Camo Hat • Chapter One
by Sean Reid Scott
Posted: in the before time :: Approx. 5,500 words
THE BENCH PRESS CONTEST was pretty much like all of the others I had seen in the past. Maybe this one wasn’t as well organized as others, but as far as the competitors go, it looked run-of-the-mill. This one, though, was taking place right before a state bodybuilding contest. They had set up a stage area at one end of the high school cafeteria where the benchers would do their thing, and afterward the bodybuilding contest would start in the auditorium.
Having the bodybuilding contest coincide with the bench contest did draw a slightly different crowd. There were quite a few guys who were more concerned with form over function, which certainly added to the enjoyment of anyone who might be interested in muscle eye-candy. There’s nothing quite like walking around and eyeing hugely muscled guys in tight-fitting T-shirts.
My buddy and I stood to one end of the cafeteria, he watching the various babes-- some deeply tanned and obviously there for the women’s figure competition, and some there hanging on the over-developed arms of their boyfriends, trophies for the musclemen to display to their peers. Undoubtedly, some of these trophy babes were in place just to ward off any guys who might get the wrong idea about the sexual orientation of said muscleman. Truth be told, however, in my experience almost every bodybuilder occasionally dabbles in “the other side” of things to some extent. Some more than others, for sure-- but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to start up a conversation with a dedicated muscleman, and with the right mixture of flirtation and out-and-out admiration, develop a friendship that can lead to much more. Every man has his “price,” as they say, and it’s not necessarily tied to a monetary value-- but even then, it’s only money, right?
Okay, where was I... Oh yeah, my buddy kept ogling the well-built women, while I, on the other hand, didn’t bother myself with such mundane, common things. Unbeknownst to my companion that morning (I guess you could consider him my best friend; he’s my workout partner, and a really cool dude) he and I were each enjoying ourselves in quite different ways.
Shit, there were some really built dudes there.
I’ve made a lifetime out of observing bodybuilders. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to classify me as addicted to muscle. Yeah, I’ll freely admit that. But unlike those people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, I refuse to attend meetings to break my addiction. I don’t need a cure. I need more. The bigger, and more ripped, the better. Oh, yeah, and the guy has to be handsome. Big muscles without good looks is like cake with no frosting.
Occasionally, some really well-built dude would pass by Evan (my buddy) and me, and after he passed, one of us would nudge the other and comment either favorably or un. For example, “He walks like he has something up his ass,” or, “Fuck, look at his lats-- freakin’ wide as a tank.” I always find it interesting that even the straightest of guys (Evan) can’t help but evaluate other guys’ based on their appearance. Makes you wonder...
The bench competition was just starting when at the other end of the cafeteria, he walked in. Like I said, I’ve spent a lifetime at powerlifting and bodybuilding contests, and have downloaded and filed gigabytes of pictures and movies of musclemen. So, to see someone who ratchets up my stomach into one big knot-- someone who literally makes me hold my breath, well, it’s a pretty cold day in Havana when that happens. But as he rounded the corner, and my eyes caught the outline of his physique, I could swear I heard audible reactions from people in the crowd.
Although he was clear on the other side of the room, he was walking straight toward Evan and me, and there was no one blocking the view. He was fuckin’ unreal. Well over six feet tall, he was blessed with genetics that would make any aspiring bodybuilder weep. But it was obvious that this Herculean muscleman was not content to rest on his genetic foundation. No, his physique had been tortured, pushed, worked and forced to the limit of its unbelievable potential. His clothes hugged the friggin’ hugest, most well-defined body I think I might have ever seen in person. And that’s saying a lot.
His T-shirt was tan, and his shoulders, arms and chest looked like they had been taken right out of some bodybuilding magazine and stuffed inside it. The whole upper body was capped with this fire-hydrant neck that rose out of thick traps forming a head that was perfectly crowned with a camouflage patterned baseball cap. Still far off, on the other side of the room, the outline of his physique, with that mountainous deltoid-arm-chest combination tapering into jeans that couldn’t have been bigger than the combined circumference of his forearms-- it was enough to cause Evan to softly gasp, “Holy shit.”
