He goes to the bathroom to throw up his breakfast. A habit he participates in three times a day–breakfast, lunch, dinner. That’s how he counts his days–breakfast, lunch and dinner and when he can hurl out the fatty chunks again.
300 pounds didn’t look good on him. Or at least that’s the way others made him feel. No one talked to him at 300 pounds, no one dated him, slept with him, or even made eye contact with him.
He was born with the name Stuart, but everyone called him Salt–something to do with his love of salty foods as a child. He let the name stick even though he felt he had outgrown it. He had out grown his love for all food.
“Salt! What are you doing in the bathroom, you’re going to be late for school!” His mother would routinely yell.
Solving my genetic problem, he thinks to himself. Everyone in Salt’s family is over weight. Everyone except Helen, who was adopted. Tall and thin, Salt envies her. She envies him. She envies the fact that his parents are still living.
They are a little closer than what a brother and sister should be. But he feels safe with her. She would eat his food sometimes to keep suspicion at bay. But deep down Salt’s father knows his son has a problem. He knows he hates the way he looks. He felt the same thing at his age. But he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t want to admit that his son is starving himself. Boys don’t do that. And if they do, it’s just a weird phase, a teenage trend. He’ll get over it.
He is smaller now. Everyone notices. Complements him on it. Small feels good. It feels less frightening. He works out till he pukes. He smokes cigarettes and drinks black coffee.
“You can’t keep going like this.” Says Helen, concerned.
No response comes from his lips. He just stands in the mirror pinching his skin, looking for fat pockets.
“Stop it! You’re not fat. You never were Salt.”
“Shut up. What do you know. You’re stick thin and perfect.”
“Skinny doesn’t mean perfect. It’s just a body size.”
“Well I hate mine!” He yells before leaving the bathroom.
Helen sighs. It’s pointless to argue.
Salt meets his girlfriend Ally. Yes, he has a girlfriend now. Something he could only dream of at 300.
“Let’s go get something to eat,” she suggests.
He shakes his head. Lunch had already come. He has to wait for dinner.
“I’m not hungry,” he replies.
“You never want eat out with me. Are you embarrassed of me or something?”
Ally has nothing to worry about weight wise. But she has a slew of insecurities brought on by her string of exes.
“Of course not. I’m just not hungry.”
“But I’m hungry!”
“Then go eat!” He says frustrated.
She turns to walk away when he grabs her waist and pulls her close.
“Ally, would you have dated me if I was 300 pounds”
She shrugs, “you’re not fat.”
“But what if I was,” he asks, pushing for an answer.
“I don’t know. Who cares. You’re not 300 pounds. Can we go eat now.”
“But I used to be.” He says low before loosening his arms around her and walking away.