Chill Blaine, Lest You Get a Chilblain

She supposed her most colossal fear was getting so fat that she wouldn’t be able to notice if a fly landed on her flesh. That would be when there was no turning back–when she reached the point of being able to turn her head and actually see her back…a posterior so protruding her gait would transcend into a waddle. She could feel her flesh expanding a bit more each day, ergo intuit that this might very well be her future: fat. The only thing that kept her from just going ahead and eating everything in sight to fill the void inside her was Blaine. Not so sweet, oblivious Blaine. They had been on again, off again for roughly three years and every time he informed her that he had met someone else, she both died a little inside and went on a bender of food consumption.

Not only would she mouth-vacuum the entire contents of her fridge, but she would order from all the restaurants within her delivery range, staggering the times of the order to mitigate the potential for judgment and scrutiny if it somehow happened to be the same delivery person. As if she really cared after a certain point of k-holing entirely into the “experience” of her binge. And unlike a bulimic, she would not purge afterward, her only means of recompense being to go down to the basement of her apartment building where she would work out in the hours of the morning when people were either sleeping or partying. It was enough to keep the full-fledged classification of “overweight” at bay, and, more importantly, kept her physically fit (in the style of Bridget Jones) enough to draw Blaine back in every time. Blaine. He who knew her greatest weakness before food was him. That she would always drop whatever she was doing no matter what just to have him even ephemerally back in her arms. Her pale, portly arms. For yes, he had to notice that she had gained more weight than ever before in all their previous interim separations this time around.

He wasn’t as aware of it the night before when he showed up at her door, desperate and downtrodden after another heartbreak, but he certainly was the following morning when he felt as though he was being suffocated by her heavy, thick arms. It was also freezing in the apartment, like she had turned up the A/C to a special temperature reserved solely for rotund people who get far hotter than any thin person could ever comprehend. His teeth were practically chattering as he turned to see that he was being smothered in her embrace. She, all the while, lightly snored in abeyance, immune to his panic. As he began to struggle and writhe about as a means not only to wake her, but also to set himself free, he could feel a sense of doom crashing down upon him. Maybe this was how it was all going to end, his punishment for so many years of stringing Olympia along. Oh Olympia. So unfortunately named as there was nothing Olympian about her, least of all in her physique, let alone being worth deemed much of a winner or “standout” in life–that is, for anything other than being a bit pudgy.

He ceased his squirming for a moment to regain some of his strength and perhaps ruminate on a new strategy for escape. It was quite evident that Olympia was not going to be awakened by any means other than a branding iron. He even tried screaming for about five minutes to get her attention–everything from just her name to “get the fuck off of me you goddamn elephant!” The second he ended his bout of shouting with that, he bit his tongue…could feel that he had gone too far in his harshness even if she didn’t “hear” it in a state of cognizance. It had still infected her mind, made its way through her Eustachian tube and through the ear canal and into her mind where it would forever play on subconscious repeat whenever she was feeling especially bad about herself, which he suddenly imagined to be quite often.

With what was starting to feel like hours spent welded to her body, he was forced to reconcile just how much her weight issues must have stemmed from him. While, in her mind, she viewed him as the last and only reason to stay even mildly in shape, he knew that she wouldn’t go on these binges so frequently were it not for his apt ability to fuck so cavalierly with her mind and therefore body. Come to think of it, he had never been so honest with himself about his responsibility for her very overt depression–a condition she could only relieve with food yet, at the same time, caused her even more depression in the vicious cycle called “his love.” But he had to admit that he must not really love her if he had been so willing to treat her this way for so long.

As he was having all these epiphanies, he realized that something must be horribly wrong with him to be so candid with himself about his behavior. Was he delirious? Having a dream? In a coma-like reverie from being so irrevocably smothered by what was just hours ago considered the throes of passion now turned into the paroxysms of anguish? The scene of them as they were in this instant, Blaine had to laugh, was a metaphor for their entire dynamic. She always trying so cloyingly to cling to him when all he wanted to do was free himself from her intense and powerful clutches. But now, she had won. Once and for all, in the most simultaneously cruel and tender way possible.

As the minutes passed, he could feel himself feeling nothing. Surrendering to the coldness and the associated imminent numbness. Complete and immutable in anesthetizing both his mind and body. Ah mind and body–so inextricably linked. Maybe if he had just surrendered to her emotionally long ago, he wouldn’t have had to do so physically in the present. Alas, what was he to do now but let the chilblains set in? For he had never heeded her advice to just “chill, Blaine” and stop seeking other women besides her. He could’ve done worse, after all. He could’ve ended up dying in the arms of a woman who didn’t love him at all. But then, all men prefer the company of, shall we say, a more frigid bitch. One that keeps them guessing as to the full extent of their affections until the end.

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