Cushla Managh

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the latitude of fat

1. Lush, voluptuous: the richest or best part of anything.
Eyes like pounamu washed in the river and the things she said, the way she said them, the fact she said them to him. You’re wonderful he replied and it might have been true. But when they lay under the duck-down duvet and the possums ranged over the iron roof and the wind started up, it wasn’t her lovely eyes or her lovely personality he wanted to stroke. His hands charted a journey from hip to hip, feeling the soft folds of flesh, learning her latitude and longitude.
2. Corpulent, obese: a fat person.
I’ve hired the yacht and laid on provisions, he said. Five suckling pigs, ten sacks of sugar, a crate of Coke. That should do but if we get bored or upset or we’re feeling particularly happy, there’s the emergency packet of boiled lollies in the hold. Here’s the map; the route’s piped on in royal icing so we can lick it off as we go. I thought we’d sail north to the Island of Too-Many-Sausages and then east to Lasagne Atoll. With the right wind it’ll take just three months to circumnavigate your girth.
3. Adipose tissue: a white or yellowish greasy substance found in animals.
I’d like another slice of adipose tissue, she said, and don’t be shy with the gravy.
4. Fruitful, fertile: fat soil.
With her first pregnancy she walked five kilometres a day, drank buckets of water. At dinner she arranged two asparagus spears and a floret of broccoli on a large white plate, and declared herself full. The boy baby was born thin and mean, and he tore at her breasts for the fat creamy milk. With her second pregnancy she took to the couch, reading Barbara Cartland novels, eating Turkish Delight, adding cheese to everything. Her daughter was born with a liking for pork rind. Destiny, they said.
5. Fat action: lines in a dramatic part that permit an actor to display abilities.
Woe, said the woman, weeping and wringing her hands.
What shall we do, asked the man, pale, a hand to his brow.
For god’s sake, said the daughter, rolling her eyes and turning up the volume on Marilyn Manson.
It’s not like I’m dying or anything. All the girls do it.
The woman offered cheesecake.
The man offered nachos.
The daughter ran screaming from the room.





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