“What are we going to do about Bobby?”
Ryan Chao looked at Brandon Ishikawa, one of his three roommates.
“What do you mean?”
Brandon waggled his hands.
“You know,” he said. “About the fact that he seems to be totally oblivious to Roger’s, uh, transformation!”
Bobby Harris and Roger Josephs were their other two roommates. The four shared a freshman suite at Worthington University.
“I’m not sure there really is anything we can do about it,” Ryan pointed out. “It’s like he’s unable to see what’s in front of his own eyes.”
It was the week before Christmas break.
When the four of them arrived in August, they hit it off like a house on fire. All of them were brainy and three of them – Bobby, Ryan and Brandon – were jocks.
Well, keep in mind that as jocks went, they were a bit on the skimpy side.
Bobby, at 5’8 and 180 lbs., mostly muscle with a little bit of summer cushion, was far and away the biggest of the four of them. He had wrestled in high school in Tennessee, was over it now, and was thinking about joining the club rugby team.
Ryan, at 5’8 and a meager 130 lbs., had run track in high school in Santa Barbara. Brandon was just about as skimpy, although at 5’6 his 130 lbs. seemed a bit more compact. He had been on his high school swim team in Maryland.
At 5’11, Roger was the tallest of the four of them and at 160 lbs. he was the second largest, after Bobby. But he had the muscle tone of a wet noodle and was upfront from the get go that he didn’t know how to throw or catch…anything!
“Baseball, football, basketball, I don’t know how to do it,” he said.
Brandon had started to tell him that you don’t actually throw or catch a basketball but a glance from Ryan quelled him.
“But I want to start lifting, you know? I wouldn’t mind growing some muscles,” he said. “You know the saying: No pecs, no sex!”
Aside from Bobby, it was pretty painfully clear that the three of them were virgins, so Ryan and Brandon just nodded their heads.
“So, Bobby, you can show me around the weight room?”
Bobby waved the suggestion away.
“There’s this girl I want to ask out,” he said, vaguely. “Check YouTube. You’ll figure it out.”
That was the better part of four months ago and, miracle of miracles, Roger, the geekiest of nerds (or was he the nerdiest of geeks), had indeed figured it out. Ryan and Brandon had been equally eager to beef up and each had managed to add 10 lbs. of muscle, really quite an achievement for guys their size!
Roger, on the other hand, had slabbed on 60 lbs. of solid muscle. Standing next to Roger’s 5’11 and 220 lbs. of sculpted beef, Ryan and Brandon felt like little kids. The big doofus had a ripped 8-pack like you wouldn’t believe, a monster set of pecs pushing 50 inches, and, to top it all off, a pair of 19 ½ biceps that Roger never had any hesitation showing off, even in the middle of December.
Meanwhile, Bobby, free after four years of needing to make weight, had trimmed down to ripped 160 lbs. If it wasn’t cardio or calisthenics, he wasn’t interested. He hadn’t set foot in the weight room all semester.
But whenever Brandon or Ryan remarked on Roger’s remarkable growth, Bobby’s response was underwhelming, to say the least.
“Glad he’s going to the gym,” he’d say. “Maybe he’ll beef up.”
Brandon would look at Ryan, Ryan would look at Brandon.
“Maybe he’ll beef up?”
“Yeah, that’s what I said,” Bobby would add.
And then one would follow up.
“So, like, you know, he HAS beefed up. You have noticed, right?”
Bobby would shrug his naturally broad shoulders.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he’d say. “Like you guys. About 10 lbs. a piece, right…”
And then Ryan would open his mouth and Brandon would give him the chop.
“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” he would say.
And Ryan would just shake his head.
“I don’t get it.”
Each of them went away to Tennessee, California, Maryland, and Florida respectively.
When they came back…
“Holy fuck!” Ryan said.
“Jesus H. Christ on a Crutch,” Brandon agreed.
Over the winter break, Roger had gotten HUGE! In just three weeks, he had gained 15 lbs. of solid muscle.
“Check it out,” he said, flexing his freaking gigantic right arm. “I taped these puppies at 21 inches after my last arm workout.”
And then Roger proceeded to tell the two of them about his “Christmas Boyfriend,” Chris, who was a 25 y.o. power-lifting bodybuilder.
