Simon Lesser is a man at a crossroads - seated in the kitchen of his Brooklyn apartment with a corpse lying on the floor next to him, typing furiously on his laptop. As he tries to make sense of the life that brought him to this point, he’s convinced that everyone and everything is overwhelmed by chaos. With that thought in mind, he tells a story he wishes to strip of the trappings and art of storytelling and relate the cold facts of its random absurdity in a series of non-linear events. He traces his life as a secret, fetishistic enthusiast for female bodybuilders (called a “Schmoe”), then as a bodybuilding competitor himself, his marriage to German competitive bodybuilder Martina and his love affair with world class professional bodybuilder Erika Verletzen, an impassioned, indomitable lunatic. Erika brings WWFP Pro Jurg Betrug into the mix. Jurg, a menacing gangster of the German criminal “milieu,” has plans for all involved. But what about the corpse on the floor? Just what will Simon do with the body and with himself? Meanwhile, time is ticking away - and the corpse on the floor is beginning to stink!
Memories are crushing.
They come at you as a tremendous weight of image, sound,
scent, taste; internal sensations like tension and nausea;
feelings of hope and fatality.
h they call a flood, but it’s not that. It’s not that.
It’s a lingering weight, growing larger and thicker and heavier the more
you try to turn aside from it.
You want to control them, make them obey your current state, order them
in that toxic knee-jerk fashion you are mandated by culture to use to run
your life. Vignettes, snippets, chains of drama carried out in sporadic
Here’s where the lie of the story comes in.
This is where I try my best to avoid it.
Let me just let the moments I have known carry me far from the corpse
on the floor and yet closer to its decay. Let me just let it take me and set
down the life I lived as the hurly burly it was, ludicrous mashup it was,
scene-by-scene breakdown of aerated time it was. The searing penetration
of the dull veil of reality that the miasma of continuous moments provides
– that’s what I want.
Give it to me.
As I know they’ll soon be coming.
The flash before my eyes!
The light was blinding, forcing me to squint against my better judgment.
They really don’t like you to make funny faces on stage. I made them
The crowd was bigger than it should have been in the huge deluxe hotel
ballroom where the whole setup was – this included booths and tables
hawking various forms of indigestible protein, sex entertainment
websites, specialized training subscriptions, on- and offline magazines.
They were nothing but a clump of swaying shadows.
The PA-system voice was an aural blur.
It was indeed an actual stage.
An urchin of light stung my vision, hot like a descending star.
The smile was a rictus across my face. Too many of the men frowned or
looked pouty and petulant, emulating the supposed serious determination
of a champion.
All of us lied that just to be here made you a champion.
I stood in the lineup, striking a “relaxed” pose, with every muscle fiber
tensed and flexed – which is exactly what they actually want you to do in
the fundamental standing pose they laughably call “relaxed.” Being
relaxed is your first chance to stand out.
Everyone was drawn tight as a wire, expanded chests on the verge of
heaving, rivulets of sweat crawling slowly upon dried, shaven flesh.
Twenty-odd guys in ABC (American Body Committee) sanctioned
skimpy trunks of various shades of black and blue, everyone dyed
variegated shades of nut brown and shining as if wet, glistening with an
assortment of posing oils, though mostly of the spray-on non-stick
cooking product PAM. (There was the prominent odor of stale popcorn
as some of the competitors used Butter-Flavored PAM.) We stood
divided up on either side of the stage facing the dumpy, schmoozing row
of judges, mindful of the darkened audience behind them calling out the
names of their favorites.