Friday arrived, and I was starting to nail down plans with Smiles for the night. He had things to do all day, so we planned to grab dinner and then head to his friend’s birthday party.
This meant I had time to kill after work. My good friend A asked me to grab happy hour drinks with her. She recently moved our of Hoboken into the city with her boyfriend, so I was already seeing a lot less of her. We were due for a catch-up.
She picked a place in the Flatiron District that’s known for their happy hour. We cozied up to a spot at the bar and chatted about our new situations. It had been a while since I caught her up on the status between Smiles and I. I took her for a ride on the roller-coaster ride of emotions I’d been through. She gave me advice on how I should proceed and things I should watch out for. After five years, she knows me quite well and can predict a lot about me, so I’ve come to listen intently to what she says.
She also took the time to talk about the new challenges she faced moving in with her boyfriend. I tried to give her my two cents for what it was worth. My biggest advice to her was to pick her battles. On the things she could let go, she should, but on the things she really cared about, she should make a stink. That way, he would realize with more poignancy when he was doing things that got under her skin.
In the middle of our conversation, Smiles called to discuss dinner. He chose a place about two blocks from where we were drinking, and we agreed to meet in a half hour. When the time came, and A and I had our fill of cocktails, we walked to the restaurant Smiles chose. I coerced her into coming along to meet him since none of my friends had the opportunity yet.
I introduced them to each other, and Smiles invited her to join us for dinner. A had plans to meet her boyfriend for dinner, and I could tell she was looking for a quick exit, so she agreed to sit with us for a few minutes. She was already running late. I appreciated her making the extra effort, and gave her the out she needed. I told her to get on her way.
After she left, the conversation with Smiles was slightly forced and awkward. I was having a hard time breaking through and there were periods of silence. I learned he was feeling very sick and his stomach was bothering him. He had issues with his appendix, and it was inflamed and bothering him again.
Now, I was worried. I genuinely cared for him and my paternal instincts kicked in. I was worried for his safety and said, “Don’t be a hero on me here. If you aren’t feeling well, we can go at any time. Don’t soldier on on my account.”
“Thank you for your concern, but I’ll be fine,” he replied.
The rest of the meal was pleasant, but quiet. I reached my hand under the table to rub his knee to try to make a better connection while we chatted. That, and I was still worried about his condition.
When we finished dinner and desert, we had some time to kill. Smiles walked around the neighborhood looking for a massage parlor (legit, not sexual) in which to kill time before the birthday party. We couldn’t find one still open to take advantage of, so we hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.
When we arrived at the party, I was slightly overwhelmed by the crowd. I’d never been to a party so heavily skewed male in my life. I learned the birthday boy was gay, which answered a lot of questions for me.
We found a comfortable spot to plant ourselves and each grabbed a drink and something to nosh on. We made a friend and chatted with him a bit. He was an extremely jacked and cut black man who is an interior decorator. It was interesting hearing him talk about his occupation, all while looking at someone who looked like a personal trainer.
After some time, this man turned to us and said, “Oh. Are you two together?”
Both their eyes focused on me. The pressure was on. I didn’t know what answer Smiles was looking for, but I saw this as an opportunity to gauge his reaction. I tilted my head slightly to the side nodding and said, “Yeah.”
Our new friend called attention to and questioned my head tilt heavily. I pointed out we didn’t know each other all that long. I still look back and wonder if Smiles was actually looking for me to say yes. I still wonder if he was being distant because he thought I wasn’t fully invested in our budding relationship. Of course I wanted to say yes, we were dating, but I didn’t know where his head was at the time. I didn’t want to scare him off by being overzealous.
We were nearing the time to head out for the night, but I needed to use the facilities first. That was particularly a challenge because the bathroom was being used by a few to sign a birthday book photo album. Finally, I gave up and assumed I could go when I got back to Smiles’ apartment.
We went downstairs and hopped in a shared cab with one of the female guests from the party. As we progressed, I learned I would not be going back to Smiles’ apartment. My destination was the PATH to go home. I was slightly shocked and annoyed. It was a Friday night. Why wasn’t I being invited back to his place. I know I’d never been there before, but this was a bit ridiculous. It was around midnight, and I was dreading my trek back to Hoboken.
He hopped out of the cab with me. We said goodbye on the street with a quick kiss, and I was on my way home. I’m not gonna lie. I was hurt. I felt rejected. There was only so much rejection I could take.
As I walked, I pulled out my phone. I called Boston, but of course, he was still ignoring my calls. I left him yet another voicemail. I also called my new friend to see what he’s been up to. No answer either. Finally, I texted the Principal. It’d been a while since we chatted, so I thought I’d given him enough space. We began texting, but I told him I’d have to continue the conversation on the other side of the river.
While waiting for the PATH, I nearly p*ssed my pants. The train going into the city dropped off a tranny who felt the need to flirtatiously wave at me and say hi. When it finally arrived, I leaned my back against the wall and closed me eyes to concentrate on something other than my bladder. Two women were in front of me on the crowded train, and around a turn, one fell into me. They started arguing with each other and engaged me in conversation. Though not stated outright, I learned they were a lesbian couple, and they were hot. We had a long conversation, and when we arrived at the Hoboken stop, they invited me to come hang out with them. They had no idea my preferences fall in the men category, and they were inviting me back to their place. I used my bladder as an excuse and said goodbye. It was early enough, but I was not in the mood to play.
While speed walking home, a very large black girl grabbed my arm, pulled me towards her, and shouted, “TAKE ME HOME WITH YOU!” I ripped my arm free and continued to walk home, all the while texting with the Principal. I was flirting slightly, but not to the point of crossing the line with him. I missed talking to him and our flirtations. I really did like the guy, but the distance was still killer.
When I got home, I relieved myself and hopped into bed. I was disappointed I was there alone, but I opened up a whole new can of worms with the Principal. He still wasn’t over me, and I just scratched open that scab again. I even went as far as to pull up Grindr again for the first time in over a month.
It was just my luck. The one I wanted to be spending my night with just sent me on my way, while everyone I didn’t want anything to do with seemed interested in me.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t be seeing Smiles the following day. Originally I was planning to go to a horse race in New Jersey and invited him to join. When the day was approaching I was no longer interested in going and sold my ticket. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but I learned he was going to Six Flags with friends — without me. I understand he has a life of his own, and I don’t have to spend every waking moment with him. But at this stage in our relationship, I wanted to spend more and more time with him. I certainly would have invited him on a fun trip such as the one he was going on. Apparently, he didn’t feel as strongly for me. A clearer picture was being painted for me. Maybe he just wasn’t that into me.
I realized things weren’t going as smooth as I would have liked, so I set myself on entertaining other ideas…Follow @onegayatatime