The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Twenty – Tales from the Unemployment Line

Fired? Holy shit.

Really? Me? Fired from my job???

This doesn’t happen to people like me. This happens to OTHER people. You know, people who are lazy, incompetent, under-qualified or rude.

Not smart, studious, polite Asian guys like ME!

Motherfucker…

It’s been nearly two hours since I was fired from my annoying but stable job at Wellford Fitness Center. Here I am, lying in bed, eyes glazed over and a million thoughts running through my mind. Did I really just get fired for doing what I just did?

I mean, I got fired because I was caught having sex with one of my fellow employees. And not just any employee, for the record. I got caught by my boss having sex with Michelle, a hot perfect blonde. Michelle is the type of girl I could NEVER get in a billion years. She’s the type of girl every guy fantasizes about. She’s the type who gets muscle jerks like Big Danny, not awkward Asian guys like Ryan Takahashi.

I wonder what Michelle is thinking right now. Is she thinking “Gee, I’m such an idiot! I got fired for screwing Ryan! WTF????”

Or is she getting drunk right now? Or did she decide to go back to Big Danny out of desperation? Gosh, I hope not…

Oh well. She’s a wonderful personal trainer and one of the most gorgeous human beings on planet Earth. I’m sure she won’t have any problem finding another job.

Me, on the other hand, will have a much tougher time. I’m not as cute as her or as skilled in the fitness industry.

If only there were jobs for history majors just flying off the shelves. That would be convenient.

So, the next day I immediately start applying for jobs. I wake up at 8 a.m. sharp (which, believe it or not, is sleeping in for me!) and search the usual online job databases for attractive openings. Twelve cover letters later, I look up at my clock and see it is 11:27 a.m.

Time for lunch!

Because I’m strapped for cash, I’m going to have to resort to a boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich, baked potato chips and whatever cheap beer I have in the refrigerator. Ah, yes. The life of being unemployed. Oh joy. I can hardly contain my excitement.

Blah.

It’s a very surreal experience. I’m still – even 24 hours later – completely in shock over how I lost my job. I lost my job at the peak of orgasm. I was fired the moment my boss saw me and Michelle nearly consummate our impromptu coupling session. Even thinking about it gives me the chills. I still wonder what Michelle is doing right now. Is she agonizing over her poor decision to let her vagina (and my penis) get in the way of maintaining a paid job? Or has she been hired right off the bat by some other gym?

God only knows.

After lunch, I decide to take a stroll down the street and inspect the local businesses. I might strike gold and discover one of them is hiring. Stranger things have happened. There are plenty of cute little boutiques, shops and restaurants around here that might be hiring this very instant. This could be my lucky day.

Enjoying a sunny but chilly early afternoon, I see no one has a “NOW HIRING” sign hung up on their door. Well, shoot. Seattle is a large city after all, so there’s no use being down in the dumps quite yet.

Of course, I always have Sam’s proposition on the table. You know…being a high class drug dealer.

Holy shit. The fact that this crossed my mind is making me shudder. I need to stop thinking about this! Because the more I think about it, the more likely I’ll end up rationalizing a reason to take him up on his offer. And thoughts have a funny way of becoming reality if you’re not careful.

Hm. Nothing is around here. Just endless businesses with all their employment needs met. No signs of desperate storeowners needing a helping hand. No damsels in distress willing to pay me a million bucks to save her from danger. Nothing of the sorts.

Damn.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a business called “Cascade Temporary Staffing.” Uh huh. Temporary staffing. Well, I guess a few temp jobs here and there wouldn’t hurt. I’m not hurting for money, but a little extra green in the bank certainly could help me get through the holiday season. This could also be a great way to get my foot in the door with a great company. Gee, maybe I should inquire within and see what opportunities they have available!

And that’s exactly what I do.

I walk inside the building and see a long line. A verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long line. Holy cow! There must be at least 40 or 50 people here! All they’re doing is waiting, carrying their résumés and hoping for a shot at a decent job.

Wow, it’s really sad in here.

This economy definitely is not improving at the rate we’d all hope. This explains the long line. Although I didn’t bring a CV or anything, but I’m here and I have some time to kill, so I guess there’s no harm in waiting in line with the rest of these folks. Who knows? I might walk out of here with a job interview in my pocket. You never know…

(Time passes)

25 minutes later, I think I’ve moved maybe nine feet. There’s about four or five dozen people here and only two Cascade Temporary Staffing employees helping us all. Gee, how ironic is it when a staffing agency is understaffed?

Meanwhile, I have nothing to do but overhear the colorful conversations of the people both in front and behind me. I must say, random people talking about random nonsense can be the most entertaining thing you’ll ever witness. For example, here’s a sample of a conversation between two teenage girls, one dressed like a biker chick and the other looking like she bought all her clothes at a Value Village blow-out sale.

Girl 1: You’re not going to believe this. Holy fucking shit.

Girl 2: What is it?

Girl 1: You know that guy I was with for a while? Craig?

Girl 2: Yeah. What about him?

