Saturday, June 03, 2006

part one

I was sitting over at my neighbour's house a couple of nights ago just chatting. It's been a while since we did that and it was late enough that the kids had all filtered away and the night was peaceful and cool.

She's been next door since the beginning - that's right - 6 months ago. I can hardly believe it has been that long, and we got to talking about what the days were like back in the beginning. Back in the day, when all we had was two lawn chairs, a coffeepot and an airbed. She and I used to sit on our front porch and talk about all the different foods we'd make if we had a stove and a fridge to keep it in. We'd get ourselves feelin' so hungry with all that talk about food.

It was a really special evening for me, because it was the first time that she had invited me to come into her home and sit down. I'd dropped stuff off inside before, helped her clean after a fight with her estranged boyfriend, and even gone in there to get her stuff when she was in jail...but this was the first 'sofa visit' I'd been invited to share in.

I was looking at pictures of her from when she was just three years old. She was a cutie. Except when I commented to that effect, she shook her head and said "See, I was only three years old and I was big already. Just obeast. I am obeast and it's sad."

I'm pretty sure what she meant to say was "obese" but it came out as a word picture. Can you imagine what the word "obeast" looks like? Pretty unattractive. Maybe even hideous. That's how she feels about herself.

Now I wonder. Is she the one who first used that term to describe herself? Or did someone speak it over her, like a label or a banner and she then just adopted it?

Either way, it makes it all too clear to me how one word spoken over someone in their life that is unkind can hover and loom over them for decades afterward and become a big part of the way they define and view themselves.

It might not seem like a big deal to anybody else, but I think she's lovely and I wish that she would look at herself that way too.

posted by:

No comments: