The Freshman 15 is a documented higher education phenomena. Now it’s time to recognize the MFA Muffintop.
I arrived at Montana in fighting shape. I was practicing Ashtanga Yoga and my skinny pants slung low and confident on my hips. On moving day I hauled box after box to my second floor apartment, my arms lean and strong, the bye-bye muscle flexing like a cat. I was ready to take on the west and get this writing thing on.
I met a guy.
I met Doublefront chicken.
The guy took me out for Doublefront chicken.
Spring I started taking two workshops.
Two workshops did me in. The basement of Doublefront became the post-workshop decompression chamber. There was a bar, a friendly bartender, a dumbwaiter that delivered piping hot fried chicken, French fries and pickles. And deep fried mac n’ cheese wedges. And pitchers of beer. At the mention of Doublefront any Montana MFA’s eyes will glaze over as she stares off, imagining that virgin tear of the crispy, crunchy skin after a long day of soul crushing. You don’t mean to eat all the fries but there they are beckoning one at a time. You don’t mean to drink another pitcher, but then one of the regulars wins on Keno and buys the room another round.
The skinny pants began to ride little higher. Then, a little lower. They were traded for stretchy pants. Traded for the stretchy skirt. Thesis reading pics revealed a poofier me. One photo in profile captured a undeniable, earlier pregnancy-type pooch. It projected horizontally against the backdrop of the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Dumbo ears budded at my sides. That’s okay, I consoled myself. I can get rid of this.
I moved to New Orleans.
There were benefits. My skinny pants were also tight across the butt. This was new, a butt. I graduated from a B to a C cup. This was new, boobs! I wasn’t gaining weight, I told myself, I was filling out.
I moved to Ohio. And as I bet over to pick up a box, I split my skinny pants.
Clearly, I had a tumor. I’d heard about people having ten pound growths pulled out, forgotten twins, growths like giant pearls around teeth. Once the tumor was removed, I consoled myself, I could have my pre-MFA stomach back.
I was looking forward to this.
I went to the doctor and had to get weighed. I stood while she slid the little weight further and further over to the right.
She slid over the big weight.