He kept walking through the room.
Like I’ve said, I’ve seen a lot of well-built guys. And, I’ve read a lot of bodybuilding articles, as well as a bunch of fantasy stories about musclemen on the web. And it’s difficult to avoid cliches when describing muscular physiques-- I’ll admit that. But you gotta believe me when I say it, this guy’s legs looked more like tree trunks than most tree trunks do.
And yet, despite all of this powerful pulchritude, this guy didn’t strut when he walked. He easily could have, if he wanted. In fact, I bet he probably had to practice not strutting. It’s the bane of bodybuilders (or, for some, maybe it’s their pride) that guys with overdeveloped lat muscles have to stick their arms out to the side, and when they walk, it really makes them look like they’re strutting. But Camo Hat, as Evan and I immediately began to refer to him) didn’t strut. Nor did he saunter. He-- he just walked. As naturally as you or I would.
Confidence? Of course. Over-confidence? Not a hint. He wasn’t scanning the crowd to see who was looking, although had he chosen to do so, he would have been rewarded with dozens of admiring eyes-- which, again, says a lot, considering the exposure the audience had to muscle. Yeah, he won the informal “who has the best body among the bodybuilders” competition that morning. Hands down. You could almost feel the other bodybuilders hang their heads when he entered the room.
He was probably about halfway into the room when he stopped and greeted some people he obviously knew. It was at this point that I realized that I had not been breathing. I let out a loud breath of air and drew in another. Camo Hat’s friends made obvious references to his build, and although I couldn’t hear their words, it was easy to insert phrases alongside their gestures to his guns, shoulders and legs. He turned to the side and engaged in conversation. His T-shirt fit perfectly-- not too tight, as if to brag-- but just, perfectly. As he stood facing my left, his hands down to his side, I could see that his triceps formed rippling horseshoe divots, even relaxed!
That cap fit his head perfectly.
His chest was deliciously formed-- thick, beefy and shaped perfectly.
And then, I was finally able to convince my eyes to finally dislodge from his delicious proportions and to move upward. It was here that I discovered, to the delight and motivation of my hardon, that the dimples in his triceps gorgeously mimicked the dimples in his cheeks as he smiled.
I thought I was going to die.
He slightly turned his head toward me, to address one of his buddies on his left. I could see his face almost full-on. Fuck. Those dimples formed bookends for the most pleasant, perfect smile you can imagine.
Was there anything about this guy that needed improvement?
How one man could have that body, and that face, all in one virile, adorable package-- it was just a crying shame. I bet he had used up all of the musclehunk genes in the pool, and it would take millennia of human evolution for mankind to get back to normal levels.
Okay, maybe he could have been a little taller. But realistically, if I were the One creating this guy, I would have made him just the way he was.
Evan, despite his obvious fascination with Camo Hat, turned his attention back to the female sector, although I found it interesting to note that he frequently shot a glance in the direction of Camo Hat, probably just to make sure the guy was actually real. Indeed, every time I looked away, and then back, I found myself arguing vehemently with my eyes that what they were seeing wasn’t really possible. But they kept insisting.
And in fact, as I found my gaze constantly returning to Camo Hat’s body, I continuously had to stop, and actually remind myself to take a breath. He was that stunning. I told myself that morning that it was entirely possible that I could look at this guy forever and never tire of his image. The wrenching feeling in my stomach wouldn’t subside.
I really don’t know what more to say about this guy. I mean, I’ve tried to find the words in my mind to describe other guys over the years, and I’ve pretty much used up every possible adjective, not to mention every alternate noun I could find in the thesaurus to rename gigantic body parts. But this guy would break the dictionary. Don’t bother looking up the words; use any ones you want. They would probably never rise to the occasion of describing Camo Hat.
