Mr. Big Stuff

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January 28, 2002

This older fellow on the stationary bike next to mine at the gym said, “Is
that your bike squeaking? I thought it was my knees!” That might not be the
greatest come-on line in the world — unless, like me, you live to be under
big fat hairy old men. As I pedaled furiously to make the squeaks more
piercing, I pictured going back to his place: He tells me I have to wash all
his dishes. He’s in a wifebeater and no pants or underpants on the
La-Z-Boy watching TV with a bottle of Heineken. I’m in just a shirt as well,
washing the dishes, which must have been sitting there a long time. He
mostly watches TV but glances my way on occasion, tells me to spread my legs
wider, rubs the bottle absentmindedly against his cock,


the head of which
rises up over the top of the armchair arm. When a commercial comes on he
says I’m not doing a good enough job and flings a bottle cap at me.


The Big Fat Hairy Old Guy (BFHOG) is not a man who just happens to
be fat and old, a state which eventually befalls the best of
us. You know him as the one with misplaced yet somehow vortical confidence,
emerging from the pool in a wet hair-sweater and Speedos, yelling in
German at his kid to bring him a Tab or a beer. Or the Guy Already in the
Sauna at Someone’s Gym — men around the country keep telling me about this
guy. They look disturbed when they describe him; they pretend not to have
felt his allure, yet they carry on about how “strange” it was, this nearly
obese, nearly naked MAN taking up two-thirds of the hot tub, legs spread
obscenely. They mention his hairy chest and arms then ask me if I think
they’re gay. No, you’re not gay. The BFHOG is compelling beyond sexual
preference. You can’t help it.


To roll about in the stained paws of a guy who knows none of my friends or
family or readers or tastes, to be here and not here simultaneously —
that’s my BFHOG dream. It happened once for real, back when I was eighteen
and not afraid of being murdered by strangers in strange states (West
Virginia, to be precise). He was a whiskey-drinking, cigar-smoking,
bacon-munching, gray-headed farmer in overalls; I was lithe
as a piece of gristle stretched between a tooth and a forefinger. This guy
never once emptied an ashtray; he’d fill one up and just leave it there,
then start sullying a fresh one. In his house, overflowing ashtrays sat
under the card table, on the seats and arms of dog-torn chairs, under piles
of newspapers, atop the refrigerator, on the counter. Six or eight of them
formed a half-circle — an ash-moat — around the couch he and I were
bouncing up and down on. The brass cross that hung over the couch glinted
dully. His mother had probably tacked it there fifty years earlier. A single
drop of sweat hung off his forehead, growing, swaying, until finally,
finally, it dropped square onto my forehead just the way I knew it would.
The goats tied up outside would have to wait for their dinner.


My favorite Dover BFHOG is Big John. I first saw my living doll in
the summer of 2001 at Carabella’s, a lounge where roofers play pool and
drink for seven hours straight, communicating with grunts and shouts and, in
the seventh hour, incredibly sad yet really weird soliloquies. “Big John,
no!” rang out voices from the back of the bar in the sixth hour of that hot and fateful
night, and
I turned to see Big John wrestling another guy almost his size — so
deliberate in their every thick-fingered shove they appeared to be in slow
motion. When I rewind, the shadowy pair get slower and slower and
slower. I can only imagine the heavy sex that went on that night between Big
John and his scrawny, hysterical, jean-jacketed girlfriend. She must’ve been
crushed not only by his weight, but also by his supreme confidence, which
comes from knowing in one’s bones the secret: very little effort is required
to make an impact. Whim (“I should pound him for looking at my woman) converts to action before anyone notices it has changed shape. I hear toned,
chiseled, expensive-haircutted
men brag to similarly-coiffed friends at the airport about what they’re
“having done” — maybe to the house or the boat. It’s like plastic surgery,
except outside the body. Big John has nothing done. He is outside the
struggle, standing tall, and I slide down in my booth at Carabella’s hoping
for another glimpse of him.


Since the farmer, there have been many Big Fat Hairy Old Guys in my radar,
but none have landed between my thighs. Somewhere along the way something
ossified my limbs while
making my mind run like liquid through my stone body. When I was eighteen, I
didn’t contemplate sleeping with the farmer to escape existentialism, I did
it. Now I only watch. And think about Big John while in my husband’s smooth, skinny arms. One more night with a BFHOG
could crack me open again, I just know it.


Sometimes I try to imagine an actual relationship between me and, say, the
farmer. He’d treat me like one of those green-tinted tin ashtrays: fill me
up and then toss me aside. I’d go rinse myself out and come back to be used
anew. I’d never lay in HIS house with eyes open in the dark, agonizing over
whether I should leave him (because I’d know I was going to leave . . . probably in two hours) or how I spend too much time indoors or my best
friend’s $50,000 debt and suicide wish or if my son is getting enough love
or whether my writing is any good and am I fulfilling my destiny or totally
missing it or maybe I don’t even have a destiny and hunting around for it
has been a waste of my life. BFHOG would take me outside my world, but not
into his. I’d hover nowhere, without tension. His lack of interest in the
Real Me (and my disbelief that there is a Real Him hiding) would pare everything down till
there was nothing left to do but mop up after him, maybe let him have sex
with me again. The simple pleasures.

Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

Lisa Carver and, Inc.