.

My mother rolls her eyes.

I know there are heavy people in New York. I walk down 34th and 8th and the foot traffic slows, like the cement sidewalk has turned to mud, as the fat people seem to bunch together like globs of oil and block my way.

But they are more abundant up here– only an hour an a half north. They line the aisles at Walmart and generally look exhausted. I would be exhausted, too.

Later, I go home to the city and stand naked in front of my mirror. I pinch my thigh. Maybe the diet isn’t so important afterall.

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