I’d been watching a lot of porn starring fat girls, which at first I thought was pretty sicko, but then I started to think it was kind of intriguing, and really almost sexy. I bought a whip, which I knew was weird, especially because I didn’t even have a boyfriend, but I liked having it and I thought I could use it, if the chance ever came around. I hoped the chance would come, and I hoped it’d be with Scotty Anderson, who is not really cute, except when he takes off his glasses. Then, he looks like a miniature Polo model, kind of preppy in a tousled way, without being dorky. He wears a lot of button-down shirts. Ever since the porn, I started thinking that maybe he would like it.
I told my best friend Jeanie about the porn, and she said, “That’s disgusting.”
“I know,” I said, “that’s what I thought. But then I started watching it and I thought it was kind of sexy.” Then I said my favorite thing to say to Jeannie: “You know, we’re just like normal girls, except fat.”
She said, “I wish you’d quit saying that.” And she wanted to make sure I understood her position on the porn. “Anyways, porn is disgusting, especially that kind of pervert stuff.”
The thing about fat women in porn is that they are impossibly fat. They are not the fat women you see in your life, covered and clothed. They are bulging and exposed. Their rolls and their flesh stretched out makes them fatter than you could have imagined, the kind of fat that is hidden and secret. But this fat, the kind that has to be kept secret, is something totally different in a porno. The camera watches it, watching the rolls fold and unfold as the woman fucks or gets fucked.
I think that Scotty Anderson has never seen fat like this.
The night before I went to Scotty’s house to rehearse lines with him, Jeanie made me try on every outfit I own. Scotty Anderson and I were both in The Glass Menagerie at school. He was Jim O’Connor, the likable gentleman caller, and I was the cripple girl, Laura Wingfield. It was a crappy part, really pathetic, but it meant that Scotty was required in the script to kiss me. Jeanie had been helping me rehearse all the lines to the play, so she knew them practically by heart. She put on a terrible southern accent and said, “All girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.” Then she made me take off my usual conservative T-shirt and put on a low cut V-neck. You can’t do these things with skinny girls because their attitude is, why bother? If you’re fat, why bother?
Sometimes I look in the mirror in my locker, and I see just my eyes or lips or hand, and nothing or no one else, and I am beautiful.
The costume designer for the play drew these fantastic sketches of thin girls wearing wispy costumes. The girls didn’t have faces, which was weird. They only had thin bodies and arms and they were all posed like fashion models. I tried on my costume and she sat in front of me, pulling the lacy top over my rolls, and screwed her face all up. “This doesn’t look how I pictured it,” she said. No shit, I thought, looking at her sketch of the character.
Scotty Anderson answered the door wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt. “Come on in,” he said, leaving the door open, but not moving out of the way. As I walked through the door, I brushed up against him, and our faces must have been five inches apart. “Excuse me,” I whispered. Then I shook myself out of it, and let myself feel good. Scotty had wanted us to touch. He could’ve moved and he didn’t.
Sitting on his couch, reciting lines, I watched how easy it was for Scotty to relax. The director said for us to say our lines to each other so many times that we stopped thinking about the words. Scotty didn’t seem to know what he was saying any more, he just crossed his hands behind his head and as soon as I said my part, he spit his out.
I was waiting for Scotty to say his next line: “You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.” But he stood up instead and said, “Are you thirsty? We’ve got Sprite. And water, and milk, and I think those are about your only options.”
“Sprite!” I said. “Hell yeah. That’s my favorite drink. I drink it all the time.” I knew it was a stupid thing to say.
“No shit,” said Scotty. “Me too.”
He brought me a Sprite and settled in his chair. Then he said, “Do you think we ought to try and do this scene for real?”
When you are seventeen, almost nothing important happens. I am not too young and dumb to know that. In fact, my whole life, I’ve felt acutely aware of it. Nothing good happens to me. Nothing bad. Nothing at all.
But when we got to the kissing part, Scotty Anderson’s tongue parted my lips. It pushed right inside my mouth. And when he pulled away, I could see in my mind my scribbled stage directions: “Look shocked, surprised, happy.” And I was all of those things.
