It's like a science fiction movie. Really. REALLY. I noticed it right off, the moment the automatic doors swooshed open and we entered the hotel. Everyone stopped, turned, and looked at us. Distaste, shock, disapproval, were only some of the feelings that registered on all the perfect faces. Then, frozen moment thaws and we push on to the desk.
Coming down the stairs were a group of young men, maybe 17 or 18, all painfully thin, all dressed perfectly, all smiling perfect smiles as they talk. One of them has his hands, with long arty fingers resting on the bannister as he decends. Suddenly a door opens and girls of a similar age burst into the lobby, eyes darting around noticing and hopeing to be noticed. We waited in line while watching all this amazing activity. I glanced at Joe, was I imagining this? I could tell by his face that I was not.
At the check in, after the keys were handed to me I asked, 'So what's going on here today?' I was told that it was a 'Model Congress' where wannabe models come to learn about modelling. Oh. Nice. I guess.
A young man came shirtless from the pool, he was daintily nibbling on a potato chip. A potato chip. You read that right, ONE, potato chip. And I swear I could track each bite as it made the journey from food to poo. It was astonishing. I felt like a subspecies of being. My size, my disability, my age, everything about me, every word you would use to describe me physically set me apart, made me different. It was wild. I felt institutionalized, in public.
I got on the elevator with a older business woman who was as far from fat as I am from thin. She looked at us and said, "Thank God, other real people."
I said, "Oh, those kids are real alright. They don't know it yet, but they are."
She said, "And they won't be really beautiful until they realize that."
We all nodded with a sense of superiority laced with a strong hint of envy.