Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole

I grieve the fact that I’m about to turn 56 years old and like my father, find my own mind regularly hijacked by thoughts of fat. Growing up watching him struggle with diets and distance running, I promised myself I wouldn’t do the same. But I did.

I do.

I eat, I diet, I run, I obsess. Most of all I think about it–not just every day–but many times a day. What a waste. When a health scare at fifty made me believe I was going to die, it was only then that I accessed my rage. I imagined my headstone carved with, “Am I skinny enough for you yet?”

My anger is too close, so my desire to write about this in detail turned into something altogether different — a short screenplay about a TV-loving pink bumpy creature who destroys herself in her desire to be blue and smooth. It is the story of my soul’s path, but if I thought that writing it would release me, I was wrong.

I realize this little essay makes my life seem as if it’s all bad. It isn’t. I have many moments of love, joy, and pleasure. In many ways my life has been easy relative to most other humans. But at this moment I am tuned into my anger and I’m having a pity party which I think is justified. It’s about the life I could have had if I’d grown up in a society that put me in the romantic lead role once in a while.

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