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My Place and Time

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There were other Americans in Paris but there weren't any he liked more than George Curtis.

The idea that there was only one for him in the whole of the city struck Tom as being odd, maybe even a little cliche. He found himself mulling over their similarities and difference -- and then those of every other person he had met in the previous six months -- looking for their common threads. The numbers never seemed to add up.

Part of Tom found this poor thing to try to over-analyze. But it was still something for which he kept both written and mental tallies, pulling them out when he had writer's block or couldn't get to sleep at night. It was something he wanted to keep to himself. However...

"Well, how do you describe it?"

"Don't question it."

A phrase like that, whether shouted over the bar crowd chatter or whispered at an art gallery, just highlighted their differences further. That it was said in the corridor to his apartment made it all the more notable. "Why not question it? Why not question anything?" Tom paused and said,"You know people like Jeffrey are talking…"

"That ass! Who cares what he thinks?" asked George. "You wouldn't care if he wasn't living with you. He's a bad influence and you'd feel better if you left him behind."

"Where do you suggest I go? Struggling playwright money is only going to get me so far."

"I'd suggest you come home with me."

"What if I said no?" asked Tom, closing the distance between them.

George moved forward, slowly backing Tom against the wall. He paused a moment and, as if not quite sure of himself leaned in, brushing his lips against Tom's. "It doesn't have to make sense. It just has to feel right."

"Well," began Tom, clearing his throat, "I can come tomorrow after I pack up...or tonight. I could come over tonight."

George smiled and turned to walk away. Tom watched him leaving, his hand hovering in front of his mouth. George turned back and asked," Aren't you coming?"

"Oh, of course."

Tom shuffled to where George stood waiting. As the two men walked away, George asked, "Did you figure it out?"

Tom smiled. "I think it's a question I'll always ask. But I have some ideas."