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Lost Soul of the Bucktown Gym
|Lost Soul of the Bucktown Gym
“All locked up in back, Jay.” Ian Chan said throwing his old high school varsity jacket on and snapping up the buttons. He was only a few years out of high school and it barely fit him anymore. But in Ian’s case the extra weight that was stretching the fabric was all muscle. “Even the men’s locker room looked good tonight. Not like we’ve been keeping animals caged up back there as usual.”
“Cool. You sure everyone is out, I thought I heard something in the weight room when you were taking out the trash.” Jay Jenkins said not even looking up from the paperwork he was doing at the gym’s front counter. He had been the manager at the Bucktown Gym for a couple of years while Ian was a fairly new employee.
“OoooOOOOOoooooo….spooky noises in the gym on Halloween night.”
“Knock it off, ya goof. Have a good night.”
“You doing anything?” Ian asked trying to get Jay’s attention away from the paperwork. “Want to go grab some dinner?”
“I’ll have to grab something later, got all this paperwork to take care of. End of the month stuff.”
“Yea, but you don’t HAVE to do that tonight do you? It’s like the third time I’ve asked….” Ian said giving it his best little sad boy face. Jay didn’t even look up to see it.
“Got to get it done. You have a good night.”
“Yea, OK, whatever.” Ian said heading for the door. Even Jay had to catch the hurt little puppy body language but he couldn’t help it. He had all this work to do, no one else was going to do it, and it couldn’t wait. Beside, well, yea the kid was awesome and Jay sort of hired him to work at the gym sort of to have him around but….couldn’t use the gym as a place to hook up. It wasn’t a gay gym, not totally and as the manager he had to make sure everyone going there was comfortable. And there were a million other reasons not to hook up with the hot little Asian gym bunny whose jeans were especially tight and well worn on his ass which he kept shifting the weight on back and forth while he unlocked the front door to the gym to let himself out…..great reason not to get involved right now. Way too busy. Jay hoped to give Ian so wave as he walked by the window but the kid strode off not even looking up, not even changing the upset look his face.
“Anyway…fine….fine. Don’t need this right now.” Jay thought getting back to the numbers he was moving from the tally sheet to his spreadsheet. But trying to regain his concentration was stopped immediately by the unmistakable sound of weight on a weight machine hitting the ground. “Stupid kid, told him I heard someone back here.” Jay muttered to himself. “Hello!” he yelled into the main weight room while trying to flip on the lights.
Nothing. Lights not working. Shit if this is the kid playing games. Kid, well he was only 3 years younger in age but emotionally, this is right up his alley. Fucking Halloween prank. Sound came from that ancient leg machine in the back corner. Nothing else made a ‘CLANK’ like that. Wish they could get rid of that old antique. Owner said they’ve tried to remove it each time they remodeled the place since he bought it in the late 70’s, but it’s bolted to the wall too securely. And they can’t figure out how to take it apart. So it stays there, kind of rusty, kind of hoping no one hurts themselves using it. As Jay made his way through the darkened weight room, as he got closer to the corner, that’s when he started hearing the crying.
“What the fu…..HELLO!!! I can hear you, come out!!!”
Nothing but the crying continued. Goddamn in a room full with almost 100,000 pounds of iron weights and the only free weights he could use as a weapon were right next to where he was going. Jay carefully moved across the room. Turning the corner came upon an incredibly odd site. Not what he was expecting.
Where the old leg machine should have been, there was nothing but an empty wall. Sitting on his knees on the floor in front was an older man. Hard to see in the darkness but he was picking up bricks from a stack next to him and cementing a large hole in the wall back together. He obviously had been doing it for a while and there were only about a 6 to 8 bricks left. How could they not have seen him? How could Ian missed this?? And what the fuck was going on???
“I’m sorry.” The man cried. Sounded to Jay the guy was talking to himself and didn’t hear him come up behind him. “I can’t…..I can’t let them find you. I’m sorry…..can’t let them.”
As another brick went into the wall it suddenly sounded to Jay that the guy WAS talking to someone…INSIDE the wall.
“Hey HEY BUDDY what the FUCK YOU DOING??!?!” Jay yelled making a run for the guy. The freak didn’t even turn abound as Jay grabbed for his shoulder…which wasn’t there. His hand went right through the guy and into a blinding light.
