Pablo Michael’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: New Man in Town
It was late afternoon, as Casey turned left on Kennebec. He was new in town, unaware of the layout of the streets in San Jose. His bearings had him confused, going down streets, the names he remembered from Seattle. He had a half an hour to meet Harold at the café. This secret admirer had slipped a note and map in his gym bag at the fitness center that morning. He didn’t realize when he accepted his promotion his job would transfer to this city. He wasted no time finding a 24 Hour Nautilus gym. While working the machines, he exchanged glances with another man, the glimpses only a gay man understands. Casey hoped Harold who sent the message was the mystery man trading complimentary stares.
“Finally Kennebec and Flower. I’ve already wasted an hour.” Casey sighed in relief as he stopped peddling his bicycle to rest. “This guy Harold didn’t give very good directions. Too many wrong turns. Now, how long will it take me to get to the 4500 block of Flower? This is only 8000. He said meet me at Starbucks at five. I better hurry. I hope I don’t sweat.”
Casey peddled his bicycle faster, wanting to make it before it was dark. He rode through residential neighborhoods, houses like he’d wanted to buy when the one he left behind in Seattle was sold
Arriving at dusk at the top of a grade, almost a half hour late, Casey spotted the Starbuck’s cafe illuminated by the streetlights. Steering onto the sidewalk, he parked his bicycle next to the low, concrete bordering wall sheltering the outside dining area from the street. Once locking his bike, he looked over to a table where the man he spied at the gym sat, smiling.
Yes. It’s him. I’m going to dance like hell tonight. Casey approached the man. “You must be Harold?”
“Yes. And who are you? I didn’t think you’d meet me. I hope I wasn’t too forward?”
“No, you weren’t. In fact not forward enough. I’m Casey. Sorry I’m late, but your directions sucked.”
“I didn’t realize you’d be riding a bike, but I wanted to make it a little more interesting in finding me with a few misguided hints. Do you want coffee or something a little more intoxicating?”
“It’s too late for coffee. What did you have in mind?”
“I have the perfect bottle of Merlot I’ve been wanting to try at my house. Could I indulge you?”
“Depends on how far I have to peddle to your house?” Casey gazed into Harold’s green eyes, sparkling with desire’s fire.
“I live in the brown shingled bungalow on the corner of Flower and Kennebec. I believe you passed it on your way here.”
“Hmm. Nice neighborhood. I may build up a sweat on my way there.” Casey was teasing. He was begging for a faster mode of transportation to their rendezvous destination.
“I take that as a yes. I like welcoming a new man to town. Come, so to speak. We’ll put your bicycle in my car. I’d rather have you sweat doing something else.”
Harold led the way to his car; Casey followed, wheeling his bike beside them.
My long dry spell has ended. I think I’m going to like San Jose, especially the welcoming committee.
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Pablo Michaels writes LGBT fiction and has published with Naughty Nights Press, http://naughtynightspress.blogspot.com You can follow him at @bell2mike