I was walking South on Ivar Ave, near Sunset Boulevard one day, back when I’d first moved to LA, when someone a block away yelled, “I LIKE YOUR FAKE LA BOOBS!” I happened to be wearing a loose tunic shirt, so that was odd. I yelled back “THANKS! BUT THEY’RE REAL, AND THEY’RE SPECTACULAR*!”
A stranger had given me a phony compliment, and I’d corrected them while quoting Seinfeld, because God forbid a stranger think something about me that wasn’t true. At the time I felt differently about myself than I do now. I had gained a lot of weight, and was fluffier.
I ate ravenously to cover trauma and pain. I would only heal from it when I met a person who loved me more for my mind than anything else. We’d talk for hours about social theories, TV shows, politics, relationships, or our screwball families, punctuated by unabated laughter at something one of us had said such as “I don’t plan on having any children that are related to my parents!”
He took it upon himself to shop for my groceries and bought the best food in WeHo that he could find because he wanted me to not only deeply enjoy what I ate, but to be healthy. His months of love in action, in the way I needed it, were more powerful than all the preaching I could ever be subjected to. His love healed me of hating my body, of judging it, of seeing it primarily as a vehicle to please a man. Because to him I wasn’t a body, though he saw my body as valuable because it housed my mind, his favorite thing about me. He helped my mind become my favorite thing about me too.
*I’d originally written “fantastic” in place of “spectacular.” That was incorrect. I was writing around 4am and mixed my words. Many apologies.