After yesterday's reminder of Best Gay Romance 2010 thanks to some nifty gay dads and their adorable daughter, I ran my finger down the table of contents and remembered something one of the other contributors to the collection said once.
It was Jerry L. Wheeler, and what he wrote was that I had a gift for bittersweet stories. Ever the contrarian, although I was very pleased with the compliment, I made it my next goal to write something funny. Seeing the title of his story brought back both that compliment, and a healthy laugh.
Me bittersweet? Folks, you ain't seen nothing yet.
"Templeton's in Love," by Jerry L. Wheeler
Bittersweet doesn't cover this. The tale of a man, his ex, a club they used to go to, and a man who once played the piano there - but hasn't in years, since the death of his ex, "Templeton's in Love" has so many layers it's hard to tell you more than that without giving too much away. Suffice it to say, Templeton (the aforementioned piano player) is playing another, single, engagement, and both men come to hear the performance, learning that much of the past has changed for all involved.
Second chances are my weakness, as are stories of new love and new beginnings - and "Templeton's in Love" hands you a helping of all of these (and more). And though the bitter is there to swallow alongside that sweet - and this story is so damn sweet - there are times where that bitterness is worth it, and you're left with an ache in your throat and tears in your eyes but a smile on your face. Bravo, Mr. Wheeler.
And as for bittersweet? Takes one to know one, mister.