Girl 1: He got arrested yesterday. And he just texted me. Do you know who his cellmate is?

Girl 2: Who?

Girl 1: My baby’s daddy. Holy fuck! That shit is fucking messed up.

Girl 2: Fuck.

Girl 1: My ex is cellmates with my baby’s daddy. Holy shit.

Girl 2: Yeah, girl.

Seriously. This is the crap I have to listen to in this God-forsaken unemployment line. I don’t want to sound too condescending, but I’m going to guess that neither of these ladies (both of whom couldn’t be older than 16 or 17) have a college degree or any employable skills beyond gossiping, getting pregnant and texting.

SMH.

Oh my God! Am I using Internet-speak? Am I degrading two people I don’t even know for having no “employable skills” when I just got fired for doing it doggy-style with a female co-worker? I am in no position to judge.

This is what unemployment does to you. It kicks your sense of self-worth out the door.

Finally, after what seems like a whole hour (but it was only about 40 minutes), I get to the front of the line and have the chance to speak to a staffing agent. The guy is named Stephen and he looks bored to death. Hey, I don’t blame him one bit. This place is a depressing cesspool full of desperate, jobless folks who would rather be somewhere else. If I worked here, I’d jump off a bridge in no time!

“Did you bring your résumé with you, Mr. Takahashi?”

“No, I did not. I came here on a whim.”

“In that case, fill out these forms and turn them in to window #5, please. Then we’ll process it and schedule a real face-to-face interview sometime next week.”

Stephen points to window #5, which is being manned by a guy who looks even more depressed than him. Boy! This place is giving me bad vibes.

“Thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah. No problem. Next!”

I walk away and find a chair in the waiting area. I thumb through the application papers, looking for what type of information they need from me. Holy cow. There must be at least thirty pages here! They’re asking for all my employment history, school records, criminal history, opinions about workplace ethics, professional AND personal references and writing samples. It even includes a math quiz (Really? Just because I’m Asian doesn’t mean I can do math!) and a personality test.

Oh. My. God. I REALLY don’t want to fill out all this crap. Seriously. Can’t someone just give me a job already? It’s only been one day and I’m already sounding as emo as a middle school kid playing with a razor blade in my mom’s minivan. Do they really expect me to fill out all this today?

You know what? Screw this. Screw this!

I get up from my chair, dump the application on the floor, give Stephen the “evil eye” and storm out the door. I don’t need this. Seriously, I don’t. I’m not going to fill out my entire life’s history just so I can get a temp job being an accountant at some disease-ridden hellhole. I need to be doing something where I feel useful, not where I’m disposable.

Yes, I just burned a bridge, but it’s nothing major and I’m sure this will not come back to haunt me anytime soon. I’ll just keep strolling down this street and see what else comes up.

Hm….

Nothing much yet. Now I’m outside the business area and moving into a residential neighborhood. I don’t think anyone around here is hiring. God…I’m depressed right now.

Like, really depressed. I don’t know why, but this entire week has been one big blur. One moment I have a stable job, the next moment I’m having sex with a gorgeous female bodybuilder, then all of a sudden I’m unemployed and on the verge of being broke.

Whew. I need a drink. I need some whiskey.

As I sulk around this particular neighborhood, I’m instantly reminded of a time when I was a child and I was the last kid picked to play kickball during recess. As I stood in the field, waiting for the ball to ever get to me, I didn’t feel happy that I was playing with my “friends.” I was sad because they thought so low of me that they chose me last, even after all the girls! I forced a smile and did my best, which wasn’t much.

I feel a lot like that now. I feel like Life has chosen me last to play kickball. I feel like Life would rather take any of those people waiting in line in front of me back there than little old Ryan. I get the sense that Life is looking down upon me and laughing at my expense.

Life would rather help out those two girls and the incarcerated baby’s daddy than me.

My melancholy daydream breaks when I hear a dog barking at me. Furious that I’ve trespassed onto “his” sidewalk, I turn around and decide to go back home. There’s nothing for me here. My best chance of landing a decent job is finding one online, not wandering around aimlessly hoping to win the employment lottery.

And to think I wasted 40 minutes of my life waiting in that bloody unemployment line. I could have been doing something more productive like watching TV, jogging, eating, sleeping, masturbating or taking a long crap.

Speaking of taking a long crap (which is such a pleasant thought, by the way), I REALLY need to pee. It truly is time to go home.

But this time, I’m not going to wait around for anyone to pick me for kickball. I’m starting MY OWN team!

Onward! And onto bigger and better things!!!

The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Nineteen – Fired

Sure enough, I was very sore the next day. Come Monday morning, I could barely get out of bed without being reminded of my aching pelvis.

Oh well. That’s a small price to pay for experiencing the greatest night of my life.

The greatest night of my life. Yes…I can actually say that. It truly was the greatest single night of my life. The morning afterward wasn’t bad either.

But alas, I have to go to work because that’s what responsible adults do. So here I am, it’s 10:26 a.m. and I’m stuck in the laundry room cleaning sweat towels nobody bothered to do anything about yesterday. This is not an unusual occurrence.