Slowly, very slowly Jay’s sight came back to him. He heard the noise first, of the thunderstorms outside and of heavy breathing. As his vision came info focus Jay found that he was standing in a hospital room, late at night, a storm was raging outside and there was a man dying in the bed. It was the guy from the gym. Jay had enough relatives go like this to know the advanced stages of cancer. It was clear the cancer would win in the next few minutes. Guy looked like he was several decades older than when Jay saw him in the gym, or saw what looked like him, but that also could have just been the cancer. The thin body, almost yellow skin, his breathing was once every 5 seconds or so, deep and labored, with the eyes…the eyes moved to look at him. Jay jumped a foot back but the eyes didn’t move again to match his jump. And then the eyes shifted back again.
“The door.” Jay thought. “He can’t… he can’t even see me. He’s watching the door. For someone to come in. Who you waiting to come in old man? The police? Waiting to see if you can get away with who ever you murdered and walled up. Few seconds left you sick bastard. You going to get away with it…?”
Two quick breaths and a sudden severe winch of pain and it was over. “No one came in. “Jay thought. “This isn’t a police or jail hospital so, he‘s literally free. And I’m in a room with a dead man.”
Without even the blinding light this time Jay suddenly found himself in another place. This time though, his startled jump almost sent him slipping to the tub floor as he was in a rather fair sized private shower, with the hot water pouring down on him. Being in the shower he was naked but Jay soon realized, this wasn’t his naked body. Sure, it moved when he wanted it to move but…..this wasn’t his body.
Jay managed the gym and used the facilities more than the average gym patron, but this was a bodybuilder’s build. Like Ian and the guys he hung out with at the gym. Arms were huge, chest just…solid as two round stones stuck to his chest. And rubbing it with the soap let him know he was due for another shave down soon what with all the stubble. His hands, shit were they all beat up. Calloused and rough, what did this guy use train with? This was also a guy who was in competition shape. Save the body hair stubble he could walk out on stage right now and start doing a posing routine. Not an ounce of fat. Nothing between the skin and the muscle. Skin was thin, like onion paper, and a golden brown that had to come out of a bottle. A cheap bottle at that. Incredible tan line though. Too many muscles to turn around too easily but this guy’s ass was so pure and white. Jay wondered if it glowed in the dark. What with all the muscles in the way it was hard to find his dick but the guy had a nice one. Long and cut, and growing. As strange as the situation was turning into so far Jay was taking it a bit in stride. Like watching a movie while at the same time, being able to control the movie in some ways. Anyways, as bizarre a situation as this was, Jay was in the body of a prime bodybuilder, in a shower, soap in hand and dick on the rise.
As Jay had found, this guy’s hands were like fine pieces of sand paper on his dick. But that felt kind of cool after a few strokes. Gave it a bit more grip, more of a rougher experience than usual. Playing with his nuts, not even noticing how he was thinking of them as ‘his’ nuts now, Jay found they were still nice and large, so the guy wasn’t using ‘riods. Not now. They were also hairier than hell. What type of bodybuilder shaves his body, clips down his bush but leaves the nuts looking like….well cocoanuts? Felt kind of cool though.
BAMBAMBAM…came a thunderous knock on the shower’s glass door. “Dammit what’s taking you so long??! You better not be jacking off in there.” Shocking Jay so much that he didn’t have to worry about being even half hard when the door was yanked open. The knocks alone scared him so much his did went as soft as a hotdog in an instant. “You’re clean enough, get out. Taso’s waiting for you in the living room.”
Jay was handed a thick towel with the name Hotel Stardust written across the top. He started to dry himself off as quickly as he could. Wasn’t sure who this guy was yet but he meant business. When running the towel over his head Jay found that he had an incredible head of hair, sandy brown and a bit long. Jay paused to look in the mirror before he headed into the main room. Nope, he wasn’t himself any longer. Who ever this guy was, he was a few years older, a bit taller and a hell of a lot bigger. A real bodybuilder, not a gym rat that he sees so often at the Bucktown.
