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Fat Kid Rules the Worldby K. L. Going
Im a sweating fat kid standing on the edge of the subway platform staring at the tracks. Im 17 years old, weigh 296 pounds, and Im six-foot-one. I have a crew cut, yes a crew cut, sallow skin, and the kind of mouth that puckers when I breathe. Im 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.
Its Sunday afternoon and Im 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? Im not being facetious; I really want to know. Like it or not, apparently theres 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 dont 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? Theres got to be something, right? Right?
So its 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 thats the one thing that cant happen. People cant laugh. Even I deserve a decent suicide.
Thats why Im standing here. Because I cant make up my mind. Im thinking about what Dayle said. Go ahead I wouldnt miss you. Go ahead Go ahead Im telling myself my brother didnt mean it, but even I know thats a lie. Meanwhile its hot and Ive 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 wouldnt have the muscle power to launch my body. Instead, I would plummet straight down. Maybe I wouldnt even get my other leg off the platform my weight would pull me down like an anchor. Thats how I see it. The train plows into me; my fat busts apart, expands to cover the train window and the tunnel walls. Im 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 theres something funny about it. I swear to God. There really is.
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