My favorite porno is a hardcore flick starring “Triple-D Dina,” who not only has triple-D boobs but also is about the size of a triple person. She laces all of her heft up in this leather corset and her big boobs almost touch her chin. I don’t think she’s sexy, and neither does the man who is chained to the wall. He yells at her and calls her an ugly bitch. He spits right on her face. But the man can’t move and Dina just ignores what he thinks of her. She starts working his cock, sucking him off. She reaches up and pinches his nipples, twisting them brutally with her fingers. Pretty soon the man is begging for her. She unchains him and he starts licking her body. In the end, the man gets off just by pleasuring Dina.
I had it in Scotty Anderson’s mind—sex. I knew I did. I must. I just had to think of a way to keep it on his mind. And the best way I could think of to do that was to have sex with him.
The next day, I saw Scotty in the hall with his friends and grabbed his arm. “Hey,” I said, “Can I talk to you?” I didn’t hear his friends laugh at him. Maybe they did. But then they left us alone. And I was face-to-face with him, and he was waiting for me to say something, so I blurted it out: “Listen, Scotty, I wanna fuck you.”
Scotty didn’t say no. He laughed. And then he gave me a confused look. And then he said, “Why not?”
I wanted to tell Jeanie about Scotty Anderson, but I didn’t. I could talk to Jeanie about anything, and I didn’t mind her disapproving. But I didn’t want to be talked out of fucking Scotty Anderson. I wanted to do it, quickly, and I thought I would tell Jeanie then that I had done it. And once it was done, there would be no warnings to give, no recommendations to make, no thinking at all required. There would be only one thing to do: Jeanie would have to congratulate me and it would have to be a good thing.
Scotty Anderson’s parents would be home at 4:30. So we had an hour. I came into his living room, but he didn’t hold the door open like before. He said, “My bedroom’s in back.” We walked down the hallway, past a picture of Scotty, or maybe his brother, when he was younger. I didn’t think to ask who it was.
Scotty undid his pants and slipped them off, then pulled off his shirt. He sat on the bed. I didn’t know if I should take my clothes off too, but it seemed too early to be naked, so I left them on. Scotty started kissing me. Then, he was rubbing against my leg. He was murmuring, “Yeah, yeah,” but his eyes were closed and it didn’t seem like he was talking to me.
Then he pushed me back on the bed, but not hard. It actually took me by surprise, so I just sort of fell back. He was over my face, and I was sucking him, and he was holding my head down. It was choking me and my eyes were watering. He was holding my head to his cock and I could only mumble—I was mumbling, “Wait,” although I’m sure he couldn’t understand. Then he pulled out and blew his load all over my face.
“Shit!” he said. And then he started laughing at me, I guess because I was covered in come. He handed me a box of tissues and I wiped it off.
“Hey, that felt great,” he said. “Sorry we didn’t get to fuck.”
“Yeah,” I said. I still had all my clothes on. “Well, I guess I should go.”
I walked outside by myself. It was 3:45.
The day after Scotty Anderson came on my face, I decided I would bring the whip to school. I kept it in my backpack and every time I opened it, to get out a book or pencil or something, there was the whip. At first, I would get embarrassed and close my backpack. But, then, I would just let it hang open for longer, thinking someone might get a glimpse of it. They would see the polished leather and at first wonder what it could be. Then they would lead their eyes up and down its shaft and see the silver metal handle, and at the tip, the cluster of leather pieces about eight inches long, tied at the ends to inflict a little sting with each stroke.
The whip meant that if I wanted Scotty Anderson, I could have him. We could fuck, if that was how he wanted it, we could do nothing but fuck. But sooner or later, if you fucked someone who was your sexual equal, you would be making love to them. If I pulled my pussy off of Scotty’s face and tossed him a box of tissues just casually enough, it would stop being sex and start to be love.
