“I was a fat old man way before it got popular.” The fat old man leaned across the old fashioned, wooden bar. “When I chose this body it was before what’s-his-face got on the Feeds about bellies and beards. I decided I wanted to be big, on my own, for, whatsit, philosophical reasons.”
“Oh yeah?” said the bartender, distantly sympathetic.
“I wanted to fill up space.” The old man gestured at his girth.
The bartender nodded, cleaning a glass. The old man continued. “I was raised in the Cult of Barbie. Really, I was. I know I don’t look like it now but I’d been a Barbie all my life. I know, doesn’t show to look at me now, but I was one of the plastic people, shiny hair, long legs, perfect surgical tan. I used to wear miniskirts. And the shoes, rows and rows of them. My closets, if you could have seen them then, you would have been amazed.”
The fat old man, who wasn’t really old at all, pushed himself back from the bar and stood, pointing at his feet. “You know how many shoes I’ve got now? Two, the ones I’m wearing. I didn’t take this body to be fashionable.”
The bartender raised an eyebrow. “Then why did you take it?”
Shaking his finger, the old man came back to sit on the barstool. “It’s not to rebel against the Cult, if that’s what you think.”
“Didn’t even come to my mind.” said the bartender.
My Story, "The Cult of Personality" is up on 365 Tomorrows today. You can read the rest of it here: http://www.365tomorrows.com/11/02/the-cult-of-personality/