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Clarence sat on the bed, still too hot from the shower to get dressed. He looked at Tom who was pouring himself a drink. “Well. We did it.”
“We did.”
“I expected things would be radically different. I mean I feel different…I feel really good, but like…I don’t know what I was thinking would happen.”
“Did you think everything would be covered in rainbows and penises?” Tom asked.
Clarence chuffed air through his nose. “No.”
“That Kathy would break down the door and discover us?”
Clarence glanced at the door. “Maybe. Everyone is upset at me for breaking up with her instead of proposing to her. And then I leave town for the week? Wouldn’t be surprised if someone followed me just to find out if I was insane.”
Tom sipped his whiskey. “Well. It’s still illegal to be a homosexual. We did check in under fake names. I guess I understand why you feel that way.”

Clarence sighed. “Why does it feel so right though to do something illegal?”
“Cause the law hasn’t caught up with how good it feels to be with a man in bed.”
“If that’s the case, we just need the lawmakers to have a good fuck and we can fix it,” Clarence grumbled.
Tom snorted. “I wish. But if they could see how beautiful you are in bed, they would change their mind.”
Clarence blushed. “You are so kind. Kathy never gave me compliments in bed before.”
Tom smiled. “You never had a reason to enjoy yourself. Want a drink?”
Clarence shook his head. “I need a clear head. I need to figure out what comes next after this hotel room in El Paso. How to live this life.”
“Just live it.”
“I can’t. I have to go home to Kathy and the tennis club and my parents, and the place I grew up, and my job. I can’t leave as ‘Clar the straight dude’ and turn up as a ‘Clarence the homosexual’.” He made a gesture with his hand.
Tom raised an eyebrow. “No you don’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t. You broke up with Kathy. She’s moving out, you can move out, sell the condo. You can work in your field anywhere. Why do you have to live where you grew up? You have two other siblings that live near your parents. You’re young.” Tom pointed at Clarence. “Go. Go be gay. Enjoy your youth and sex drive while you still can.” He downed the rest of the whiskey.
Clarence stared at him. “But where…do I do that?”
Tom made another gesture. “Anywhere. New York. San Francisco. Palm Springs. Hawaii. You took a week off work, right?”

Clarence thought and then raised his head. “Can we go to the end of Route 66? To the beach?”
Tom poured another drink. “Can we do it in a week?”
“Why sure. It’s two days to California. Three days back to Dallas. That leaves us some time in between.”
Tom sipped again. ”Maybe we can stop at the Grand Canyon on the way.”
“Oh Tom could we?” Clarence put a hand over his heart.
“We could. And let’s make love every stop on the way.”
Clarence grinned. “Why not again right now?”
“Why Clarence. You better be careful, people are going to think you’re a homosexual.”
Clarence tossed his towel on the bed and spread his legs. “Let em.”

Captions are fictional.


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