Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inches (short story) by Leanne Dyck

A woman struggles for self-acceptance.

I wrote Inches in 2006. It's my pleasure to offer it to you today--but, please be forewarned, it's a little gory.

Knitting is simply sticks and string.  My words are simply vowels and consonants. The work is yours.  You must cast on each stitch to knit.  You must listen to understand.

While you are knitting and before what you are knitting takes shape, others, may guess as to what the finished item will be:  a sweater, a hat, a …

So it is for knitting as it is for my tale.  Looking at me consciously or unconsciously you are making a series of value judgments.  You hope that these value judgments will prepare you for what you are about to hear. 

You think, She’s young, she’s pretty. 

But I didn’t always look like this.  Would you be surprised to learn that I once weighed double, no triple my current weight?  Yes, indeed I was enormous.

“Piggy, Tub of Lard, Fatso” that was me.  Kind people would say, “Pretty face shame about the body.”  Turning to face me, they'd enquire “Don’t you care how you look?” – if they only knew. 

Truth was, I'd tried it all:  dieting, vomiting, exercising, fasting--nothing worked. 

Each night, at my local bar, I drown my sorrows in glass after glass of wine.  This particular night, I was determined to use liquid courage to end my life.  What did I have to live for?  Who would care if I were gone?

In this humble place, I found an unexpected answer – him.  He appeared like a god out of thin air. 

At first, I rejected his advances – I had been the butt of jokes before and I did not wish to be again.  He wouldn't be denied. Flowers were delivered to my work. I found love letters in my mail.  He asked me out again and again until, finally, I weakened.  

I said, "Yes." and, in response, he wined and dined me. For the first time in my life, I felt attractive, desirable. When he asked me to go away with him I was on cloud nine.  How could I refuse?  Why would I refuse?

He found a charming country inn on a tiny island.  We spent every minute of every day together--alone in the universe. 

During this magical weekend, he began my transformation.  Bite by bite, mouthful by mouthful, he shaped me into the woman I am today.   

He dialed the phone. "I need a steak knife and a fork. Please wrap them in a tea towel and place them at our door. Knock once and leave." He told the front desk.

Each meal, he plunged the steak knife into my flesh and hacked off the fat. He popped it into his mouth. "Hmmm, you taste so good." He told me I was the best he'd ever eaten.

Sure, I can’t deny it hurt at first, but you can get used to anything.  At the end of that weekend, I was a transformed woman.  
Thanks to him, I can stand tall.  Now I’m a woman any man would cherish.