Lisa Carver and Nerve.com
The Young Ox and the Gym Instructor
I’m sick: fevered, wheezing, bad-tempered and disoriented. Lightheaded not getting enough oxygen to my brain, I think my lungs are filled. But the work of a sex diarist stops for no one and no disease. I think I’ve exercised my way straight into pneumonia. To work out my sexual frustration while Dave’s gone, I’ve been going to the gym every day sometimes twice a day. And boy is that gym a hotspot! All the beautiful people of Dover are there. I didn’t know there were any beautiful people in Dover, much less a whole roomful of them, half-naked and grunting! Why have I never seen them at, say, the post office? There’s Hugh Grant over there on the pulley thing, and his friend Gina Gershon counting reps for him. These people must work all day in office buildings I have no business in and then go to Planet Fitness in the evenings, and on to fabulous parties to which I’m not invited. The instructors are all beautiful too, especially the one who calls me “8021” (my gym ID number). I find that saucy of him. I refer to him (secretly) as “The Instructor.” He has those kind of features so fine and flawless you can never remember them afterwards, because there’s nothing very big or very little to focus on. A precise beauty. Ah, all these people the exclusive jetset of Dover, New Hampshire. I want in!
Anyway, this is what happened yesterday (the excitement produced by witnessing such activities, I believe, being what precipitated my descent into illness). Two red-headed eighteen-year-olds (or whatever age is the apex of testosterone-driven obnoxiousness) were fooling around on the treadmills. One turned his machine up to top speed, holding himself up with his arms on the side rails, and rubbing the side of his shoe against the spinning tread so that rubber was burning off, and a noxious smoke rose up and there was a high “screee!” noise. The boys thought that was so funny, they kept doing it for a long time, and the smell and the screee got worse and more powerful. Everyone was staring at the boys with disgust, but no one said anything. Until The Instructor caught wind of their shenanigans. He marched over, his portentous thighs moving like twin automatons, his arms swinging. His various muscles were individually visible, separate, yet they moved in perfect unison like soldiers. (In the fifteen minutes I’ve been typing this, I’ve grown sicker and weaker. Thinking about those healthy, meaty, well-oiled working parts that make up the being known as The Instructor, well . . . I have no ending to this sentence. I’m just amazed at his health and firmness. I think he might kill me with it. Assault my prone body with sheer robustness, like forks into a big pink ham. Vigor! I just took my temperature it’s up to 102 degrees. I better finish the story fast, before my consciousness burns up into surreal delusions about The Instructor’s red army of sinews, a swarming sea of muscles, and me the capitalist swine, the believer in individuality oh, rising masses, don’t hurt me!) Anyway, so he approached those bad boys and we all of us rowers and joggers, skiiers and thigh machine squeezers paused. What would he do? He stepped up behind the red-haired shoe-scree-er and onto his treadmill, pretending friendliness. He was in fucking-up-the-ass position, the whole length of his body pushing up against the boy. He put his arms around the boy, not exactly embracing him, but pushing some buttons on the front of the machine. “Having some trouble figuring this out?” he asked in an instructorly voice. The boy was confused. A brat like him is used to getting yelled at, but The Instructor, with his superbly crafted, playing-dumb act, had disarmed him. I was right next to them, and the confidence of The Instructor and the bewilderment (or was it fear?) of the sneaker-burning boy rose up off their skin like perfume, and I about fainted. It went on so long. A communal sigh moved through the watching, waiting, forty or fifty Beautiful People of Dover like we were witnessing the culmination of forbidden love on a movie screen, or a violent sunset lowering down into a peaceful body of water. Did The Instructor have an erection? The question was killing me. Was he pressing it into the sassy boy? Even if there was no physical erection, there was definitely a psychic one! And it was a big one, too. It was big and hard and throbbing and threatening I could almost feel it reaching around the boy and bumping into my side as I jogged.
Eventually The Instructor did unhook his arms from that boy, but I prefer not to dwell on that. Instead, I like to think about what would happen if it were just me and The Instructor there late at night. What bad behavior could I commit to get that Instructor to come discipline me? I’m listening now (low volume) to my Porn Beats CD electronica from porn movies. I feel embarrassed every time I play it, turned on and uncomfortable, thinking maybe the neighbors will catch me listening to it. I want to secretly pipe it over the sound system at the gym one night, and hypnotize The Instructor. I don’t want to have sex with him, I’ve decided. He could just demonstrate, all night long. I want him to touch me inappropriately, putting my body into the proper complex series of movements demanded by these towering hunks of metal, pulleys and gears . . .
Oh Dave, when will you be home? There’s my baby, in a different glamorous city every night, with “kittens” and “birds” bevying up to him at every bar before every show . . . and here I am, stuck in Dover the number one manufacturer of blankets in the nation wearing a bathrobe and slippers, reduced to feverish homosexual fantasies involving the gym instructor and a sloppy, red-haired young ox. The disparity between our social positions is just too much for my fragile self-image to take.