Part I: My Other (Chapter 1)

My Other

I first became aware of my fat when I was two.

Yes, that awareness came first, the moment fat jiggled into memory, unblocking Jungian canals of prehistory.

Nanoseconds after fat-consciousness, I became aware of “I” as one.

As two?


Springing from nothing to a wiggling amoeba to a sudden human being sitting on a horse on a merry-go-round.

My breath catching, as if someone had frightened me into existence.

Now, what?

Colors, sounds, smells, touch, and taste flooding my body. Feelings – wild and random and terrifying, a sea of voices screaming in tongues, pushing me under.

I can’t breathe!

Then, something – someone? – moving through the canals of my brain–organizing, filing, and deleting.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...AIR! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...!

Not dizzy as the merry-go-round spun around, my horse pumping up and down, like a wave ebbing and flowing and ebbing and flowing...

Carousel music! David Rose’s “The Stripper.” Yes, the Da-Da-Dah, Dah, Dah, Da, da!

I couldn’t have known then.

But the memory knows what it knows.

Around and around and around. An other, with red hair and jiggling chins – a pink amoeba – laughed, leaped onto the carousel, latched onto a pole, and hopped side-saddle onto a unicorn. The platform sagged and groaned, still whirling around and around.

The new presence singing from the gut, its words grooving into memory, “You can’t love me, I’m big and fat,” to the carousel music.

The amoeba climbed off the horse, and leaped from the platform, disappearing beyond.

Like Candy…

Where are you?

The merry-go-round stationary, the rest of the world spinning out of control.

Spiraling outward, a spin-art menagerie of people, tents, balloons, vivid colors curving around and around, enfolding me.

More color! A blur. Confusing…

My world, here.

Not ready for the beyond.

Someday, I would find it.


I barely had language, but one word:


The awe of touching my cheek and feeling something elastic, something soft and warm, gently giving way to my fingers, mirroring my touch.

What is it?

My leg. A warm, elastic surface: at my touch, a white circle appeared, for a split instant, as the pink gave way to my finger. A fold, just below the thigh. A curiosity, a place to poke, a place where skin held the tip of my finger captive.

I liked this place, it felt real, somewhere I could hold onto without pinching and hurting, for the flat places of my new self pinched when I held onto them. Comfort.

Another surface, unlike the pink one: my sunsuit, yellow with brown and purple dots, ballooning at the belly. I patted it.

Different. Indifferent.

This place rough, flimsy, cool, not mirroring my touch – no me on me. Yet, a part of me, it too having folds like the ones in my leg.


The horse rocked beneath me.

Is this me?

Where is we?

What was me, anyway? Touching the creases in its head, I recoiled: it was inelastic, cool, uncomfortable.


Not me.

Not we.


Inkling: when I touched some surfaces, they did not feel back, that some surfaces existed independently –

I was afraid.

Are we afraid?

Something familiar sitting in a sidecar next to my horse, its hands in its lap,

My mother?

Black smock, blunt-cut platinum hair blowing stiffly in the wind.

My eyes bore on her.

One other in an ocean of otherness.

My other, an other who could stand up and walk away.

Like Candy…

I cried.

She cooed; I felt better, but not entirely

She might leave me on the horse.

How did I get on it?

I don’t know how to get off.


More soothing sounds. Relief. My other wasn’t going to leave me.


I longed to know about this other otherness, to know why I was.

Why we were…

I spun around and around and around and around, fat-consciousness coursing through prehistoric tributaries.

Time flows, sparkling diamond specks, hurtling through a time-space continuum...

My other now a certainty.

Our Other?

The last certainty I would ever know.

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