by J. J. Sinisi
Take a sip, I tell him. It’s our second date but he’s already shown an amazing propensity for spontaneity. At first he refuses, but my kiss summons his courage.
I do this every year the fountain nearly freezes, licking pillars of ice as they capture cold rivulets. A Roman spring two lifetimes ago, Jacob and I drank from the Trevi Fountain, imbibing the country’s essence, we said. When he died eight months later, I wondered if that city’s intolerance had eaten him from the inside out. Now with Freddy, he and I can swig forever in Bryant Park without concern. Rome versus New York or then versus now, I’m too old to question.
Freddy’s lips touch the water and I snap a picture. He laughs and flicks me. We sit in the park talking about pain in the seventies and death in the eighties and ask why things didn’t change when Bowie the chameleon challenged what we thought we knew about identity.
But the Starman’s light has collapsed and ours is dimming, he reminds me, even though so many others are just now beginning to flare.
Later at my apartment we make love, but we’re both older men and neither of us is in great shape. It’s what happens when devotion and sex become the exact same things even though they are completely opposite.
In the morning we walk back to the fountain but the ice has melted, cowed by the return of strange January heat, and it feels like autumn again. Freddy tells me it’s my turn, rightful that I get to do it in the warm sun. He’s angry when I decline but tries not to show it.
I’ve spent too much time in the summer, I tell him, and I’ve missed my chance. The only thing left for me to do is drink from winter’s bones.
J. Sinisi is a husband, father, and professional out of New York and spends what little free time he has strolling dark alleyways creating crime fiction. His work has appeared at Spinetingler Magazine, Yellow Mama, Near to the Knuckle, Dead Guns Press, All Due Respect, Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and Heater, among others. Reach him at his noir themed website: www.thisdesperatecity.com.