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Accounting for Taste

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Sometimes Warrick wonders how he got himself into this.

Nick loves country music. Sings along with it on the radio in his truck. Sings it in the shower, even when Warrick's there with him.

Nick hates Thai food and says shrimp paste should carry a warning label.

Nick watches every goddamn world war two documentary on the History Channel.

Nick wears tighty whities and laughs at Warrick for buying Calvin Klein.

It's a civilizing mission, Warrick tells himself. He'll lead this white boy from deepest Texas step by step into the global twenty-first century.

If only Nick would follow. But Nick still can't tell Kanye West from Gnarls Barkley, and he doesn't care.

They argue about it, about Nick not caring and Warrick caring too much. Little sandpaper arguments that don't quite wound, but leave them sore.

The trouble, maybe, is that all the serious stuff has been so easy. At work they're on separate shifts, now, because that's the rules, but not even Ecklie freaked. And the world didn't end when Nick introduced his black boyfriend to his white Baptist parents.

So of course Warrick wants perfection. It's so close. In high school, when Warrick got a 790 on his math SAT, he retook the test. Studied every night, trigonometry 'til his brain hurt, but he got that 800.

At least with Nick there's no deadline. Slow and easy, Warrick reminds himself every time Nick turns on the radio. They're ninety-nine percent there already. In the meantime, he can tolerate a little Kenny Chesney.