This guy looked SO familiar. Who the hell was this? Where had he seen him? Guy had to be a bodybuilder, had to know him for that but….it wasn’t right. There was something else about this guy. The build was great, really big but proportionate. The tan line was pretty severe but the odd thing was the size of it. What the hell type of swim wear did this guy use, his granny’s panties. It was huge. No one won swimsuits thins large since the…. “YOU COMIN’??? We don’t got that much time!!”
Jay ran out of the bathroom into the living room/bedroom area of the cheap tacky one room hotel room he found himself in. Sort of looked like Vegas but did they still have hotels like this? And not the best part. There was the guy who got him out of the shower. Guy in his 40’s, just all Jay could think was it’s a high school gym teacher gone to pot. Still something left of the build he might have had back in collage, but most had gone to fat. The body responded to him, almost a bit out of fear…no that wasn’t it….maybe loyalty…closer. But in the middle of the room was THAT guy. The guy from the gym and from the hospital room. Looked almost exactly like he did in the gym, kind of short, kind of fat, older than the other guy. And sitting on his knees in the middle of the room on top of a large plastic sheet that had been laid down to protect the carpet.
“Shit this is it, this is where these freaks chop me up and the little one put me in the wall….” Thinks for a moment before….
There’s a shift as when Jay moved from the hospital room to the shower, and he finds himself literally pumping iron. Sitting on a workout bench in a gym, arm lifting a dumbbell with an impossible amount of weight on it. Not sure where he was or for that matter, when. Jay had started to notice from the style of clothes, the hair and the workout gear, it sure looked like the early 70’s. Then Jay thinks as he continues to pump blood into his bicep, impossible for his old self, this new guy knows what he’s doing. Sweat is pouring down from his forehead, making it hard to see but Jay feels the need …..the unquestionable urge to keep on going. Standing next to him and screaming what might pass as supportive encouragements to a dog was the older gym teacher guy from the hotel room. He really wanted to follow this guy’s instructions. Jay dropped the barbell to change sides but another shift hit.
Now he was on stage, lights blinding him from seeing much of the audience but he could hear them. They liked what he was doing. Double bicep. Front lat spread. Side chest. He had the whole posing routine down. Big smile after going into each pose. Looking down he saw why his tan line had been so large earlier, the posing trunks from this time were gigantic. Not like the slips of cloth he saw guys like Ian wear. Man Ian. Seemed like it was forever that he had said good night to him.
Shift again and he’s back in the gym. Training even harder than before. He was being pushed like an animal by this trainer. Walking from one machine to another Jay spots a picture on the wall of…himself holding a first place trophy. Standing next to him was the trainer, arms around the guy’s….his waist, giving the thumbs up. Never saw that picture before. Lots of old photos around the gym of former patrons and award winner but never saw that one. With yells to stop admiring himself Jay is snapped back to his training schedule. Off in a corner, doing busy work but keeping a solid eye on Jay is the small man from the hospital room. Taso, Jay seems to remember the older guy calling him. At this point Jay still doesn’t know his new name but learning what he can about the guy he’s sure going to kill him sounded smart. Jay can’t help but notice the attention he’s getting from the freak. Not like the attention this body gets from both men and women. Like an animal sizing up it’s prey.
But another shift happened and Jay was standing at the check in counter of his gym. At least it looked the building and it was a gym. But instead of the advanced state of the art machines they had, it was almost all free weights. Barbells that needed the additional weights added manually. Regular light bulb type lighting instead of the overheard ambient lights the designers put in. Hadn’t looked like this in….decades…. Checking the name the door said “All Star Gym”, which Jay seemed to remember was the name for quite a while, changed a few more times till it settled on the “Bucktown” a while back. So yea, this can’t be any later than 1974.
“So that’s $10 a month. But that gets you everything. Use of the weights, a locker and shower along with towel. Fresh towels if Eddie remembers to wash them”. It was the guy form the hotel room. The gym teacher guy. Standing behind the counter. Looking a few years younger than just two minutes ago.
