Home > 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl(2)

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl(2)
Mona Awad

Mel says they are totally checking her out. I look at them again and none of them seem to be looking at us. They don’t even seem to be looking at each other. They’re looking at their burgers or into space.

“No,” Mel says. They were looking at her tits. Mel is exceedingly proud of her tits. What she loves most is the mole on the top of her left breast. She wears Wonderbras and low-cut tops to show it off.

“I want a boob guy,” she always tells me. “I wouldn’t want a butt guy because I hate my butt.”

“Yeah,” I say in sympathy.

“I hate it,” she clarifies. “But boys love it. They always give me compliments. Still, I wouldn’t want a butt guy. He’d always want to do it from behind.”

“Yeah,” I say in sympathy again. We both agree we’d never want a leg guy.

The reason the men are looking, according to Mel, is because she’s been giving off sex vibes all day. I never know what she means by this. My best guess is something between an animal scent and a cosmic force. Mel always says it has to do with the universe. What happens is the universe feels her sex vibes and transmits them to like-minded men and women. She says these particular men can feel her sex vibes. That’s why they’re looking. She’s giving off enough of them for both of us. Which is why they’re looking at me too. They’re totally checking us both out, she says. They checked her out first, of course. But now they’re checking us both out.

I say, “Really?”

And she says, “Totally. Doesn’t that make you horny?”

I hate the word horny. It makes me think of sweat and snorting and wiry hairs.

“I guess,” I say. Though it really, really doesn’t. The men aren’t really attractive. I mean, they’re fine, I guess. But they have these little blinky businessmen eyes and one of them even has gray hair. They look like they are around my father’s age. I hardly see my father since he left, but I know he has a lot of girlfriends. Mainly women he works with at the hotel where he’s a manager. I find traces of them on my infrequent visits to his apartment—feathery, complicated lingerie between his balled-up black socks, a box of tampons under the sink. And then in with his cologne bottles shaped like male torsos, I’ll find a perfume that smells sickly sweet. One time one of them left a message on the machine saying she missed his body oh so much. I can’t even imagine missing my father’s body, and not just because he is my father. No, none of this is making me especially horny. But I say it sort of is because I know if I don’t play along Mel will be angry and a pain to hang out with.

“Wouldn’t it be fun,” she says, “if we went up to them and propositioned them?”

“To do what?” I say.

“To, like, I don’t know,” she sighs. “Let us suck them off. For money. I’d say we’re each worth at least fifty bucks. Maybe even a hundred.”

Mel’s a bit of a slut. But you can’t ever call her that. She hates the word slut and gets pissed if anybody around her uses it. She got super pissed at our friend Katherine once, this girl at our school who wants to be a nun, because Katherine says slut about people she doesn’t like and she says it, according to Mel, with a mouth full of hate. I tell Mel, What does she expect from a girl who only wants to be touched by the hand of God? Mel says it doesn’t matter and really hates Katherine even though we’re all friends.

Mel had to change schools, even, because they kept calling her a slut. Mostly behind her back, but sometimes even to her face, like in an eighties movie. Something about a boy she really liked who already had a girlfriend but the boy found out Mel liked him and started to like her back without breaking up with his girlfriend. So when Mel found out the boy liked her back, she gave him a blow job in the woodlot. But then his girlfriend found out about it and got everyone in the school to start calling Mel a slut whenever she walked by. I guess the boy must have felt guilty about the blow job and decided to tell his girlfriend. Or he was proud of it and just couldn’t stop himself. Whatever it was, Mel couldn’t take it and had to change schools. That’s how I met her and we started getting bored together.

People call Mel a slut at our school too. Because of what she wears on days when we don’t wear our uniforms, but also because of what she wears on regular days, which is nylon thigh highs instead of the itchy wool tights we’re supposed to wear. And she rolls her kilt all the way up so you can see where the thigh highs end. My mother thinks this is why people call Mel a slut. But I don’t think so. Not to sound like an old woman, but you should see girls these days. Some girls roll their kilts all the way up to their crotches. I wear mine down to my knees, but sometimes I’ll roll it up just a little on the way to school. But then it always rolls back down by itself. It’s fine. Later on I’m going to be really fucking beautiful. I’m going to grow into that nose and develop an eating disorder. I’ll be hungry and angry all my life but I’ll also have a hell of a time.

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