Dean and Dunkel shot some hoops on Bull’s halfcourt setup. I played too. We competed to see who was the most fit. Dean was off the fucking chain. He wanted to show us his vert, so we used a tiki torch as a bar and dude cleared like easy. Dude told us to hold it higher. We boosted it up so it was like five feet high and dude could still clear it like nothing. He had a long jump that was like twenty feet long, for real. Then we did a sprint. I can tear up the hundred like a fucking bullet, but dude still humiliated me. The way Dean ran with his sweaty polo, his calves jacked, yelling “Fuck yeah! Fuck yeah, let’s motor!” he looked like some sort of fast-as-shit god, running faster than like anybody. Bull busted out his paintball guns again and showed us where to shoot a dude to hurt him the worst.
At night, Old Bull would sit in front of this entertainment center, drinking beer and catching Pringles in his mouth. He had like fifty tubes of Pringles. “I love Pringles. They’re the best when you eat two flavors at once.” He insisted on making us try Blastin Buffalo Wing and Loaded Baked Potato together; he couldn’t find any Blastin Buffalo Wing. “Aight,” he was like, “we can’t try that shit now. Yo, my neighbors are the biggest douches.” The neighbors had some asshole kids who tossed rocks in his above-ground pool. Bull totally threatened them with a rifle and they totally shit their pants and never tried shit again.
Then Carlo asked Dean how much he could bench and specifically if he was being honest him about how much he could bench.
“Why do you keep bringing that shit up?”
“There’s just one last thing I want to know—”
“But, hey Sal, you’ve seen me bench, you’re chilling there, let’s ask him. What would he say?”
And I was like, “It’s not always about the amount of weight, Carlo. It’s about reps too. We always think about weight but it’s about reps.”
“Shut the fuck up! You’re talking total bullshit like some kind of gayass Curves trainer!” said Carlo.
And Dean was like, “That was pretty stupid, but Sal can say whatever shit he wants, and for real, don’t you think, Carlo, there’s a kind of rawness in the way dude is sitting there and watching our beer pong game, crazy fucker came all the way across the country—Sal’s aight, Sal’s aight.”
“Don’t call me fucking ‘aight,’” I protested. “I just don’t know why you guys are talking about benching when shit like P90x yields way better results. It’s fucking stupid.”
Then Dean and Carlo got down to business. They set up the beer pong table and stood across from each other. I chilled on the couch and saw all of it. They began with some rapid-fire shots; tried to psyche each other out, blocked it out; tried to crack each other up so they’d miss the shot in the rush of everything; Dean pooched a shot but swore he could still win that shit, getting focused as hell.
Carlo was like, “Remember we were hitting some at the driving range and I wanted to get you to go hit on the hottie lady golfer and it was just then, remember, you took a wicked slice and totally hit that kid in the face.”
“Fuck yeah! Of course I remember; and oh shit, you gotta hear, this real wild party at Stacy’s that I had to tell you, I’d totally forgotten this shit, now you just reminded me of it…” and two new funnyass stories were born. They spat these around.
Carlo’s condo was on Grant Street in a new granite building near a Hooters. You went in the lobby, past the doorman, took the elevator, and went through a hallway till you came to his door. It was like the man cave of Zeus: a king bed, a fifty-inch plasma TV, 5.1 surround sound speakers that oozed Monday Night Football, and a crazy makeshift Bowflex of some kind he had made cause he maxed out the normal kind. He showed me his daily workout. It was called “Denver Delts.” Carlo woke in the morning and did two hundred push-ups while alternating hands; he did one hundred pull-ups in the doorway and they looked hard as fuck. A couple reps on the makeshift Bowflex decimated his upper arms. His shoulders, his jacked up shoulders that you can see from the other side of the club from any place at the bar, were ripped like a god. His whole upper body was jacked and stacked and ripped as fuck. He called Dean a “pussy at squats” who couldn’t hang with his workouts. He referred to him as “Delt-less Derek” who couldn’t do “fifty pull-ups to save his own dick from a fire.” He brooded in his man cave over a huge journal in which he was keeping track of every workout every day—every rep and set.
