Candice G. Ball



Weight-watchered, diet-centred, I’m zoned-out and fried on ephedrine. I’m exiting
the thin cult, firing my personal trainer, throwing out the powders and pills.
So long to the suicidal selections—black coffee, cigarettes and size six.
Yes, I’m giving up the body-bitching, rediscovering my kitchen,
letting my hips grow back.

I’m abolishing Hollywood’s lollipops and CK’s starving children from my visual lexicon.
It’s time to admit that the men who want women’s bodies to look like little boys’ really want something else. I want a woman-loving man who lusts luscious legs, thighs that touch. Goodbye girdles, support hose, hip-smotherers—my tummy’s round, rambunctious and she’s coming out to play.

And if I hear you say, Such a pretty face, but she let herself go, you have to go. I’ve given up the skeletal crowd, stopped worshipping the god of bones, put a little fat back into my brain, so I can think. I know why the fat lady sings and my plump onion is walking away from all your calorie-counting asses.





You promise each other you’ll live together happily never after tonight. The last night. You’ve said your final goodbyes. We’re no good for each other, you agree and get dressed. You’ve already changed your number to 244-DONE. You tell your friends and family he’s history. No really, it’s over. This time’s different. Really. Perhaps it’s become a matter of show, don’t tell. Well, you’ll show them.

Two a.m. every sheep you count has his face. Suddenly he tears out of the sheep suit, his cocoa skin wet with sweat. You grab your cordless and hit speed dial. Out of service? Cut off? You pounce out of bed—you’re not finished with him just yet. I need to have a word with that naughty sheep, you tell yourself as you snap the clasp on your sin-city red push-up bra.

Three a.m. you’re tangled in wet sheets. Who knew nooses came in cadet blue? The bed bops across his bedroom floor. You’re so bad for me, you scream. We know, the neighbours yell back. You don’t hear because you’ve become a pink, pulsating galaxy, swallowing him up. Every star quivers and sighs his name.

Seven a.m. you skulk into your therapist’s office reeking like a brothel. She opens your thick file, humming Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. Counting sheep didn’t work? You’re a slave to the phallus, she scorns. Tell me, what day is it? You’ve lost track of days, weeks. You can’t remember when you last ate or dropped off your dry-cleaning. You decide to hire a private detective to spy on yourself.

You no longer call each other soul mates, just cellmates. One move, three phone number changes, and 237 e-mails later, you’re still love’s bitch. You discover sex is even better with a restraining order. You tell your friends, family and private detective you’re “dating” him. It’s just easier that way, you explain. You don’t admit you still have hope. There are a few topical books you haven’t read like Stop Living Life like You’re in a Prince Video. You might even join a 12-step group, tomorrow. You promise each other you’ll live together happily never after tonight. The last night.



Candice G. Ball is a Winnipeg-based writer and communications specialist. During the week, she works as a marketing manager at a large law firm. On weekends, she writes for local and national magazines. She is a graduate of Red River College’s Creative Communications Program and she earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in literature. Her poetry has appeared in Grain and CV2.