I am a tiny human. I am barely over five feet tall, and while I’m no waif (Greek girl T & A, baby) I do come in miniature proportions. There are several unique and direct effects of this—I am armpit height with subway commuters (sometimes when the train jolts I get thrust nose first into someone’s sweaty BO), I’m easy to throw around (hi boys!), and I’m always pregnant with a food baby. Let me explain.
After eating too much (read: all the time apart from when I’m sleeping and even then some) my stomach swells to a proportion not dissimilar to pregnancy (hence the name), where you can literally see the added mass of everything I ingest. There is even the action of going into labor (oh no, I need to take a shit!), the rush to the hospital (where the fuck is the nearest Starbucks?) and the final expulsion (breathe, push, breathe, breathe, push!).
Last Thanksgiving I was in Oklahoma with my friend Addie and her family. After lunch we collapsed on the floor of her living room, lying side-by-side. I let my head fall in her direction and I groaned, “hey Addie, want to see something awesome.”
I lifted up the front of my t-shit exposing my bloated, perfectly round belly. Addie’s eyes widened with terror.
“What the fuck?” she cried out, my engorged state shocking out of her encroaching food coma.
“It’s my food baby,” I giggled, which threw us into fits of laughter.
Addie’s mum came over to see what the commotion was and when she saw my exposed, inflated belly she shrieked “oh my God are you pregnant?” which only made us laugh more.
I’m both fascinated and revolted by my food baby. I look at it sometimes and stroke it, pondering the wonder of life — the awesomeness of the human body that it can contract and expand in such a way relative to what’s inside it. And then I look at it sometimes and wonder why, WHY, must I always look like I have a fucking small human growing inside of me every time I have a meal?
I wonder if I could use my food baby on the subway to get a seat. I wonder what my belly will look like when I’m actually pregnant. I wonder what my belly will look like when I’m actually pregnant and then I have a meal. Will I have two babies—a regular baby and a food baby? If I have two babies (a regular and a food one), which will I love more? What if they mutate together to form some kind of amazing X-Man?
When all is said and done, and there’s nothing left to ponder, the bottom line is that I love my food baby. It’s part of me, I want to nurture it, I want to help it diversify, I want to watch it grow in the morning, deflate in the afternoon, grow again at dinner, and deflate again right before bed. It’s an immaculate conception of the best kind. Food baby, it’s just you and me, kid.