“Let me tell you something, girl. Gravity sucks.”
The fat woman spoke in a heavy voice that nearly rolled me flat with its declaration. The sound of it was a perfect match for her body. She was massive, no taller than 1.7 meters, yet she weighed over 200 kilos. At least she did on Earth, the woman confided. Here on the moon, she felt light as a feather.
“I had to leave,” she rumbled as we rolled out of the space port. “Take off might have killed me, but gravity definitely would. Couldn’t move down there.” She waved a bloated hand toward the glowing full Earth. “Couldn’t even get out of the damned bed. They had to hoist me into the rocket by crane.”
As we headed into the station, I marveled at how she moved. She bounced along the metal hallways with a slow, heavy grace, each ponderous step sending ripples through her distended form. Adipose overwhelmed her face, and she had more rings around her center than Saturn. She was a wonder to me, an icon of abundance and over-indulgence from another world.
“What’s your name?” she asked as I helped her check in.
She chuckled. “Luna, the moon girl. You’re thin.”
“Born on the moon,” I explained. “Never been planet-side. Everyone here is tall and thin.”
She nodded. “Gravity doesn’t weigh you down. Well it won’t weigh me down either, anymore.”
We made love that night. My interest surprised her, I think, but I had never seen anyone like her before. The moon was a harsh place, full of dry dust and dead rock. Here, everything was rationed—the food, the water, the air. The people were as sparse and tenuous as the recycled oxygen, and we were all just a breath away from death. Not her though. I dug my fingers into the folds of her flesh, wallowing in the furrows and crevices of her landscape. I scaled her mountainous breasts and tumbled down the rolling hills of her belly. “Eat as much as you want,” she laughed as I burrowed between her legs. “I got plenty to spare.”
After that first night, I was bound to her, unable to escape her sphere. She wouldn’t tell me her name. “Left it behind with the gravity,” she joked. “Too heavy to carry around.” So I called her Gaea. She had as much money as she did fat—how else could she have afforded the trip?—and she hired me to be her guide. “I want to go everywhere,” she told me. “Now that I can, I want to move.” So we bounced through the station, her leading the way, me trailing behind.
We didn’t go far at first; she was unused to the exercise and the recycled air. Over the weeks, though, Gaea’s orbit expanded until she ran laps around the station. I was excited for her. She seemed so happy with her newfound freedom. But I soon noticed the laws of physics were wearing away my love. Without the full force of Earth’s gravity to hold her in check, she had become an object in constant motion. As her velocity increased, her mass decreased. Like the Earth hanging in the endless night above, my beautiful Gaea began to wane.
In bed, I stumbled over the skeletal ridges of her once ample hips. Where were Gaea’s mountains and hills? Where was the abundance of flesh? Gone. She had grown as flat and sparse as the lunar plains.
“You should eat more,” I said, struggling to gain a hand-hold on her dwindling form. “You’re rich. You don’t have to starve.”
Gaea scoffed. “One can never be too rich or too thin.”
I tried feeding her more anyway, sneaking half of my rations into her meals. The sacrifice left me dizzy with hunger, but Gaea grew round and full once more. Overjoyed, I feasted on her bounty. Then the extra kilos began to weigh on her mind.
“I still feel it,” she said one night as I suckled at her breast. “Even here, on the moon, gravity still has a hold of me. I’m heavy again.”
“It’s nothing. You’ve just acclimated to the moon. Don’t worry—”
She jumped up, propelling me off the bed and into the nearest wall. As I struggled to right myself, she catapulted toward the observation port.
“I have to escape.” She pointed to a blinking red light in the glittering sky. “The orbital supply station… Can you take me there?”
I shook my head. “It’s dangerous. Besides, there’s nothing up there; it’s just an abandoned hulk of metal.”
“Exactly. There’s nothing, not even gravity. I’d be completely free. Make the arrangements tonight.”
I did as she asked, but reluctantly. The orbital station had been closed for years. When we got there, we glided through its hollow corridors then went outside to walk along the cratered hull. A rocket lifted off from the moon below us and Gaea whooped with joy.
“Look at me!” she shouted over the comm of her EVA suit. “I can fly!”
She leapt into the starry night, sailing to the limit of her tether. The sight of her tumbling free fall chilled me to the bone.
“Gaea, come back! We should return to the shuttle.”
“No.” Her voice crackled in my ear. “I’m staying here.”
“I made arrangements. I’m staying.” She drifted above me, cold and distant. “I know about the food, Luna. I know what you’ve been trying to do. You’ve become a stone around my neck. I need cut you loose. Besides,” she said, spinning away from me, “I’m not attracted to you anymore.”
I felt as though someone had cut off the oxygen to my helmet. While I struggled to breath, Gaea moved farther away. Without thinking, I reached for her tether and unhooked it from the anchor point. Gaea didn’t notice until it was too late.
“Luna? Luna!” She jabbed at the controls of her jet pack, only to set herself further adrift.
“You were right,” I said as she flailed around in the void. “Gravity does suck. It holds us down and crushes us in its grip. But it also holds us together and keeps us safely in our place. Too bad you never appreciated that.”
Gaea fired her pack once more and hurtled away into space. I watched her go, and then I returned to the moon, alone.
© 2008 Helen E. H. Madden. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.