Summers are uncomfortable for a fat kid. The heat makes the whole body stick to itself, layer upon layer where every fold pools its own sweat. For Albert, being shirtless was putting it all out there. No dark clothes, no strategic buttoning up and no hidden figure. In winter he was a large mass; in summer he was exposed. It wasn’t baby fat anymore. It was just fat. Lots of it. It was a caloric storage for the never-coming famine in a world of plenty burgers and plenty convenience and plenty slothing.
It happened gradually watching Duck Tales, playing NBA Jam on a Sega Master System, masturbating, listening to Peter Andre and copying his hairstyle, being called a fag, and rote learning—zero comprehension but a sharpened memory at least. Two smaller sides squared in a triangle equalled the larger side squared. Pythagoras doesn’t need to make sense. It just works. He could memorise his way through school. It was all a script. He didn’t have to act, just practise his lines. Like the ‘fuck you, arsehole’ line he repeated under his breath so he could use it against Fred, the other fatter kid in class.
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