“Wow, 10 bucks….a month! That’s a lot. Used to using the local Y back home almost for free.” He heard himself say. Jay wasn’t sure why he was saying these things, but it sounded right. He looked over to one of the mirrors on the wall and saw reflected a smaller version of the guy he had been two minutes before. Big but not the bodybuilder physique he just had. While the guy behind the counter looked just a few years younger, Jay looked A LOT younger, like just past his teens. “Gonna have to wait till I’m on my feet a bit more.”
“Well, wait a minute, wait a minute.” The guy said coming out form behind the counter. “Mind if I get a look at you?”
“Look at me?”
“Don’t know who I am? Most of the young guys come here since this is my headquarters these days. I’m Chuck Kaminski. Name still don’t mean nothing? How about John Hester and Louie Albright? Yea, big guys right? They won Mr. Universe because of me. I trained them.”
“Weren’t they back in the 60’s?”
“Yea, not that long ago. Haven’t had a real prospect in a while but I got to say, you got potential kid. Ever thing of competing?”
“I don’t kid about these things, kid. Lift your shirt up…if you don’t mind.” Kaminski said pulling at the hem. Jay found himself lifting his shirt up to show the guy his abs and pecs. “Yea, you got lots of potential. I can tell from genetics. Tell you what kid. Let me train you for two months. You can work out here for free….but you’ve got to listen to me. After two months, you don’t like the results, you can just come in and pay like everyone else. But I can guarantee that you’re going to like the results. I know what I’m doing.”
The shifts came fast, quick moments, but all the same thing. Over and over again. A hand here. A touch there. Fingers that were suppose to be showing the line under a pec feeling more like someone copping a feel. Time and time again, standing naked in front of Kaminski. And it continued. The number of instances where this guy felt uneasy added up, along with getting more intense each time. Hands in places they shouldn’t be, but done under the pretext of helping him pose better, work out better, achieve his goals quicker. This guy knew what was going on and Jay sort of felt that he didn’t like it, but he knew how to play along.
As these uncomfortable scenes gathered momentum there was a sudden shift to real down and dirty fucking. Not with Kaminski and thank god not the short fat guy, but with real men. These guys had to be pick ups at the gym from their builds. The sex was hard and at times incredibly rough. Jay kept being amazed by the guy’s choices. Seemed like such a nice normal sweet kid in the gym. Just looking down at his body he looked HUGE. Much bigger than any of the sequences up till then. Here the leather came out. In one of the slower shifts Jay found himself unzipping long leather champs down his legs. They had fit so much like a second skin he didn’t even realize he was wearing them at first. This apparently was the last piece of clothing he needed to join that evening’s fuck buddy, who was already well greased and prone on the bed. With this longer sequence Jay was really able to enjoy being a muscle sex machine. Every move, every change in position made him feel…alive. Not even in his ‘real’ live had he experienced anything like this. Of course he rarely gave himself the chance to, staying late and doing paper work. But right here, right now, he was a pumped up cock whore and he was loving it. His buddy was on his back, legs pulled up but already filled by a giant dildo that had a strange extension on the end sticking way out of his ass. Jay crawled up the bed, straddled his buddy’s body and gave him one hell of a rough kiss. Shit, Jay thought, this had to be a later time, I’ve got one hell of a mustache now. Grew down to ever cover his upper lip and some of the lower. Why was that familiar? Up till now Jay had felt a certain amount of control as much as being a passenger in this new abbreviated life. So when he viscously slapped his partner in the face with the rough palm of his hand, he was equally shocked as he was turned on. Thankfully the guy on the receiving end seemed to get a thrill out of it. Jay moved back down the bed and sat facing the impaled fuck buddy. Lifting his hips up and leaning forward, Jay reached out and grabbed the hands of the other guy. Moving his hips just right, positioning his ass and using the guy’s strength as leverage, Jay pulled himself onto the other end of the giant dildo till both men were impaled and laying down ass to ass. Jay was just getting over the thrill, pleasure, outrage, pain and euphoria of what he just did when he heard the sound of a camera clicking off picture after picture. In what had to be a great “Holy Shit” photo Jay turned around to face a photographer standing at the end of the bed, clicking away.
With the events of the last few minutes and the jolt of finding out it was all captured on film, Jay barely noticed the next shift at first. But there was something about the hand on his leg that let him know this wasn’t another cum fest. The timing looked familiar of this shift, like it was set a day or two after their first meeting. Kaminski was running his hand down Jay’s legs, giving his calf a squeeze like a melon in a store.
