Sunday, May 06, 2007

GBA(s)FC (Growth) Entry #15

Queen Size Bed
by The Perfect Neurotic

When my mom was in high school, her nickname was ‘Twiggy.’ Boys just went crazy over her, and my father was no exception. The first time he saw her, she was walking down the aisle in their homeroom. Dad told me he knew right then that he would marry her someday. Mom was only thirteen at the time and not interested in Dad at all, but he didn’t mind waiting. His patience paid off, he married her right out of high school … and said it was the happiest day of his life.

Growing up, Dad would always tell me, “You get your looks from your mom. She was the prettiest girl in school.” He was so proud of it, just like Uncle Dave during hunting season hanging those deer right out front of his garage. My uncle has a hook inside the garage for the small ones, but when he gets a big buck, everyone on the road has to see it … whether they want to or not. Dad said if Dave had married pretty, he wouldn’t need to show off dead deer.

My mom once told me, "Men measure their years in life by what vehicle they drive at the time, but women use numbers on the scale." Dad bought his first sports car five years ago, right after Mom gained fifty pounds.

In her diary, I read how he pulled a pair of jeans off their bed and said to her, “Would you want someone with your pants size?” All she told him back was, “Yes, I would.” I read that and wished she had said a lot more. That she was still the same girl he married … underneath. That she was still the one he promised to love in sickness and in health, till death do they part, and all the rest of it.

Watching Mom, I know obesity is a sickness, but one that can’t be hid away. Difference between my Mom and a drunk, she wears her disease on the outside. An alcoholic can go anywhere without having to be embarrassed, but not fat people, especially fat women. People think it’s okay to make fun of my mom because they don’t see she has feelings. They don’t realize she had years of being one of them.

I’m the only person left to help her and I love her too much to take the one thing that comforts her away, even if it’s killing her. I think Dad left a space so big in their bed, Mom had to fill all of it because she covers every inch of their queen size bed now.

I still hope someday Dad will come back and realize he just made a mistake. I wish he’d give Mom a reason to get better. Just look her in the eyes and say, “You weren’t just the prettiest girl in school, but the love of my life. I can wait this out.” I can too.


Wisewebwoman said...

I was profoundly touched by this story, of the girl trapped within the enormous body, the girl he had adored and could no longer see. Well done!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is so good! Someone I loved a lot had this problem, and her husband was an alcoholic. I always thought she buried herself in food at least in part because of all he put her through.

She once said to me, "Nobody can tell what he does, but what I do is visible to all." Almost exactly what your character says about her mom wearing her disease on the outside.

I also liked the part about the slaughtered deer hanging on the uncle's garage, whether anyone wanted to see them or not. It's great background for the story and tells so much about who the people are.

Anonymous said...

This was very nice work. A few stumbly moments absolutely adored the idea of Mom having to fill the bed, covering the area Dad used to occupy. And thought the tie-in at the end -- of waiting -- was quite lovely,

briliantdonkey said...

I too really liked the "wear their disease on the outside' concept. Made me stop and think. Also the tie in at the end of 'waiting' was quite an effective way of ending the story. Good work


The Moon Topples said...

The Jury says...

"This was a nice story. Some aspects of the story, of the writing clunked about, but overall it worked quite nicely. Beautiful ending, nice tie-in with the “waiting” theme. Lovely story."

Beth said...

I so agree with the clunking and I sincerely thank the jury.

Wisewebwoman said...

Loved the story, voted it #2.

Beth said...

Thanks so much, everyone. I love feedback more than anything else -- good or bad.

WWW, I voted for you too! =)