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Harold, You're a good boy to visit your mother .

Please, Harold, not again with the tv

Harold locked his mother in the closet and pushed the set, carefully, out of the apartment. Sara heard the set being rolled across the floor and sat with her eyes closed, rocking back and forth

He's a good boy my Harold. He's just a little mischief

He seemed so thin, he needs more meat on his bones

So thin, I tell him eat, eat, you shouldn't be so skinny

Over the last few years, Harry had pawned the set and his mother made payments to redeem it. Sara got dinner, turned on the set, then sat down in her vewing chair and watched a series of Proctor and Gamble commercials

Mrs Goldfarb, this is Lyle Russel of the McDick Corporation

A phone call interrupted her show and Sara got up to answer it. Visions of heavenly angels passed before Sara's eyes before the buzzing of the phone in her hand dispersed them.

OmyGod, television. wear?

What willi

should be wearing a nice dress. My red dress! No, red doesn't come so good on the set

Aah, I know it doesn't come good on the set, but the red dress I love

Sara investigated the darkest and remotest corners of the closet, finding almost forgotten clothes and singing in a wordless and tuneless monotone as she tried them on, squeezing and stuffing and adjusting as her flesh oozed over the sides.

Sara told Ada about the phone call. They discussed and speculated on the enormity of the coming event in the life of Sara Goldfarb, a event of such prodigious proportions and importance that it infused her with a new will to live and materialized a dream that brightened her days and soothed her lonely nights.

She put another chocolate covered cream in her mouth and Jet the chocolate slowly melt and savored the flavor of the chocolate mixing with the cream center then slowly squeezed the chocolate between her tongue and the roof of her mouth and smiled as her body tingled with tiny shocks of delight. She tried desperately to allow the candy to slowly dissolve by itself but as hard as she fought the urge to bite and chew it was useless and her eyes suddenly opened wide and her expression stiffened into one of seriousness as she chewed the candy with intensity and rolled it once or twice then gulped it down, wiping the corners of her mouth with the back of her hand.

0, there's so many. I'd lose weight just looking at all the books

I think a skinny book is better. I don't have too much time

Just holding the book I can feel the pounds melting off

You just relax and think how gorgeous you'll look. You'll be thin, and I'll fix your hair

I'll lose weight, the red dress will fit so good, Ada witl dye my hair a gorgeous red. In no time I'll be zophtic, just like I used to

Ech, what a smell from this dye. I'm almost losing my appetite

Today the hair, tomorrow some sun. Wait til the girls see. .

Ada had everything ready. For 25 years she had been dying her own hair and in her sleep she could turn anyone into a red head

Breakfast: 1 hard boiled


There must be something different later. They must keep adding food

How could you eat only that? A mouse would starve already on that

She felt hollow inside. A profound sadness started to pervade her being. Line by line she read the entire page. It remained the same.

Eh, big deal. Who needs a danish. I'll be zophtic again

Remember, Lana Turner was discovered in a drug store. It's a new life

Sara quickly overcame her gloom with thoughts of being on television. She nuzzled her cheek into the pillow and smiled such a nice smile that even in the dark it glowed with the joy that flowed from her heart. Life was no longer something to endure, but to live. Sara Goldfarb had been given a future.

You're gonna look great for tv dolly. What diet you on?

-You just gotta think thin, dolly -Think about the tv show



I'm thinking thin. Zophtic

Goldfarb, I know you have a big important mail for Goldfarb in here

Sara was the center of attention. The mailman worked his way around the knot of women around Sara to deliver the package from the television and whistled his way out of the building. The women leaned, intently, toward Sara.

So big deal. A piece of paper of paper's going to bug me? Ask. me Mr. Smartypants

. Hah! You call that a question? . That kind I take six at once

Sara had not filled in too many forms in her life, but whenever she was faced with the ordeal, they always seemed impossible at first. She sat and looked at it, knowing that soon it would start to make sense. Once in, she glided from one question to the next, growing more and more excited.

I'm not hearing anything yet. I just mailed it yesterday

A doctor, huh. Who wants to not eat?

Sara felt warmed not only by the sun, but by all the attention she was suddenly receiving. She felt like a star

· I'm not hungry because I'm thin and beautiful

I don't eat just because I'm so gorgeous. Think zophtic, zophtic

It was not easy to forget about food and just enjoy the special attention she got as a soon to be contestant on a quiz show. But the nights were worse as she. sat alone, hearing the refrigerator murmuring to her, spasms of fear knotting her stomach and a heaviness squeezing her chest

I'm supposed to not think about chopped liver and pastrami on rye? With a slice of onion and mustard? And herring? In sour cream?

With a matzoh. A nosh with a bialy. I'm not thinking about this?

Now she was dreaming. Like seeing chickens flying through her room, neatly plucked and roasted to a golden brown with little balls of kasha on their backs, and that roast beef threatening to crush her but whirling by, just missing her by a few inches.

I don't know from diet pills, but eggs and grapefruit I've had enough

So look, Mr. Icebox, I'm splurging. A poopoo on you, eat your heart out

Sara got the name of the doctor from her lady friend and made an appointment.

