Skolnik Page 9
years had passed and he had nothing really to show for it, just barely enough for a rainy day and the lines getting deeper and deeper in Ginny's face and the veins getting stringier and stringier in her arms and legs and he himself feeling under the weather occasionally and barely able to crank up the arm to toss the football around. Sometimes Charlie felt like an enormous weight was sitting on his chest and he couldn't breathe and dreamed about being at the bottom of a pile of big bodies and no one getting off and not being able to move his arms and legs and feeling the panic coming over him. That was what his life was like, he thought. He couldn't get out from under the pile.
     Joe had known Christine in high school but had never gone out with her. He wasn't fat then but somewhat stout and she was a fairly popular girl with big tits that were the talk of the school, a kind of standard by which boys measured the size of their hands. They'd run into each other at someone's wedding and he'd reminded her that

they'd gone to high school together and she'd remembered him well enough and there was a brief courtship and satisfactory honeymoon but after they settled into the house he'd bought he'd had to negotiate her out of every article of clothing she wore to bed and the bra stayed put. At first this had been a kind of coyness but as time went on she barely tolerated his now distinctly corpulent body on top of her for the 30 seconds or so it took him to detumesce and then pushed him off with a look of disgust. Then one day she was gone. Joe took it hard and on top of that he was laid off too, which she led him to understand at the divorce hearing at which she got half the house, only confirmed the wisdom of her move, as though she had been prescient and had known enough to abandon a sinking ship burdened with more cargo than it could safely bear. His best friend took her to another state. His other friends consoled him. He put on another 50 pounds. Fat women didn't appeal to him and thin