I sat next to a very fat man on a recent flight. A long flight. And his large frame leaked over the armrest, invading my window seat. Just above his elbow, below his t-shirt sleeve, was a mole the size of a Susan B. Anthony. Black like cola, the hair on it grew longer, thicker, darker, than anywhere else on his arm. I imagined the hairs brushing the lip of my coffee cup as he reached for his in-flight magazine. I kept staring at the mark, with the repulsive urge to give it a couple of strokes– pet it– with the tip of my index finger. At one point, he scratched his love handle, which put his elbow right under my nose. I got a good look at his pigment blotch. The mole and I shared an air-jet. His growth was my main focus for the entire trip. I gagged and nearly laughed when I looked at the title of the book he was reading: “Piercing the Darkness.” I hope it wasn’t nonfiction.
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