Ho hum. What to do? I have to wait a whole week till I can see Cindi again. Damn. That’s going to be hard. All I can think about is Cindi North and the carnal activities we shared on Saturday night. I bet if I told every single person here at Wellford Fitness Center I had sex with a female bodybuilder this past weekend, none of them would believe me.

Who cares? I know it’s true and that’s all that matters.

Michelle, the cute receptionist/personal trainer whom every guy here wants to bang, enters the laundry room carrying a whole new batch of dirty towels. Good God, how many are there? I can’t remember the last time I had to clean so many at once. Is there a sweat epidemic going on around here?

“Here you go. Sorry, Ryan.” Michelle sets the basket down on a table next to me.

“No problem. It’s my job. Are there more people than usual here today?”

“Yes, I think so. I had four clients show up already. That almost never happens.”

“Hm.” My monotonous response is borne out of the dread of having to smell more people’s drippings. Will this madness ever stop?

Michelle prepares to leave but stops before she gets through the door.

“Can I ask you a question?”

I turn around, surprised by this. Michelle almost NEVER wants to make casual conversation with me. Especially when we’re busy at work. Doesn’t she have another client to attend to? And why would she want to hang out around here? I’d think the stench alone would encourage her to run out of here as fast as she can.

“Sure, Michelle. What’s your question?”

“Are you dating that girl that I saw you with the other day?”

I’m taken aback by this comment. Who is she referring to? Cindi North? Did Michelle see me with Cindi North this past weekend? That’s impossible, unless Michelle happened to be in Everett at the same time I was. I suppose that’s possible, but it’s not likely…

“What girl are you talking about? Does she work out here?”

“Yes, she does. I saw you talking with this really pretty black girl at that coffee place down the road. Are you hooking up with her or something?”

“Oh! You mean Monifa. You’re right; I was having lunch with her last week. No, we’re not dating. We just met each other. Gee, you’re quite the stalker!”

Michelle takes a few steps toward me, assuring me she wasn’t being a creeper. Ah…this makes sense! Of course she wouldn’t have seen me with Cindi North. She easily could have seen me with Monifa. And, Monifa does in fact work out here regularly.

“Ha! I’m not stalking you. I just thought it was kind of cool. Do you know she’s one of my clients now? I’m helping her get ready for a bodybuilding competition.”

My head starts to spin as I hear this. Monifa is training to become a bodybuilder? Really? Does she have time to do that? I guess bodybuilding is sort of an art and she does consider herself to be an “artist.” She can live her life the way she wants to, I suppose.

“You are? That’s kind of cool. I had no idea she wants to become a bodybuilder.”

“She says it’s something she wants to try. Why not? Live a little, right?”

“Right. Live a little.”

I stare down at the floor. I sense Michelle is doing the same thing. This is probably the longest conversation we’ve ever had together. She doesn’t usually have this much to say to me. I guess it is rather juicy to see a client have lunch with a coworker outside of work.

“Ryan? Can I ask you another question?”

My eyes leave the floor. I look up at her. Michelle looks gorgeous today, her beach blonde hair waving carelessly below her shoulders. Her fit, toned body is openly on display in her tight black Wellford Fitness Center shirt and petite white shorts. Her breasts look scrumptious, as if they’re beckoning me to give them a firm squeeze. I know for a fact I’d be fired for sexual harassment if I ever considered doing that!

“Yeah, sure. What’s your other question?”

“Do you find me attractive?”

Silence.

“Um…uh…I, er, I…”

“Answer me truthfully. Don’t worry. I won’t get offended by whatever you say.”

“Uh…yes! I do find you attractive. You’re one of the prettiest people I know. Does that answer your question?”

“Yes it does. Thanks.”

“Hm…why do you ask? That’s not exactly a typical normal question you ask a coworker, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Yes, I do. I ask that because…this is going to sound weird, but…when I saw you and Monifa having lunch together that day…I, uh, felt a little…jealous.” Michelle is now the one staring down at the floor. Her feet shift side to side uncomfortably.

I think about this for a moment. Jealous? Why on earth would Michelle, a Perfect Blonde, a Perfect 10, be jealous seeing me having lunch with another woman? It’s not like Michelle and I ever dated before. We’re just coworkers! To top it off, this is without a doubt the longest conversation I’ve ever had with her in all the years we’ve worked together.

WTF???

“Jealous? Um, why are you jealous seeing me with her?”

“I don’t know! I just felt a bit, you know, betrayed seeing you with her. I know…this shit makes no sense. I’m fucked up in the head or something, you know?”

“No, no, no…you’re not fucked up or anything. Maybe you feel, I don’t know…like you’re in competition with her. Is that it?”

“Yeah…that’s probably it. She’s gorgeous and she has a fucking amazing body. I look terrible compared to her.”

“Hey, don’t say that! You look great. Why would you think you look terrible? That’s ridiculous.”