He smiled again, as he talked to his friends. And his dimples and teeth made my cock involuntarily jump. Fuck, that face, so solidly mounted on that neck-to-die-for, bounded by those boulder-like trapezius muscles-- I ached. Literally, my body ached for him.
I feared, though, that if he were to say even just a few words to me, I would fall at his feet in a heap of whimpering, quivering ejaculating, adolescent-like muscle-worship. It wouldn’t be pretty.
Evan nudged my arm with his elbow, and said, “I’m going to do some walking around. See you in a bit.” He obviously had his eye on a female bodybuilding competitor. I never knew that about Evan. I mean, he often talked about girls, and his conquests were frequent topics of conversation during our workouts; but I didn’t know he had it bad for muscle girls. But who cared. I felt a certain relief when he left; now I wouldn’t have to be self-conscious about where my eyes were glued. Not that I was really even thinking about that.
The bench competition continued, but I’d be hard-pressed to tell you anything about what was happening on the stage. My attention was hopelessly transfixed on the Herculean/Adonis physique that stood about 50 feet in front of me. Even from that distance, his dominating silhouette had invaded my psyche, and had rendered me impotent to resist his muscular presence.
Occasionally, I diverted my attention to the contest, just so that I could justify my presence in the room. But really, I wasn’t in the room. I was in bed with Camo Hat, feeling every rippling ridge of his rock-hard physique in a fantasy that couldn’t ever come true...
But as I returned my eyes to the body that they seemed made to examine, I was jolted from fantasy to reality. Somehow, some way, as if the gods were conspiring to bless me beyond comprehension, I came to realize that Camo Hat was-- and this is really unbelievable-- he was actually looking at me.
He was looking at me?
I averted my glance, but my eyes involuntarily returned to their fixation.
Yeah. Confirmed. He was looking at me.
Then his attention returned to his conversation with his friend. But even though he was engaged in talk, he continued to glance my way-- so much so that his friend even had to turn around and look to see who it was that Camo Hat was looking at.
I actually turned around to see if there was someone behind me that he was smiling at.
It had to be me. He was looking at me.
And, yeah, he did seem to smile as he did it-- not overtly, but it was definitely a pleasant look.
My heart began pounding in my chest. I immediately focussed my attention on the contest. I could feel my body temperature rising-- maybe even my face was flushing. I held my attention steadfast on the bench pressers, watching a few of them struggling to get either into or out of their powerlifting shirts. Powerlifters are not normally known for their stunning physiques-- they’re usually just big and fat. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but they are rare. So, watching the powerlifters did a good job at loosening my erection and reducing the protrusion in my pants.
I glanced over at him again, just to see. And, yeah; he was looking at me again-- or still-- I don’t know which.
Back to the bench pressers.
But in the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I didn’t need to look in that direction to see that Camo Hat had abandoned his conversation and was walking toward me.
Look straight ahead. Watch the lifters. Watch the crowd. Don’t look at him.
It wasn’t possible.
Camo Hat walked toward me, but his gait and direction, being ever-so-slightly off to my left, told me that he wasn’t actually walking to me.
There was a set of restrooms behind me. That’s it. Camo Hat, in all of his male muscularity, was going to take a piss. That’s where he was going.
And it was. But-- as he passed within inches of me (and he didn’t really need to get that close) he looked me right in the eyes and smiled. He nodded his head in a kind of guy-to-guy “How’s it goin’” male greeting. And he passed me. God, I swear I could feel the wind in his wake wrap around my body and give it a good squeeze. Holy fuck. Without even touching me, he invaded me with this other-worldly “close encounter” kind of connection, and I could feel my organs begin to dissolve.
My knees went weak, and I had to sit down for fear of falling. Literally. Just walking close to me, he sapped me of all my strength. I found myself placing my face in my hands, and I made like I was stretching, or trying to ward off boredom-- just so people wouldn’t know that I had nearly fainted. As I rubbed my face, his face filled my mind.
They were the most electric, glowing brown eyes I had ever seen. Like golden-tinted agates lit from behind.
