This is the new revision of, "emerging," I changed the narration and I really like the way it turned out. Would love any feedback!
The Other looks at me and as such he holds the secret of my being, he knows what I am. Thus the profound meaning of my being is outside of me, imprisoned in an absence. The Other has the advantage over me.
Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness
Morgan had thrown practically the entire contents of her closet on to the bed. Every single pair of jeans pushed the flesh of her hips into bulges that spilled over the belt, under the unyielding waist band. Morgan remembered hearing the condition be described as, “front butt.” She sighed as her phone alerted to her a call with the plaintive tones of Radiohead. “I don’t care if it hurts, I wanna have control…”
“Okay, fine. Fuck. Pick me up in an hour.” Her voice sounded raspy with defeat. Morgan wanted nothing less than to be in bed watching the final episode of, “Battle Star Galactaga,” for only the sixth time. She always cried when Starbuck becomes an angel and flies into the sun. Morgan gnawed on her finger nails and contemplated what compelled her to let her best friend talk her into going to this holiday party. Whatever it was, it infected her deepest insides and drained the color and flavor out of every blushing rose or sweet jasmine that might have thrived ever in her own life.
Only three days before Morgan had gone to the doctor to get her yearly pap smear and breast pummeling from the 68 year old Persian doctor who was the only doctor on her HMO that had any sort of decent parking on the west side. In his thick accent blasting breath that smelled like cigars, soil, garlic and goat cheese, he told her that although Morgan’s cholesterol and heart seemed fine right now, if she didn’t lose some serious weight she would be, “In trouble.” He said she had an eating disorder and recommended that she go to Overeater’s anonymous. Shaking his head at her chart, he clicked his tongue and told her that her triglycerides were high and that is the kind of fat that is in cake and chocolate. He patted her on her belly and asked her how many slices of pizza she was hiding in there. Morgan had never heard of Overeater’s Anonymous so she googled it that very evening, in the privacy of her studio apartment which overlooked a dirty alley but was by the beach, and found a meeting to go to that very night.
The meeting was held at the YWCA. It was a small brown building that housed a daycare, and the meeting took place in what looked to be a kindergarten classroom. The walls were covered with cardboard animals and their names, construction paper cut outs of yellow, blue, red and green, topped off with the alphabet that looked down upon the various women who were there. Morgan was puzzled because although there were some women of size in the room, many of the women were actually perfectly thin. The bigger ones were talkative and chatted with other big women while the slight ones sat quietly with their eyes pointed downward. A pale woman who was shaped like an overstuffed Christmas stocking and dotted with rusty freckles smiled down at Morgan.
“Is this the OA meeting?” she asked inquisitive, aqua eyes framed by electrically charged orange hair.
“Oh yes, you’re in the right place. They put all of us fatties with the anorexics and bulimics because we all have eating disorders. Unfortunately, they have the kind that makes them perfect and we have the kind that makes us like huge, ugly, eyesores to like, everyone else, right?” She winked at Morgan like this was a secret that was now in her trust.
At least the skinny ones were doing the world a favor by making themselves the painted canvas of feminine, barely there attractiveness that society holds so very dear, even though they are told they are sick for trying so hard. As if everyone else isn’t trying to do the same thing one way or another. Overdeveloped outsides wrapping around their underdeveloped insides, thought Morgan to herself. She felt like a very different beast entirely. She was worse than lazy. She was selfish for not conforming to what was declared beautiful, seeing but uncaring of the blithe she was imposing on eyes narrowed in scrutiny as she walk down the cracking sidewalks and sat self consciously in straight, fragile, plastic chairs.
Instead of transforming food into energy, Morgan’s body transformed it into walls. Borders upon borders of flesh that most would not dare to cross. Layers that shield from any form of outward intimacy. Her body was a fortress. Morgan effectively hid her treasures, showing to the world only bulging, dimpled flesh. The frail, tiny anorexics looked at the compulsive overeaters a bit fearfully, as if they might slurp them up at any given moment. Morgan never went back.
“Shit,” she said. Morgan’s best friend was going to be there in ten minutes and she was still standing naked over her hills of clothing. She sighed and settled on wearing what she always wore. A faded, black, long sleeve shirt, paired with a dark, olive green skirt that pretty much swept the ground when she walked. She covered this with an oversized hoodie, also a faded black, completing what looked to be a hippie-ghetto burka.
“I see you dressed in your usual camouflage,” said her best friend as Morgan emerged from the front door.
“It is a war zone out there.” She replied back promptly.
