Starring Erick Davidson: The Second Eugene Date
Submission by Terrence Moss, TNG contributor. Terrence Moss is a short fiction writer and media commentator with articles featured on Associated Content and Suite 101. More “Starring Erick Davidson” stories appear in the blogs section of www.frontiersla.com. Other pieces can be found at www.terrencemoss.blogspot.com.
Erick Davidson is an early thirtysomething from New Jersey who has lived in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade.
Chris walks into The Corner restaurant on Highland Avenue just north of Santa Monica Boulevard for dinner. He looks around to see if Eugene had already arrived and hopes they can recognize each other since they’d only met once before. Chris’s concerns prove unfounded as the curly-top with a kind face was already seated at a table, smiling brightly and waving his lengthy arms in the air.
Chris walks over to Eugene’s table and slides into the booth. “It’s good to see you again,” he says.
“Yeah, I’m glad we’re doing this. How’ve you been?”
“Good, very good. And yourself?”
“Just fine, very fine. Busy.”
“Well, I appreciate you taking the time.”
“It’s my pleasure. I’m just surprised Erick agreed to it.”
“I’m not — especially since this was his idea.”
********************** A few days earlier **********************
Erick and Chris are watching the first season of Friday Night Lights on DVD. The last episode on the second disc finishes playing. Erick gets up to take the second disc out of his DVD player and loads up the third disc.
“How’s Eugene doing?” Chris asks. This comes across as somewhat out of the blue to Erick but Eugene has been lingering in the back of Chris’s mind since Erick finally met him in person several weeks ago after talking for four years. He has yet to figure out if this is cause for concern or if it amounts to just a harmless little crush.
Erick freezes for a moment before continuing. “Um…I’m not sure. I haven’t heard from him in a couple of weeks. I’m sure he’s fine though.”
“Let’s schedule another date with him, but I’d like to go this time.”
“Uh…sure. I’ll text him later and set up a time.”
Erick lies back down on the couch with his head in Chris’s lap. “It’s okay, isn’t it?” Chris asks.
“Yeah, it’s fine. Why wouldn’t it be?”
“I don’t know. It must seem strange that I’m the one asking.”
“Nope. I could tell right away that you found him attractive.”
“Yep. And it’s fine. He is attractive. Now if you were eyeballing Buddy Garrity, then that would be more of a brow-raiser. ”
“Who’s Buddy Garrity?”
Erick points to the television set. “From the show.”
Chris laughs. “You don’t have to worry about that.”
“It would be more concern than worry.”
“I find it interesting that you’d be more concerned with Buddy Garrity than Eugene.”
Erick shifts his body so that he’s now lying on his back and looking up at Chris. “It’s simple. Eugene is a very good-looking guy so I could understand why he’d turn your head. Buddy Garrity, however, is less of a head-turner so it wouldn’t make as much sense to me that he’s able to accomplish the same thing.”
Chris processes this for a moment. “I adore how your mind works,” Chris says as he starts to gently rub Erick’s shaved head.
“I do, too. Therefore, you and Eugene should go by yourselves.”
“Because you clearly want to see him again.”
“Don’t you want to see him?”
“I’ll go with you next time. Besides, I went out with him by myself and you were very good about it so now it’s my turn to be good about it.”
“Are you good with it?”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Were you not good with it when I went out with him?”
“I was fine with it. Within the context of your existence, the circumstances made perfect sense.”
“And within that same context, I want you to go out with Eugene.”
“What are you going to do while we go out?”
“I’ll be fine. Besides, I owe a few people some face time.”
“How are you going to explain this to Eugene?”
“He may have only met me once but he’s known me for four years. This will make perfect sense to him.”
“Did it actually make sense to you?” Chris asks Eugene as a waiter brings out their drink orders.
“Erick never made any sense to me,” Eugene says with a chuckle.
“If his mind were a language, it would be Greek to me, you and everyone else.”
“And yet you somehow manage to get by in Erickville,” Eugene says as he takes a sip of water.
“At the very least it keeps things interesting. Part of the fun is in navigating my way through the winding roads of Erickville.”
“What’s the other part?” Eugene asks cheekily.
“Staying over in Erickville,” Chris responds with a smirk.
“What happens if this backfires?” Eugene asks curiously.
“What do you mean?”
“What if Erick sends you out on a date with someone and both of you develop an interest in one another?”
“Erick may have the occasional body issue but he’s far from insecure and has no problem going back to being single. He once told me that he’d just go out and find another one who looks like me. Given the wide variety of people his friends have told me I look like, it won’t be hard.”
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