**A content note before we begin: this story touches on eating disorders, weight and body image issues. This story will be challenging to some listeners who may wish to skip this episode. **
Lindsay Morris is a local playwright and storyteller who lives in Andersonville. She prefers dark comedy and loves to write about all the ways her vagina has screwed her. She’s performed in dozens of shows in Chicago and recently had a play workshopped with the Agency Theater Collective. She describes her work as “Larry David meets Black Mirror”.
Fantasy me is everything. She is the instagram post of people. Filtered, poreless and with an actual butt. Unlike regular me who spent months working out only to lose her tush and her tits.
Every fantasy I’ve ever had always starts out with me, the protagonist, going into hiding. What I mean by that is I am plucked from my everyday existence and given the opportunity to revamp myself away from prying eyes.
On vacation or secluded in a secret underground bunker I can finally figure out how to lose the weight. I’ll be committed to a diet of colorful gruel and spend my days learning mandarin and how to really squeeze my pelvic floor muscles. At that time I won’t speak to anyone. I’ll be a missing person, a ghost to my friends and family.
My own private montage will lead near perfect results of course. My stringent diet and squat training will have me emerge, hairy but healthy. After laser work, a new haircut and highlights, an eyebrow threading, a bikini wax, mani pedi, quick trip to my dermatologist and a set of new clothes I’ll finally be the woman I always wanted to be.
My clothing will be simple yet hip, I’ll wear high rise because it’s cool and not because they are the only jeans that don’t give me a yeast infection. Did I mention my no carb diet will lead to a candida free vagina? No more scratching for me.
Of course when I’m ready I’ll text my friends. Nothing too eager. Lets meet for Dinner and catch up. Perhaps that night I’ll stroll into my favorite coffee shop just on the off chance I run into someone who knows me. A perfect meet cute that will have them absolutely stunned.
“ I heard you were missing, we were all really worried. The police thought you’d been kidnapped. Have you spoken to your mother…. The usual small talk until they finally say, oh my, wow you look fantastic, you lost so much weight”.
“Oh. thanks I’ll say. I just added an extra couple of glasses of water to my diet. It’s amazing what acqua can do to your system”.
Then I will bask in their awe of my willpower, to swim in the sunshine of my after picture.. But then again the new me… I mean the new you didn’t realize your teeth had lost some of their pearly exuberance. So you buy whitestrips and hastily apply them before dinner.
Perfect. Much better than before but then there’s those eye crinkles. God I laughed too much. No more laughing. Is that a zit?
Concealer, blush, eyeliner, lipstick. Now I can make eye contact. They’ll really be shocked now.
For the first time in years you can meet your own eyes in the mirror. You can appreciate what you see. Gone is the chubby, acne riddled teen, gone is the shame of being too big to shop at the cutesy hormonal no tits teen store. You are a fantasy come to life. Oh fuck.. Damit. You feel the dampness in your panties. Your hip jeans are covered in the red sticky residue of your uterine lining.
Perfect Fantasies don’t bleed. You call up your gyno. Better get that IUD. No more periods here I come.
You take vitamins before dinner. Not too many or the nausea will set in. Fantasy/ perfection requires constant upkeep. Multi, E, D, C, Biotin, Fish oil. All cylinders need to fire so you can remember your mandarin Ye Hoi ma.
New pair of pants and even newer you.
You check the temperature. Fuck 27 degrees. It’s winter. Fuck. No cute coat. No perfect entrance. You drink shots of whiskey, if only to insulate your bare arms to the cold. You haven’t eaten for days. Your liver reacts to the fish oil or perhaps the alcohol content. Your barfing into your kitchen sink.
All the better. You can be that much skinner. You might even be able to ingest some carbs if you keep this up. Maybe you should take it up again, shove that toothbrush down deep. So close to your goal weight, of course that ticker keeps sliding. All bodies are beautiful hashtag Love Yourself
You walk into the restaurant. You’re still drunk, your arms raised by goosebumps, your breath like battery acid, your eyes glassy. You look beautiful, you look near perfect, they’ll love you now. But.. They loved me… you before. But that couldn’t have been real. Ugly girls don’t deserve love. That’s what your middle school bully said. That you were covered in fleas and too fat for love.
No fleas, not fat.
The tables are empty. They’ll come. They have to. To remember me from before. To give me the likes I deserve. The likes I need. To heart me in real life.
Please…. I’m so tired….. Please…. Is this enough?
Kat Evans has been performing in Chicago since 2006 with theatre companies such as Promethean, Black Button Eyes, The Hypocrites, and City Lit. You can see her onscreen in feature film NONTRADITIONAL, and Web Series: Lucky Jay Seasons 1 & 2, Geek Lounge, and Why Don’t You Like Me? You can hear her opinions as a guest on Fox Valley Film Critics and Reel Geek Girls. Kat is part of the performing and writing ensemble of Starlight Radio Dreams, and is the creator of the audio serial comedy, Truth Kittens. In addition to Starlight, you can hear her in podcasts Our Fair City, and Toxic Bag.