“I’m old. I feel so old!” Tears start to form in her eyes. Oh great! Michelle’s having a midlife crisis at the tender age of 36. Cindi’s 48 and you never see her complain about her age. What’s the world coming to–

“Fuck me.”

My mind turns blank. I look at Michelle but nothing registers in my mind. Did I just hear that correctly?

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Fuck me. Right here, right now. Fuck me!”

“Um…I don’t know about this. Isn’t this a bit…sudden?”

“I don’t give a shit. I want you to fuck me, Ryan!”

Michelle turns around, pulls down her shorts and her panties and bends over, exposing her gorgeous round butt to me. Her vulva is glistening, wet and ready. Unlike Cindi, Michelle’s pink vaginal lips look soft and feminine, whereas the Muscle Goddess looks like a burlap sack down there (I know, that’s a crude analogy, but give me a break!). My penis hardens and stands at attention, awakening to this unexpected opportunity.

“I’m not so sure about this…what if Thomas sees us?”

“Who gives a shit about him? I want you to fuck me! Fuck me now!”

“Oh, uh, do you have a condom?”

“Screw that shit! I’m clean. Are you?”

“Yeah…I’m clean.”

“Then we don’t need one. What the fuck are you waiting for? I’ve asked you a million times to fuck me! What are you, scared?”

Scared? Hell no! I’m not scared! What gives her the right to call me scared?

“Fuck you! I’m not scared of anything!”

Anger running through my system, I unzip my pants, pull down my underwear, grip Michelle’s hips and shove my penis inside her, hard and reckless. This time, I’m going to take charge and fuck her like she’s never been fucked before!

Like two wild animals, Michelle remains bent over as I thrust into her from behind. My fingers dig into her flesh as I pound and pound, releasing any pent-up aggression and any doubt that I’m afraid to have sex with a woman in a public place. Wow! This is really something. A beautiful blonde just pulled down her pants and demands I shtup her on the spot.

What is this, the plot to a cheap porno?

As my penis continues to thrust in and out of her, Michelle’s heavy breathing gives way to a loud moan and fills the entire room. Not even the rumble of the washing machine cleaning the towels can completely muffle the sound of us fornicating in the laundry room.

A million thoughts run through my mind at once. Here I am having sex with a prototypical blonde bombshell who never spoke more than two sentences to me at a time. She’s also someone with a checkered past, given the less-than-stellar reputations of some of her previous boyfriends. I also realize she might be going through an early midlife crisis and this is her way of reclaiming her lost youth. Is she jealous that I preferred to socialize with a younger woman like Monifa instead of her? But she never gave any indication that she wants anything to do with me!

And she’s only 36! She’s not old. She looks great for her age. She looks like she can pass for 23 or 24…

These thoughts linger as my orgasm builds ferociously. I feel my climax approaching. My quick thrusts become slower and more measured as I try to penetrate her as deep as I can. I keep imagining Big Danny (her ex-husband) and his extremely huge penis thrusting into her tight little body. How am I doing? Can I compare to him? Is my little Asian penis any match for Danny’s gargantuan, monstrous endowment? Is she feeling anything?

Her loud moans stop and she lets out an uncontrolled scream, loud enough that I’m sure everyone outside this room can hear. But I don’t care about that as I sense my climax coming closer and closer…

“Hey! What the hell!!!”

Michelle stops moving and stands upright. Out of the corner of my eye I see Thomas Wellford, our boss and owner of this gym, standing in the doorway with a look of surprise and outrage on his face. The moment Michelle sees we’ve been caught she jerks forward, my penis suddenly leaving her vagina. This sudden jerk is the final act of stimulation I need to come…

“Aggghhhhh!” I groan, looking up with my eyes closed as I ejaculate all over the floor.

“Holy shit!” Michelle screams to herself, realizing our impromptu coitus session will get both of us in big trouble.

Thomas closes the door behind him and takes a few cautious steps toward us. My mind returning back to reality, I look down and see my semen sprawled across the floor. Did my boss just see me come? Oh FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“This…is…unbelievable, you two. This is serious. What the hell are you doing?!!!!” Thomas yells at us. This is going to get ugly. Really ugly. Oh shit…

Michelle’s face is beet red. We’ve been caught literally with our pants down. This is definitely THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENT OF MY LIFE!

“I don’t believe this shit. Half the gym can hear you guys fucking. Are you both out of your minds? What the fuck is going on here? Don’t you know what professionalism means? Really? You two are fucking…in here? During work hours? What the HELLLLLL!!!!!!”

Thomas is REALLY pissed. Holy mother of God. This is bad.

At this moment, Thomas is steaming (I swear I can see smoke coming out of his ears), Michelle is crying and I’m befuddled beyond words.

And this entire time, my semen is awkwardly lying on the floor.

Fuck my life…

***

I’ll spare you the ugly details, but long story short…we both got fired.

Michelle was supposed to see a client but she never reported to the front desk, so Thomas personally searched all over the building for her. And when he found us, we were “in flagrante delicto,” going at it like two bunny rabbits during mating season.

