Gerald Newstreet was fat. There was no way to hide that fact. He would be the first person to say it, too. He was the type of person who burped out a disparaging comment about himself in mid conversation. However, situations like that were a rare event because Gerald lived alone. He liked it that way. It wasn’t a decision motivated by shame or fear of public scrutiny—he knew he never truly quite fit-in anywhere—but lord, it wasn’t from a lack of trying. He had just given up.
He sat there sweating, engorging himself on a gooey, soggy piece of pizza. His apartment was disgusting. Dishes were stacked up so high they could hardly fit in between the bottom of the cabinet and the counter. Every bowl or flatware had a residue of sauces from meals cooked years ago. The crusted pasta on the cookware was so hardened, it would take a diamond SOS pad to remove. The smell was unbearable because the trash was never taken out. Most of the time, the contents of the bags dripped profusely onto the laminate. Like a beach perpetually at low tide, the terrain was moist, swampy, and in a partial state of submergence.
Most of the space reeked of smoke. Old and stinky yellow air clung to the cheap satin finish latex wall paint. The scent stung the nostrils, and it was a particularly cruel odor. It didn’t give the olfactory nerve a chance to deactivate. The carpet was so vile each step would churn up particles and oil from years of smelly feet walking on it.
The bedroom had a queen size bed without sheets and was loosely bobbing on the frame. The amount of pee stains and cigarette burns brutally insulted the aesthetic of the mattress’ floral design. Clothing was strewn all over the place with t-shirts that were solid boards of dried semen. Gerald used them to wipe himself off and they were especially handy for digging out the deposits of cum stuck deep within the cavern of his belly button. In the corner of the room was an Alienware decked out hard drive, two 4K 32 inch monitors, and one of those tricked-out gamer chairs. It was a command center for the avid online multiplayer and RPG geek. To Gerald, this hobby was second only to eating.
The bathroom was covered in black mold. It was smattered from the baseboard all the way up to the ceiling. The shower curtain hung helplessly from the faux silver plated plastic pole that was drastically uneven. The shower looked pretty clean, mostly due to the fact it was seldomly used. Gerald’s bathing regimen was really a waste of time, because it required too much effort to scrub the black gunk that had accumulated in the spaces between his rolls of skin. So, Gerald got into the habit of simply splashing water from the sink all over his whale-sized body. The vanity was caked in a slimy film. It looked like a thick melted votive candle in the lobby of St. Francis Catholic Church. It was frequented by his family for decades and was only a few doors down from Gerald’s building. However, his place, even Jesus might avoid.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t clutter in the living room and the dinner table was immaculate. It was an altar. Gerald needed to indulge to the extent it would make him ill, but he loved the nausea, the shits, and the bloated grossness. Yet it was more a nuanced experience in psychological terms. The sweet pain of feeling overstuffed and the putrid waste surrounding him was an anal obsession at its core. Relishing in the sight of the detritus of crumbs and smeared grease was symbolic of accomplishment. The self-inflicted punishment was sublime. As was the rush of adrenaline flooding his bloodstream caused by ingesting complex carbohydrates, trans fats, and sugar; he felt complete.
From a sociological standpoint, his body was the billboard of gluttony. His head wasn’t that large, however, the fact that Gerald was balding made his canonical shaped skull appear more pronounced. Gerald never wore a shirt when he was at home because it was too restrictive. He had full-sized breasts that were coated with hair, shiny cysts, and white heads; morphologically speaking, he was just a chromosome behind an early hominid—his pasty white skin tone was almost translucent. Gerald would’ve been a lady killer during the Baroque Period—or a model for Peter Paul Rubens at the very least.
There were sporadic blue veins that spread just underneath the epidermis of his waist, which was decorated by stretch marks. He had a miniature penis, even considering the fact it was shielded by a tsunami sized wave of fat that hung over his pelvis. His legs were thick loaves of Italian bread that wanted to break open for a succulent bath in a Tuscan marinara or mop the bowl of a delicious Zuppa di Pesci. His toes were weighted down with heavy chunky toenails that baked an unholy toe cheese casserole. What was between his phalanges would rival the scent of the Devil’s phlegm.
