300-word story: An obese man confined to his bed doesn't understand why his dad fusses so much.
I've had a problem with my weight ever since I was a kid. I used to tell my friends it was glandular, which I think is partly true, although it didn't help that I spent all of my pocket money on sweets. With each year that passed, the bathroom scales moved further against my favour, charting a journey from chubby to chunky to porky to portly to morbidly obese. In my twenties this progressed even further until I reached my current stage. It doesn't have an official name, but I like to call it flab mountain.
Throughout this, my dad has literally been by my side. For years he would timidly suggest that I eat this instead of that, have a couple instead of the whole pack, but recently he's become a lot more outspoken. It's probably due to the fact that I can no longer leave my bed, replacing the last shreds of independence with a beck-and-call system that suits me nicely but annoys him no end.
To be honest I don't see why he hates it so much. I receive disability benefits and give most of the money to him as rent. All he has to do is bring me food, clean my sheets, empty my bucket twice a day – basic chores, if you ask me. Right now we're carrying out my bedtime ritual.
"I can't help you if you won't help yourself," he says, sighing through his nostrils.
He's just constantly overreacting. Doesn't he realise that I could have grown up to be a thief or a murderer or a revolting monster?
"This time you've gone too far," he snaps. "You don't need mayonnaise on everything!"
God, he's so bloody dramatic. Ignoring him, I squeeze the last dollop out of the bottle, only just covering the toothbrush.
Copyright © 2020 Rich Sutherland
Image: Marta Longas