Eventually, I regained my composure, and stood back up, facing the bench pressers again. Of course my radar was at full sensitivity, earnestly seeking any sign of Camo’s emergence from the restroom. I couldn’t just turn around and watch the men’s room door, so I had to keep on alert to see when he would walk past me again on his return trip to his buddies.
But the expected rush of wind that would break way as his rock-hard frame moved by, never happened. Instead, to my horror (and delight, although that emotion was repressed deep under the stark raving fear that immediately gripped me) I noticed a presence standing beside me. On my left. Just standing there. He was facing the same direction as I was, watching a competitor situate himself on the bench in preparation for his lift.
Camo Hat had stopped to stand next to me, to watch the competition.
Before I could even re-teach myself how to swallow, his mouth started to move and words began coming out. He was still looking at the bencher, not at me. But he was obviously talking to me.
“P- Pardon me?” I said. I’m surprised I was even able to get comprehensible words out at all.
“What’s he lifting?” he repeated, motioning his gigantic, rippling arm upward for just a second, toward the guy on the bench.
“Oh, uh... I’m not sure. The last guy did something like 450 pounds, but I didn’t hear them announce what this guy is doing.” I think my brain was totally infused with adrenaline or something, because for the life of me, I can’t figure out how I was able to manage any kind of composure. I must have just kicked in to instinct mode or something-- I was probably in shock, actually. As I had blurted out those words, I glanced at him, just to make some kind of visual contact-- and to verify who it was. Yeah. Shit. Forget everything I’ve said about how powerful he looked. Everything. Just take it all and multiply it times two. When he’s right next to you, you realize that standing within a foot or so of your body is probably enough physical power to overtake an army of strongmen-- with one arm tied behind his back.
He didn’t say anything, and momentarily the announcer on the stage repeated the amount of weight that the guy would be attempting: 485 pounds.
“Man, he looks kinda small to be doing that kind of weight,” Camo Hat said.
I mean, come on. I was racking my brain to find more words to say, but there just weren’t any in there.
The guy went through his pre-lift ritual of gripping the bar, moving his butt up and down the bench, gripping the bar again, clapping his hands together and yelling, and then finally gripping the bar and holding on to it. His body stiffened, and he signaled his spotter to unrack the weight. The whole process looked pretty shaky. The bar leaned to one side as he lowered it. He eventually balanced it, and the judge okayed the depth of the descent, and he began pressing the weight upward. It was a real struggle. The audience began yelling and cheering their encouragement, but it was to no avail. His progress stopped, and the spotters kicked in, lifting and moving the weight to the rack.
The crowd applauded his attempt politely, as a consolation.
“He needs to arc it more.”
I looked at Camo Hat and said, “How’s that?”
“Arc,” he said. “When you lower and lift the bar, you don’t want to lift it straight up and down.” He brought his arms up and with his hands at his chest, made like he was holding an imaginary bar. He pushed away from his chest, and lifted them in a half “C” motion, his hands were at eye-level when he finished the motion. “You bring the bar up in an arc. It’s moves more fluidly that way. It’s really a technique-dependent sport,” he said. His arms were still straight out in front of him, and the freakish divot of his triceps horseshoe lazily indented itself right there in front of my face. Fuuuuck.
He slowly lowered his arms when he decided I had absorbed all I could of his gigantic guns, and I swear he fought to keep the corners of his mouth from curling upward.
“I take it you have had some experience with weights,” I said, allowing my eyes to move from his arms to his chest and shoulders.
I could feel my knees get weak again. Shit. No! You can’t sit down! Hold on! Hold ON! I gritted my teeth and drew in a deep breath.
All the while I was fighting the blackout, Camo Hat had erupted in a hearty laugh. It wasn’t an egotistical kind of thing-- I think I just must have had a subtle sarcastic tone in my voice when I eyed his muscles.
Oh gawd. That smile! Those dimples! Holy mother fuck! He was so gorgeous! And I had made him laugh!
Let me die now. There is no more for me. My life is complete.