We said nothing to each other as Michelle and I gloomily walked out of the fitness center with our heads hanging low. No words, no looks, nothing to acknowledge that we even know each other. There we were, no more than twenty minutes earlier screwing each other like wild dogs, pretending like we’re total strangers.

This is a sad day for both of us.

Fired. Just like that. Out of a job. Nothing can possibly make this painful awkwardness go away.
This is going to be the longest walk home EVER.

Ten minutes later, emotions still flooding through me, I had a thought. As we speak, some poor chap at the Wellford Fitness Center, probably either Robbie or Maria (two employees who regularly work there when I do), is on their knees scrubbing my semen off the floor.

My semen. My seed.

Awkwardly staining the carpet.

This thought puts a smile across my face.

The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Ten – Monday Morning Blues

Good God. Is it Monday already?

I look at my alarm clock and see it is 4:58 a.m. I turn it off before it decides to ring.

Shit. Garfield the cat is right. Mondays do suck.

My shift at Wellford Fitness Center starts at 6 a.m., which is when the gym opens to the public. That means I have to wake up at 5 a.m. to give myself enough time to eat breakfast and get some coffee in me.

I usually make my own coffee. Today is no exception. I only buy already-brewed coffee on Sunday mornings when I make my weekly trek across the street to D’Angelo’s Café. This is partly the reason why I didn’t order anything at the espresso bar when I first met Cindi. Why pay two dollars for coffee that I could make for myself at a much cheaper price?

After a hearty breakfast of Wheaties and a bagel with cream cheese, I chase down a cup of iced coffee (I’m too lazy to heat it up in the microwave) and head out the door.

Five minutes later I enter through the back door and put on my dark red Wellford Fitness Center t-shirt that’s sitting in my employee locker. Believe it or not, the company gives us four pairs of these shirts in order to prevent us from wearing the same shirt all week. I think this is a good policy. Gyms smell bad enough. We don’t want the foul stench of employees making things worse.

I usually feel a bit depressed on Monday mornings (who doesn’t?), but today I’m feeling especially down-trodden considering my week ahead. I have five whole days before I see the Goddess Cindi again. I wonder what time she gets up every morning to start her workout? Is she an early riser, or does she workout in the afternoons/evenings? I should ask her the next time I see her.

It is my turn today to man the front desk. I’m in charge of the front desk from 6 to 9 a.m. From 9 to noon I clean and do laundry (we provide workout towels for everyone).

As the clock approaches 6 a.m., I see our first customer of the day show up. And right on schedule. It’s Dale, a 40-something businessman who’s always here right when we open. Dale and his wife are both former college athletes who have raised two ridiculously athletic children. Their daughter is currently training for the Olympics as a gymnast and their older son is a high school track star. No big deal.

I unlock the front door at the stroke of 6 and let Dale in, who waits outside patiently like always.

“Good morning, sir.”

“Good morning to you, Ryan.”

I scan his membership card and he strolls toward the locker rooms. Next I see Frances, an elderly 80-something woman who does water aerobics every morning. The class doesn’t start until 7, but she likes to be here early so she can read the newspaper before her workout.

“Hi Frances. How are the grandchildren?”

“They’re rude and they don’t listen,” she sheepishly says. I scan her membership card and wisely choose not to ask any more questions. She’s always in a pissy mood. But she seems to have a positive relationship with her grandchildren, so I’m a little taken aback that she thinks they’re rude and don’t listen.

Us whippersnappers are a real pain in the butt, aren’t we?

“Have a good workout,” I tell her as she leaves.

Frances doesn’t respond.

Somehow, my feelings aren’t hurt. My heart will go on.

Minutes later more people start to come in large groups. We’re talking people ranging from the very old to people my age looking to become as buff as possible. Try as they might, but they’ll never have anything on my Cindi. She’s buffer than anyone on the planet.

“My” Cindi? Am I claiming ownership over her? She should claim ownership over ME. She deserves that much.

As it approaches 7:30, the gym finally becomes lively with the noises of chit chat, treadmills running at full blast, the clank of 45-pound metal plates rubbing against each other and the usually grunts and groans of people getting a quality workout.

My mind starts to wander. What is Cindi doing right now? She’s definitely at the gym. She has to be. If she works out early on a Sunday morning, there’s no reason why she wouldn’t be at the gym earlier on a Monday morning.

“This sucks,” I tell myself out loud. It sucks that I have to wait five days before I can see her again. God, she’s like a drug. I’ve only met her once and I’m already at the stage where I can’t get her out of my mind.

Cindi North, you Beautiful Muscular Temptress. You’ve cast a spell on me. And I like it. A lot.

I giggle when I think about our first sexual encounter together. I totally prematurely ejaculated all over her face. I was humiliated at the time, but I can laugh at it now. It’s true when they say that time heals all wounds. But everything was totally worth it when she performed oral sex on me later. That felt divine. Absolutely divine. And I got to come on her eight-pack abdominal muscles. That was ridiculously hot.

I continue to daydream until I hear a woman’s voice call out to me.

