Dating site for marital affairs
In between his kid's soccer game and a pizza party, B.* sends a picture of himself on a golf course.
Earlier, he sent 2,000 words on how he got into the game, the trips to California and Ireland, the way the clouds flood the greens at Galway Bay. The long puppyish emails, the condensation of an entire life into a few breathless paragraphs that allow him to retell the stories his wife has already heard.
He tells me he had a brief affair with a woman from one of his company's offices.
He joined Ashley Madison because that encounter left him wanting more. "Everything about her consumed my thoughts, and that's when I first signed up.
He also included a dispatch from the previous evening's softball game, from the excitement of the opening huddle to the crushing defeat. He lets himself be vulnerable too, sharing memories of the beloved dog he had to put down, the long drive home from the vet when he could not stop crying.
We have not spoken on the phone, but that's normal when you meet online.
Here on a site where the idea, ostensibly, is to facilitate no-strings-attached affairs, a lot of men are trying to forge real bonds. He thinks of me at work, he thinks of me when he is birdcalling. On Ashley Madison, wives are mostly reduced to pronouns, and in that reduction they are less a human than a fact that shares their home.
It doesn't matter, because he says he can imagine my voice; he says he knows exactly what it must sound like.
When he is standing on the soccer field and children are moving around in a blur, he says, he slips out of the game and thinks of me, and if his Black Berry vibrates in his pocket, he hopes that it is me.
But most have taken their pictures recently and surreptitiously.
In their bathrooms with their i Phones held up to the mirror, their faces partially obscured, their wives' J'adore behind them, on top of the toilet.