Wednesday, June 22, 2011

in this one... (a fiction)

in this one, the sun is shining. it's always shining, the sun of summer photographs. the river in the background is grey dark blue, it blends with the sky, and there are reeds sticking out on either side of my small fat body, turning me into a plump, rather startled lion cub emerging from the high grass of the savannah. i am wearing a striped shirt. horizontal stripes do not suit small plump people. the shirt is loose, yet stretches oddly in the middle, where my tummy would be. i am wearing this striped shirt and not much else besides. my mouth is pouting, my eyes squinting, almost shut, against the glare of the sun.

i can tell that it's you taking the photograph by the resistant, resigned patience of my body. the sun is hurting my eyes. the grass is scratching my legs. where my thighs meet, at the top, they stick together with sweat. my tata is taking a photograph. i am thirsty. don't move, you said. i am hungry. don't move, you said. beyond the black eye of the camera, i can see the infinite stretch of the dark pine forest. no breeze. the river is gurgling in my back. right behind you, there is shade, and coolness, and the sweetness of pine scent. don't move, you said. don't move. so i don't. i stand there, sweaty, uncomfortable, blind. the way i will stand in the world for many, many years to come.

until one day, i'll forget, and i will move, i will run, in a body so lean and so supple i will barely recognize it as my own. i will run straight past you and your black, scrutinizing, unforgiving eye, into the forest where the wolves are waiting to play with me.

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