The Chronicles of Heavy73

Part 1 of an Ongoing Series

January 30, 2014: Heavy73 was having a bad night. It was a Thursday, so he was at Stix and Stones with the guys, this particular night staring idly from his booth at the crossed thighs of a woman at the bar, when a feeling of dread washed over him - there he was, 41 years old, overweight, and suddenly realizing his odds of ever being in the presence of a naked woman who was not his wife outside of a strip club were all but zero.

“She might die before me,” he mused to himself, but realistically, of the two of them she was in far better health, not to mention that statistically speaking women outlast their spouses, and at any rate barring some kind of freak accident, by the time she kicked he’d be even more pudgy and wrinkled and just plain old and then what sort of options would be left to him?

Heavy73 wasn’t poor, but he knew he lacked the sort of conspicuous wealth that would on its own be enough to draw in anyone actually worth drawing in. Further, he’d never had much of an ability to speak to women. Whenever Heavy73 was lucky enough to get the attention of a woman he was attracted to, he was overcome by a feeling of reverence, like it was a privilege just to attract her gaze, and this made him awkward and, well, stiff.

So it was that Heavy73, slouched in the booth, idly staring, said to himself as much as to the group, “Before I die, I need to have an affair.”

The guys had a small chuckle at his outburst, then Dave chimed in with his usual carpe diem bullshit.

“What’s stopping you then? There’s no time like the present my friend.”

“What’s stopping me? You mean besides the forty extra pounds I’m carrying...”

“Just forty? Are the other extra twenty performing some kind of mystery function?”

“Fuck you, Brian, I’m serious about this. I’m like a god damn kept boy in my own house. She’s always on my case, all 'Where are you going? When will you be home? When will you be home? I just want to spend more time with you.' I’m just talking about it right now and I swear she already knows.”

“So find a way to keep it secret from the bitch. Do you know about Ashley Madison?”

“Who?”

Dave snickered condescendingly. “No jackass, not who, what. It’s this website for married people that want to have affairs. Trust me when I tell you it’s about the safest way out there to step out on the old lady.”

“Sounds like a scam. You’re telling me it actually works?”

Dave leaned in closely and placed his hand on top of Heavy73’s. “It works.”

***

February 15, 2014: Today is going to be a good day for Heavy73. Another bland, obligatory Valentine’s dinner with Sara has left him convinced that it’s time for him to live a little. Nevertheless, it’s an intense moment. Sitting at his desk at work, Heavy73’s palms are sweating, the armpits of his shirt are dark. He opens an incognito tab, he types the fateful address, AshleyMadison.com. “How can this be so easy?” he wonders. He ponders the difference between “Full-sized” and “Zaftig.” Considers adding a few numbers to his height and subtracting a few from his weight, settles on honesty. “If I’m doing this, I’m going to do it right,” he resolves.

...

About the Series

Until the recent appearance of AshleyMadison in headlines and the news of its apparent hacking, I had all but forgotten about this particular dark corner of the internet. When I heard of the hack, and specifically that two men’s profiles had been made public by The Impact Team, I became intrigued by the idea of what might have been going through these men's minds when they decided to sign up, and what that experience might have entailed. But instead of seeking out the real details of Brockton, MA’s own Heavy73, I decided to let the hazy sketch I had gleaned from articles develop into their own portrait of a man who is deeply flawed to say the least. Please enjoy.