“Fatso” struck a chord with me, from the very first paragraph. I’ll be the first to say that no one lives the same life, but this short story reflected a similar experience I once had with a girl. I’m only twenty-two; I can’t lay claim worldly wisdom or great understanding of life. I don’t know whether what we had was love or not, or merely the deep affection of young people learning about themselves and the world. She came to me with what she described as an ugly secret, and she cried. I found the secret not so ugly at all.
In “Fatso,” the narrator immediately dismisses his girlfriend’s secret. Not because it was trivial, but because it did not matter to him. Whatever the horrible secret was wouldn’t sway his opinion and feelings for her. He loved her; blindly, one might say. As a reader, and one who had a similar experience with a secret, watching him narrate the events of his time with Fatso was familiar and brought back a number of memories.
When I arrived at the end of the story, I realized that the narrator abandoned me at the start, the very first paragraph. He turned things around, mixed me up, and suddenly I was the one resting alongside this Fatso in bed.
To me, the secret wasn’t that the girl he loved turned into a short, fat man by night. It was showing who you are, and being vulnerable going into a relationship, and of course, the struggle your partner might go through in loving and accepting you.