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Characters

Gomez and Charisse

Character Analysis

Gomez and Charisse have been Clare's best friends since she moved to Chicago. She describes Gomez as "beautiful, tall and broad…large, an entirely different sort of beauty from Henry's lithe panther wildness" (2.20.64). Clare has a brief fling with Gomez while he's already in a relationship with Charisse. While Clare feels horrible and believes she made a grave mistake, Gomez has very strong feelings for her and is happy they slept together. Not surprisingly, he's suspicious of Henry. He warns Clare that he's seen Henry with Ingrid before and has heard about his reputation as a troublemaker and womanizer in Chicago's bar scene. Yet his concerns always seem tinted by his own wish to be with Clare.

Despite his feelings for her, he chooses to marry Charisse and they have three children together. Both Gomez and Charisse appear to be happy with their life. One time, Henry catches Gomez looking at Clare in a way that leads him to suspect that Gomez loves Clare as more than a long-time friend. Charisse, of all people, confirms his hunch. Toward the end of his life, Charisse informs Henry that Gomez will always be waiting for Clare, hoping that once Henry is gone he'll be able to be to take his place beside Clare. But Henry promises Charisse that Gomez will stay with her.

Despite the facts, Henry and Gomez never openly compete for Clare, and Gomez never voices his feelings toward Henry. Quite the opposite, they maintain a solid friendship. In large part, this might have to do with Henry's knowledge of his own unpredictable condition and his knowledge that Gomez will always be there for Clare in case anything happens to him. After Henry's death, Clare and Gomez have another sexual encounter, cut short by Charisse's arrival. Again, Clare feels ashamed and condemns her actions while it's clear that Gomez's feelings toward her haven't changed, even many years and three children later.

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