Out Night At The Recreation Center
"We're going to have a bunch of kids running around the place tonight," the custodial supervisor said as night cleaning shift at the Recreation Center was getting underway. "Do the best you can at cleaning the building, but don't worry if it is still a mess. "We can't be expected to do much with the kids in the way and anyway, no one ever consulted us about this overnight camp-out deal." The supervisor was annoyed at the imposition. A "summer camp" slumber party in the building during the night cleaning shift was not his idea. Then he said, "One more thing before we go to work." "Kids are only supposed to be in a few areas." "If you see any of them in areas that they don't belong, be sure to tell one of the camp counselors." After giving those instructions, the supervisor went into his office and closed the door.
Scampering around the Civic Center hallways.
Fred, one of the night custodians, went off to get his tools. He saw a happy bunch of kids and counselors in a hallway. Everyone had their faces painted bright colors. They ran, danced and walked down the hall into an activity room on the first floor. Steel doors to the activity room closed behind them, but dance music could still be heard down the hall. Fred was somewhat envious. They were having all the fun while Fred faced a long night of work.
As Fred started his vacuuming, the monotonous whine of his vacuum cleaner drowned out the dance music. Everything seemed normal again. Everything seemed the way it had been for the past five years that Fred had worked that custodial shift.
After about an hour's work, Fred noticed several giggling girls by a vending machine at the end of the hall. They weren't supposed to be there, but Fred didn't want to look like an old meany. He didn't say anything. He just kept vacuuming and ignored the kids. Then Fred noticed Tom, one of the camp counselors. Tom was putting stuff away in the pool area. He was way over on the far side of the pool and was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. Fred couldn't help but notice how cute Tom was. "He must be one of those college kids they hire as summer camp counselors," Fred thought as he gazed into the pool area. Fred wanted to get a closer look at Tom's nicely toned body, but could hardly see it from the distance. Then Fred got an idea. He would try to get Tom's attention. If Tom came closer, it would kill two birds with one stone. Having Tom come to the door would allow Fred a closer look at Tom's shirtless torso. Also Tom could see that some of the kids were over by the vending machine where they didn't belong.
Fred yelled into the pool area, "Hello, I have something to show you."
Tom looked up and started walking toward the door. As he got closer, Fred could see a big smile and a bright glow in Tom's eyes. Fred gazed on Tom's slim torso. Then Tom said, "I hope we aren't bothering you too much." Fred said, "oh no, not at all." Then one of the girls, at the vending machine, called out, "does anyone have quarters?" "That dumb machine wouldn't take a dollar bill." The other girl said, "that's total crinkled. "No wonder." Tom shoved his hand into his pocket to fish for change pushing his skimpy shorts down farther so Fred could see more of Tom's firm body below the tan line. Fred could briefly follow a thickening line of pubic hair, but that moment of exposure didn't last long. Tom put his hands in the air and said, "I've got nothing." The girls said, "that figures." Then Fred decided to see what he could find. He reached into his work cloths and pulled out a wallet. There was nothing but a 20 dollar bill. Fred said, "I've got nothing too." The girls said, "You guys." as they shock their heads.
Tom grabbed his tie-dye shirt from the end of the pool bleachers and quickly put it on covering his athletic body. Then Tom and the girls started walking down the hall back to that activity room. Fred could hear Tom saying, "Okay, pizza should be ready in 15 minutes."
Fred wished he could join them. Pizza sounded good and the only food in the custodial closet was one stale cupcake. Fred started vacuuming again and the space seemed empty once more. He continued to fantasize about Tom as the night progressed.
Toward the end of the shift, Fred started rolling the vacuum into the building's main lobby to finish up the front area. As he got there, he saw that the lobby was full of duffel bags and suite cases. Some kids were sitting on their bags waiting for the front doors to open. The custodial supervisor was standing there also, looking over the room and shaking his head. As he saw Fred come in with the vacuum he said, "Don't even bother vacuuming here." "We can't be expected to vacuum this place if their stuff is all over." "Anyway, we're opening and it's time to go home."
A big yellow bus pulled up and one of the camp counselor's opened the doors. Kids picked up their stuff and headed out to the morning air. Fred looked to see if he could catch another glimpse of Tom, but Tom wasn't around. Then he saw Tom out a window. Tom was throwing a bunch of pizza boxes into a dumpster.
As the bus full of kids pulled off, the recreation center opened for another day of business. Fred got ready to head for home, but noticed that Tom was standing at lobby's front desk. Fred watched as Tom pounded the top of the desk with the palms of his hands, making a loud thump. Then Tom exclaimed to the desk attendant, "They're gone!" "They're all gone." "It's over." "It was scary." "I'm glad it's over."
The desk attendant smiled, as if she understood, and said, "I can imagine." Then she handed Tom a towel and Tom started walking toward the locker room.
Fred realized that he might have a chance to see Tom totally naked, so he got a towel and headed for the locker room as well.
