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Sweet Home Alabama

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“Sweet home Alabama”, Eugene glanced up from the book he was reading. “Where the skies are so blue.”

Merriell Shelton stood in the doorway. His shirt was messily tucked into his jeans and smoke between his lips. Of course he had his cowboy boots and a cowboy hat on, no matter what Eugene told him, Merriell never wanted to listen when he said Alabama wasn’t a cowboy state.

“Sweet home Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you.” Merriell continued. He swung his lips to the imagined beat. He closed his eyes, as he took the smoke from his lips.

Eugene slowly closed the book as Merriell moved closer. He swung his hips with every step and Eugene couldn’t help but to stomp to the beat. He carelessly threw the book right next to him on the couch as soon as Merriell stopped in front of him.

Eugene moved a little closer, snapping the smoke from between Merriell’s lips. He threw the ashes on a plate on the table, before putting it between his own lips.

“In Birmingham they love the Gov’nor.”

Eugene held out one of his hands. Eugene took it without a second thought.

“Now we all did what we could do”, Merriell whispered now, and Eugene joined in. “Now Watergate does not bother me.”

Merriell snuck a hand behind Eugene’s back and forced Eugene a little closer. Merriell’s hot breath tickled Eugene’s neck and his “grandpa” tummy brushed against Merriell’s. They swung from one foot to the other in unison, humming the song together.

Merriell moved closer and soon whispered the rest of the song in Eugene’s ear, as Eugene hummed together with the other. They kept swinging. They weren’t that old, but the war had left their bodies beaten and worn.

Only when he needed to put the smoke out did Eugene pull away. He threw it on the plate together with the ashes from before and turned right back to Merriell.

“You’re proper sweet”, Eugene whispered, as he leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to Merriell’s lips. “How was work?”

Merriell sat down on the couch and moved the book Eugene had been reading. Eugene sat down right next to the other and moved to take one of Merriell’s hands.

“You know”, Merriell sighed and Eugene moved his thumb to stroke the ring on Merriell’s finger. “As boring as ever.”

Eugene lit a smoke and handed it to Merriell. He then lit himself one.

“But now you’re home.”
“Now I’m home.” Merriell agreed and his lips tugged up in a small smile. “ Sweet home Alabama, indeed.”