It was a take-out night. It was what Gerald said to himself to assuage his own cognitive dissonance over the fact he never made his own meals anymore. He huffed down piece after piece of thick pizza. The tower of boxes made it impossible for him to see the kitchen. Next to the pies was a bucket of juicy, tangy wings. Mild Buffalo flavor with enough hot vinegar to complement the bland white cheese and lukewarm tomato sauce on each slice of pizza. Gerald would drench his pizza in the pool of hot goopy liquid that covered the chicken bones. With orgasmic moans and grunting, he continued to eat into a state of inebriation.
“Gerald Newstreet was fat. There was no way to hide that fact.”
Gerald had a big problem, though, and it was that he was broke. For the most part, he relied on a nice inheritance from his parents when they passed away ten years earlier. Life was different for Gerald before that cold, drizzly day in early November when mother and father were killed in a car accident. They had swerved off the road when a stray dog unexpectedly bolted across the windy slick asphalt. Gerald was furious for a long time; He went as far as to kick any dog he saw. The “yelp” the dog responded with gave Gerald a queer feeling of joy. “Filthy fucking shitting animals,” he frequently mumbled to himself.
The money supply was waning. Not much worried Gerald, but the possibility of his funds getting so low that it threatened his appetite was sending him into fits of panic. Gerald Newstreet hadn’t held a job in seven years and he was essentially unemployable. The grocery bill was getting unmanageable. Last Tuesday, he begged a delivery driver of his Chinese food to have a heart because he came up short once again to pay for his triple serving of General Tso’s Chicken. He was even risking getting the lights turned off. His third notice scared him enough that he spent a few days trying to get on the public assistance rate for low income residents. He was admitted to the program, but only for a little while until he got a job.
He walked out on his balcony, pulled out a cigarette and sucked in a plume of toxic smoke. The floor of the balcony shifted slightly and then subsequently, the railing vibrated. Gerald looked outside of the second floor onto a courtyard that was well lit by blue boxes, which were installed due to an increase of sexual assault incidents. Underneath one of the blue glowing installations was a cat; a stray he’d seen before. Gerald stared at the animal curiously. It was as if he had a new appreciation for the feline physique. It was graceful and flexible as its muscles were visible from underneath the orange fur—even from this distance. The cat’s hair placed it in a class of domesticated pet versus livestock, but what if the hair was removed? It could definitely pass for a rabbit, right?
Gerald was now fixated on the critter. Was it possible to eat a cat? Or maybe a dog? It wasn’t unheard of, because hadn’t cultures all over the world thrived on consuming cats and dogs? He loved watching cooking and travel shows where the host would traipse from one exotic locale to another, munching on strange birds, larvae, beetles or snakes. Gerald was creeped out for a second, but the thought of him suffering from hunger was utterly terrifying. “What if?” he pondered and continued to think to himself, “How many pets are homeless? Who is going to miss them?”
Gerald went back inside his apartment, closed the slider and ambled to his bedroom. It was the day after Halloween, which was a relief because he loathed that holiday. Gerald detested the knocks from little brats in synthetic superhero costumes begging for candy. He never answered the door, ever. Even if it was the Publisher’s Clearing House ringing his doorbell, Gerald didn’t give a shit. Stripping off his clothes, he sat at his desk, stared at the screens and clicked on some internet porn, and then mercilessly choked his cock until he passed out in his pleather recliner.
The next day’s routine began with hobbling to the bathroom and moseying over to the refrigerator where he ravenously searched for some sustenance. Now that money was tight, pretty much whatever was available sufficed as a good morning start. There was some OJ, pickles, jelly and three sticks of butter. Gerald happily soften the butter sticks in the microwave and slurped down each melted chunk. But this was not enough. He thought about his options. Tomorrow there wouldn’t be anything in his kitchen and he was unable to afford take-out. Gerald knew he would cross the line after what he planned to do.
As early evening approached and Gerald was starving. The hunger pangs were unbearable. Coupled with moments of nausea and lightheadedness, he was ready to crack. Walking out of the main entrance of the apartment building, he felt the chill in the air. He guessed many strays would be poking around for any morsel they could get their paws on. So, Gerald had one Snicker bar that he got from his car. He was feverishly looking for snacks earlier that afternoon and found a couple of half eaten bags of cheese puffs and some M&M’s scattered on the floor mats of his 2004 Ford Focus station wagon. It had a huge dent on the side, a rusted cracked bumper and the windows were cloudy. He located a smushed bar wedged deep in the passenger seat. After taking a bite, he thought he’d save it for bait.