“What I need first is for you to be shaved down.” Kaminski said going over to a note book and making some entries. “He should be out there now….Taso!!” He yelled out the door of his small office. In less than 5 seconds they were joined by the small fat man. Looking younger than they all had in Vegas, so this whole process they went through took a few years. He looked just a small and insignificant though. Didn’t make eye contact with Jay, only with Kaminski.
“This is Taso. He’s my assistant of sorts. I do the training, he does the running. I tell him we need new posing trunks, he’ll go buy them, I tell him we need to register for a show, he’ll wait in line. But trust me, most of all, best shaver in the business. Albright…..” Kaminski said starting to laugh. “Louie Albright once dared Taso to shave him blind folded. But he did it…head to toe without a nick…..he did it….”
“Nice to meet you Taso.” Jay said, his hand not even being looked at when he reached out for a handshake. “You really think I need to do a…body shave? Just started two days ago…”
“Yea but need to get the full picture. Where you are now without all this hair” Again the hand went over Jay’s chest, now fully covered in a thick coating of hair. The hand not pulling away till both nipples had been brushed. “And hey, kid, if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to get used to it. Taso, take our hero here into the back room and do your thing.”
Jay grabbed the thin jogging shorts that lay on the ground and quickly pulled them up his legs. It was odd that they were meeting in a room that was no longer a room, but the entrance to the ladies’ lockers, and heading to another room that, in Jay’s real time, is not a store room but the ladies’ shower. Still even though women were not allowed at this gym in this time frame, he still couldn’t go out into the weight room stark naked.
“Where do you want me” Jay asked, sort of afraid to be with this guy, but there were people just outside…
Really without talking ore than a mumble Jay was moved aside and a large plastic tarp was placed on the floor. “Oh.” Jay thought. “That was what was going on in the hotel room. They were going to shave me down for some competition. Well, that explains that but now I still don’t know when I’ll be offed by this freak. Wait…..if I’m killed while in this body…do I die or go back to my own reality….and when will this shit end anyway...”
Jay jumped like a cat when Taso suddenly touched him to move him onto the sheet. It wasn’t a touch like Kaminski gave, just a guiding nudge. While Jay had been thinking Taso had placed out a razor, the old kind Jay seemed to remember his Dad calling a safety razor, a can of shaving cream and a bucket of water.
“His Dad…” Jay thought. “Shit he could call his Dad, maybe he could tell him what was going on, might not believe it at first….he’d be living in….Sante Fe now, yea he could…”
But the thought was lost the second the razor touched Jay’s leg. Off on another roller coaster of experiences. Very much like the last set, some even the same but the difference was that he was now seeing Taso added to the scenes. Always off to the side. Always watching. Eyes always locked on Jay, but from a distance. When they would make eye contact, Taso would not turn away as most people would when getting caught. For a moment he would let his eyes stay locked with Jay, then go. It was that linger that troubled Jay.
But didn’t trouble the bodybuilder he was living inside of. No this guy got the message from Taso the same way he did from Kaminski. Maybe it was Taso’s basic limp dish rag persona but the bodybuilder really started playing up to him. Teasing him. A hardening cock that just ‘wouldn’t’ go down during a shave. Flexing the right muscle at the right time so Taso was the only audience. It was hard to read Taso but he wouldn’t have kept coming back for more if he wasn’t enjoying the show. Not like the guy was getting any other action anyway.