She ate in defiance of the refrigerator smirking in the

I see you're a little overweight

Medicare pays all the . bills

What a relief. So I'll take these pills and in a week I see you again. Thank you doctor

Such magic. Herring tidbit I don't want. A pastrami on rye and potato salad, I don't want

Forever I'm loving you, I'm not even thinking about food. I feel so good, I want to just fly and flutter my wings and sing songs.

Sara sat at the kitchen table, picked up the red pill and daintily dropped it on her tongue. This morning she drank an entire pot of coffee and became aware of feeling good, exhilarated, expansive. Eventually, though, the unbridled energy started to wane and she became aware that she was clenching her jaw and grinding her teeth.

Sara stared at her son, who usually visited only for the tv, her stimulated mind instantly - the new clothes,the relaxed attitude

nice Jewish girl! Maybe I'll be a grandma soon

Oh Harry, I can't tell you. I can't tell you. I'm so happy When's the wedding?

Harry looked at his mother's beaming face and a strange feeling flowed through him with an un-explained power making him feel sort of...whole. He hadn't realized how much he wanted her to be happy. Still, he was puzzled...

Oh Harry, you're such a good boy. Your father would be happy ...

Sara was completely bewildered and befuddled. All of a sudden her son's voice and attitude changed and he was yelling at her and saying things she didn't understand.

Ma,ya gotta cut that stuff

I lost 25 pounds, you should be happy for me

Harry felt defeated. He didn't know what was defeating him, but he sensed it was something he could not cope with, something that was far beyond his power to control or even at this polnt in time comprehend. Something in her attitude was so strong that it simply overpowered him and made any continued resistance impossible.

I'm glad you got a nice girl and a good job

Harry did the best he could to hug his mother and allow her to hug him without trying to pull away, and he held on to her with desperation. He felt cramped and crowded, but he hung on somehow against his will. Eventually, just when he thought he would disintigrate, his mother backed off slightly and looked into his face and smiled.

They should call me. Why don't they call?

What's wrong with me? Maybe they gave me the wrong pills?

The weight was still coming off and the red dress was fitting, but there was something missing. Her jaw hurt. Her mouth felt funny. It tasted like old socks. Dry. Sickening. And her stomach. Such a mess. Like there's a voice in there saying look out, LOOK OUT!

I'm looking for Lyle Russell

He called me and said I was going on a show. Lyle Russell, he works there.

I don't understand. I'm going to be a contestant. I filled in the papers, I answered all the questions

Sara was still talking into the phone many seconds after the click had drifted away and mingled with the voices from her television set. She looked at the phone, the sweat almost feeling like tears. They'll get in touch, she shook her head, they'll get - LOOKOUT!

Oh please, please the show ... please

let me on please ...

She started taking all the pills at once, and that made it better for a while, but by noon her body was crawling and knotting and the tv announcer stepped out of the screen and let everybody know her shame.

It's just the store. No toilet paper. No sugar. Something bad. Crawly. It's wrong not to go

The refrigerator moved. Little

Red Riding Hood. People coming out of the set, walking around LOOKOUTI

Sara had to go to the store. For days she had to go, but couldn't move. Ada and Rae looked at her, then at each other, then each grabbed an arm to help her.

Things are all funny. Mixed up. Confused, like

Your weight is fine, there's nothing to worry about. You just give this to the nurse


Oh, just something to calm you down. You take it, you'll be better than new

When she got back to her apartment, the tv and refrigerator were where they should be and were acting properly. She felt calm inside. The people stayed on their side of the screen.

· Are you sure you haven't lost my name? Do you have my paperwork?

You should stop calling for God's sake

Ijust have to know what show, that's all

You're such a nice girl, dolly, you'll please check for me the show

Maybe I should go down there
and help them look. They must

have lost the papers

Sara called the McDick Corporation a couple of times a week now, sometimes after her red pills and sometimes after taking the tranquillizers.

Soon J'II be on the tv and everyone will love me. Harry will


The pounding of her heart threatened to cut off her breath and she slowly, then suddenly, realized that someone at the McDick Corp. was trying to keep her off the television and they probably tore up her card so they don't know she's supposed to be on the show, she had heard how that happens, like how people get cheated sometimes out of an inheritance on tv.

Sara Goldfarb, Sara Goldfarb. I'm going to be on the television

I'm not leaving until I'm knowing what show it is I'm on. Sara Goldfarb. Go find the name

Someone call an ambulance. We've got to get her out of here. She belongs in a mental institution

Muttering to herself and slipping and sliding on the frozen streets, she thrust her way through the wind and sleet to the Madison Avenue' building and up the elevator, unaware of the looks and stares of the others, into the reception room of the McDick Corp., and she asked the operator why she wasn't putting through her calls, and that she wanted to see Lyle Russell.

Paranoid Schizophrenia Take her for shock treatment

Sara was unaware of her surroundings, the crowded corridors and rooms, the rushing people, the cries of pain did not penetrate her ears and the sickened and bleeding bodies didn't register on her eyes. She was wheeled from room to room, and a doctor glanced at her briefly, then quickly scribbled a note that she was paranoid schizophrenic. She went passively to her first shock treatment with no idea where she was going.