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By Alan Passman

Pear-shaped and ashamed at the muffin top atop
my upper torso, I remember and envision sitting
in an office while a nurse told me that the way
I got fat was a blessing in disguise. “It means
you can lose weight faster. If you were shaped
like an orange or something else round, then
you’d have a hard time taking it off.” Nothing’s
easy about what I carry around.

I’m married

to this fat because it is my proverbial ball and chain
and what I’d give to be shaped not like any sort of fruit,
but a man rather with bulging pecs and washboard abs
or a scrawny, spring chicken-like trunk. The proudly strutting
topless kind, the “Hey, it’s hot even with the A/C on so let’s

take our shirts off”-sort, or the “My nipples aren’t overly
sexualized in this country, so I don’t have to wear a shirt
if I don’t want to”-physique. Not the “let’s wear a t-shirt
to the swimming pool or the beach”-one. Not the “I’m too
broke to afford bigger clothes, so let’s just look like we’re
gonna burst out of the old ones”-variety. Not the “self-conscious
to the point of panic attack”-style either.

I want

to be sexy, to be adored, to be gawked at, to be fantasized about,
to be all things and everything, to be someone else. Not an edible
piece of vegetation, but a person.

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