Saga of a Fat Kid

June 30, 2018

 

        I find myself making art that is haunted by memories from my childhood. Imagine yourself a child, the age of nine.  A child seen as obese. Other kids make fun of you and adults make offhanded comments and jokes about your size. You bury your feelings, laugh it off but withdraw into your own world. Your outlet is your art. The doctor prescribes diet pills, amphetamines, to curb your appetite. If you have never experienced it, you cannot imagine the side effects. The pills work; you have no desire for food. You are hyperactive. Your neurons are rapidly firing, and thoughts are rampant. You can complete any task in record time and look for more. That is why amphetamines are called uppers. Now imagine, bedtime on a hot summer night in a home without air conditioning. The windows are open, and the drone of a fan can be heard as it draws in the hot air. Every sound is amplified in the darkness. You are tired but cannot sleep because of the effects of the drug. You have no idea why you cannot sleep. You can hear scary sounds and wonder what might be just outside of your window. Tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.  The heat and noises continue in the darkness. There is no cool side of the pillow. This continues for what seems an eternity. At some point in the early morning, the drug wears off and you slip into sleep. However, before daylight, you are awakened by someone telling you it is time to get up. You get up, exhausted from lack of sleep, get dressed, eat a low-calorie breakfast, take a pill, and the saga of a fat kid is repeated.

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KENNETH CRAIG PRUITT