Copyright© Arthur Shadwe, 2005
Larry looked in the mirror and studied his reflection. He did so with the strange clinical objectivity that a scientist would have when studying a new species of insect. Obese, the medical term for being significantly overweight, was not the word that most people would use to describe him. Grotesque and monstrous were the two words thrown in his direction most frequently.
The word that hurt his feelings the most was elephantine. He'd always hated circus animals and elephants ranked up there as the worst of the lot. Even as he thought of that word, he realized that more people would have used it if they weren't so damned illiterate. He frowned at his characterization of his fellow human beings.
He went over to the bathtub and turned on the water to let it fill. It took him a moment to get the drain closed. He tried to remember the last time that he had taken a bath rather than a shower. Fat people didn't take baths. They took showers because bathtubs were too small for them. He guessed that it must have been when he was around ten years old. If his memory was correct, that meant it had been twenty-two years since he had taken a bath.
Larry returned to stand in front of the mirror. He looked down at his belly and recalled the words of a rather famous porn star. The man said he knew the exact moment when he had gained too much weight. It was brought home upon discovering that he couldn't see his rather large erection when he looked down. The statement had made an impact on Larry, since he couldn't remember ever seeing his cock when he looked down at himself. It didn't matter if it was erect or not. Even looking in the mirror, his cock was hidden under a roll of fat.
He glanced over at the tub and saw that it was a quarter full. Adding his massive body would probably cause an overflow. Turning off the tap, Larry entered the bathtub hoping that he would fit. As he struggled to wedge his body in the tub, he thought back to the events of the evening.
The routine of a normal Friday had been broken when he had come home from work to discover that his phone was ringing. His heart sank when he glanced down at the caller-id and saw who was calling. It was Mary, his sister.
He knew that a Friday evening telephone call meant only one thing. For five full rings he had debated answering it. When he had given into its rude demand for his attention, his sister informed him that she had set up a blind date for him that evening. She was always setting him up on blind dates.
Larry tried to refuse, but Mary had argued that she would feel horrible if he stood up the wonderful woman who was just dying to go out with him. Reluctantly he had agreed to dinner and a movie knowing that his sister only meant the best for him. Unfortunately, the quality of her fix-ups had gone downhill of late.
An hour later, showered, shaved, and dressed in clean pants and shirt, Larry left his comfortable apartment to meet the woman. Upon reaching his car, he debated the wisdom of going on this date. He hated dating. Women didn't see the man inside the huge body. If they did, they'd see what a nice man he was. They might even discover his passion for history, his appreciation for art, and his knowledge of jazz.
Getting into his old Buick, the car canted to accommodate his great bulk. The springs on the driver's side of the car had weakened over time. It was hot and the air conditioner in his old car was not up to the task of cooling it to a comfortable temperature. It was an old car and on its last legs.
In the heat, he sweated. His large body was not meant for warm climates. Great patches of sweat appeared under his arms. The antiperspirant that he had applied was not up to the assault of the temperature. By the time he arrived at her apartment, he looked as if he had been sprayed with a hose. He sat in the car and shook his head at the desperation that drove him to accept this blind date.
Waddling up to the door, he paused to look down at the dried flowers in pot on the porch. He shook his head at the sight and wondered if they were a portent for his date. He knocked on the door and held his breath. Deep inside, he hoped that she would be overweight and, just might, understand his sweat.
Milly answered the door and took one look at the man standing in front of her. She groaned and asked, "Are you Larry?"
"Yes, are you Milly?" he asked keeping his voice light and cheerful. He looked over her thinking that she wasn't an unattractive woman. Her face was long and thin. She definitely wasn't the kind of woman that men fell all over themselves to date, but looks didn't matter that much to him. He knew better than to judge a person by their appearance. It was the person inside that was important.
"Yeah. I wish I wasn't. I told that bitch that I don't like fat people," she said with a frown of disgust. She believed that fat people were weak and couldn't control themselves. If they had any self-respect, they'd hide and go on a diet until they were presentable. She couldn't believe that Mary would set her up with a fat man.
"We can cancel the date, if you would rather not go out with me," offered Larry hoping that she would accept his offer. He'd much rather return home and finish the historical novel he had started the other night.
"Oh, no. You're taking me out. I didn't get all dressed up just to sit around the house on a Friday night," said Milly. She decided that she'd make this a date the fat bastard would remember for the rest of his life. Maybe next time, his sister wouldn't set him up with a woman that didn't like fat people.
"Are you sure?"
Poking his chest with her finger, she said, "Don't you dare back out on me."
Irritated, Larry stepped back and stared at her. He'd never walked out on a date before, but he was certainly tempted to do it this time. Shaking his head, he asked, "Are you ready to go?"
"Hold your horses. I've got to lock up," she retorted thinking that fat men were too pushy. As far as she was concerned, this guy should be thanking her for taking pity on him.
Larry sat back in the tub to soak in the hot water. He had to sit with his knees bent so that his body would fit in the cramped tub. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable that he'd ever been. He wondered how a couple would fit in a bathtub like they always showed in the movies. A man of any height wouldn't fit in a tub without having to fold himself in three parts. That wouldn't leave a place for a woman. He reached for the razor as his thoughts returned to the date.