“Brooding Intervals” by Kevin Langson, Best Gay Romance 2014 (Cleis Press).

Full disclosure: I have a story in this anthology.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need much plot if there’s an interesting, complex character to get acquainted with during the course of a story. In this tale we’re introduced to two men meeting up in an apartment on Turk Street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, for their regular weekly rendezvous.

Mohsen hails from Iran. He is passionate, arrogant, impatient, demanding, and intelligent. He’s alternately gentle and violent, where the latter seems like nothing so much as his frustration at not finding the right words to express his thoughts. That’s not because of any linguistic failure on his part, but owing to the fact that his are not thoughts easily pinned down. Throughout the story the main character finds it nearly impossible to discern what his lover is thinking, or to guess what he’ll say or do next. But much like the reader he is captivated by the mysterious Mohsen.