The battered Ford transit slipped off the drive and disappeared up the quiet leafy street with a honk and a wave from Kenn at the wheel.
Shaun turned and looked at the huge and filthy Toyota Tundra standing in front of the wide double garage. He sighed, slipped off his red hoodie and hung it over a fence post. Since coming home for the summer at the end of his disastrous second year at college he’d been helping out around town with any extra odd-jobs he could pick up, to help pay for what his Mom joked was his ‘war-chest’. Funds to pay for the year out he’d negotiated with his tutor, “To help gain some perspective and decide whether academe is the place for you”. Ok, it was a course in engineering, which he enjoyed but it was the college life and the “you must join in” party scene that had pissed him off.
So here he was, home in Red Hook; smaller than smalltownsville, earning as much as he could, to get out as soon as he could.
Since his parents had split thirteen years ago he’d seen very little of his Dad who’d moved to Houston, so it was just his Mom and he living in the modest clapboard house on the edge of town.
Shaun Monkton, known to most of his associates as “Chip” (the nickname was ubiquitous, his dad and as far as he knew his dad’s dad, had all been called Chip) gazed enviously at the huge vehicle in front of him, ‘what I wouldn’t give...’ he mused, as he connected up the high pressure washer to the faucet protruding from the side wall of the garage.
After about forty minutes of strenuous scrubbing and cleaning; the dirt attached to the Red Tundra had been thickly crusted under the wheel arches and stuck in corners the High Pressure nozzle couldn’t reach, he stepped back to admire his handiwork. The Toyota gleamed in the warm summer sunshine, and once again he found himself pondering the travels he could accomplish in such a monster.
Just then, there was a stuttered buzzing and hissing from the Karcher, the hose had gotten snagged under a rear wheel, causing a build up in pressure but a blocking of the flow. Shaun rushed forward to turn off the machine but as he reached it the hose burst the jubilee clip holding it in place and his already damp T-shirt and Sweats were drenched in a high pressure blow-out that nearly knocked him off his feet.
‘Ohhh Great!’ he muttered, now he’d have to squelch home across town with soggy sneakers much to the amusement of those around to see it, and then he thought, “Oh shit!” Had the burst clip damaged the vehicle in any way; this was his boss’s “pride and joy” after all.
Shaun had been a reasonably successful student at High School, not notably studious but on the geekier side of OK, and as a committed team player in sports, he had been respected rather than admired. And though pretty active in the gym and with his passion, rock-climbing (The Adirondacks and Catskills beckoned from over the Hudson) he had never been one of the Jocks nor wanted to be. The whole peer pressure/hero thing was too intrusive and corny. Plus he was aware, in his darker moments of introspection, that the locker room had been just way too distracting and whilst he’d never pursued his unbidden thoughts he was aware of his feelings and frankly scared of them.
Relieved that his inspection revealed no obvious damage to the chunky beast, the apple of his boss’s eye, he groaned at the newly re-soaked car and his own sodden clothing. To be seen walking through town in his present condition, was a humiliation he couldn’t bear the thought of. In a town this small, somebody he knew was bound to see him. He turned off the still fitfully spurting machine and surveyed his options. The house was locked up, he’d watched ‘Old man Blake’ lock it before he drove off, that left the garage. Shaun walked around the back of the pick-up and tried the door. To his relief one side of the huge double door lifted and opened, he peeked inside and was surprised to find that, while this side was comparatively empty; apart from a workbench and some other machinery against the walls, leaving a space to house the Toyota, the other was carpeted and neat and contained a home gym. He looked around, closed the door to the garage behind him and walked towards the equipment gleaming dully in the soft, warm light from the overhead panel of glass. Dust motes floated in the beam of sunlight hitting the weight-bench, and were reflected in the full length mirror fixed to the end wall opposite the end of the bench.
There was a door connecting to the house but as there was a towel already lying across the PVC cladding of the bench, he ignored the door and walked over onto the carpet. He immediately became aware of his squelchy sneakers trailing mud and oil from the used part of the garage onto the pale grey surface, so he backed off and removed them and his sport socks, which he squeezed out and hung to dry on one of the bars of weights standing to one side. This done he proceeded to peel the clinging white T off his torso wrung it out and hung it up; then slipped off his soaked sweats and, after a moment of hesitation, the jock he was wearing beneath. Blake wouldn’t be back for hours he was off to work on a building somewhere over in Tivoli. He wrung out the stretchy grey flannel of his sweats and laid them and the cotton jock carefully over the bars, they should dry pretty quickly under the window in this heat.
He took up the towel and roughly dried his short unruly mop of dark hair. Then grasping the ends of the grey and white striped fabric in either hand, proceeded to rub it vigorously along his back and shoulders, down the deep groove of his spine, over his butt and legs, then turned the towel and roughly wiped his chest and torso. As he stopped, he caught his reflection in the mirror. He was slightly surprised by how good he looked; six foot one inch tall with a firm straight back, broad shoulders, narrow waist, and strong thighs covered in a subtle pelt of hair down past his well shaped calves; nicely slabbed pecs, with soft brown aureoles around his nipples, standing darkly against his tanned skin, glowing in the golden light. He lowered the towel and dropped it to reveal his well muscled abdomen with a fine ‘happy trail’ of soft glossy dark hair from his navel down to a bristling fuzz around the top of his sturdy circumcised penis and the full heavy sack behind. ‘Not bad...’ he smiled shyly to himself.
As he replaced the towel on the bench he considered how his boss must be in pretty hot shape too under all his gear but buried the thought as he laughed and blushed, thinking, he’s nearly as old as my Dad! He glanced once again at the bench and the weights and shrugging, said to himself ‘Ahhh, why the hell not? Might as well make good use of the time while I wait for my stuff to dry...’Next chapter