“Excuse me, sir. Uh, excuse me?”

I immediately wake up from my mini-daydream.

“Uh, sorry. What is it? How may I help you?”

I look at the woman speaking to me and I almost stop breathing when I see her.

Hot damn.

She’s a young black woman who looks to be anywhere between 25 and 30. She’s fairly tall, maybe between 5’10” and 6”. She’s wearing a bright pink sports bra and a matching pair of tight spandex shorts that leaves nothing to the imagination. She has very dark skin that looks as black as night and as smooth as silk. Her angular face looks very exotic and unbelievably beautiful. I’m not a world-renowned traveler, but there’s something in her look and in her voice that tells me she wasn’t born in this country. I don’t know. But she’s simply gorgeous.

“I’m new in town and I have a free one-week pass. Do I give this to you?” she asks politely.

Her voice does sound like it has a slight African accent to it. I struggle to look at her face once I take a peek at her large, plump, bountiful breasts. Unlike Cindi, this woman has breasts. And very enticing. I want to squeeze them right now. But that would get me fired.

“Yes, you can give that to me. Can I see it?”

She hands it to me and I see that it’s legit.

“Alright, this is good for exactly one week, so it expires next Monday. Let me scan it for you.” I scan it and give it back to her. I take a quick look at her midriff and see she has a modest four-pack of abs developing. After I scan her paper card I look at the computer and see her name is Monifa Okendu. That’s a name you don’t hear too often around here.

“Thank you,” she says.

“Alright, have you ever been here before, Monifa?”

“No. I just moved here yesterday morning.”

“Oh! Welcome into town. Where are you originally from?”

“Ethiopia. But I’ve lived in New York City for the past three years.”

“In that case, welcome to Seattle. Would you like someone to give you a tour of our facility? I can ask a staff person to show you around.”

“Thank you, but no thanks. I think I can find everything I need just fine.”

“Alright. The women’s locker room is on the opposite side of the men’s locker room to your left. You will have to provide your own locks, however. Did you bring your own today?”

“Yes.”

“Good. It’s wise to do whatever you can to prevent against theft. We’re usually pretty good around here, but you never know. So, we offer workout towels for all our clients, including guests. Just drop them off in this box after you’re finished. Any other questions?”

“I don’t think so. Thank you very much.”

“Oh, I forgot to mention. Guests are allowed to attend all the classes we offer except for the advanced ones. Here’s a brochure explaining everything we offer here.”

I hand her a brochure and she puts it in her gym bag. Her toned arms look delicious.

“Thank you very much. You’ve been very helpful. What’s your name?”

“My name is Ryan. Enjoy your workout, Monifa.”

With that, Monifa turns around and walks toward the locker rooms. I take a look at her butt as she leaves. Holy mackerel! Lush, ample, perfectly rounded and taut, she nearly competes with Cindi’s impeccable derriere, but not quite. No one can compare to Goddess Cindi.

Well, that Monifa is quite a physical specimen! I hope she chooses to work out here long-term. That would make my mornings a lot easier to bear.

Just when I thought my morning got a little better, I look outside and see it has begun to rain. Hard. I mean, pouring down rain. Cats and dogs. Sheesh. Typical Seattle weather. Whenever a Monday seems to become somewhat tolerable, Mother Nature finds a way to slap you in the face and bring you back to reality.

The rest of my morning passes without a hitch. Nothing too spectacular. Later when I return to the front desk to pick up the box of dirty towels, I catch a peek of Monifa (whose bright pink and revealing outfit is extremely hard to miss) deadlifting what looks to be about 135 pounds, which is the metal bar plus a 45-pound plate on both sides. Not bad. It’s not quite the 500 pounds that Cindi can do, but that’s pretty darn impressive for a woman.

Wow, will Cindi ever leave my mind? Not for a long time, let me tell you.

As I walk into the laundry room I bump into Michelle, the ridiculously cute receptionist/personal trainer who works here.

“Hi Michelle. How many clients do you have today?”

“Only three. But they’re real clients, not the fake ones I’m usually stuck with.”

“You mean real athletes?”

“Yeah. One girl plays high school volleyball. Another girl wants to be a competitive figure model. And the other is a lady who’s determined to lose all her baby fat before Thanksgiving.”

“Before Thanksgiving? She better get on it. That’ll be here sooner than you think.”

“Well, she seems determined enough. See you around, sugar.”

Michelle, wearing a black Wellford Fitness Center sports bra and tight black shorts (not unlike what Monifa is wearing today), takes a swig from her coffee tumbler and goes into the workout area, leaving me alone holding a box of smelly towels. Dear God, these reek. Holy shit. If I don’t load these into the machine right away, I might just barf.

Ugg!

Oh, and by the way, Michelle usually calls every guy she knows “sugar,” so don’t get too excited on my behalf.

“That Monifa looks like she could become a competitive figure model,” I say to myself.

