Family Movie Night: Mr. Universe
We watch the ultra-buff, over-bronzed men flex their bodies wearing nothing but tiny, shiny speedos & a smile. Their quads gnarled & bulging, their pecs flexed w/elbows pointed out in the ultimate teacup pose w/teeth awash in whitening as they strain to hold face muscles in place for the judges & us at home who rented the VHS tape alongside other films w/a plot & a score to underline heightened & tense moments in a script. Maybe a piano played soft as the view shifts to lovers on the sofa, mother & stepfather in an embrace now after days of not touching or talking when he moved out after the last fight about drinking or money or nothing. The music intensifies now w/flashbacks of him screaming at her while taking the TV, the couch & everything else his money bought while little brother & I stand in the corner waiting for this part to be over or edited out from memory like a scene deleted for theatrical release. In the director’s cut, the act is there as well the kiss & make up part where we sit on the floor & gaze at sculpted men sculpting a type of desire in little brother, a want for a type of body in place of my own & mother a love stronger than the men posing & straining to hold it all together.