Peel the wet clothes from your body; around you others half-naked push and pull at their own clothes. You turn to avoid them when naked; wrap the towel hastily around your waist, step quickly over the slick tile into the showers. Each time is an awakening, shedding through force and repetition the fear that’s kept you clothed since boyhood. Under spraying nozzles men of all shapes and skin tones lather, turn, rinse, shake. Partitions lend some small privacy, yet the one across from you can always see, should he choose. Face the spray and the wet tiled wall, prime the soap dispenser wondering what someone would make of your back. Each soap squirt a staccato in your palm; a rapid percussion to lather broad expanses of your skin; turn under the spray and glance across at the boy browner than you; smoother skin and a beautiful dick; turn away and sigh at the sight, too shy for your own good. It sticks in your head. And now you’re responding in kind; your own dick stirs, unwelcome in this room, or so you’d think. Stay under the spray and will it down and when it won’t something falls from your shoulders; some burden you’ve never been without. Turn boldened and he glances there and you glance back and his stirs back, rising. You’ve never ever done this. Each bolder you two stare; heat strong welling up from your skin, a game you begin. Show and turn away; reveal and cover, each second a lovely sin. Wish it could go on, go anywhere but here, make him something he won’t be. Imagine a dark room and a wordless wrestling; what you’d love to do with that. Around you the others come and go, the showers never emptying. Look back as you grab the towel; there’s the line you crossed, the path you can’t take back. Will he or won’t he and what’ll you do now? This gym ain’t so straight after all.

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