Half-remembered European lore meets mostly-remembered JRR Tolkien in my old iPad sketch, made while I was still pretty punchy, post-surgeries.

The story behind it: I’d been sitting in a car at an intersection when a woman began crossing in front of me. She was extremely overweight & that was hampering her ability to move freely.

And my vision shifted.

What I saw haunted me until I finally had to draw it, so I could really look at it.

I saw “her” excess weight as a possessing, malevolent entity, actively stealing her life and health.
I used my clumsy, baseball-bat stylus to write “Gollum” at the bottom, but what I’d meant wasn’t Tolkien, but the mythic “Golem.” It’s an identity used throughout cultures; you’re free to argue whether I’ve used it correctly. Actually, in the usage on this page, that is what I’d intended.

A Golem is a crude, clay figure, usually shaped like a human…Their arms, legs, and bodies are thick and full of power, while their heads are small and close to their bodies. Sometimes, their heads have no faces…


On the surface, Golems don’t seem to have much personality. They are slaves to their creators, and they are thoughtlessly obedient.

Go on…

Golems themselves don’t have many talents. They are super-large and super-strong, and many of them have grown continuously, getting larger and stronger as they age.


Yup. That’s what I saw, alright. –Double-check on the “increasing in size” aspect.

Despite its size, this isn’t a baby. The golem-goblin was her torturer personified, actively oppressing her. Between her & the world. Faceless, with only a round mouth of sharp teeth fastened to her heart; always biting, never letting go.

It was a personification of old abuse she carried everywhere she went. It was molded from Belittling. Shaming. Injustice. Assault. Silencing. Cruelty. Rape.

It lives in plain sight because it thinks itself invincible. Something like the face-grabbing creature of the 1979 movie Alien, but this one reached past tortured flesh and bone, to the woman’s soul. Now that I’ve learned how to see them, they’re everywhere.

What’s my golem made of? Some of that’s answered in my first book.
How does your golem grow?

Just, you know, an ordinary day in a car in LA.
Waiting for the light to change.

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