[Male Nude Frontal, Randall Weidner]
I’m lollygagging at the gym, only pretending to lift the incidental weight in my hands. Like always, I spy on all the unbelievable bodies, fantasizing filth. It’s not a crime to look. Not at all.
Here’s a sleek man working at the squat rack, on his fifth or sixth set, I’ve lost count. He paces the frame angrily, psyching himself up, snarling in the mirror like he’s ready for violence. I’m aroused. I wonder why. I’m disappointed at my taste in men.
Like me, this man is here almost every day. I assume we recognize each other by now. I don’t have the faintest clue what he thinks of me, if he does at all. I allow myself to believe he’s silently interested.
I have a memory of Corey Klausman from high school, the brick-eyed boy I thought was a brute until I saw him sing the sweetest “Jolene” at somebody’s Karaoke birthday party. It was surprising to love a man. The easiest thing to keep it hidden.
I return my attention to the sleek man squatting. His fired up eyes catch mine in the mirror, and I look away. When I look again, he’s positioned under the bar, snorting and making growling noises. A ribbon of fear cuts my arousal. The iron clinks as he dips and lifts his two-hundred fifty pound load. In his seventh rep, he’s caught mid rise, legs shaking pitifully, the cords in his neck going berserk. I want to hear him scream.
Ryan Kim frequently misquotes Bible verses. He is a fiction writer at the University of Arizona’s MFA working on his first novel. It will be about his famous great-grandpa and how he played a hand founding the world’s most controversial split country.