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Writer Longs For ‘Heavy Things,’ Meaningful Life

April 19, 2013 by admin

A Column

By Andrew O’Hare

   I like heavy things; I don’t like light, cheap plastic. For me, it’s all about metal and wood. I'll take hard cover books over soft cover, carrying books is no problem. 
   I lift heavy weights, like heavy conversations; love the realness a few pounds adds. I view what weighs very little as lacking substance, lacking a certain reality. Light things are unsettling. 
   A person who wanders through life collecting nothing of value, and carrying no burden is a person missing any connection to my reality. Anybody who can talk about the weather or can make small talk is a person intentionally having a boring conversation with me. I don't care if it is too hot, or too cold, or too, cloudy, or too rainy. I know what it's like outside.
   A good friend feels heavy. I react carnally to good conversations with close friends. I feel my limbs and eyelids grow heavy, my flesh is drawn down, my thoughts whorl, my body seems to feel every ounce of the beautiful, thoughtful, substantive conversation. 
   It does not matter if it is a debate on the world's greatest dictators, or a discussion of Meat Loaf 's status as the single most relevant artist of all time, as long as it feels like a stainless steel bar. I wish entirely for this weight, I want to be dragged down; I want to feel it in my bones.
   The heavy obsession has been growing and developing my whole life. At first, it was physical. My body was too small to grow out of a car seat at a regular age, so I gained weight until I could sit like a normal child. I got myself into trouble because I was a small child; I was in the 25th percentile of height and weight when I went into preschool. After being moved into kindergarten to avoid the bullying, my stunted growth was even more noticeable when compared to my classmates. I ate and grew constantly after that.
   I played every sport from soccer to wrestling, fencing to football. Size gave an advantage to all sports; the biggest kids were always the best. They have longer limbs, larger reach, and the advantage of physics. I was still undersized, so I made it up with aggression and a lack of care for my body.
    When playing soccer, I would charge the ball like a man possessed, lacking any form of skill or talent but for the ability to scare the kids on the other team. The aggressive type of defense allowed me to become a proficient player without developing skill or relying on size.
   In football, I played defensive line, which breaks down into Newtonian physics and a bad attitude. My job was dirty and thankless, banging against other people, and eating blocks so the linebackers could get their name in the paper. I relied on speed to beat my opponents off the ball, but eventually I needed to grow, for speed means nothing against inertia I ate and grew until I was in the 80th percentile of height and weight, and I became a force of nature on my midget football team. 
   Freshman year, the ante was upped again as defensive front became even more devoted to filling holes and taking real estate; and I packed on 30 pounds of muscle. More muscle and more weight translates into more power, and greater momentum. The trend continued as I graduated at 200 pounds, 65 pounds heavier than what I started with.
   I suppose I am not like most people. I think way too much for my own good. I weigh and measure everything. Everything is broken down and analyzed. I don’t even need to try to measure a person or a situation, it has become second nature. I am constantly quantifying people, things and ideas that I encounter; all in an effort to not waste my time on the unimportant, insignificant, and hollow. 
   I am obsessed with squeezing every last drop out of life, and it all translates back into weight. I want to live hard, love hard, laugh hard, and cry hard. Good or bad, I want significance in everything around me.
   In the end, when the bell tolls for me, I shall know that I was a marshal of matter. I will know that I had an impact and that I was important to a small group of people. I have earned my  weight; I wear it with pride. 
   The things I carry are real enough to me. I refuse to succumb to being shallow and inconsequential. Life is too short to spend on nothing, and I will not become part of that trap. I’ll continue to weigh and measure, to fight friends and discuss all the issues, and to be drawn into other planetary bodies. Heaviness brings everything into my reality. Substance will define my continued existence, until I have become a memory
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