Suddenly Jay was back in the Vegas hotel room. That same night as before. In the same place where he left. Like he had done a hundred times, he stepped forward onto plastic sheet and let Taso do his thing. This time though Jay found himself not playing around with Taso but string out as the reflection in the window across from him. Like so many Vegas hotel rooms at this time the window was like a glass wall. The curtains were open and he could see the city, its neon blazing in classic old school Vegas tacky. By the time Taso got up to his knees, Jay was looking at himself in the window. His almost spectral body layered over the city. Amazing how when he first showed up in this body, how great it felt to have so many muscles. Only to ‘live’ through that insane sex scene, who SOMEONE photographed, only to find himself about 75 pounds heavier in the muscle department. Looking at this body now, it was huge but almost elegant and graceful as compared to the…guess future version. Why didn’t he know the name yet? If Taso wasn’t busy shaving him he’d try seeing if he could fake a mustache to see if that helped kick start his memory. But here and now, so to speak, he looked incredible. Even for the 70’s before the advanced training machines and supplements, and even with a loser like Kaminski training him, he was perfect. God the hair was a nightmare, like a big old helmet. Did they have no clue in the 70’s? Then he started going over the routine in his head. The poses, the stances, when the music would change for him. Jay had taken some piano lessons as a kid and now, going over the routine in his head was like when he would go over the songs he was learning. But Jay had learned the routine much better than any of those songs.
Soon enough it was time to leave. Kaminski handed Jay a giant pair of posing briefs, some sweats and they were off. Getting into the small rental car Kaminski had Taso take care of Jay was a little shocked to find the Kaminski getting in the back with him. Taso took the wheel and they were off through the streets of Vegas.
“OK, were almost there. I know we didn’t talk abut this but it’s got to be done.”
In a shot Kaminski pulled down Jay’s sweats and trunks and yanked out his cock. “What the fuck!!!”
“Just relax. It’s my ace in the hole.” Kaminski said as he started to stroke Jay off. Maybe it was due to all the times that Kaminski’s hands were already all over him but Jay didn’t feel quite as disgusted as he thought he should. The guy’s technique was amateur but he was getting the job done. “Goddamn It Taso I told you to leave a towel back here. Don’t want any of his cum on the trunks.” Using Jay’s sweat shirt Kaminski held it to the tip of his dick as Jay shot his load. Considering they were on the main drag of 70’s Vegas, the car was as lit up as if it was driving in the daytime. Jay started getting nervous not only because of what was going on, but if people might be able to see. Glancing around he found Taso’s eyes in the read view mirror. Locked on the happenings in the backseat and only partially on the road. Locked on Jay.
As Jay started to get soft and hoped this whole freak show was about over, it got freakier. Kaminski pulled out a long band of rubber and started wrapping it around the base of Jay’s dick. “Seriously, what the fuck.”
“Secret weapon man. Just tying you off. Judges love guys with A big dick, and they love it even more when the posers get hard doing their routine. You’re going to have both tonight. This will keep the blood from flowing back to your dick, or at least slow it down A LOT.”
“Yea, is that safe though? I’ve got to walk around with my dick showing through these briefs? Kind of hurts.”
“And it’s going to hurt a lot more but you know what? You’re going to smile. You’re going to show the world these muscles I give you. And you’re going to be Mr. America.”
The evening was a blur. An incredible blur. So many famous bodybuilders from the past…..well, Jay’s past, this guy’s present. Sizing them up he couldn’t believe it. He was bigger than most. Better proportioned. Moved easier. Looked better. Several people referred to him as Gary so at least he had a first name now. But it didn’t help him place the face. “Gary” wasn’t where the dots were connecting. And the crowd was cheering so loud when he walked out on stage that he didn’t even hear the Gary part from the announcer. Jay hit the floor, the music started and he was in heaven. Letting the body run itself for a while Jay dove into the sensory ecstasy of having a body build of muscle, and knowing how to use them. The way they swelled with the slightest pump. The aroma of human skin, sweating so hard. Tensing a muscle so it could so off to its extreme, only to let go so it returned to normal. Felt weightless when he did that. The crowd started building its reactions till he couldn’t even hear the music any longer. Then the light bulbs started going off. Blinding him for an instant.
The fist that hit him in the jaw sent almost as many stars flying in front of his eyes as the camera bulbs. For an instant he saw Kaminski standing there. They were back in the gym. Had to be later, at least a couple of years from the look of the guy. Another first was thrown but….
Jay went dizzy and then…saw himself…or the guy he had been up till now. He wasn’t free standing like he was in the hospital room. He was in…shit he was in Taso’s body.
“Stupid shit, STUPID SHIT!!!” Kaminski bellowed at the bodybuilder. Jay noticed he was built up to the gigantic proportions he had in the wild sex scene. The mustache had come in and…he was..
“Knock it off Kaminski.” Gary yelled back.
