Copyright© 2004 by Carlos Malenkov
She peeked over her shoulder at the cruel wardrobe mirror. The new jeans more or less fit, but, oh, those gigantic globes jutting out like basketballs. That huge ass of hers ruined everything. Everything. Too fat!
Jenna was just too damn fat. Even on her big-boned 5'10" frame, 280 pounds was way too much payload, and much of the weight was below the waist and concentrated especially in that enormous, pear-shaped ass. Just think, she measured an unbelievable 58 inches around the hips!
She had been dieting all her life it seemed. Nothing helped. The pounds gradually accumulated and they stuck.
A couple of Jen's friends had had finally opted for the magic bullet -- bariatric surgery -- the "fat girl operation." They had slimmed down fast after that, all right, but, at what cost? Imagine having most of your stomach tied off or outright amputated. Imagine being unable to eat anything more than mini-portions at meals, and still suffering from chronic vomiting or diarrhea -- take your pick -- according to what kind of bypass the surgeon installed. Imagine the significant risk of medical complications, not to mention shortened lifespan. Imagine mutilating yourself just because friends and family and the general public expect you to look like a supermodel. She had just three words for that -- NO EFFIN' WAY!
And yet... imagine not being taunted by strangers every time you go out on the street. Imagine having a boyfriend to share your life with. Imagine being like everyone else and living like a normal person.
This guy knew the score. Rubens truly appreciated beautiful female flesh. Looking up at the paintings, Jen wished she had lived in the seventeenth century, so her body would attract admiration, not derision. If only...
"Remarkable, isn't it?"
Jen jumped at the sound. The man behind her looked barely out of his teens. He stood a full six inches shorter than her. Skinny as a rail, too. Kind of cute, though.
"Mister, I'm sorry if I blocked your view -- "
"No, it's perfectly all right. Better than all right, ma'am. Your presence here seems to actually enhance the paintings. Somehow, you fit right into this ambience. It's as if you were the proud embodiment of all the women on the canvas."
"What? You mean because I'm fat like they are? WATCH IT, LITTLE MAN. I could stomp you flat before you knew what hit you."
"Milady, if you stomped me flat, not only would it cause me at least middling discomfort, but it would deprive me of the opportunity to explain how much of the radiance, the luminous serenity, the classic beauty you share with these women who walked the earth in a far nobler age. Rubens might well have immortalized you, too, had you lived in that particular time and place... "
"CUT THE CRAP!"
He reddened and fell silent.
"I don't know if this is some kind of creative pickup line or -- "
"Or what? Can't you simply accept an unfeigned compliment? Please! Tell me if I'm wasting my time. Am I speaking from the heart to a brainwashed slave of pop culture, to a woman who hates her body, who hates herself for being gloriously fat?"
It was her turn to redden.
"And who the bloody hell are you to impose your unwanted company on me, buddy boy? As if I needed your, or anyone else's compliments."
"Allon Markov, at your service, milady. My friends call me Lonnie." He smiled and bowed deeply from the waist. "I regret having angered you and will immediately remove my wretched self from your presence if that would restore your harmony."
She paused, then held up both hands, palms forward. "No need, no need. We've both expressed our feelings, and I find you possess at least the bare rudiments of culture. I do believe I can tolerate your company at least a few moments longer. I'm Jenna Trepper. My friends call me Jen."
"Jen, pleased to meet you. Would you permit me to give you a guided tour of the exhibits?"
"I think I would like that."
Despite her momentary flare of rage at the unexpected interloper, Jen had felt a rush of warmth at being the object of attention -- no, admiration -- of a man. She couldn't remember the last time that had happened.
She couldn't believe it. She was actually starting enjoy the company of this sawed-off little pipsqueak. He had to tilt his head up to look her in the eye and she must weigh easily double what he did. Not to mention that he had to be -- what -- ten or fifteen years younger than she was. Yet, she felt some sort of weird... attraction to him. The way he looked at her made her feel... desired... even beautiful.
"Thank you for a lovely evening, Jen."
They were standing at the doorway to her apartment building, and he reached for her hand.
Bedamned if I'll let this guy get away with just a handshake, she though. Before he knew what had hit him, she had reached down and kissed him full on the lips. Hard. His arms went around her without conscious volition. Her arms in turn wrapped around his skinny little body. Neither of them wanted to break the embrace.
"I guess there's no help for it," she sighed. "Come on up. Let's get to know each other."
And they did get to know each other that night. In the biblical sense.
At dawn's first light he lay pinned beneath her massive body. She was stretched out prone atop him, her full weight pressing him deeply into the soft mattress. His right hand encircled her, clutching at the massive twin mounds of her ass. His head was buried between her breasts, and his penis was buried...
"I won't let you up. No! You're mine. You're my prisoner, my prisoner of love."
"Jen, darling, they'll be expecting me at work. I need that damned job to pay the rent."
"Fuck your job!"
"It's you I want to fuck, baby. Only you."
"You just said the magic words, Lonnie boy. I release you. Conditionally. Temporarily. Call me tonight, you hear?"
Word got around. It always does. People started giving Lonnie strange looks. His friends delicately skirted the subject. At work, his merit raise somehow got buried in the paperwork. His neighbors whispered behind his back. He had violated one of society's most potent taboos -- he had taken a romantic interest in a fat woman. He was a loser.
Lonnie prided himself on his problem-solving abilities. And this was by no means the most fiendishly complicated problem he had ever tackled. It was, in fact, fairly straightforward: how could he get social sanction for his relationship with a fat woman?
He'd enlist Jen's help on this one. She had a fine logical mind and a much better grasp of the workings of the social machinery than he did. Surely they could come up with something if they put their heads together.
"Look, Jen. It doesn't much bother me if people give me a hard time about us being together. I've never been one to care what others think. But it really pisses me off that they're hassling you."
"Lonnie, I've had to put up with this sort of thing all my life. Fat! Gross and ugly! Morbidly obese! Blimp! Lose a hundred pounds, you fat pig!
"It's no longer acceptable to persecute ethnic minorities, but fat people are still fair game. We're everybody's scapegoat.
"And don't forget how much money there is in the weight loss industry. How much profit there is to be made off women who hate their bodies and hate themselves. These are powerful vested interests we're talking about."
"You're right on the money, Jen. I've done some research. It seems that the turnaround in public attitudes toward fat women began in the decade following World War II. The culprit was the fashion industry. Designing clothes for ever skinnier models and then brainwashing the American public that this was the ideal female look. There was money to be made. Big money."
"So, Lonnie, it's all an insidious conspiracy to exploit women and make money off them? That makes sense, I guess, but how can the two of us take on the whole world?"