I had made him laugh. He thought I was funny. He looked at me. He talked to me. He stopped to stand next to me! What more could life bring me.
“Yeah, I guess I’ve spent a little time in the gym,” he smiled.
“Ya think?” I smiled, once again, eyeing his physique.
He seemed really pleased with me. Why, I’ll never know. I mean, he must have hordes of people go gaga over his body. Why he found my little routine anything new or interesting is beyond me. He extended his hand and said, “I’m Cam.”
Okay, first of all, the name. Cam? Was this some kind of strange coincidence? Or did he actually know that people would make the connection from his hat to his name? Okay, and second, his extended hand (and attached, freakin’ thick forearm, anchored to his cannon ball shoulder by a vein-lined biceps muscle that looked bigger than most guys’ thighs). I must have still been in shock mode, because I found myself shaking it; and the grip was firm and warm. Very warm.
Uh, excuse me, Cam, but could I go swimming in the palm of your hand please?
Those glowing agates again. They held all of the wealth of the Egyptian Pharaohs in their glow. Autumn must originate somewhere within them, and once a year they release their golden heat to set the hillsides on fire, extending the conflagration throughout the earth, to transform the hemisphere to the oranges, browns, yellows and reds of the season. I could see all of those colors in his eyes.
And still we shook.
“And you are?”
Oh, god! What was my name!? I scanned the deep recesses of my mind, hoping to find it. Oh shit, what was that damn name?! “Oh, Matt,” I finally said. With that, Cam released my hand. He wasn’t going to let it go until he got a name out of me.
“Glad to meet you, Matt,” he smiled. Did I mention his teeth? I think I did. Yeah, I know I did.
Perfect, white, and mind-numbingly gorgeous.
Especially when you note that they are bordered by those knee-weakening dimples.
Oh god, not the weak knees again.
“Yeah. Uh, Cam--” I looked at the cap and said, “Is your camouflage hat a subtle reference to your name?”
He smiled again; it was an appreciative smile, as if he was glad that I had gotten it. His brown eyes looked up at the bill of his cap (it was white underneath) and said, “Not many people make the connection.” He raised his eyebrows, again as a sign that he was impressed with me, and smiled once again.
How I wanted to say something about those dimples.
“Well, if we’re going to play word-association to remember your name, I hope you don’t mind if I accidentally call you Aircraft Carrier or something like that,” I said. God, I was proud of myself with that one.
Again, Cam’s face lit up and he laughed. It wasn’t the kind of laugh that was so loud that would make everyone in the room turn their heads (they were already turned anyway-- believe me), but it was just a genuine, deeply-held, heartfelt laugh. He appreciated a quick wit, I could tell. “Aircraft Carrier,” he grinned. “Don’t think I’ve ever heard that one before.”
“AC for short,” I continued.
He smiled again. “AC. I like that.”
Now, if I could only bring my fighter jet in for a landing on his deck...
We talked further, and I’m not sure which was more impressive to me-- that he stood there and engaged me in conversation, or that I was actually able to converse back.
There was a guy there-- I don’t remember his name-- who was kind of a special “guest” lifter. He was a world-class bench presser, and most of the guys there had come just to see him. At the end of the competition, when it came his time to lift-- he was going to do 975 pounds-- the bar was bending quite a bit from the weight of the discs.
Cam and I watched quietly, as did the rest of the room. His spotters unracked the bar on his command, and he held it there just a second before slowly lowering it. The bar bent as the weights bounced up and down. When he got it low enough, he heard the okay from one of the judges and started pressing up. With a loud roar, he pressed it up and racked it. The room erupted into loud cheers and applause, whistling and hollering.
“That’s impressive,” Cam said to me. He kept applauding and then brought his fingers into his mouth and blew a whistle-- his dimples deepening as he did it. He watched with a surprising mix of admiration and self confidence.
Impressive? Well, yeah. He seemed to genuinely respect the feat we just witnessed, and yet he wasn’t about to do cartwheels over it. His confidence was overwhelming to me.
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