“He’s HUGE,” Roger said, delightedly. “6 feet and 275 lbs. He couldn’t believe how fast I was growing, especially when I told him I wasn’t using gear.”
And then he grinned, conspiratorially.
“And when I say HUGE, I mean HUGE all over!”
Ryan looked at Brandon, Brandon looked at Ryan.
“So, uh…” one of them began.
“You’re gay?” the other asked.
Roger reached and lifted both of them up, one in each arm
“Oh, God, Yes!” he said. “Wasn’t it obvious from the beginning?”
The two much smaller, very thoroughly straight roommates, looked at each other one more time.
“Put us down!”
They were panting for breath after Roger did so. It was clear the big lunk could have held them up there all day.
“Well, cool,” Ryan said.
“It’s glad you finally figured it out,” Brandon agreed.
“We thought it might be the case,” Ryan continued.
“But I’m not one to make assumptions,” Brandon proclaimed.
“Ditto,” Ryan said.
Just then, Bobby walked in, covered in snow.
“Surprise! I’m BACK!”
Roger squeezed Bobby up in a big bear hug and twirled him around.
“Happy New Year, Bobby!” he exclaimed. “I’m GAY!”
He dropped Bobby to the ground without being asked to do so.
“I knew that,” Bobby said.
His three roommates responded as one.
Bobby ran his hands through his shoulder length hair. He had been growing it out since the start of school in August.
“Sure,” he said. “Didn’t everyone? It’s easy. You just look at who a guy is looking at. If he looks at girls, he’s straight. If he looks at guys, he’s gay. If he looks at both of them equally, he’s probably bi.”
Ryan and Brandon looked at each other.
“Did you notice anything else?” they asked.
“About what?” Bobby replied.
Bobby rubbed his chin.
“He got a new haircut,” he said. “I noticed that.”
Brandon and Ryan just rolled their eyes.
And that set the tone for the spring semester.
Bobby had one girlfriend after another and tended to disappear for at least part if not all of the weekend. He refused to set foot in the gym and yet he remained a rock solid, totally ripped 160 lbs., week in and week out.
Roger had one boyfriend after another and tended to disappear for at least part if not all of the weekend. And when he wasn’t in class or studying or pursuing yet another boyfriend, he was in the gym or the dining hall, growing.
Every weekend, the other two roommates, in between studying and hitting the gym and eating in the dining hall with Roger and Bobby, talked about it.
“I think he’s Muscle Blind,” Brandon said, finally.
“Muscle what?!” Ryan asked.
“Muscle Blind,” Brandon repeated. “You know. Like being Snow Blind on the ski slopes. Or being Night Blind. You can see just fine until a car’s headlights come along and then your cones or rods or whatever don’t respond quickly enough and run off the road and you crash and die.”
For an engineering student, Brandon had quite a vivid imagination.
“And we’re talking about…?”
“Bobby obviously!” he replied. “For whatever reason, he can’t see that Roger has grown improbably huge muscles at an improbable rate.”
Ryan pondered that.
It was true.
Every few weeks, one or the other of them would ask and once again Bobby would say something like “Glad to see he’s progressing, he’s gained what, another 5 lbs.?” When, in fact, Roger would have gained something like 20 lbs. of rock solid muscle, all of it in the right places.
For whatever reason, Bobby didn't seem to have any problem noticing THEIR progress. Over the course of the semester, they'd each packed on another 10 lbs. of muscle in all the right places. At 5'6 and 5'8 respectively, they were each a ripped 150 lbs. They looked damned good and the ladies were starting to take notice.
But as far as they could tell, Bobby was completely oblivious to the near daily changes Roger was experiencing. On occasion, they would broach the subject with Roger, who just laughed.
“I might have big tits now,” he said. “And a fucking squat butt, too. But it’s the wrong kind of tits and ass as far as Bobby is concerned!”
The week before spring semester was over, Brandon decided he had had enough and it was time to tackle this issue scientifically. He told his plan to Ryan, who agreed enthusiastically, and Roger, who was reluctant but willing.
