Hi. I am a member of your fine gym and have an urgent request directed towards anyone there who could help me. About three weeks ago I met a man there at your gym. He was very nice to me and I’d like to thank him. I didn’t get his full name and haven’t seen him since. You might know who he is, he is uniquely unmistakable. I was just minding my own business, about to take over the bench press from a bald man who had just finished with it, when my mystery friend asked me “So how much you bench?” speaking a soft tongue textured with respiratory fatigue. “Dunno, never had a spotter to help me test my limits,” I replied.
He was muscled silk with a miraculous mustache that you’d find on a Spanish knight under the light of the moon. His veins were industrial, yet petal. They pumped a large vegas cocktail of protein, creatine, anabolic enhancers, and summoned me to pull them from his femur and cocoon myself within them. “I could always help out if you need it. I don’t always have a spotter and know how it feels.” My heart started racing, my thoughts not far behind. Should I ask him, then and there, to spot me? I conjured up a courageousness I’ve never known before and popped the question. “Could you help me out now?”
“Sure, bro. Always gotta help another lifter out. Never know when you’re gonna need a spot yourself.”
I was bedazzled. He bent over my forehead and helped me lift the barbell off of the bench. A sharp arrow punctured my heart; he had a wedding ring. My body didn’t know whether to lift the bar in anger or melt into a thousand snails pathetique. I chose the former and summoned the strength of Samson, pushing through the ceiling while grunting off numbers. I stared him in the eyes. “C’mon brother, that’s four, down, five, down,” etc. “You sure you needed a spotter, boy? God Damn!!! You got this! Eight, down, nine, down, just one more, baby!” he shouted in my Edvard Munch. “Baby?” I thought. Maybe baby was just a slip of the tongue. A slippery tongue managed by a marital mirage that would forever obstruct my passion. I would not stop lifting.
“Hey bro, that’s good enough. Don’t wanna hurt yourself.” I could feel my muscles become metal as he said this, and committed to outdoing myself. “Just fucking keep counting,” I said, without the slightest sign of shortness of breath. “Ok, bro. Sixteen, down, seventeen, down.” and on and on. “Thirty six, down…Fifty six, down. Shit man, you are a total freak. This has gotta be like a Guinness Book of Worlds Records thing or something.” I just smiled back, a possessed smile that froze in time, like a mannequin staring skywards. A smile that drilled into the back of his skull, finding his soul and tossing it under the volcano. “Seventy one, down, seventy two, down. Hey bro, I gotta get a pump too. I can’t spot you forever,” he grunted like a songbird. “You just (seventy six) need to check in (seventy seven) with the wife.” My tone was harsh. “Wife? What fucking wife? That’d be the day.” My strength suddenly grew soft, as my gym shorts seemed to harden. “You don’t have a wife? What about the ring?” I decided to stop at eighty six, jello-shelled and curious. “Dude, have you seen how aggressive the women are in this place? I can’t even get a clean workout in without one of these horny housewives hounding me.” My eyebrows raised an inch, or two. “Look man, don’t weird out or anything, but…but…I’m not really into girls man. Sorry to shit this on you during our first lift, bro, but I only wear the ring to keep them away. I even have a picture of a professional bodybuilder I’m pals with so the women won’t want any trouble. You know, a picture that looks like we’re together.” He was very, very, scarily good looking. The kind of man you’d wouldn’t scream at if he raped you under an alley lamp. I nodded with an ambiguous stare of judgement and interest. I held it for awhile, maybe seven years, finally dropping it in a performance of relief. “Hey, don’t worry about it man. I hold no judgement against anyone’s sexual orientation. I don’t really have the right to.” It’s coming, steer clear my queens and queers. The gentle riposte. “Ya know, I’ve got a little confession to make…” I was about to offer my confession, praises, and services, when, from the other side of the gym I heard a fraternal howl. It resonated though the steel room like a tornado with Tourettes. “Hey Brad, Brad!, come help me out. You’ve been over there for like ten minutes or something, bro!” The man looked at me with a stare that didn’t care. “Sorry dawg, but Brad is needed elsewhere!” Brad, now that I know his name, looked back at me with sorry eyes. He put out his fist to bump. I bumped. And then he ran off into the flare of the incandescent lights and into the horror of my existence. That was that. I showered, dressed, and headed off to the hell of work. I haven’t seen Brad since. If you could provide me with any details, at least a last name so I can Facebook him, I’d greatly appreciate it. Even anecdotes about him would be welcome. I should know more about him before I get any deeper into this relationship. He is a friendly guy and I’m sure that some from your staff knows who he is. Brad (?). This could be life-changing for me, and for Brad. Your gym has been my home away from home and I appreciate it more than you know. Thanks for your help and I will be awaiting your reply (hopefully with some more info–fingers crossed!).