• Mathura Hawley

face

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


I forgive you, saleswoman at the mall, who stopped me from entering her store with a hand up and the words “We don’t go up to your size.” "

There’s a severely anorexic woman that works out every Saturday at my gym. Her face is sunken under her bulging eyes, her legs are fragile bones, and her arms are covered in bruised sores. She makes me angry every time I see her. I get angry that she stretches in the dumbbell area. I don’t like how she puts her many layers of coats against the weight bench. She always makes me very uncomfortable. But today, I thought of my 325 pound self, 17 years old and afraid to leave my bedroom, and I finally understood: I once wore my pain on the outside too, like her. She’s just a barely living reminder. So I forgive you, Eric, for ruining the first day I ever dressed up in my life, for yelling “Look how fat you are,” while an entire classroom stared at me. I forgive you, saleswoman at the mall, who stopped me from entering her store with a hand up and the words “We don’t go up to your size.” I forgive you, Connie, for humiliating me the day I was made newspaper editor by loudly asking your group of friends, “That fat faggot?” I even forgive you, neighbor in the dirty basement, who confused me and hurt me so badly as a little boy, causing me a lifetime of self-abuse and anger. And I see you, anorexic woman, wearing your suffering and pain on the outside, unable to hide it. I am here for you. And I love you. I love you. I love you.


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