Seeking redemption through booze, hard driving and bouts of gorging, Sarah Campbell leaves her New England home, her husband Sweep and her lovers, Will, Hangrove the local plumber, Young Viking, Ernest, and Bailey. In her red Porsche, she attacks the western landscape, stopping along the way in roadside rest areas to exorcise demons with her hand drum, sampling diners, sleeping in motels, until an unlikely encounter in the middle of the desert forces her to slow down and begin the painful process of digesting her experience and coming to terms with herself. Armed with a guitar and protected by 80 pounds of 'insulation,' she returns home to face her friends. It is Sarah Campbell who contributes the first-person voice to this fast, tough, funny investigation of sex, excess, music and the power struggle between men and women, but in some sense all the characters in Fat People are heavy—fat or made plump for slaughter, oily or unctuous, corpulent, substantial, rich in some desirable element, or pregnant.
I shop for a snack and find a motel. It is called The Rustic Arms. I register as Annie Bodwyn Carr. I park the Porsche in front of Door 19. Thrusday the 23rd of March. How did it get to be Thursday the 23rd of March?
I have been blessed with a less than perfect room. Three walls are papered yellow with red roses and the fourth is red with yellow roses. The back window faces a superhighway: two gasoline stations with bright yellow signs, a McDonalds and a large brick building with no windows in the facing wall. There is a sign framed in the middle lower pane. It read: Speed Limit 40. What a nice thing to say. I watch the passage of a bright orange Dodge pin-striped in black; it glints in the late afternoon sun. In the next room, a couple of guys are making it.
It is an anniversary. I am seven months on the road. Everything changes; everything stays the same. I have learned a thing or two. I remove the chenille bedspread to protect my nappy pants. It is easier than the Laundromat. There is a color tv.