Fred undressed and headed for the large shower area. No one was in there. Then Fred decided to go to the hot tub area where he found Tom already sitting in warm water. All Fred could see was Tom's head above the bubbly waters. Fred couldn't even tell if Tom was still wearing his shorts or not.
Fred climbed into the hot tub and said hello.
Tom answered with another nice smile and said, "This is just what the doctor ordered." Then Tom's happy, innocent face turned more gloomy. His boyish smile disappeared and a more serious look came over him. Tom said, "I may have ask this before, but I'll ask again." "We didn't bother you last night, did we?" Fred said, "Oh, no, it was fun having you here." "How did the slumber party go?"
Tom started moving his hands back and forth through the water as he was speaking. "It went real smoothly." "I kept my fingers crossed, but I don't know if I would want to be a camp counselor for life." Fred ask, "What's wrong with it?" "It seems like counseling would be fun." Tom sat quietly as if he was a little shy about answering. Then he said, "I don't know," "It's sort of nerve wracking." "A lot of squirmy, noisy kids, but also it's the parents." "I guess some of the parents are always worried you're gonna molest their kids, or something." "I have no intention that way, but we all have to deal with the paper work." "There's a lot of paper when ever one deals with kids." Fred said, "I can imagine." Then Tom continued to say, "It's a serious responsibility." "It's a lot of forms." "Accident forms, incident reports, and everything has to be filed correctly in the right drawer." "Last night went real well, but I dread the day some kid scrapes his knee and needs a little band aid." "There's at least two forms that have to be filled out and a special procedure for dealing with such situations." "Everyone has to follow the guidelines a certain way or there's trouble." "I'm glad nothing happened, but I guess I was nervous cause this was my first time as a counselor."
Fred was impressed with Tom's candor and vulnerability. His feelings of envy toward Tom began to subside. Inside that cheerful, strong and athletic counselor was a lot of anxiety. Fred felt that being a custodian wasn't so bad after all. At least it's one profession that doesn't have a lot of paper work; yet.
Fred said, "I don't have to put up with too much paper work being a custodian, but now I'm learning where all that paper, I find in waste baskets, comes from." They both laughed and Tom said, "I wouldn't mind being a custodian."
Fred ask, "have you ever been one?" Tom answered, "No." Then Tom said, "I'm still fairly young, so I haven't had many jobs." "I've worked in a restaurant and, believe it or not, I've even been a male stripper in a gay club!" Fred was surprised to hear that. His astonishment caused him to slip off the hot tub bench and slide deeper into water. As Fred struggled to get himself back onto the bench he said, "That's very interesting."
Then Tom quickly said, "I don't think I am gay, but that doesn't really matter." "They must have liked my looks." "I was on the track team for a while." "I guess they liked my personality also --- so it was said."
Fred was amazed, but afraid to reveal his own gayness. He just sat there trying to think of something good to say. Eventually he squeezed out the question, "What's it like being a male stripper?"
Tom answered, "actually, we didn't really strip; all the way, I mean." "They had us wearing jockey underwear." "The club wasn't really a sex club." "It was sort of a therapy place, almost." "We undressed part way and put our arms around the patrons." "A lot of it was just listening." "There's a lot of lonely guys out there." "We had business men with suites and ties." "A lot of married men as well." "Lots of different kinds of people came in." "Many of them had no one else to talk to." "I found it quite interesting." "Lots of people's life stories, but eventually I quit the job because I didn't think it would be much of a career." "I decided to go back to school." "Now taking a few childhood education classes at the university, but I wonder if that was a good idea." "Who knows."
Fred said, "It mostly depends on what you like." "I still haven't figured out, exactly, what I want to do either."
Then Tom said, "I enjoyed talking with you, but it's getting kind of hot in here." Tom slowly lifted himself up out of the water and climbed onto the hot tub's deck. He was totally naked. Fred was afraid to get out of the bubbly water for fear that someone would notice his excited state. He looked at Tom's healthy body. He felt privileged to be seeing Tom totally naked since people who paid to see Tom at the strip club didn't get to see beyond the jocky underwear. Fred saw Tom's muscular legs and his smooth flat torso. He saw Tom's large thick dick, but it was relaxed. Tom started drying himself off and walking away from the hot tub area.
As Tom started to leave, Fred felt a strong urge to announce that he was gay. Fred called out, "I just wanted to tell you I am gay." "I just wanted to say I found this conversation very interesting because I am a gay man." Tom couldn't hear what Fred had said over the noise of the hot tub jets. Tom yelled back in a loud voice, "Could you repeat that, I didn't hear what you just said." "It's kind of noisy in here." In a louder voice, Fred started to say, "I wanted...," but, suddenly he halted his words. Two more people walked into the tub area just then. Fred was afraid to say more in front of the new people, especially as they were angrily discussing last night's football game.
Suddenly the room's conversation shifted to something like, "Why the fuck did Nelson miss that field goal."
After the hubbub died down, Fred tried talking again. All he could say was, "It was really nice to visit with you." "You are a wonderful man." "I would pay money to see you in a club also." Tom gave an understanding nod as he left the room.
Copyright 1997, Robert Ashworth.
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