Gay Paree

by Jake Barnes

I had a crappy room on the fourth floor of a crappy hotel. The doorway lacked several inches of a doorway's usual height, and from time to time I would bang my head. I never learned.

I tried and tried to get you to share my bed with me, but you refused. You wouldn't let me stay overnight at your place, either. And yet I kept coming back for more.

Perhaps you had this crazy idea that if you played No, No, Nannette with me it would increase your mystery and therefore my desire for you. I don't think that was it.

Then you gave up your prize without a fight in a wheat field outside of a walled city in southern Germany. And that evening you played Mary and I played Joseph. There was no room in the inn.

     We slept in the car that I had picked up in Wolfsburg, and in the morning I crawled out of the cramped interior and stretched. I looked up at the sky and a single star guiding us to someplace in an unknown future. A place with bright lights and dark shadows.