“Spill Your Troubles On Me, Love” by Georgina Li from Best Gay Romance 2014 (Cleis Press)
Full disclosure: I have a story in this anthology.
I confess: I have a weakness for stories about the dispossessed youth of our society, especially ones which depict their lives with a gritty realism and don’t devolve into Pretty Woman-esque drivel. This is one such tale.
I love the juxtaposition of images presented in this story: tea and croissants contrasted with the found items of the “squat” the main character shares with his boyfriend; the reality of turning tricks vs. the fantasy of one day becoming something as mundane as a baker in an unassuming neighborhood shop; tenderness replaced by violence, when intimacy is a commodity.
Mostly, though, I enjoyed the love the characters show one another, the way they protect each other, and how they manage to take joy where they can find it, when they might easily sink into despair.