“Picasso Painting”

Obese. The word loomed over Helen’s consciousness like a thunder cloud. Since she was 12, her life had been a constant diet, but she never dreamed she’d let it get this bad. Instead of leading her back to the gym, the label “OBESE” on her trainer’s BMI chart had sent her through the Culver’s drive through, and now she was driving to the dumpster a few blocks away from her dad’s house so there would be no evidence. Later in the amber light of the Midtown pub she sipped until liquid silk coursed through her veins. 238 pounds and 64% body fat, her trainer had measured. She drank until she felt a familiar fuzziness behind her ears and started to wonder what she always wondered, when she drank—why no one was looking at her. It was time to stop. As she gathered her purse, a voice startled her:

“Put your purse down. You’re not leaving.” She looked up and saw a thin man in a plaid shirt and denim shorts. “Don’t look so scared, I just want to talk to you. What’s your name?”
“Helen,” she said, louder than she intended.
“I’m David. Can I buy you a drink?”
“Yeah,” she said boldly. “What are you drinking?”
“Gin and tonic. Like licking a Christmas tree.”
Warmth radiated beneath her stomach at the mention of licking. “I’ll have one of those,” she said before she noticed the ring on his finger.

“You know, you remind me of a Picasso painting.”

She didn’t understand but she nodded and smiled. They licked and licked from the Christmas tree until they made it outside to his car. She felt his erection against her belly. He tasted of menthol cigarettes and smelled like sawdust and wood smoke. Soon they were in his Honda backseat and she was sucking his dick. Thoughts of his ring and “obese” were distant now. She sucked until he was finished. He offered to call her a cab but she insisted she was fine. Driving home, Helen listened to her radio and sang along until she was hoarse. When she walked into her dad’s house, she tiptoed drunkenly to the fridge. She ate little bits of everything she found so as to be undetected, and binged until she was filled with an aftertaste like a latte laced with lard.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
The Story Behind the Story Essays/Articles (all) Developing a Writing Life Why I Write Featured Fiction New Fiction
Sort by

The Story Behind the Story: “Picasso Painting”

Although I have struggled with weight issues myself, I have never been a binger. However, I think labels like
2016-08-21 18:25:09
meyerme88

18

Beyond Show Don’t Tell: The Poetic Image in Fiction

A few years ago, I came across a memorable TEDx lecture by Dr. Joe Dispenza titled “Our Three Brains: From Thinking t
2018-01-11 11:45:37
lauraevalerigmail-com

8

“Use Writing as an Excuse to Travel to Beautiful Places (and other Confessions of a Conference Monster)”

Up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the mornings were cold and the internet worked only after the sun came out and
2015-11-17 19:27:15
alisew

8

Why I Write: Melanie Meyer

I have always had an insatiable thirst to write. Writing is simply my therapy for life; it is what grounds me,
2015-11-10 08:27:45
meyerme88

8

“Gravitate”

I. They stand side by side facing a row of dining room cabinets. Audrey examines each one carefully, looking
2019-08-21 09:36:14
rlittell

0

“Story Dissection”

Here’s all that is needed to dissect the story: Thematic Elements 1) The man loves his wife, as in t
2019-07-10 09:35:19
dryan

0

“Weehawken”

Okay: we are in Weehawken, atop our apartment building. The roof has no rim. It is a stupid idea to sleep here but
2019-06-12 09:24:25
jakegoldman

0

“Doc Oils”

  Bolinas Seventies – 48 clicks by ‘Nam talk but a time warp from civilization which refugees’re ra
2019-05-22 11:14:19
gsarnat

0

“Pictures At An Exhibition”

You won’t see the picture. It fell out of the box she carried from the house tonight. There’s a footprint on it. Tha
2019-05-18 07:01:28
makiefsky

0

“Doorkijkje”

Tess walks from the Met through Central Park. It is Saturday morning and the park is crowded with a fun run. The
2019-05-15 09:22:42
melgoode

0

About Melanie Meyer

Melanie Meyer lives in Middleton, Wisconsin. She is completing her MFA in Creative Writing at National University while caring full time for her beautiful infant daughter.