some snapshots

"Hurry up and wait", Ogg says.

Yes, indeed. We've arrived way too early in Baton Rouge. We unload some belongings in the basement of the house of our hosts, then walk over to the club where we'll be playing. Soundcheck is about nine hours away. I make friends with the jukebox, selecting some Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Scaggs, and Van Morrison, and someone invites me to join in a game of pool.

My opponent turns out to be the little brother of Tom, the bassist in the opening band; the basement where we're staying is in their parents' house. He's a junior at LSU. And, as I discover during our second game of nine-ball, a flirt.

"Are you flirting with me, young man?", I ask.

"Could be."

He has the just-right rock archetype emaciation of a young Iggy, minus, thankfully, the stern, fugly Osterberg face. I'm flattered by anyone's attentions - it's a nice little ego boost, and rare, mired as I am in the "ugly half" of the band. Chicks dig the Rock Dudes at the front of the stage, not us guys plodding away in the rhythm section. Your mileage may vary. Flattered though I am, I must decline.

"My girlfriend would kill me if she found a strange set of fingerprints on me."

We continue with the billiards, then he, Ogg, and I head back to the house. And we play some more pool, in the basement. Tom arrives; he has a camera with him.

"Say cheese or something."

Standing behind Tom's brother, I lift his t-shirt and put my arms mock-amorously around his bare torso...

Weeks later, back home, I get a call from Tom, asking if I've seen the picture. I had no idea what he was talking about, until I checked the mail my roommate had brought in. I go through the pictures, and see a black-and-white of me and Tom's brother, standing in front of the pool table; my left arm is draped across his chest, and my right hand is plunged down the front of his jeans. I remember breaking out in laughter when the photo was taken, but our smiles here are somewhere between that of a shared joke and that of a happy couple, and a handsome couple at that.

"How much will it cost me to have you make all evidence of this disappear?", I ask.

"You mean besides signing away your first born?"

"No, wait. I feel comfortable enough in my masculinity to..."

"To what?"

"I have no fuckin' idea, Tom. It's just some damn phrase. How much would it cost to have it made into Christmas cards?"

"Would that be with, or without the Season's Greetings, Libidinous New Year caption?"

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