A Traitor to Memory



"O my son Absalom,

My son, my son, Absalom!

Would God I had died for thee."

Samuel II, XIX, 4

Maida Valey London

Fat girl can do. Fat girls can do. Fat girls can do and do and do.

As she trod the pavement towards her car, Katie Waddington used her regular mantra in rhythm with her lumbering pace. She said the words mentally instead of aloud, not so much because she was alone and afraid of seeming batty but rather because to say them aloud would put further demands on her labouring lungs. And they had trouble enough to keep going. As did her heart which, according to her always sententious GP, was not intended to pump blood through arteries that were being fast encroached upon by fat.

When he looked at her, he saw rolls of flesh, he saw mammae hanging like two heavy flour sacks from her shoulders, he saw a stomach that drooped to cover her pubis and skin that was cratered with cellulite.

She was carrying so much weight on her frame that she could live for a year on her own tissue without eating and, if the doctor was to be believed, the fat was moving in on her vital organs. If she didn't do something to curb herself at table, he declared each time she saw him, she was going to be a goner.

"Heart failure or stroke, Kathleen," he told her with a shake of his head. "Choose your poison. Your condition calls for immediate action, and that action is not intended to include ingesting anything that can turn into adipose tissue. Do you understand?"

How could she not? It was her body they were talking about and one couldn't be the size of a hippo in a business suit without noticing that fact when the opportunity arose to have a glimpse at one's reflection.

But the truth of the matter was that her GP was the only person in Katie's life who had difficulty accepting her as the terminally fat girl she'd been from childhood. And since the people who counted took her as she was, she had no motivation to shed the thirteen stone that her doctor was recommending.

If Katie had ever harboured a doubt about being embraced by a world of people who were increasingly buffed, toned, and sculpted, she'd had her worth reaffirmed tonight as it was every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when her Eros in Action groups met from seven till ten o'clock. There, the sexually dysfunctional populace of Greater London came together for solace and solution. Directed by Katie Waddington who'd made the study of human sexuality her lifelong passion libidos were examined; erotomania and-phobia were dissected; frigidity, nymphomania, satyrism, transvestism, and fetishisms were admitted to; erotic fantasies were encouraged; and erotic imagination was stimulated.

"You saved our marriage," her clients gushed. Or their lives, or their sanity, or frequently their careers.

Sex is profit was Katie's motto, and she had nearly twenty years of approximately six thousand grateful clients and a waiting list of two hundred more to prove this true.

So she walked to her car in a state that was somewhere between self-satisfaction and absolute rapture. She might be in orgasmic herself, but who was to know as long as she had success in consistently promoting happy orgasm in others? And that's what the public wanted, after all: guilt-free sexual release upon demand.

Who guided them to it? A fat girl did.

Who absolved them of the shame of their desires? A fat girl did.

Who taught them everything from stimulating erogenous zones to simulating passion till passion returned? A terminally hugely preposterously fat girl from Canterbury did and did and did.

That was more important than counting calories. If Katie Waddington was meant to die fat, then that was the way it was going to be.

It was a cool night, just the way she liked it. Autumn had finally come to the city after a boiling summer, and as she trundled along in the darkness Katie relived, as she always did, the high points of her evening's group session.

Tears. Yes, there were always tears as well as hand wringing, blushing, stammering, and sweating aplenty. But there was generally a special moment as well, a breakthrough moment that made listening to hours of repetitious personal details finally worthwhile.

Tonight that moment had come in the persons of Felix and Dolores (last names withheld) who'd joined EIA with the express purpose of 'recapturing the magic' of their marriage after each of them had spent two years and twenty thousand pounds exploring their individual