By Matt Silverstein
A man shows up at my apartment for his massage appointment. He got me to say over the phone that I am 5'10"-dark-hair-dark-eyes-thirty-fit. He is twenty-two. His body is maverick, flesh pumped. (I want to eat him.) His muscle is barbed wire and cement: a warning not to enter. As he breathes and loosens his grip, fear hisses out of his heart. He is uninitiated. He has never been touched without the threat of being ripped off, trading his life span for his pleasure.
I am volunteering at Century City Hospital: the "Special Services" ward. A man's skin rolls loosely under my fingers. I can feel his bones easily through his atrophied muscles. He is thirty-five. He remembers his flesh pumped body like meat gone bad. (I want to cure him.) He reaches out his hand for me. He says, "Let me give you a tip." I say, "That's okay, it's free." He says, "Stay out of the hospital."
A man's wedding ring is something against my black massage table. I work on a lawyer who will only call me from his car phone. His wife is open-minded but she would never understand his desire to be touched by a man. His body is firm from tennis and soft as the gut of a fifty-something lawyer might be. His asshole is so pink and tight like the prep school over-achiever he is. (I want to fuck him and have his money.) He reaches out his hand for me. He's a regular.
A man says, "It's deja vu." He recognizes the motorcycle helmeted manniquin in my apartment. He is seventy-two. His skin rolls loosely under my fingers. I can feel his bones easily through his atrophied muscles. He has slowly calcified. (I want his grace.) Deep patterns of forgetting have worn down the names of some of the ridges and valleys that were his younger body. "It's not so bad for seventy-two, eh?"