Loading the towels into a washing machine, I (for some really odd reason) start to think about Sam’s job offer he talked about yesterday. How would I like to be a drug dealer for the rich and wealthy? It would be easy money, these are people who don’t typically get involved in random street shootings and if I ever get caught, they could use their power and influence to get me off without any trouble. I mean, they’d do that, right?

And depending on what kind of drugs I’d be dealing, I might be able to meet more FBBs like Cindi North. Steroids and other human growth hormones are considered drugs, right?

But I’d never be able to meet another woman quite like Cindi. She’s a statuesque Goddess. But if women like her exist, there should be others like her. That makes sense. And I seriously don’t want to work here for the rest of my life. These smelly towels can always be washed by someone without a college degree.

I hope I’m not sounding too elitist.

But I digress. Sam and his buddies probably aren’t the type of people I want to associate myself with on a regular basis. I’d much rather hang out with Cindi and make love to her. Hell, who wouldn’t?

The thought of making love to a celestial muscle Goddess like Cindi is enough to carry me through the rest of the day.

The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Nine – Job Offer

I wake up the next morning at 10:30 a.m. feeling like a million dollars. My morning erection greets me as I roll on my stomach.

“It’s 10:30? God, Cindi’s already been in the gym for an hour and a half already,” I say to myself.

Lord, that Cindi North. That Muscular Angel is sure something. I’ve never met anybody who even closely resembles Miss North. She’s big, tall, thick, strong as an Olympic weightlifter, funny, compassionate, unapologetically sexual and cute (not super cute, but she’s not bad to look at). Come to think of it, Cindi’s a very pretty woman. Her sharp nose, low cheekbones and masculine-looking eyes may not appear to be too attractive at first, but once I got to know her, she just…became more beautiful. Some women become more beautiful the longer you know them. Cindi is one of those types of women.

After spending a few more minutes fantasizing about Cindi and her incredible body, I hop out of bed and put on a pair of jeans and whatever shirt I can find that doesn’t smell too offensive. This dark red shirt seems sufficient.

*SNIFF*

Yeah, “sufficient” is the right word.

Every Sunday morning I go across the street to D’Angelo’s Café, a cute little neighborhood coffee and sandwich shop. The owner is the mother of one of my best friends from college. I’ve become a regular there and have since come to know all the other regulars. That’s one of the dangers of living within walking distance of a great java dispenser.

I walk outside and take a deep breath. The crisp autumn air smells great against a chilly sunny day. These are the type of fall days I like. I don’t particularly care for the rainy days that we often get here in Seattle. But I’m used to those by now.

As I walk across the street I see a pretty brunette girl jogging by me. She’s wearing a blue tank top and tight black spandex shorts. She’s cute, but she’s no Cindi North. Cindi would dominate that chick.

The moment I walk into D’Angelo’s Café I’m greeted by Sam, a regular patron who happens to be a former 1960s hippie. I’m convinced he’s still a stoner. That has to explain why he’s always eating the blueberry scones, which I don’t particularly like. Sam is an older guy who has long shaggy hair, a white goatee, tattoos all over the place and a wardrobe that looks like something out of the clearance sale at a thrift shop. “Tacky” is Sam’s modus operandi.

“Good morning, chum,” Sam says.

“It’s practically lunchtime, but good morning to you too.”

Sam is reading a Seattle Times and chewing on a day-old croissant. Sam is notorious for always purchasing half-off day-old goods instead of buying anything new. That’s his choice. There’s no law against buying the marked-down stuff.

I look around for Cathy (the owner) and see that she’s nowhere to be found.

“Where’s Cathy?”

Sam is the only other patron in the café at the moment. “I don’t know. She went into the back kitchen a few moments ago and hasn’t come out since.”

Oh great. Now I’m stuck having to talk to this guy. Sam is a nice man, but he can be a real work of art at times. This is the guy who will talk your ear off about whatever governmental conspiracy theory he’s into at the time. Yes, he’s one of those types. But strangely, I can’t quite pinpoint where his political views lie. He believes in conspiracies that draw unflattering conclusions about people on both the left and the right. Maybe even he doesn’t know what he believes.

“I’ll just wait here. She should be coming back soon.”

Sam takes this opportunity to strike.

“I hear you’re looking for another part-time job. Is this true?”

“Yes, sir, that is true. Why? Do you have a lead for me?”

He triumphantly leans back in his chair and flashes a broad, megawatt smile. I think Sam suspects I don’t think the world about him. He obviously has something juicy he wants to share with me and will milk it for all it’s worth.

“As a matter of fact, I do have something for you. Do you want to hear what it is?” he slyly asks. I’m convinced this is going to be something either illegal or related to an impending political and/or social revolution. Is he planning to topple the government and crown himself King of America?

“Sure, I do want to hear what it is. I’m always open to hearing what’s available out there. Tell me, please.”

I look over my shoulder to see if Cathy has returned yet. She has not. Dammit.

Sam slowly stands up like a creeper and grabs my left hand. He pulls me away from the counter and sits me down opposite of him at his table. He burps loudly.

“Pardon me.”

“No problem.” I’m trying not to barf.