“Goddamn faggot.” Kaminski yelled making another move but was pushed back by the monster bodybuilder
“Who you calling a faggot you freak?!?! All these years feeling me up. Grabbing onto me.” Gary said going in and crushing Kaminski’s groin in his hand. “And for what? Where’s the money you dick? Where’s all the endorsements? NOTHING.”
“You were Mr. America!!! How can you do this smut?” Kaminski said throwing a magazine at Gary. “YOU WERE FUCKING MR. AMERICA!!!”
“Now I’m the FUCKED Mr. America!!! I can do it because they PAID me. If I’m going to have some guy’s hands all over me I’d like it to be some guy WHO CAN STILL GET IT UP OLD MAN!!!” Gary had turned to his locker and was cleaning it out during all this. Jay noticed that Taso stayed relatively calm during this. Staying in his corner away from the fight, away from the reality.
“What are people going to say when they see you in these magazines getting fucked like some broad? What are they going to think of me? My career is over you...” Kaminski held back knowing another insult would be met with another hit.
Gary started laughing so hard the room echoed. “What everyone will think? Everyone already thinks I’ve been letting you fuck me anyway. You think you’re so fucking subtle no one EVER caught on? They already know you’re a fag, they’re just going to think you’re an idiot because I never let you have ore than your cheap ass gropes.” Gary said pushing Kaminski back across the room with a series of finger jabs to the chest. “You denying you’re queer? That’s fucking classic. And for your career?!?! What fucking career I’m the only prospect you’ve had since the early 60’s. I only won one real contest and that was 4 years ago. Not even all the fucking steroids you’ve been shooting into me are good enough. I’m getting real money for this shit, more already than you ever promised.”
“Then as your manager I should…”
Gary grabbed Kaminski and launched him across the room. The old man fell backwards over the changing benches and slammed into the lockers, leaving a dent in a metal locker door where his head hit.
“Goddamn fucking loser...” Gary said turning to Taso. “And the loser’s toad. At least you understand you’re a fucking waste of life.” And with that Gary zipped up his gym bag and left.
Jay found he was more of a passenger in Taso’s mind than anything else. He moved across the room and picked up the magazine that started the whole confrontation. It was a gay porn mag, one that ran pictures from films along with new photo spread of guys. On the cover was Gary, or as he was known better, Rodger Steel. Shit Jay thought, I’ve been living in Rodger Steel’s body for the past…how long had this been going on? Steel wasn’t the best known of the old school gay porn actors, but he had a reputation. After years of gay porn being thin twinks here came this muscle monster who not only made it clear he wasn’t gay for pay, but an insatiable bottom at that. That’s where he’d seen the face, it’s just without his trademark walrus mustache, and being much younger than when he started porn, Jay didn’t recognize him. There had been rumors he won a major bodybuilding title but no one ever proved it. A legend that turned out real. But Steel did porn for years, worked some out in the California houses and….oh yea, that’s where Jay remembered hearing about him…he was an early AIDS victims. So Taso couldn’t have been….
“Oh my god oh my god…”Kaminski muttered in the corner as he got off the floor. A river of blood poured from his head. Taso dropped the magazine and went to help him up. “I’m dead, I’m dead. He’s killed me…”
“It’s not that bad, don’t need stitches. Look, we’ll start over. There are some guys...” Taso said. Odd, Jay thought, that in all the time he’d been inhabiting Gary’s body, he never remember Taso talking.
“What are you fucking crazy? They’re all going to know. They’re all going to think me and that kid were doing it. Oh my god I can’t let this happen. I’ll never train anyone again, he’s killed me”
“Chuck calm down, everything will be…” Taso said following Kaminski around the office, which was being destroyed by the tantrum the old trainer was throwing.
“No, no I can’t. I’ve got to go. Got to get out of here before they all find out. God I’ll…..move down to Florida. I can stay with my sister. Start over down there. Yea that...”
“Florida. Lots of good gyms in Florida. But I don’t know how quickly I can get out of my apartment and do you think your sister would let me..”