By this time, Roger tipped this scales at a mind-boggling 280 lbs. of rock-solid muscle. Fully pumped his arms measured 24 ½ inches, his chest was pushing 60 inches, and his quads were up to 33 inches – same size as his waist. The week before Ryan and Brandon had happened to be in the gym when Roger had benched 800 lbs. – for reps! He was recognized by campus coaches and athletes as the strongest man on campus.
Bobby, for his part, when pressed, said he thought Roger was “probably up over 200 lbs. now. He’s worked so hard!”
That night, once they were back in their suite, Brandon announced that he needed to conduct an experiment for his engineering class and that he wanted Bobby and Roger to take part.
“It’s a really simple test,” he said. “I want to determine whether a person, just using their sense of touch, can accurately assess the dimensions of an object.”
“Okay,” he said. “What do I have to do?”
Brandon handed his a bandana.
“You, Bobby, are going to wear this bandana and then, just using your sense of touch, you’re going to run your hands over the object and tell me how big you think it is,” he said.
Ryan tied the bandana tightly across Bobby’s eyes.
“And Roger here is going to be the object,” Brandon continued.
“Roger are you sure you’re up for this?” he asked. “I don’t want you to get, you know, all excited or something.”
Roger rolled his eyes.
“I’ll try to keep it under control, Stud.”
Brandon cleared his throat.
“Let’s start with the two of you standing, face to face,” he said. “Roger has his shirt off. Bobby, I’m going to put your hands at the base of Roger’s neck and then I want you tell me how wide Roger’s shoulders are.”
Bobby emitted a small gasp when Brandon put his hands on top of Roger’s massive pecs.
Slowly he started moving his hands outwards…and outwards…and outwards.
“Holy Shit!” Bobby exclaimed. “When did you get to be so fucking broad, Roger?!”
Brandon looked at Ryan, Ryan looked at Brandon. They nodded.
“And how wide would you say his shoulders are?”
Bobby shook his head.
“Beats the fuck out of me,” he said, somewhat breathless. “About twice as wide as mine, as far as I can tell!”
Roger smirked, then flexed his right arm.
“Next I want you to describe his upper arm,” Brandon continued.
Bobby’s hands trembled slightly as Ryan guided them to Roger’s cannon.
“Jesus Fucking Christ,” Bobby exclaimed. “This monster is bigger than my thigh!”
Brandon moved Bobby’s hand to the crevasse between Roger’s planetoid-sized pecs.
“Get outta here,” Bobby breathed. “That crack must be five inches deep!”
By the time they finished with Roger’s lats, traps, delts, serratus, and abs, Bobby was breathing heavily. He was sweating.
“I think the lower half needs to happen in private,” Roger said, scooping Bobby up in his arms like a bag of feathers.
He walked off towards the room he shared with Ryan, closing the door behind him.
A few moments later:
“Holy Mother of God!”
Bobby’s muffled voice drifted through the not-so-well-insulated door.
Brandon started towards it but Ryan grabbed his arm.
More sounds emanated from the room.
“It’s so fucking big!”
Mumble mumble mumble
“You like that?”
Mumble mumble mumble
“I thought you’d never ask.”
Brandon looked at Ryan.
“Uh, did I miss something?”
Ryan examined his nails.
“Turns out Bobby wasn’t the only one experiencing psychosomatic blindness,” he said, finally.
“Remember what Bobby said about ‘looking at who a guy looks at…?’”
Brandon nodded his head.
“But he never looked at Roger!” Brandon exclaimed.
The sounds from the room were getting, well, heated was probably the right word.
Volcanic might have been another word.
“But he never looked at all those girls he dated either, did he?”
Brandon started to protest, then stopped.
“Uh, you mean all those sporty girls with short spiky haircuts who could drink either of us under the table?”
Ryan aimed his finger at Brandon.
“Ka-Pow,” he said. “Pardner, I think you finally get it!”
The sounds coming from the room were beginning to reach a fever pitch.
“I still don't understand how he couldn't see what was right there in front of his nose, but fuck it -- they seem to have figured it out,” Brandon said, sighing deeply. “Man, I think I could really use a beer. You wanna hit the pub?”
Ryan punched his roomie – his straight roomie – on the shoulder.
“I thought you’d never ask. Let’s get out of here!”