Every place has an energy; it comes from the way people talk and the dreams they still hold onto. Gregson walked through the glass doors of Muscles and Thongs. It was like entering a fishbowl and the fish were greedy. They wanted the gold in each other.
Gregson couldn’t understand why people at the peak of fitness still worked behind a counter. Many lives were lost, standing around, waiting for the shift to be over, dreaming of sex, and thinking about favorite TV shows.
“I’d like a membership,” Gregson said to an attractive brunette. She looked at him, like she knew more than he did. “I’m Liz. What are your fitness goals?” She asked.
“I want to become a lethal weapon,” Gregson said.
Liz giggled. “You’re cute. We do have a Jujitsu class, but you might need to shave a few pounds to improve your performance on the floor.”
“Performance has never been my problem,” Gregson said.
Liz blushed. “Do you have a personal trainer?”
No; how much do you charge?”
“Your first session is free with me; then we can talk about money.”
“I’ll get ready,” Gregson said. He went into the locker room. Men with enormous muscles were walking around in the nude. Gregson found a tiny corner and started to stretch his body into the singlet; it was like wrapping himself in a slingshot. Any action could cause his fat to fly off in all different directions, but when he was done, he looked 50 pounds lighter. His rolls molded into a barrel shape, giving him a power lifter look.
Liz was waiting for him on the mats. Her pink sports bra and yoga pants were pure sex. Gregson felt 20 years younger.
“We’ll start with the butterfly stretch and move into the downward dog,” Liz said. Gregson followed her every movement, trying to make his body do what hers could do. In 20 minutes, he felt like a rubber band, stretched to snap.
“Now I’ll turn you over to Jackson in the Jujitsu class,” Liz said. “Follow me.” Gregson followed her curly brown hair and curvy legs through sweat and iron and agony. Her smell kept him going, even though his joints jiggled.
“If you want a private tutor, here’s my card. I know a little Jujitsu. We can wrestle on the mat during my off hours.” Gregson took her card in disbelief and walked into hand-to-hand combat.
Jackson had muscles the size of tree trunks and he was throwing suburban moms across the room. They all had silly smiles on their faces when he wrestled them to the ground or pinned them in submission holds.
“You’re the new guy, huh?” Jackson said.
“Well, we’ll pair you up with somebody who can teach you a few things.” Gregson followed him to an enormous mom who was meditating. “Karen, I have a new guy for you to break in.”
She opened her eyes and shook Gregson’s hand.
“Positions,” Jackson shouted.
“Wait, I’m not ready,” Gregson said.
“There’s no such thing as not ready! Show him the torpedo.”
Karen screamed in martial arts and dove toward him like a battering ram.
Gregson’s eyes got really big and then everything went blank.
When he woke up, the gym was empty. There was a hot compress on his forehead and a cup of tea next to his limp body.
“I’ll take you home,” Liz said. “You did good today.”
Gregson felt like squash. When he made it to the parking lot, Jackson was putting his duffel bag into his Challenger. Gregson noticed the outline of a shotgun inside. He had come to the right place.