“Wha…what?! Oh no. You’re not coming with, what are you crazy?!?! Taso I can’t leave town with a guy in tow. It’s that shit I’m trying to get away from. That would….that would just make it all worse. Don’t you see? Sorry man, you’re a good guy but no. I’ll talk to Jefferson the owner before I go to let you keep your job here.”
Jay was sure this was it. Kaminski drove Gary away, stopping the business, no more muscle boys for Taso to get his hands on, yea Jay thought, this is where he kills Kaminski chops him up and walls the pieces behind the old leg press.
But it wasn’t anger that Jay started feeling. Just a complete and overwhelming sadness. Like a warm blanket of depression surrounded the guy’s soul. A sadness it made Jay’s head hurt. How could Taso be so sad just to see the business end? How could this have been so much of his life to matter this much.
The last shift inside someone else’s body came when Jay found himself on his knees, in front of the hole where the old leg press would go. He….or Taso was crying almost uncontrollably. Next to him was a pile of items. Pictures, books, a few pieces of clothing, the infamous porn mag, an award of some kind. There were the items that Taso was walling up. But they still weren’t of Gary. They were all things connected to Kaminski. Pictures of him and Gary…and Taso. Kaminski’s training log. The award Glen won for Mr. America. Things that could link Kaminski to Gary but more about Kaminski than Gary.
Taso picked each one up, like it was made of glass. Looked art it. Flipped through the books. His tears falling on the pages. Held the pictures. And with each item he placed in the wall, his crying got worse. These were things he couldn’t even let then have a chance at anyone finding in the trash. No one could ever know they were here. Even if the scandal hit, there’s be no proof. But that meant there’s be nothing left….
Jay was again blinded by the light. He was still feeling the unfathomable sadness of Taso when his vision cleared and he found himself standing back in Taso’s hospital room. The storm still raging outside. Taso has not died yet. As before he was in the bed. Breathing heavy and sporadically. And glancing every so often to the door.
“Taso?” Jay said not sure if the dying man could hear him. “What the hell? You didn’t kill anyone. You just walled up some mementos. Items that were Kaminski’s. You didn’t lust after the boys he trained. You were there for him. You loved him…..and he left you.”
Taso’s eyes again shifted to the door. Jay looked at Taso and then looked back at the door.
“Oh my god Taso. You’re not looking for the cops to come in. You’re not even cruel to yourself enough to think Kaminski would walk in right now in your last minutes. My god you’re dying alone. And that’s what you’re looking for. Anyone to come in, right now…anyone to be with you…because you’re dying alone. Just like you spent your life.”
Jay remembered this from before, how the breathing changed in the last seconds. It was coming to an end again.
“Well I’m here Taso. I don’t know how you did this or why…..why Taso? Why show me all this.”
Taso’s eyes shifted one last time, to look right into Jay’s eyes.
Suddenly Jay was….back. In his body. In his gym. In his time period. At the front counter. With all his paper work. He was back. It felt weird being in his real body after living in a muscled up porn start for so long. At least it felt like a long time. He was trying to guess how long it had been when…
“All locked up in back, Jay.” Ian Chan said throwing his old high school varsity jacket on and snapping up the buttons.
“AHHHHHHH!!!” Jay yelled startling the young Asian stud. Who quickly broke out into uncontrollable laughter.
“Knock it off. You scared the life out of me. My heart’s beating like a rabbit.”
“OoooOOOOOoooooo….spooky happenings in the gym on Halloween night.”
“Halloween? It’s still Halloween?”
“Uuuhh, long days man. You’re losing it. Know the cure for that?”
“Taking you up on your offer of dinner?” Jay said shutting the folder on all his paperwork.
“You kidding me? Yea! That’s what I was going to say but I figured you’d turn me down. Again.”
“Third times lucky. Let’s go. And NO work talk. Well, maybe a little. Sort of like to get some help building my self up some. I got a good build but, I think I’d like to join your ranks.”
“Oh ACES man. That would be awesome!! Where do you want to eat?” Ian said as they locked up the front door and headed down the street together.
“Eh, maybe a little Italian to start the night and finish off a whole lot of Chinese.” Which got met with another hail of laughter from Ian.
In the morning the guys would return. Overnight an ancient old leg press would have fallen off the wall, leaving a bit of a hole. What ever had been holding it in place all those years was no longer there.
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