I don’t hate fat people.
My dental hygienist is fat, and I would have nobody else clean my teeth. She is gentle, careful, thorough. She doesn’t make senseless small-talk when I have tools in my mouth. She’s a wonderful woman.
But fat girls—in the context of online dating—scare the shit out of me. The fear is crippling. I’m constantly imagining how it might happen again—finding myself trapped on a date with a conniving, corpulent con artist whose Tinder profile is the paradigm of false advertising.
It happened last Thursday. I was in Boston (for the ASM microbe conference) and staying at The Marriott in Cambridge. After a sushi dinner alone, I was craving connection, intimacy, some reminder I was more than just a cog in the corporate machine.
I decided to pull up Tinder in the hopes I might get lucky. I came across Summer’s profile: MIT student, strawberry blonde hair, trusting blue eyes. To my surprise we matched and she messaged me first.
I eagerly invited her to grab a drink at the hotel bar and braced myself for the same, lame, quotidian excuse: something came up; I’m really tired; my uncle just died suddenly. But instead she wasted no time, asking for my address and confirming she was on her way. I couldn’t believe my luck.
When she sauntered up to me, I was overcome with wave after wave of denial. You’re not my Summer. You’re a whale. You’re a taxicab. You’re Kim and Kanye’s massive Calabasas mansion.
But her eyes were the same as the pictures, and I knew it must be her: this egg-shaped piece of lard.
I suppose I entered panic mode, which allowed me to hide my disgust. She reminded me of an overstuffed sausage. I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying, something about bubble tea and Cambridge and sports. I became genuinely fascinated with her ability to carry on breathing when she so clearly radiated death, disease, decay.
Would we like another round? Hell fucking no. I signed the bill for our fifteen dollar gin and tonics, my hand trembling.
The whale looked at me expectantly. Would I like to show her my room? I told her I was very tired, absolutely exhausted, and we parted with a hug that made my skin crawl.
Sometimes I think about what might have happened if I had taken her upstairs. I’m not certain she would be kind enough to suffocate me with her pale, fleshy boobs before sinking her teeth into my sensitive sinews. I can almost hear the sound of her powerful jaws pulverizing my body into a lifeless pulp. Crunch crunch crunch.