To stretch my legs, I get up from behind the desk to check on Corley. He doesn’t hear me walk in, immersed the way he is in his writing. Plugged into the wall in the linen room, the extension cord lays on the floor across the aisle and into his cell. He now has a small lamp on his table, along with a pitcher of water and empty glass. Since he has no windows, I’ve left the fan back here. Nevertheless, these hot summer days are unbearable; he has taken to leaving his shirt on the wall hook and going shirtless. His shoes remain under the cot, which he leaves unmade.
For a moment I stand there and watch him, his broad sinewy back tapering gracefully toward his impossibly narrow waist, his mind totally absorbed in the work before him. I find myself wondering why a young man like him doesn’t have a girlfriend.
“You hungry yet?”
He turns with a start.
“Uh, Tommy Lee’s suppose to be back around noon with your lunch. I put him in charge of your meals. Any complaints about food are his department.”
I see the hint of a smile in his eyes.
“Anything you need?”
“Haven’t had a shower in three days.” he says.
“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” I say, reaching for the cell key.
He leaves his jeans crumpled on the floor outside the shower room. I sit down on the bench across the aisle and lean back against the wall facing the door to the front office. Almost as if I’m compelled, my head turns toward him. He’s standing beside the spray, adjusting the water temperature. I find myself staring, wondering if all men secretly compare their penises to other men’s. That’s something men don’t talk about, but I can’t think of a really good reason we shouldn’t. Seems like it would be fun to walk over there, drop my pants and the two of us compare, maybe see which one stretches further. There are some obvious differences. For one thing the color: his is so much darker than mine, and it seems to hang a bit lower, probably compliments of this heat. But there are also similarities. Like mine, his is darker than the rest of his body, almost tar black, where mine’s kinda ruddy brown, not to mention they serve the same purpose. Wonder he’s compared mine to his—he’s seen it enough times out at the lake, what little there is to see once it hits that cool water. His doesn’t recede into his body like mine, it just hangs gloriously between his legs.Pin It