Josh goes to design school in Los Angeles. He wants to be creative for a
Josh gets out of class one day and his friend invites him to a Dodgers game. Josh obliges.
At the Dodgers game, Josh cannot stop looking around him, looking at the crowd. The Dodgers crowd. Everyone is fat, Josh thinks. He is not fat. He is just right. Maybe a little too skinny. Josh starts to hyperventilate. He sees people eating, everywhere. Food is falling on people's shirts. People are licking their fingers too much. Smacking noises. All Josh can hear are smacking noises. How can the baseball players hear over smacking noises? The crack of the bat is drowned out by smacking noises made by sixty thousand people simultaneously smacking at once eating nachos or Dodger Dogs or french fries.
Josh passes out.
Josh wakes up five minutes later. His friends have not noticed. They are drinking and throwing popcorn in front of them.
Josh comes to design school the next Monday carrying his manbag. The manbag is full of cookies and white-powdered donuts.
His friends ask him why he has all of the cookies and donuts. What for, they ask.
Josh doesn't reply.
In design class, Josh's design teacher picks at his fingernails and makes a scrunched-up ugly face. Josh opens his manbag from Target and gets out a box of 24 powdered donuts. Josh eats a donut.
Josh sees his friend sneeze without covering his hand. Josh eats another donut.
At a stoplight, Josh sees a girl putting on makeup in her car. She has too much makeup on already. Josh starts sweating and struggles to grab his manbag from his backseat. The light turns green just as Josh puts a donut in his mouth.
Two months later. Josh is fat and unhealthy feeling. He now carries a backpack full of food. He has dropped out of design school. He sits at the outdoor cafe of a Target in Burbank and eats donuts and cookies as he watches people. All day. Cookies and donuts. That mother let her child become that way, Josh tells himself. I must eat for her. If I eat for her then she will not want to eat. That's how the universe becomes stable, Josh says out loud. That's how the universe becomes stable.
Why can't there be beauty everywhere, Josh says.
Josh goes to a Dodgers game by himself. This is the ultimate test, he tells himself.
Josh begins eating immediately. Bad hairpiece. Too tall. Laughing too loudly. Josh eats three boxes of white powdered donuts before he gets to the front of the concessions line.
He orders five Dodger Dogs, two Supreme Nachos, and a Souvenir Cup Mug Root Beer. Josh sits down in the nosebleeds. Not very many people around him. He watches the large screen instead. The baseball players. Josh eats all of the food he ordered.
Josh watches number 24. He falls in love with him. He is perfect. He does not make stupid faces. He is beautiful.
Josh looks down at himself. His t-shirt is covered in mustard and relish. I am one of them, Josh says. I cannot control myself anymore, Josh says out loud. I cannot control myself. I will never be number twenty-four, Josh says.
Josh runs down the steps and throws himself over the railing.