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Fat: A Fictional Narrative Essay

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She stopped. The flat gold carpet tipped at a forty-five degree angle, then swirled away when she reached for it. The end table swooped and crashed a sharp edge into her arm. Then the floor lunged in and slammed against her side but not before her outstretched arms cleared the table of pill bottles, candles and lotions. The black lamp tipped, embroidered shade popping off and she felt the fall vibrate the walls as she lay there breathing. A lazy film of powder rose from where the light bulb used to be. Juice dripped onto her back. It was ice-cold and fresh from the refrigerator. Once she realized what it was, she sprang to her feet, no longer dizzy and righted it. Half gone already. It was the last she had.
The steady drizzle of liquid off the table and onto the carpet was loud while she frantically looked back and forth for something to mop up with before it was ruined. A hand towel hung from the back of the chair. She pushed it around, it seemed to repel the liquid and force it off the side faster. Her son opened his bedroom door and stood looking at her. She didn't wait for the question.
“I fell down.”
“You fell?”
“Yes, I fell.”
“How did you fall?”
“I just did.”
“Stand up too fast?”
“Yeah.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Right now I need to clean up this mess.” She knew her tone was snappish but she could make it up to him later. He closed his door. Finding a paper towel, she mopped up the liquid then piled the printouts and books to the side and out of range, examining the damage. Couldn't tell him how she tried to do a Sufi dance. Holding her left hand up and to the side, head steady, eyes locked on the palm as she spun. She who got dizzy coming out a different doorway than the one she entered. She who couldn't read while ...


... middle of paper ...


...droom and had a cup with her. They laughed about how the neighbors dog hated his owners, yet barked all day if they left it alone. Some people shouldn't have dogs. It was their fault. They were responsible.
And so was she. Always holding it together, after fevers, deaths, sad little failures, she was left standing in a toilet that she supposed would be up to her to flush. She was waiting for something to make this different. Fear was cold around her wrists. Little cracks were running, shooting out from under her feet if she stood in one place too long. She envied drug addicts their ability to escape and remembered a forest of white angel mushrooms growing in damp patches of shade. The voices in her head were prodding, pulsing, whispering. She closed the bedroom door behind her, held her head on straight and spun in the center of the gold carpet, eyes wide open.






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