Chapter 1

I’m a sweating fat kid standing on the edge of the subway platform staring
at the tracks. I’m 17 years old, weigh 296 pounds, and I’m 6 foot 1. I
have a crew cut, yes a crew cut, sallow skin, and the kind of mouth that
puckers when I breathe. I’m wearing a shirt that reads, “Miami Beach –
Spring Break 1997” and huge, bland tan pants - the only kind of pants I
own. Eight pairs, all tan.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m standing just over the yellow line trying to
decide whether people would laugh if I jumped. “Would it be funny if the
fat kid got splattered by a subway train? Is that funny?” I’m not being
facetious; I really want to know. Like it or not, apparently there’s
something funny about fat people. Something unpredictable. Like when I put
on my jacket and everyone in the hallway stifles laughter. Or when I stand
up after sitting in the cafeteria and Jennifer Maraday, Brooke Rodriguez,
and Amy Glover all bust a gut. I don’t get angry. I just think, "What was
funny about that? Did my butt jiggle? Did I make the bench creak so that
it sounded like a fart? Did I leave an indentation?” There’s got to be
something, right? Right?

So it’s not a stretch to be standing on the wrong side of the yellow line
giving serious thought to whether people would laugh if I threw myself in
front of the F train. And that’s the one thing that can’t happen. People
can’t laugh. Even I deserve a decent suicide.

That’s why I’m standing here. Because I can’t make up my mind. I’m
thinking about what Dayle said. Go ahead… I wouldn’t miss you. Go ahead…
Go ahead… I’m telling myself my brother didn’t mean it, but even I know
that’s a lie. Meanwhile it’s hot and I’ve been standing too long… I close
my eyes and imagine the whole scene as it might play out.

First, the train is coming, its single headlight illuminating the dark
tracks. I hear its deep rumble and take the fateful step forward. I want
to picture myself flying dramatically through the air but realize I
wouldn’t have the muscle power to launch my body. Instead, I would plummet
straight down. Maybe I wouldn’t even get my other leg off the platform -
my weight would pull me down like an anchor. That’s how I see it. The
train plows into me; my fat busts apart, expands to cover the train window
and the tunnel walls. I’m splattered. Except for my left leg which is
lying on the platform untouched – a fat, bleeding hunk of raw meat.

Fat Kid Messes Up - coming soon to a theater near you.

I start to laugh. Suddenly there’s something funny about it. I swear to
God. There really is.

Chapter 2 coming soon.



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