Taking a Shirt – Chapter 27
We walk into a shop called Taking a Shirt, which I imagine people think is cleverly named. Their logo is a man squatting with a balled up shirt on the ground under him. Inside, I hear Candy Shop playing, that old 50 Cent hit. Behind the cash is a very muscular Latino man. He looks to be almost six feet tall, probably around 220 pounds, and I would guess no more than 7 percent body fat. Despite his obvious size, he’s wearing what must be a medium sized t-shirt, which spans his rippling body muscle like a second skin, forcing his bulging muscles to stick out even further. Pictured on the shirt is a large rooster and a smaller Eiffel Tower.
Stain doesn’t notice that I’m frozen in a homoerotic fantasy when he walks straight up to the guy and says: “I need two superhero t-shirts.”
Stain and the man that I can only imagine is named Alejandro continue their discourse, but I’m stuck in some super gay other world, where I see everything happening in slow motion. Alejandro’s thick lips move slowly, and his tongue curls and vibrates like only a native Spanish speaker can. I’m fixated on his gentle brown eyes.
In my head, I imagine a conversation.
“Alejandro, do you have a washroom I could use.”
“It’s in the back, I’ll show you.”
As we walk to the back room in super gay fantasy other world, my shoulders begin to tense up.
“You are tense, yes?” Alejandro asks.
Alejandro pulls out a chair from the lunch room table and pats in roughly with his large hands. I promptly and excitedly sit down. He removes my shirt, grabs some olive oil and begins to massage my shoulders and back.
“Do you feel better?” he asks.
“Much better,” I say with an excited tone in my voice.
Alejandro removes his shirt, lies face down across the lunch room table and says: “my turn, yes?”
“Oh, yes,” I say while releasing a big breath of air, while beginning to run my olive oil greased hands across his large v shaped backed. He moans like an 18 year old making love for the first time.
He turns over, unbuckles his belt and says: “time to make Alejandro happy, yes?”
I wake up out of my super gay other world daydream when Stain turns around and asks: “size man? Size?”
“What?” I ask.
Stain shakes his head, looks back at Alejandro and says: “it’s been a crazy couple of days. My friend Sappho here is a superhero.”
“Oh really?” Alejandro asks with an intrigued voice, uttering light sprinkles of a deep sexy Spanish accent.
“Oh yes,” Stain says with a bragging tone. He continues on: “Sappho has the ability to get women to take their shirts off.”
Alejandro smiles at me and asks: “are you large?”
I walk up to the counter, to where Alejandro and Stain are standing. I laugh and smile back at Alejandro, resting my hand on his massive forearm, and I say: “yes. I’m a size large. Sorry about that earlier. I was not in this moment. I was in a dream somewhere.”
Alejandro smiles larger and offers no sense of discomfort from my hand touching his arm. He glances down at me, below my belt and offers up: “you are large. I’ll make sure you get what you need. The order is placed. I just need a phone number to follow up with you.”
I write my number down on the sheet. Although I thought it not possible at this point, Alejandro smiles even bigger and says: “I’ll call you when it comes.”
“I’m Sappho, by the way.”
He puts out his hand, which is strong, yet soft and well manicured. “I’m Joe.”
Although his name offers great disappointment, as we are walking out the door, Joe lifts his shirt showing his massive bald chest, and carefully sculpted abdominal muscles, saying: “perhaps your superpowers are not only for women.”
Stain looks at me with a sense of shock and confusion, while asking: “do you know what this means?”
“It’s not really like that. I mean, it’s more fantasy. I like girls.” I would continue to fumble, trying to explain myself, but Stain just interrupts.
“Your superpower might be twice as effective as we thought it was.”
I sigh loudly after the door to Taking a Shirt closes behind me, and in the same breath, I utter: “Oh, Alejandro.”
Stain looks at me with his head half cocked. “You ok? Who is Alejandro?”
Before I could answer, my phone rings. “It’s Big Money,” I say.
If ever there was a person that you wanted to hate, wanted to screen, but just couldn’t, it was Big Money. He’s loud, arrogant, rude, and domineering, but you somehow always end up owing him your life.
I answer: “BM, sup?”
“Listen, I got a friend who has a birthday party tonight, and I’m recruiting guests. Can you come?”
“Ah, do I know your friend?” I ask.
“No, but she’s breathing, so I figured you were in.”
“Can Stain come?”
“Yeah, whatever. I don’t care.”
“Wait, why don’t you just invite her friends?” I ask.
“She doesn’t have many friends. You know cause she’s French and all.”
“Why does it matter if she’s French?”
“Look man. I don’t know what it is. Don’t ask me the philosophical question, but you know how those people are?”
“French!” I say with an obvious tone of disapproval.
“Exactly. So you’re in?”
“Text me a pic of her nude,” I demand.
Big Money starts laughing, but it’s like he’s trying a new laugh on for size. It sounds more like the kind of laugh you might anticipate on a global warming denier who has a suit made of government and big business slush fund money, and he likes to sport it while wearing alligator boots and clubbing baby seals with wood made from an endangered thousand year old redwood.
Big money responds with: “I’ll text you the address. See you at 8pm.”