Number 13

Until a few months ago, I used to be a little bit chubbier. Just more curvy I guess, as my mother used to give me that kind of look when I was not hungry enough to have lunch like “I should be worrying about you because feeding you is what I have done through a liquidly swollen womb since even before imagining you existed, but now I think you’ll manage it until the next meal without that lasagne with mince and besciamella”.

In the last months I lost weight, maybe 6 kilos, and cannot really detect the exact reason between the variables of that period, maybe stress because of my just ended relationship and consequent moving – thus, a lot of weight lifting and walking through the city laden like a pack mule – or because of my specific attention to money, which were steadily disappearing from my bank account without proper replacement, or because I probably just realized I was eating too much – and so why not, I could have felt better without some of that little burden under my epidermis, and give myself a closer model-like appearance that every girl grew up in front of MTV channel secretly aims to.

So I was going back to the world slightly different and the world – especially the male one – looked back at me with slightly different eyes, and hands too. Especially in my home town, which is definitely more inclined to body contact – the warmer the place the more people touch each other, how funny is that – male friends and acquaintances allowed themselves to ponder on the angles of my waist when hugging me, when a kiss on the cheeks would have been enough to greet, they swept the pinched surface of my shoulders when giving me advices I did not ask for, they grabbed the easy circumference of my biceps when explaining me something I got already.

People started lingering on my body with the easiness of someone ordering a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, expecting me not to have a word on it, expecting their physical ponders to be absolutely OK, as if the shorter the travel on my now reduced body the smaller the fine to pay for violating it.

But still what those people didn’t get is that I never asked for those touches, for that colonization. Me, as every other woman, as every other human and being in whatever size and shape, we rarely want our spaces to be violated without authorization. My corners, soft flesh, thin layers, even if they have reduced their occupying areas over me, they are still the gates to my intimacy, to that part of me I want to keep away from the public, them, you, and leaning, brushing, palpating them means disregarding the ownership I have over it, my intimate self – which to be honest sometimes still really misses that besciamella and mince lasagna.

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