When he tells you you’re beautiful, smile. Crinkle your eyes so it doesn’t look fake; chortle thank you. Try not to think about how you can sense your thighs touching as you stand in front of him. Go home.
Change into yoga pants as you watch yourself in the mirror. Attempt to imagine seeing you the way he says he does. Knead the fat on your hips. Think about his hands there instead of your own and feel his lust for you through the grasp of his palms. Wonder how he could possibly want to hold your pliant sides.
Turn around and try to see how much “back fat” you have gained or lost. Picture him coming up behind you, gliding his arms under yours and around your “could be thinner” waist. Give up when you realize turning your head to look backwards creates an exaggeration of “back fat” on your left side, causing your ability to determine any changes amongst “back fat” accumulation irrelevant.
Go to the bathroom to wash off your makeup. Stare at your eyes in the mirror and examine the rest of your face. Venture to glimpse what he saw there that made him say you were beautiful. Come to the conclusion that you’re eyes are okay—pluck your eyebrows.
Glare at the fleshiness of your chin; prod your cheeks with your fingers as you make various expressions. Imagine his lips on your mouth—wonder why he’d want them there in the first place. Notice you have nice teeth.
Smile, in the mirror this time. Don’t crinkle your eyes, you know its fake; saying thank you is unnecessary but you practice. Acknowledge that your thighs are touching; focus on your upper arms as you shake them for no reason. Decide to skip dinner; pour some wine instead.
Set your wine on the counter in the bathroom observing how the bulb of the glass somewhat resembles the roll where your breast meets your arm. Understand that this bulge is only there because of your bra, pinch it anyway.
Let your gaze travel from the protuberance of your armpit, to your enviable collarbones, to the hair that hangs next to them. It is thick and shiny; it is also frizzy. Scout for grey hairs. Isolate the same one you pulled out last month and be reminded how relentless age is.
Text him back, but only after he has texts you a second time. Respond coyly; use the blushing face with crinkly eyes when he reminds you how attractive your are. Say yes to a date but make him question whether you actually want to go.
Meet him at the trendy restaurant he picked. Don’t order a salad. If you order a salad he might think you are “that kind of girl”; you are not that kind of girl. Promise yourself you wont eat tomorrow. Laugh when he says something funny; laugh again when he tells you that you have a gorgeous smile. Acknowledge how this smile is different from from the first; this smile solidifies his appraisal. Decline dessert; say you are full.
￼Let him put his hand on your hip as you walk from the table. Ignore your kissing thighs; feel his lust through the grasp of his palm. Wonder if he actually wants to grope your doughy sides. Laugh when he asks to kiss you; taste his lips on your mouth. Try to forget about your “back fat” as his arms wrap around your “could be thinner” waist. Think about how you should have ordered a salad; decide you wont eat the day after tomorrow either.
When he asks if you want to go back to his place, smile; say yes, but make him question whether you actually want to go. Try not to think about your upper arms as he slides off your sweater. When he unclips your bra watch the “armpit fat” dissolve. When he tells you you’re beautiful try not to look at his eyes.
Let him fuck you. Tell yourself that this is what beauty feels like. Crinkle your eyes so it doesn’t look fake. Think about whether or not you should stay the night. Go home.