by Heidi Heimler
Her closet is
one pant short of exploding. When she can no
longer squeeze herself into her jeans, she
relegates the ill-fated pair to the back of the
closet. Then she purchases another, one size
As she expands,
her budget grows leaner. Finally, when she is all
but penniless, she resolves to lose weight. She
tears a glossy diet plan out of a magazine and
tapes it to the fridge, center stage. Though
shes no stranger to gastronomic deprivation,
shes yet to declare victory. But this time
will be different. She wont fall off the
salad wagon, only to dive headlong into a trough
of rich, buttery frosting.
sweeping changes, replacing anything even
remotely tasty with bland solids and runny
liquids. While her boyfriend munches on cookies,
she nibbles on celery. When he pours gobs of
silken cream into his coffee, she stirs meager
teaspoons of skim soymilk into hers.
churns. Her taste buds cry out in desperation. A
burger flashes on the TV screen and she bursts
into tears. She hurls obscenities at a hapless
pizza delivery boy that happens to cross her path.
She sees food
everywhere. At the library peoples heads
are buried not in books, but in burgers. The
policeman whos just given her a ticket
isnt using a note pad, hes writing on
a graham cracker. Thats not dandruff on her
shirt; its powdered sugar.
All she can
think about is food. Glorious, calorie-laden food.
Late at night,
her boyfriend sweeps her into his arms.
Youve lost weight, he whispers.
I want you.
want you, she says, but shes not
speaking to him. Shes addressing the
tantalizing cherry cordial that has replaced his
hands used to be, she sees crisp, delicate sugar
cookies. His tongue is a fruit roll-up; his arms
candy canes; his torso a cream puff; his legs
to taste you. His warm breath coats her
neck. He nibbles on her ear.
dizzy with anticipation and desire. I want
to taste you, too. I want to fill my mouth with
you, let you linger on my tongue till you explode.
quickens. His eyes grow wide. Really?
He trips over
his jeans, which have somehow navigated to his
ankles. To her hungry eyes, a wrapper has fallen
to the floor, exposing a grape popsicle.
their bodies meld, she backs away. I
cant, she says. I wont.
This time Ill be strong, I will not cave to
dammit, Cave. Im begging you.
She shakes her
head. Nope. Not this time.
cant take this. Mumbling to himself,
he yanks his jeans back up and shuffles out of
she yells after him. Im not giving in.
I can resist. I can say no, and Im going to
keep saying no. Maybe Ill last the whole
year. Maybe even forever.