“I have a friend who knows someone who can give you a job.”

“So, you’ve never met this person?”

“No, not directly. But I know of him, and that’s all that really matters at this point.”

This sounds suspicious, but what was I expecting? I should be polite and listen to what he has to say. I have no doubt I’ll end up saying “no” at the end. All I really want to do is get my cup of coffee and pastry and GTFO. Where the hell is Cathy?

“What sort of business does this person do?”

“He buys things and sells them back to people.”

“Okay. What sort of things?”

Sam snorts loudly and ogles a young lady walking by the café. She’s a tall blonde wearing long white pants and a dark blue blouse. She’s not the prettiest thing out there, but her long legs are really something to regard. As the girl passes Sam returns his attention to me.

“His name is Theo. A good buddy of mine used to work for him. He doesn’t anymore because he recently moved to Texas. But I’ve heard good things about him.”

“You didn’t answer my question. What sort of things does he sell?” Why was I getting impatient and demanding an answer from him? It’s not like I actually care.

“He sells, well, things that aren’t…uh, quite legal…um, to the rich and wealthy.” Sam’s selective revealing of information tells me what he knows is both very juicy and probably shouldn’t be discussed in a public setting. I guess discretion isn’t terribly important to him.

“Let me guess. He sells cocaine to rich Hollywood types.” It’s an honest guess.

“Not Hollywood types. Theo works and lives up here. He sells stuff like that to those rich Microsoft and Amazon types over on the east side.”

“He’s a dope dealer to the software and Internet moguls in Bellevue and Redmond. Beautiful. And why would you think I’d be interested in this sort of job?”

“It pays really well. And you don’t have to pay taxes, for obvious reasons.”

Sam leans back in his chair and takes a small bite out of his croissant. Out of the corner of my eye I see Cathy come out of the backroom. She looks embarrassed to have a customer present in her establishment and she wasn’t there to serve them immediately. She rushes to the counter and apologizes profusely.

“Ryan! I’m so sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here. I was in the back room making soup, and I had no idea-”

“Don’t worry, Cathy. I was having a pleasant chat with Sam here.”

Cathy is a 50-something year old woman who might be the nicest person I’ve ever met. Cathy was married to her husband for 19 years before he came out of the closet as being gay. That was very surprising. But apparently she wasn’t totally shocked and took it all in stride. They had only one child (Stan, my buddy from college) and their sex life was essentially nonexistent. I know all this because she’s very open about her personal life (Stan is too embarrassed to tell me anything and I don’t blame him), almost to the point that I try to order my coffee and food as quickly as possible so I don’t have to listen to her go off on another one of her stories. Between Cathy and Sam, this can be quite a colorful little place. And I don’t mean color in terms of skin color, if you know what I mean.

“What would you like today?”

“I’ll have a 12 ounce nonfat latte and a strawberry muffin, please. That sounds like that would hit the spot.” Cathy’s strawberry muffins are almost orgasmic. Better than her blueberry scones, which are as dry as the Arizona desert.

“Alright. Are you doing okay there, Sam?”

“I couldn’t be better,” Sam says, still leaning back in his chair dangerously. I’m afraid he’ll fall over and break his neck. That would ruin everybody’s morning.

“Okay. Don’t fall down on me,” Cathy says, placing a newly baked, crisp muffin on a plate. My mouth waters as she hands it to me.

I sit down at a table next to Sam and instantly realize I should have asked for the muffin and the latte “to go,” but that would be weird considering I rarely ask for things to go. Besides, as much as I can’t stand Sam, I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings by running off on him in the middle of our conversation.

“So….are you in?” Sam says, leaning in close to me. I doubt Cathy will be able to hear, considering the sound of her steaming milk is about as quite as a hundred jackhammers working on a busy street all at once.

“I’ll consider it,” I tell him. I really won’t consider it, because committing illegal acts for a living does not sound like my cup of tea. Even though these clients are supposedly “high class,” that doesn’t make it any less illegal. I guess it would limit the chances of me being caught by the police.

“Good. A job offer this good doesn’t happen every day. If you really want to work for my buddy, you know where to find me every week,” he says. With that, Sam gets up, throws away his coffee cup and leaves the café. I breathe a sigh of relief as I watch him clumsily cross the street in the middle of a green light. I’m amazed he hasn’t been hit by a car yet.

By that time Cathy (who can make a great tasting latte faster than a speeding bullet) is done with my drink and places it on the front counter. I get up to retrieve it. I take a small sip and make a subtle sound of approval. Cathy, washing her hands, looks at me with a bright smile on her face.

“What did he want?”

I take another sip and savor the flavor. “Nothing, really. He wanted to offer me a job.”

“A job? What kind of job?”

“Oh, nothing serious. He has a friend who’s looking for some help with a few random things. I told him I’ll consider it, but I won’t really.”

“Good. Anything involving him will be nothing but trouble.”

I sit down and grab the newspaper Sam was previously reading. I take a small nibble at my delicious strawberry muffin and look up at Cathy.

“I agree.”