By Richard Jasper

Of course, hardness can go a long way toward making up for sheer size. I like men big, but I like men lean, too. Both at the same time is extra nice.

As for myself, I've never been anything other than moderately firm. It is not in my destiny, I don't think, to be really lean. W-i-d-e, yes. T-h-i-c-k, yes. L-e-a-n, no. Fortunately, though, even when I'm just putting on adipose it's always been fairly well-distributed.

Arthur, on the other hand, was solid muscle. Also, hairless as a chihuahua, not that I cared a whole lot. He was a custodial worker in the gym at the university in my hometown. I don't suppose he had much more than a 10th grade education and I'm not sure to what extent he was really literate. But he had a body that wouldn't quit.

Arthur was about an inch taller than I, which made him just a shade under 6 ft, and about 190 lbs., but he didn't carry and ounce of fat. Not only did he have outstanding traps and a neck like a bull, he had the most perfect 48 inch chest I've ever seen, before or after. The pecs were big and full and round, and there was a cleft as big as the Marianas trench that ran from the base of his neck all the way to his navel. Each one of his abdominal muscles was perfectly distinct from the other, his lats formed the classic v-shape and his serratus were finely honed. As for his arms, well...


I would always go early in the morning and in those days no one else would be in the gym. Arthur would unlock the weight room for me, then come along afterwards to sneak in a work out. Generally he would have on a white crew neck t-shirt, the fabric straining across the shoulders and standing out from his pecs.

One sweltering day I was naked except for my gym shorts and Arthur, who had just done about three non-stop sets of bench presses at 260 lbs., was sweating like a pig.

"I dunno, maybe I should take off my shirt," he said, a little dubiously--after all, he worked there.

"Oh, go on," I urged him. "U.L. (his boss) won't be around for a while..."

He did and I didn't swoon, although 12 years later I still don't quite know how I avoided it. A year later, when I had put on 15 lbs. and was beginning to feel like I was finally getting there he gave me a benediction I'll never forget.

"Dang, boy, you getting big. You'll have to go the Olympic gym one of these days. 'Course them boys make you and me look like a piece of spaghetti..."

"You and me?!" I thought. "You and *me*?!!!"

Arthur putting me in his class, even for the sake of comparison with something I rather suspected was completely unattainable, caused me to float for days.

Far as I know, he still works there. By this point he's at least 40 and he had a passle of kids even then. I've always wanted to go back and check him out, but I've never done it.

Too afraid he would have gone fat, more afraid that he would be even better than I remembered--he could have stopped shaving and grown kinky African hair on his chest and face, sorta like LeVar Burton with muscles.

Mostly afraid (certain) that he would have completely forgotten me.

* * *

The preceding, folks, is NOT a fantasy... •

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