There you are in the picture looking chubby and pompous, and it makes me remember how you told me that time you were afraid of fat people. That is, afraid of being fat and hating those who were, so fear and hating, like of a contagion, the same way homophobes–guys who are actually maybe gay or have the potential for gayness within them–are thought to be afraid of homos and want to annihilate them, make them not exist. You said you were embarrassed by it, though, your hatred of fat people, your fear. You knew it was shallow. You knew it was wrong. You thought it was a prejudice that was beneath the enlightened likes of you. And now, with all this time gone by, here you are in the picture. Looking chubby and pompous.
When you told me that, I remember being a little awed because we were kids, we were two young guys, and we hung out every weekend and got drunk and declared, or might have declared, I love you man! at some point or another but you–you–as much as you talked you never really said much of anything, you gave nothing away, whereas I was always yanking off hanks of my own flesh and shoving them bloodily at everyone around me, it felt like, half the time–No please, take it, take it, really. And people would accept those bleeding red chucks because what choice did they have? I was a hulking drunken wreck who might fall on top of them at any moment, so they’d avert their eyes, embarrassed, as was only right.
–by Lynn Coady