“Morgan” by Simon Webster (published by Visual Verse)

PHOTO Michael Salu Visual Verse May 2016

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What if none of us looks like that? And it really is all done with computers? What if none of us ever looked remotely like that, ever? What if even the idea that you only look like that if you spend all your life in the gym and eat only blueberries and legumes, what if even that is a nothing but a lie? What if it’s just plain unattainable? My Sister stopped looking for a job altogether and devoted herself to the gym and six whole months and no change. I didn’t see any difference. Mother said she actually put on the weight. I told Sis, Don’t listen, just don’t listen, she’s half-gaga, just don’t listen. My Sister said there was a chocolate machine in the gym at the bottom of the stairs. A chocolate machine! No wonder.

There was another one on TV this morning in a tight belly top. I’m no different to you, I wanted it, course I did. It’s coming Tuesday. I’m all geared up for the disappointment. I want it on her not on me. I buy these things and they live in the wardrobe until I can morph like magic into the right shape. I won’t know myself when I’m the right shape. I’ll have more clothes than Time itself can afford when I’m the right shape. Mother said it’s all about genetics. She’s ninety-six, what does she know about genetics?

Then I met Cathy and she wasn’t the right shape. She didn’t have high cheekbones or a healthy glow or all the things you’ve got to have to look right, like money. And she poured scorn on my errant remarks and made me think about things more, the way a good person does. And she said it’s alright to eat crisps, it’s alright to slug calorific bottles of red wine, it’s alright to live a normal life. My Sister hated her. My Mother hated her too though they had a lot in common I think. I liked Cathy and we had our secret calorie parties. Four thousand calories in two hours, that was the only rule. Oh, that and don’t count the calories in the first place. I told her she reminded me of Morgan and she got offended, but I didn’t mean it like that.

I wasn’t saying she was fat, I didn’t care about that, I didn’t, I liked it! I wanted to be as big as her. Like some sort of psychobabble apology to poor Morgan and all the grief I gave him. He said he didn’t care about magazine covers and Hollywood actors but he must’ve done. He was no different to any of us. He was nothing special.

And now I’ve no energy, no energy at all, and Mother says it’s the crappy food I shove down, and Sis says the same and they’re both the best of pals all of a sudden. And it’s not the food, it’s not the food, it’s not the food at all.

 

More Visual Verse stories by Simon Webster here

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