How masculinity concealed my eating disorder

Illustration by Carmen Johns

The fat boy lives in the echo of laugh tracks. The fat boy, frequently freckled, speaks with the most idiotic of voices. He eats too much to be smart. His stomach jiggles. The red mark of a hand fades on his skin. The fat boy falls on his face. He sits in a chair and then splat: the chair collapses beneath him! Unless, of course, he gets stuck in the chair — equally funny — and when he stands the chair suctions onto his ass. The fat boy farts. The fat boy says, “Me hungry,” in a deep, garbagy voice…

Alex McElroy

Author of THE ATMOSPHERIANS and DADDY ISSUES | Writing in Tin House, The Atlantic, Vice, & at alexmcelroy.org. | they/them

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