By Terry Taint
Panting, I gratefully slip the bandana from my head. A little waterfall of sweat runs down into my eyes, and I’m happy to finally be done. My personal trainer has told me to start doing intervals more often at the gym, and even 20 minutes of full-bore running nearly kills me. I’m starting to see an improvement, though, so that’s good.
I hop off my machine and run over to grab a sanitary wipe to clear my sweat off the treadmill. As I’m walking past a nearby machine, I notice a tall figure throttling the machine to its limit. Damn, I think, wish I could do that. As I pass behind him, I catch a little snippet of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” blaring from his earbuds. Ha, that’s a good one, and always a good way to ferret out a fellow homosexual.
When I turn around, I’m a little shocked—it’s U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who’s in town on the campaign trail. Paul Ryan? At my gym? Wow. Who’d have thought? He turns a little and smiles—or I think he smiles; he does that puffy mouth thing where he looks like he’s attending a funeral, but it must be a dark/mysterious funeral, because I’m intrigued. I guess total gym bunnies aren’t my type, but he has pretty cute eyes. His hair looks softer in person.
Well, I’ve seen Paul Ryan in person, I think. I wander off to the stretching area and settle into a few yoga poses to loosen up my quads. As I pull up into the cobra position, I see him bearing down on me. He’s still doing the puffy mouth thing and his eyes are wetter than I am. He throws his sweaty towel next to me and starts doing one-arm pushups just a few inches from my face. It’s intense, and I look over and see him staring at me. I can’t think of anything to say, so I just kind of stutter: “Uh . . . hi? Sir?”
“Well, howdy, young one,” he says. “Do y’know the best way to relieve tension in your calves?”
He doesn’t even wait for me to reply, which is good, because that question is rarely posed to me in real life, so I don’t really have an answer. “Let me show you,” he says-grunts as he springs up into a standing position.
He grabs my feet and plants them apart and starts leaning into my lower back with his knees. “This is a position I learned through P90X. It’ll take all that burn out and strengthen your core.”
Whatever he’s doing is relentlessly painful, so I immediately buckle. My sudden collapse causes him to fall on top of me. “Sorry, uh, I’m not very strong like that, I guess,” I mumble.
As I turn over, his eyes are brimming with tears. Not just bright-lights-TV-camera-pre-programmed-politician-douche eye wetness, but actual tears of emotion. “Please,” he whimpers. “I like them soft.”
I haven’t gotten my dipstick checked for oil in a while, so I’m actually kind of intrigued. He’s better-looking than most, and it seems like he might gut me as a deer if I don’t go along with it. Why not? This man could be the Vice President someday, the fame-whore inside me crowed. Wait, ha ha ha, no he won’t.
A few minutes later I’m in the back of his town car, which smells like chewing tobacco and lotion. We’re speeding toward the airport, the site of his rally, for what he’s describing as “a hair-raisingly good time.” I guess if you have to pick a freak queen who’s obsessed with her outlandish tastes in sex, and publicly broadcasting those tastes to everyone she meets, you could do worse than Paul Ryan. He’s nibbling on my ear and telling me about the flat tax, but I want him to tell me about his flat abs! I’m so clever.
The car comes to a stop and he wettens up his eyes again for the cameras and instinctually starts doing the puffy mouth thing yet again. “Stay right here,” he says. “I won’t be long.” He punches me on the shoulder in what is probably a playful gesture for him, but actually hurts like shit.
I sit there waiting for him to finish up the rally and checking Grindr. Strangely, there is someone named “Raul Pyan” only 30 feet away. It’s totally Paul Ryan with a fake “Mexican” moustache. Cute AND dumb!
The rally is seemingly neverending: first we sit through a few state senators bloviating about smaller government, then the guy who’s getting destroyed in the Senate election (bitching about smaller government), then a nationally recognized conservative C-list celebrity (getting all riled up about “our freedoms”), and by that point I’m ready for a nap. His town car is comfortable, so I just sprawl out and use his bedazzled “THA STUNNA” shawl as a pillow.
When I wake up it’s dark and quiet. He’s standing over me in the open car door. “I didn’t want to wake you,” he says, and there’s genuine affection in his voice. Or, like all politicians, he’s a horrifying sociopath. Either way, I’m happy to see him. “I have something I’d like to show you.”
I sit up and stumble out of the car. He jogs into the gloom of the unlit, empty hangar. The crowds are gone and only a few sad, crumpled signs are left on the floor. A second later the building blazes with light as he hits the switch by the door. I see two things: he has completely covered the walls in Packers memorabilia, and there are chains hanging from the ceiling in the center. He’s moved over to the middle, and is holding a pair of costume antlers.
“You’re gonna be my big buck,” he says, “and I am the hunter.”
Before I can move he’s shot me with the tranquilizer gun he’s suddenly holding. As I crumple to the ground, he grabs me by the legs and pulls. As I start to black out, I realize he’s cutting my clothes off with a bowie knife and tying the antlers to my head.
When I come to, I’m thankfully numb to the point that I can’t really feel anything at first. I realize I’m being cradled in the back of the car underneath a bearskin rug. I can see his NO FEAR logo tattoo across his chest. He’s crying softly into my scalp, and the sensation is what woke me, I realize. As I stir, he pulls me up to face him.
“The best part of making loving to you is that we don’t have to take an unborn life after we’re done,” he cries. “Why can’t they just let us be happy?”
“We’re happy?” is all I can say.
Instantly, the tears dry and his puffy mouth is back yet again, but this time his face is beet red. “I thought we were happy! I was going to take us to Iowa to get married, but I guess not now! Pull over!”
And that’s how I came to be standing nude, covered in tallow, and reeking of beef blood on the side of 35W just past the 46th Street exit when the police found me. And it’s why I’m writing this from my weekend in scenic jail.