Skip to content

More Weight by Gwen Hilton

Having humility, to me, is rewriting Giles Corey’s life so that you can experience all the
suffering only to find out someone else said “More weight.” You could fill every silence in
rehearsals, react before I fell to make it look intentional, you would run me until I wheezed.
When people talk about more weight, the ones who hate you the most will say you said it to
speed up the process of your own death. Inmates who enjoy their last meals and claim
innocence are more likely to be believed. I googled you before the sun came up. A haughty boy
like yourself having his own website, making it to L.A., building his wix out of photos from the
lighted stage, it hurt. I don’t know who your representative is. I don’t know who you are
anymore. Your face is less boyish. You look more like Frankie Muniz. Your face is more boyish.
A haughty boy like yourself with his chin held high shouldn’t make me laugh in the twilight of the
early dawn by leading with his pride about working on an e-commerce campaign with Will
Arnett. Winning contests for the people killing film as an art form to promote movies everyone
forgot. What’s it like to have been part of the viral campaign for the Sandler film from the 2010s
people don’t remember? Laughing because I wouldn’t sing. Laughing because I said I was
going to Ojai, anywhere to get away from you Catholics, laughing because you were used as an
illustration of Da Vinci’s body symmetry and I was called Australopithecus, unable to use tools,
unable to survive in the world. Both of us in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where a
classmate’s older sister drove me forty minutes at six AM to take a train one hour home, two
miles away, at 8 PM. You lived in the town by the car dealerships, the one with money. Now you
have one bit part in seven years on Disney+ shows that will be pulled from streaming. Who gets
the last laugh? And it’s still not me. I hate your website. I hate you. Something should be
enough to stop me from thinking of your name in bed next to someone I love. Something should
be enough to stop me from looking you up. When I did I was thankful I’d find nothing, and when
I found something that amounts to nothing my stomach started to hurt. He may never think an
original thought in his life. I didn’t think he was capable back then, and now it looks like money is
his sole backer and smoothing his path. But you’re good enough to be on the screen. I am not
Miss E-commerce. Will Arnett, lousy lover, would look gorgeous next to me. You look like his
son. I saw him next to Will Arnett and I remembered that man with Nero’s beard pulling him out
of that tiny desk. Tiny for me. You were small in the right ways. I was stout. I wept watching the
introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey next to you and you laughed. You didn’t understand
what it meant to pick up the bone even after you had it explained to you. The music swelled. I
wept and shook. Kubrick depicted the most total power imbalance of all time with nonverbal
early hominids. You looked at me and you laughed. And the man who would serenade himself
as the world burned around him looked at me and laughed too. Of course I’d find it moving. It’s
something I’ll never know. When he threw that perfect spiral, the man with a body that looked
like the one I’d grown into, that king of kings who even the men of the cloth couldn’t force to
wear a tie, he hit me in the face with that perfect spiral and he broke my glasses.
Australopithecus, you have hands. Learn to use tools!
It was not enough to become Homo Habilis. It was not enough to write. It was not
enough to supersede Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Nothing is ever enough, especially the
knowing. You’re supposed to be able to do something and feelings change. The grass isn’t always
greener on the other side. You’re supposed to be able to do something and then you can tell

yourself to change your feelings. I thought it’d be the first thing, then the next, then success came
weekly, daily, sometimes twice daily, and I cut myself to ribbons on the idea of you. I cut myself
to ribbons with the notion that you google me and you use the wrong name, but I use the one
you didn’t have to change for Hollywood and that’s enough to do me in. It won’t be enough to be
Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Sapiens?) and write this justification. And this justification will be null
because you’ve got the foundations and you’re nothing until you’re something. I know that. And
you’ve been roughing it as nothing long enough for me to see that you could be something. I
can’t build a world where you don’t realize you can be something, and yet you say more weight.
Blaming you doesn’t stop the onus from being on me. You don’t even remember me, no one in
their right mind would. We took two classes together. We were in two plays together. You were
spry and I was droll. I did not want to sing Oklahoma where the wind goes sweeping o’er the
plain and when told I could have a single-line speaking role to maintain consistent casting I left
the school. I packed up with dreams of going to Ojai where I’d learn to be what I was always
going to be. I didn’t go to Ojai and I didn’t learn what I thought I would. I did something different
and I did it alone. I did it for myself. Myself is not enough. My own creation myth is not enough.
Tools are not enough. On the horizon line I see sunsets Tony Scott should be alive to
photograph. On the horizon line I see John Ford’s vision of America, malleable in my own
hands. On the horizon line I see a speck, and it’s you. On the horizon line I die looking for water
and finding mirages, my bedouin knowledge left in bodies I can’t remember. Up in the morning,
still in Chicago, watching you through a screen after heavy editing, knowing you’re there in
California. I scroll and see your girlfriend post videos from your family’s home. The actor returns
to the Midwest. Seeing what I always knew. You started somewhere the people I knew hoped to
arrive at before they died. Once again I’m back on the rugby pitch, by the baseball field, behind
our Catholic preparatory, sweating on each other in gym class, then in Dracula. It’s acting, why
can’t you touch her chest? You’re making this worse than it has to be. More weight. I can’t see
myself knowing full well I’ve surpassed you and then some and all that’s left to do is scream
more weight and hear it in your chiding soft voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *