Art: The Chance Meeting
Submitted by Terrence Moss, TNG contributor.
Terrence Moss is a short fiction writer and media commentator with articles featured on Associated Content and Suite 101. “Starring Erick Davidson” also appears in the blogosphere section of www.frontiersweb.com. More Erick Davidson stories, performance pieces and other works can be found at www.terrencemoss.blogspot.com.
You can also check out more of Erick Davidson’s adventures on TNG every Wednesday at 12 p.m.
Erick Davidson is an early thirty-something from New Jersey who has lived in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Chris asks as Erick takes a turkey quiche out of the oven and places it on top of the stove.
Erick turns off the oven and examines his culinary effort. “If it’s a bad idea at this point, it’s too late to make it a good one.”
Erick and his ex-boyfriend Mitch reconnected a few weeks ago at Callender’s, Erick and his current boyfriend Chris’s favorite restaurant, where Mitch had just started working as a waiter. In that time, Mitch has found himself tagging along with Erick and Chris to a play, showing up to a movie night at Chris’s apartment and making an evening appearance at a Coffee Bean while the two of them were there reading. Erick found it odd to be spending so much time with both his current boyfriend and his ex-boyfriend, but a recent breakup had left Mitch without a lot of friends. Since Chris and Mitch were getting along so well, Erick didn’t say anything until Chris himself made mention of it.
Erick had recently discovered his office crush, Anthony, performing in a drag show and thought it a good idea for him and Mitch to hang out together so he invited them both to his apartment for brunch.
“I still don’t see why we just can’t tell Mitch that he’s become a bit of a third wheel,” Chris suggests as Erick walks over to table in the dining area to refill his glass of milk.
“Because he’s one of the best waiters at Callender’s and we like going there way too much to piss off anyone who handles our food.”
“Then why don’t we just switch restaurants?”
“I don’t want to have to train another set of managers and waiters. Besides, Mitch would be hurt if we suddenly stopped going. Trust me, this the best way to distract him from us.”
“What if he doesn’t like Anthony?”
“What’s not to like — his arms, his chest, his ass or his smile? Anthony’s perfect.”
“What if Anthony doesn’t like Mitch?”
“What’s not to like — his legs, his thighs, his ass or his eyes? Mitch is perfect. Plus, I told him to wear a pair of shorts,” Erick says as he places the milk back in the refrigerator and takes out an already prepared mixed green salad.
“Do either of them know they are being set-up?”
“No, because this isn’t a set-up,” Erick replies as he walks out of the kitchen and places the salad on the dining area table, which has already been set up for a small gathering of four.
“Then what it this?”
“It’s a chance encounter between two people that’s been orchestrated by an outside party. Besides, they both know the other’s coming.”
“So where does the chance come in?”
“There’s a chance I may or may not have to make the sparks fly.”
A short while later, Erick, Chris, Mitch and Anthony were seated to brunch — with Mitch and Anthony strategically seated next to each other.
“Is anyone interested in seconds?” Erick asks as he stands up and heads into the kitchen to retrieve the glass baking pan housing the remaining servings of his well-received turkey quiche. “Not that it matters because I don’t want leftovers and I’m not throwing this out,” he adds with a chuckle.
“I’ll help you, sweets.” Chris offers as he collects Mitch and Anthony’s plates and follows Erick into the kitchen, leaving the two guests to their lively conversation.
“I think this is going quite well,” Erick observes.
“I think we’ve made a mistake here,” Chris whispers.
“What makes you say that?”
“I don’t think Anthony’s gay.”
“He does drag. How could he not be?” Erick surmises as he places another serving of quiche on Anthony’s plate.
“He also talks about sports.”
“So do I.”
“You talk about gymnastics.”
“Gymnastics is a sport.”
“Anthony talks about football and baseball. Those are different kinds of sports.”
Erick places another serving of quiche on Mitch’s plate. “The only difference is that one involves tumbling while the other two involve running and catching, neither of which fall within my skill set and are therefore the same kind of sport to me.”
“Erick, I really think we should abort this mission.”
Mitch excuses himself from the table and walks into the kitchen.
“Abort this mission,” Chris warns Erick as he heads back to the dining area with Mitch and Anthony’s plates.
“Things with you and Anthony seem to be going well,” Erick says with a smile on his face.
“Why are you trying to set me up with a straight guy?” Mitch hisses.
“This is not a set-up. This is a meeting, and just because he talks about sports doesn’t make him straight. I know a lot of gay guys who can more than hold their own with any straight guy when it comes to sports. After all, there’s an entire bar in West Hollywood dedicated to sports.”
“He also talks about women.”
“So do I.”
“Yes, but he does it with an element of lust, not annoyance.”
“He does drag. Even I’m not that gay.”
“Why don’t we just take Chris’s advice and abort Operation Erick Fucks It Up Again,” Mitch concludes as he heads back into the dining area.
Erick follows Mitch back into the dining area with the glass baking pan and places a serving on his and Chris’s plates and heads back into the kitchen without saying a word.
“Erick, you are going to have to give me the recipe for this quiche,” Anthony requests as Erick returns to the dining area.
Erick shoots Chris and Mitch a knowing glance. “It would be my pleasure, Anthony.”
A short silence takes place as the looming question hangs in the air.
“Do you like Mitch’s or Michelle’s?” Mitch blurts to Anthony’s utter discomfort.
“It doesn’t matter,” Erick interjects. “Whether he’s gay or not, you two need to become friends because you can’t spend all your free time with us!”
Another short silence takes place as Mitch realizes why Erick orchestrated this meeting. “Is that what this is about? You really should have just told me. I didn’t need a brunch or to be set-up with one of your co-workers.”
“Just to clarify, this wasn’t a set-up. This was a chance meeting…that I orchestrated,” Erick informs the group.
Anthony starts to laugh. “Erick, you are a piece of work. Mitch, there’s a Lakers/Celtics game on in about an hour. I hear there’s a sports bar in West Hollywood. Do you want to watch it there?”
“Why don’t you guys just watch it here instead?” Erick offers as Chris shakes his head in disbelief.
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