The grande fête

So many people have judgments. You’re not all fat, so I’m gonna share this with you.

Maybe people don’t say things, but they think things. Even people you’ve known for a while. People who have seen you naked in vulnerable positions. They don’t say anything.

But then you mention exercising. And they’re overly enthusiastic. Or they mention that they worry about your knees. As if you can’t read between the lines.

And they have no idea. That you weren’t a fat kid. Just Paul Bunyan. Sure you were 95th percentile for weight growing up. But you were 135th percentile for height. And your mother, a woman born of her own neuroses and 70’s mass anorexia, needs to shape your ethnic body into her mental vision of what beauty is. Never mind that you are 11 and 110 pounds of pure fucking muscle and not an ounce of waddle. There are measurements to be met. And expectations to be kept.

Yeah, your knees are blown. From ballet. And cheerleading. And high heels down marble staircases. At 13.

Yeah, your metabolism’s blown. By your mother’s constant bombardment with fad diets. And the years of Speed you swallowed because she told you that you were just too big.

And your thyroid’s shot. From tens of thousands of doses of lithium. And whatever else they’ve given you through depression and PTSD and bipolar disorder and anxiety and autism.

And your lungs are crap from asthma. And your heart is crap from a murmur. And you’ve been battling anemia your whole life, way back to when you could never jog a ten minute mile under 10 minutes on Fridays no matter what your PE teacher said to you in front of thirty other semi-naked girls, loud enough for all of them to hear.

This body, this thing that has made so many others uncomfortable, is the only earthly home I have ever known. It has taken me around the planet. It has accompanied me through every trough and soared with me to every height. To every sumptuous horizontal and vertical experience I have ever encountered.

I have tried to kill this body. To make it desist. And every time, it has refused to die. So you’ll forgive me if I treat it like a minor miracle instead of the overindulgence of flesh you choose to see.

And you’ll forgive me when I don’t bother to tell you to fuck off politely because you think I’m lazy, or gluttonous, a product of mass consumption, poverty, American capitalism, or just a plain failure. I’m exhausted from exercising my politeness, above the exercise of my body I conducted for decades to negate the nature of my integral being.

So just a regular old “fuck you” will have to do. I don’t know what the etiquette for intrusive, unsolicited opinions is. But my inner Emily Post kindly requests the presence of your well-meant judgment at the end of Hudson River Park, Pier 45, Manhattan, NY, at sunset, June 15, 2019. Attire is casual. There’s a mile long charity walk in my shoes. You’ll be taking a long walk off that short pier. So dress accordingly.

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