082. The Feeder. Fred Schwaller

We stand over the lake, you and I, pondering a midnight swim. We only just met, but already we reveal the widths of our hips, the breadth of thighs, the depths of back dimples. You could spoon cereal out of mine for breakfast, milk full to the brim, but barely a spoonful of porridge would rest in yours, not even a baked bean or a cornflake.

We wade out into the water sucking teeth. I swim easily, at home in the water that relieves the gravity from my body. You struggle to stay afloat, your angled shins and pencil thighs whirling around like bicycle spokes. I feel the seal to your colt.

I should be struck by the beauty of it all; the stars reflecting in the tarry water, shadows of tree fingers rippling in the sway. But all I can think about is that your bum that looks like a carrier bag that’s been rained on, that you could use your spine to squeeze out clay into wedges. You need plumping, fattening, marbled to fifty-pounds-a-kilo instead of your tough old skirt, on offer at one-ninety-nine.

Between gasping breaths you say that we should go back to shore, that you’re not a strong swimmer or a buoyant floater. Now we stand back on the dirt, hugging each other warm as the water shines off our bodies in the moonlight. A smile, a kiss, but the clothes are soon back on to stop you shivering.

In the morning we eat French toast spread with pools of butter, drink gold-top milk with extra whey. I watch over you to make sure you finish, insisting on second helpings. If I won’t get any thinner, you’ll just have to get fatter. What good are you without something to squeeze, without something to taste.

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