Her best friend threw her arms around her and squeezed a quick hug. As Morgan pulled away, she reached over and brushed a strand of dark hair out of Morgan’s small eyes. “Well c’mon then. We’ll smoke a joint on the way and you’ll feel better by the time we get there.”
As they passed the joint in the car, Morgan’s best friend babbled her gripes with her boyfriend. When she first introduced him to Morgan, she said that Morgan really needed to meet this guy and start getting out and dating again. She said he was Morgan’s dream guy and so Morgan agreed to go with him to see a local band. Morgan didn’t wonder why her best friend insisted on coming too, since it was a good band. Dream guy was kind, handsome, and played steel string guitar. His long hair framed big, chocolate eyes and his skin was rich like a mocha latte drink. Morgan liked him immediately and something stirred inside that she hadn’t felt in such a long time.
“I told you.” Said her best friend, “If I wasn’t married I’d be all over him in a hot second.”
As night ticked away into morning, Morgan sat alone at the bar tossing back shots of cheap tequila. Her best friend and dream guy had been making out on the sawdust dance floor for the past 45 minutes. Her best friend stumbled over while he went to the bathroom. “ I knooooooooow, I’m a Biisssshhhhhhh. Zshoooo hate me? Pleeeeeeeeeeeash don’t hay meeeeee.” Pitiful eyes were threatening to spill more than beer.
“I don’t hate you. I just think that you are completely fucking retarded. But I don’t hate you.” That was a year and a half ago, now Morgan’s best friend is separated from her husband, and is living with dream guy in a two bedroom house with a pool and a palm tree in the back yard.
The party took place in a retail store. In the front of the store was a hot pink, tinsel tree. The dirty cement floor had been painted with green and gold glitter and a fold up table with wine, crackers and cheese was displayed next to the cash register. Morgan made her way towards the table and busied herself with the task of pouring some red into a plastic glass.
As she adjusted her gaze upwards, she saw something that immediately turned her stomach into a brick. It was William. William was her best friend’s uncle. Seven years ago, when Morgan was working out of a seedy club next to railroad tracks and the freeway, Uncle Will came in and she ended up going home with him. She had always wanted to fuck him and she knew he had his eye on her, it seemed like the perfect place to explore the kind of fantasies that can only be played out on another’s body. She had played the role of the shy sex object and he played the role of the L.A. prince who could whisk a girl away from all of the filth. He pretended he could love her and she pretended that his dick wasn’t smaller than a light-flow tampon. She also pretended to cum multiple times. Morgan wasn’t sure why she had put on such a performance, maybe trying to make him feel good about himself. She went home before the sky exploded in pinks and yellows by the waking sun. He called her two weeks later which seemed insulting to Morgan at the time. She never returned his call.
“Morgan?” he asked.
“That’s me.” She smiled and tried not to look like a person about to jump overboard.
“I almost didn’t recognize you.”
“I know,” she replied, “I’ve put on a few pounds.” His mouth did not respond so she quickly added, “Wow! It’s been forever, hasn’t it? How have you been?”
“Great,” he finally smiled. “I’m married now.”
“How about you?” He was still looking at Morgan in this half puzzled, half concerned way and his voice dropped. It made her despise him intensely even though she knew he was a nice guy.
“Yah, it’s um, really great. Really great!” Morgan knew what was coming next.
“I heard something bad happened to you?”
“Yah, well, I was raped. But, I’m fine now, that was a pretty long time ago.” But never long enough for her to forget the feeling of that pressure on top of her, that drilling into her, poisoning her well. He had tried to make her look at him. She smiled even wider to reassure Uncle Will that everything was indeed, great.
“Well, I’m sorry that happened to you. If you need anything…”
“Yes, yes, thanks. I’m fine, really. Um, excuse me for a minute?” Morgan began to back away and accidently bumped into the flimsy table, knocking a bottle over. The dark red Chianti pushed its way through the nice, white linen covering the cheap table and Uncle Will grabbed the bottle and tried to confine the spill. Morgan turned and made her way towards the bathroom. Her best friend intercepted her with wide eyes and a sheepish grin.
“Oh my gawd oh shit, honey! Uncle Will!” she giggled apologetically. “I swear I didn’t know he was going to be here. Fuck! He never said he was coming, I swear!”
Morgan pushed past her. She felt like she was burning up. Something rose within her that was primitive, hurling her body towards the doors. Her numb hands pushed the glass and it gave way into the crisp night. The darkness reflected nothing back to her and so she fixed her eye on the darkest spot in the furthest distance, and she began to walk towards it.