Scotty never kissed me again during the scene the way he had done when we rehearsed at his house. He always gave a close-mouthed equivalent of a sixth grade boy kissing a girl on a dare.
The night before the play, Jeanie came over to wish me luck. She handed me a package wrapped up with a bow, with a card that said, “A true friend really means it when they say ‘break a leg.’” Inside was a picture of a gopher lying on a hospital bed with his broken leg propped up, and the line, “I’m a true friend!”
Jeanie said, “It’s no big deal. I just got you some new porn.”
I tore the wrapper right off.
I looked at it for a minute before I understood. It was a movie from the fifties with a beautiful, all-American couple looking very scared on the front. And behind them, was a menacing monster. It was called, The Blob. I started laughing because I got the joke. I thought I was still laughing, for Jeanie’s sake, but I saw her face fall and I knew I was crying.
“Sweetie!” she said, “It’s a joke. You know? Like, ‘We’re just like normal girls, except fat?’” She put her big arms around me. I was crying and crying, and I knew it wasn’t like me. And I heard Jeanie saying to me, over and over, “You’re beautiful. I think you’re so beautiful.” She was petting my hair back from my tears and kissing my forehead and saying, “You’re so beautiful.”
And it seemed silly then to be crying. So I looked up at her and smiled and said, “Yeah, I am beautiful, huh?”
She rolled her eyes and hugged me and we laughed, but Jeanie must have taken The Blob home, because when she left it left with her.
Before the play, when I was putting on my make-up, Scotty Anderson came in and said, “Do you have the foundation?”
I thought I would be sexy. I said, “Maybe I do.”
He said, “Chill out, I just needed to use it. If you find it, can you give it to me?”
I had it right in my hand, but I couldn’t give it to him then, after I had said something so stupid. I stood with my hand behind me and said, “Sure.” I would finish putting on my make-up, then I would give it to him.
I was coming around the curtain that separates the boys’ dressing room from the girls’ dressing room, and I was just about to shout, “Everybody decent?” When I heard Scotty Anderson say, “Ride ‘em, cowgirl.”
Then, another guy said, “More like, ride that cow!”
“What do you think she even keeps this for? There’s no way she uses it.”
“Got me,” said Scotty Anderson. “It’s weird as hell.”
Boys emptied girls’ bags out to find things they expected: tampons, zit cream, panties, bras. But when they dumped mine out, they found a whip. They didn’t laugh at first. Maybe they were turned on.
Scotty came around the curtain, “Hey, did you find that foundation?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said. I had thought about showing him my whip a hundred times. And now he had seen it. I wanted to kiss him, to part his lips with my tongue. I held out my hand to him.
He grabbed the foundation from it. Then, he said, all garbled with laughter, “Giddyup!” The boys on the other side of the curtain lost it completely.
I couldn’t think of what to do, so I acted like I had no idea what they were laughing about.
I blotted the sweat off my face and stared at myself in the mirror, saying, “You are going to give the best performance of your life tonight.” The shirt did look stupid, but I thought the stage lights might blur the definition of my rolls. And when I look blurry, like when I squint my eyes, I am compelling. I practiced my monologue. I did my vocal exercises: Mississippi, Mississippi, Mississippi! The tip of the tongue takes a trip down the palate. I mentally rehearsed all of my exits and entrances.
The play went great. Which is to say, it went mostly great. Because right in scene seven, Scotty Anderson was looking at me with his nice, sincere look, saying, “People are not so dreadful when you know them,” and I didn’t believe a word of it. The Sprite, and the touch at the door, the kiss didn’t mean anything at all. So I stood up, without a limp, and walked offstage, outside through the backstage exit, and sat behind the dumpster. Scotty Anderson came outside looking for me. I heard him slipping around on his fancy shoes, cussing. I tried thinking of the women in the pornos. I wanted to confront Scotty, to really ream him out, to be bold and sexy and powerful. But it didn’t seem real either.
I waited behind the dumpster until almost everyone stopped looking for me, until the cars left the parking lot, until the only people left were Jeanie and my parents, who had started yelling my name.