Pope Mohammed and the Gym

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” says Pope Mohammed, standing over your sweaty body as you lift one more repetition of free weights. He’s wearing his token sweatband around the bald spot on his head. Underneath the band, there’s curly, salt and pepper hair that reaches past his shoulders.

“God thinks your beautiful and special,” says Pope Mohammed. “He knows the number of hairs on your head.”

Over his chest, Pope Mohammed wears what the cool kids call a wife beater. His stomach looks like he’s hiding a watermelon underneath. He’s wearing bright blue biker pants, and his nub for a penis points laughably to the right.

Pope Mohammed pauses, and you feel his stare. You wonder if he’s looking at the bulge of your pants. You’re laying there on the workout bench, with sweat tugging your clothes to the ground. You wonder if he’s looking at your chest.

“You don’t mind if I tell you,” says Pope Mohammed,”That you’d be much better looking if you lost 10 pounds.”

You push through the last rep and let the weights slam inside the holder. It rattles. You don’t say anything. It’s Pope Mohammed after all.

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” repeats Pope Mohammed. He trails off to ogle a woman nearby doing lunges. He stops at a hardened nipple he can see pressing against her sports bra. He soaks in the image of where her underwear ends and her butt continues beneath her shorts. “Forgive me for saying,” says Pope Mohammed. “But that woman should consider a little plastic surgery and hiring a trainer.”

You move on to an abs machine. He follows you tugging on a fingernail. He brings his hand to his mouth. Tugs on the nail with his teeth. “Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God, you know,” he reminds you. “You know, even though there are mirrors in here, you’d think people would work harder to make their bodies harder, more solid and sexy.”

You look at Pope Mohammed, then in a mirror, and down at your arms. Sweat is pooling in the crevasses of your bent elbows. You stand up, grab a towel and head for the locker room. Pope Mohammed follows you. You feel his stare on your back.

In the locker room, you strip to your bare ass. You wrap a towel around your waist and head for the sauna. Seconds later, Pope Mohammed opens the door, wrapped in a towel, his sweatband is still on and still dry.

You spill water over the coals. Steam spits up from the heater. It sounds like a hundred Coke cans opening at once.

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” says Pope Mohammed, breaking the silence. “Brad Pitt, in Fight Club, that’s what you want to look like with your shirt off.”

You’re still silent. There’s no talking to Pope Mohammed. After 10 minutes, Pope Mohammed is soaked with sweat. “God, it’s hot in here,” he says. He gets up, let’s his towel fall to the side as he pushes open the door. A gush of cold air and the full glimpse of the flabby folds of his ass pierce your mind.

Fully mooned, Pope Mohammed says to you, “Good workout. Have a great day.”



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