Major thought our hurrying was pretty funny. Dude had come to Denver just to chill. He treated Dean like he was a douche. Dean didn’t give a shit. Major would say shit like this: “Moriarty, what’s this shit I hear about your dick being like one inch long?” And Dean sucked down a power gel and said, “Whatever, whatever, fuck that noise,” and looked at his phone, and Major cracked up. I felt weird rushing off with Dean—Major insisted he was a douche and a dumbass. Of course he wasn’t, and I wanted to prove it to all these dickholes somehow.
Carlo and I rolled through raw streets in the Denver night. The bars were so plentiful, the hotties so fine, the promise of cheap-ass drink-and-shot combos so great, that I thought I was in a dream. We came to the La Quinta where Dean railed Camille. It was a nice-ish La Quinta surrounded by a parking lot and a pool in the back that wasn’t big enough to do laps. We went up the elevator. Carlo knocked; then for real darted to the ice machine to hide; he didn’t want Camille to go Terminator-bitch on him. I stood in the door. Dean opened it with just a New Era cap on his junk. I saw a brunette on the bed, one beautiful creamy thigh covered in Aeropostale short shorts, look up all like “what the fuck.”
And Carlo told me that Dean was totally smashing two girls at the same time, the girls being Marylou, his gf, who waited for him in a hotel room, and Camille, a new chick, who he also boned in a hotel room. “Between those two honies he rushes to me for our own unfinished shit.”
“And what kind of homo shit is that?”
“No homo. Dean and I are embarked on a killer season together. We’re trying to get hammered with absolutely no ralphing and no blueballs every night of the week. We’ve had to chug 5-Hour Energy. We stand on opposite ends of the beer pong table, facing each other . I have finally taught Dean that he can do whatever the shit he wants, become Brewmaster for Coors, lay an NFL cheerleader, or become the sickest dude since Tucker Max. But dude keeps rushing into fights with big douches. I always get his back. He punches and yells, amped up. Dude, Sal, Dean is really hung-up on bullshit like that.” Marx said “For real” in his soul and thought about this.
Then shit finally went down. I got a Facebook message, and it was Carlo Marx. He gave me the address of his condo. I was like “What are you up to in Denver? I mean what the fuck are you up to? What’s the fucking deal?”
“You’re gonna shit a knife when I tell you.”
I flew like hell to meet him. He was interning at an investment bank; crazy Ray Rawlins called him there from a bar, and pranked him with a story that somebody boned his aunt. Dude totally thought it was me who boned his aunt. And Rawlins said over the phone, “Gothca queer. Sal’s in Denver,” and gave him my address.
“And where the shit is Dean?”
“Dean is all up in Denver. You gotta hear this shit.”
The following ten days were, as W.C. Fields said, “fucking awesome”—and totally raw. I moved in with Roland Major in the beyond-tits apartment that belonged to Tim Gray’s folks. We each had a bedroom, and there was a kitchenette with mad brews in the fridge, and a big-ass living room where Major sat in his boxers watching ESPN Classic—a sorta douchey, red-faced, fatass hater, who could turn on the sickest party vibe in the world when given a few generous shots of Jager. He sat like that on the sofa, and I did chin-ups in the doorway, wearing only my Buckeyes sweats. Dude had just finished watching the classic OSU-Miami 2002 national championship game. It was awesome. The Hurricanes had a killer offensive but the Buckeyes had a brick-wall defense. The game is like neck and neck. The Canes are up by a TD. Then the Bucks are up by a TD. And then at the end there’s the crazy pass interference call. It’s as fucking amazing now as it was then. Major and I were pretty solid bros; he totally respected the Bucks. Major was totally into skiing, just like most Denver dudes. He reminisced about his recent ski trip to the Alps. “Dude, Sal, if you could party with me high in the Alps with some vicious Swiss hotties, then you’d know there are other things besides getting hammered at Outbacks.”
“I get you. It’s just that I fucking love Outback Steakhouse and I love to eat all the shit on the menu like the Bloomin Onion, Victoria’s Filet, and Kookaburra Wings. Straight up, Major, if I could tell you all the delicious shit I ate hitching here.”