Eunice was twenty-seven and weighed three hundred pounds. Only a century ago a painter would have employed her as a model, and she could have earned her living by it. These days, however, she had been looking for work over a period of many long useless months, during which the old fridge was opened with increasing frequency.
It is generally estimated that fat people watch television on average eleven hours a day. And assumed that, on top of that, fat women read large numbers of romantic magazines. Eunice, however, didn’t even glance at them. She rarely tasted a potato chip, even less so with her eyes fixed on the luminous screen.
At the time she was looking for work, no food shop was prepared to take her on for fear that she would secretly eat everything within her reach. Eunice finally did find employment in a flower shop. Nobody could imagine that she might want to taste the ferns and the geraniums or savor the yellow roses. On the other hand, she was well acquainted with the names of flowers and, from the aura of candor that emanated from her round face, the shopkeeper guessed that her large presence would suit the place well.
Eunice spent hours there sitting on a wooden stool. The tape recorder played a cassette of new-age music over and over. At times Eunice stretched her puffy hand to caress the leaves of a poinsettia, feeling the roughness with the tips of her fingers. Immensely, time slipped away.
Eunice lived in an old apartment in the Calle San José. Eunice spent Sundays lying on her bed; her flesh equally distributed on both sides, right and left and in close connection with the mat-