Secrets of a Fat Lady.
Article Type: Short Story
Subject: Short stories
Author: Cho, Natasha
Pub Date: 05/01/2000
Publication: Name: Hecate Publisher: Hecate Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2000 Hecate Press ISSN: 0311-4198
Issue: Date: May, 2000 Source Volume: 26 Source Issue: 1
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 63819201
Full Text: The Fat Ladies of circuses are secretive people. They keep the details of their lives to themselves.

You can rarely tell what a circus Fat Lady is thinking. The Fat Ladies of circuses know how to hide their feelings. When they watch you, they keep their thoughts quiet; they hide their jealousies under their big tent dresses.

In fact, whenever possible, a Fat Lady makes herself elusive. When she is not performing, she spends most of her time in her caravan. A Fat Lady chooses to eat alone and she chooses to rest alone.

Although most circus Fat Ladies prefer to be alone, occasionally a Fat Lady makes a friend.

Take The Fat Lady of this circus-although she does not socialise with most of the performers from this circus, The Duckman is her friend. A few times a week, The Fat Lady and The Duckman go on walks together.

When a Fat Lady walks, her movements are slow but her breath is quick. By the time she has finished a long walk, she is panting heavily.

When The Fat Lady of this circus is panting from a walk, The Duckman smiles at her. He places his webbed hand onto the slope of her big shoulders.

In addition to their walks, The Fat Lady and The Duckman have dinner together at least once a week. The Duckman usually joins The Fat Lady in her caravan. The Fat Lady cooks up a big dinner and they talk into the night. After five and a half years of friendship, The Duckman still tells his biggest secrets to The Fat Lady.

And why not? Ladies and Gentlemen-if you ever gain a Fat Lady as a friend, know that you are lucky. A circus Fat Lady will be your most loyal and valuable friend.

One night, The Duckman joins The Fat Lady in her caravan for dinner.

Over food and wine, they talk. They talk about the town in which the circus is staying and they talk about other circus news. They talk about the end of the circus season; The Fat Lady is looking forward to the end of the circus season.

When all the food has been eaten, The Duckman helps The Fat Lady clear the plates away. Then they sit back down at the table.

The Duckman clears his throat. The Fat Lady smiles at him, and he smiles back. Then The Duckman tells The Fat Lady his news:

He tells The Fat Lady that, at the end of this circus season, he will be leaving this circus. He and his partner, The Regurgitating Woman, have signed contracts to work with another circus.

The Duckman gives The Fat Lady a small smile and tells her he will miss her. He places his webbed hand over her big hand. He tells her how he will miss their walks and their dinners.

After The Duckman has finished speaking, The Fat Lady nods. She congratulates her friend. As The Duckman begins to describe the new circus he will be working with, The Fat Lady drinks from her coffee cup. Remember: The Fat Ladies of circuses know how to hide their feelings.

The Duckman and The Fat Lady continue to talk for another hour. Then The Duckman slowly stands up and thanks The Fat Lady for dinner. He hugs her and leaves her caravan.

The Fat Lady closes the caravan door behind him and locks it. She draws the curtains across the windows. Then she sits on her bed, sweating.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Perhaps you are wondering how a circus Fat Lady can conceal her feelings so well. How does she do it, you are thinking. How does she do it?

It is easy: Feelings, like fat, can be stored within your body. Feelings, like fat, can be kept close to you.

A few days later, The Duckman and The Fat Lady go for a walk.

As they walk, The Duckman chats to The Fat Lady. The Fat Lady listens to her friend, nodding. She is already breathing quickly.

They walk for twenty minutes before they turn around to head back to the circus grounds. When they are close to the circus grounds, The Duckman runs ahead of The Fat Lady to open the gate for her.

The Fat Lady slowly moves past the gate. She leans on the gatepost, panting heavily.

The Duckman smiles at her. He places his webbed hand onto the slope of her big shoulders.

But The Fat Lady moves away from him and walks back to her caravan. As she walks away, The Duckman calls out to her, but she does not listen.

Ladies and Gentlemen -- it is true that, on the whole, a Fat Lady chooses to eat alone and to rest alone. In addition, a Fat Lady chooses to cry alone:

When a Fat Lady is sad, she feels her sadness throughout her whole body. She can feel her huge heart beating. When a Fat Lady is sad, she needs her handkerchief and her privacy.

The Fat Lady of this circus locks her caravan door behind her. She sits on her bed, sweating.

The Fat Lady takes a large handkerchief from the pocket of her dress. She wipes her eyes. When a Fat Lady cries, the tears are big and fat.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.