Mark, fortunately, wasn’t badly hurt in his accident. He had suffered a bruised rib and a nasty bit of road rash on one shoulder. He looked like a mess, but was no worse for the wear.
The same couldn’t be said for his bicycle. The frame of his bike was knocked out of shape and his wheels bent. The bike was a lost cause.
Mark resolved to worry about the bike later. After all, there wasn’t anything he could do about it right now.
Right now, he needed to focus on the Mr. Bolt competition.
Yesterday, he had been interviewed by the judges and then introduced to the bar before being sent out to hawk jello shots and raffle tickets along with the other competitors. He’d managed to sell 5 trays of the horrible shots and sell more than $200 worth of raffle tickets by offering an inseam for $10. For the price, he’d grope the buyers’ crotch, run the tickets down the leg, and give the buyer a cheap thrill as he got measured for tickets.
The interview was tame in comparison to what would happen tonight. The panel of judges asked questions of Mark for 40 minutes. The inquisition ranged from asking about his views of leather culture in the age of the internet to asking about the relevance of drag queens in popular culture. Through these questions, the judges reasoned, they would be able to gauge the ability of the 5 contestants to represent Sacramento’s leather community, raise money for charity, and compete at the International Mister Leather competition in Chicago next spring.
Tonight, the contestants would be judged on stage presence in three rounds. Afterward, one of the contestants would go home with the title of Mister Bolt 2012.
But before he had a chance, Mark had some cleaning up to do. As soon as he entered his apartment, he called his friend and mentor, Erik, to pick him up and help him get ready then stepped into the shower.
Erik let himself in and announced himself as he stepped into the bathroom.
“Okay dude, let’s see the damage,” Erik told a still-showering Mark.
“It’s not pretty,” Mark said as Erik opened the shower curtain.
“Ouch! Gnarly bruises, man! I take it you’re going for the sympathy votes from the judges?”
“You’re funny! Do you think we can cover any of this up? Or do I need to cancel tonight?”
“Don’t cancel! Whatever you do, don’t pull out!” Erik started. “Seriously! You want this, right? Go get it! Don’t let a couple of bruises slow you down.”
“But look at me! I’m not even sure I can lift my arms high enough to put on a shirt or a vest! And I look like shit!”
“I’m telling you! Sympathy votes! And who isn’t turned on by a few scars? I think Mama will be way impressed by your dedication. Besides, I think I can find something to help you a little with the pain.”
As soon as he was out of the shower, Erik helped pat Mark dry. It proved to be a slow and painful task for Mark to do alone. Erik then assisted in some last minute man-scaping around Mark’s sideburns, mustache, neck, chest, ass, and pubes.
As soon as Mark was in his first outfit for the night, the two drove to the bolt in Erik’s pickup.