The next installment.
Florence, Italy: Hotel Excelsior—late night.
Brian: (Via mobile phone) Hi, Mikey.
Michael: Where the hell are you?
Brian: We finally made it to Florence.
Michael: So how big is the David's dick?
Brian: We got in late, had dinner in bed and...well, no point in going out this late. I'll give you a dick update tomorrow.
Michael: I'm sure you could give me a dick update now, only not on the DAVID'S dick.
Brian: Ha! Perv! The kid's asleep and I'm sitting here on our small terrazzo, staring out at the Arno river. Beyond it, on the opposite bank, is the city. It's an incredibly beautiful place, dripping with history. It makes me feel very small and unimportant to be among the giants who walked here.
Michael: Are you drunk?
Brian: No, Mikey, I'm being philosophical. Deal with it.
Michael: Ted told us about the motorcycles.
Brian: Ah, whatever happened to the accountant/client privilege?
Michael: I guess it went away when your accountant became a porn producer.
Brian: All accountants produce a certain amount of porn, Mikey. Ever read a tax return? FILTHY!
Michael: You sound happy.
Brian: I am happy. How's Ben? You two getting along well?
Michael: Of course. He's great. He said to tell you hello if you called.
Brian: Tell him hello back.
Michael: Brian, are you tricking?
Brian: Why in the hell would you ask me that?
Michael: I'm just trying to figure out your "new" relationship with Justin.
Brian: You worry about your relationship, let me worry about mine.
Michael: I can't imagine your being monogamous. Settled down.
Brian: Then don't. It's not your problem.
Michael: All those beautiful Italian men going to waste.
Brian: Stop it.
Michael: Stop what?
Brian: Stop trying to make me feel like I'm missing something or giving up an essential part of myself if I'm not out chasing Italian ass.
Michael: I'm not.
Brian: Bullshit. And stop trying to live your fantasies through me. If you want to chase ass, go chase it. But don't try to use me as your surrogate.
Michael: Brian, I...
Brian: I mean it, Mikey.
Michael: Hold on, I have another call.
Brian: I'm not holding internationally, Mikey. Talk to you later.
Michael: Brian? Brian! Shit. Hello?
Ben: You sound pissed.
Michael: Oh hi, Ben. No, it was just Brian.
Ben: From where?
Michael: He can be the same asshole as always when he wants to be.
Ben: You didn't tell him, did you, Michael?
Michael: No, Ben, I told everyone I wouldn't tell him. I agreed with the group that we'd let them enjoy their vacation. I won't be the one to ruin it for them.
Ben: Good. Right answer, baby. It's not as if there's anything either of them can do.
Michael: I don't feel right about it, though. I've never kept secrets from Brian.
Ben: This is a secret that can only hurt him.
Michael: I guess.
Ben: Michael, bad news can wait.
Michael: Even very bad news?
Ben: Especially very bad news. Ok, I have my last class. Gotta go. See you at home later.
Ben: And remember...mum's the word.
Michael: Yeah. It stops here. Bye.
In Florence, when Brian ended the call with Michael, he waited a minute before going to bed. He wanted to mentally bookmark this moment. "This is how it feels to be really happy," he thought to himself, and then joined the one person most responsible for that feeling of emotional bliss.
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July 25, 2004