After being rejected yet again by Smiles, I became quite depressed about my situation. The guy I was dating just didn’t seem all that interested in me. I was always chasing him, but it never seemed to go the other way. I needed to do something to distract myself.
One was headed to the car dealership to pick up some paperwork for his new car. He invited me to tag along, and I jumped at the opportunity. Anything to get me out of the apartment and distracted from my own misery was welcome.
We drove around for a while and the distraction was working for the most part, but my mind would periodically wander back to thoughts of Smiles. I knew he was at Six Flags, but had no idea who he was with. I was a little suspect, but I definitely needed to get out of that mentality. I WAS NOT going to have a repeat of the N situation!
While at the dealership, I got a text from one of my other friends who wanted to go to the mall. I told him I’d go as soon as I got back to Hoboken from the dealership. We drove back, and I switched cars.
The mall proved to be a decent distraction. I didn’t need to buy anything, but shopping and browsing gave me something to concentrate on. I tried to be a good friend and help my buddy pick out new clothes, but he’s not the easiest to shop with.
While walking around, my new friend in the city (we’ll call him LES for Lower East Side from here on out) texted back. He wasn’t doing anything and was looking to do a little day drinking. I told him I would join him, but I was at the mall. “People still do that?” he responded.
I had a little fun while shopping, texting LES about the random sh*t I encountered and sending him some picture messages. After my friend had his fill of the mall, we grabbed lunch and went home.
I showered and changed and made my way into the city. We met up at the 14th Street PATH station and walked down to the Village. I knew of a few fun bars near the NYU campus I thought we could hit up. I was forcing LES to get out of the Lower East Side and start venturing west. As we walked, we swapped a few fun stories. The first bar we went to was Off The Wagon, and staple in my old bar routine. We grabbed beers and chatted. After some time, LES proposed we do shots of Jäger. Jägermeister always gets me in trouble cause I get crazy, but I obliged.
The plan was to hit up a birthday gathering at the Standard Biergarten later that night, but we would drink our way through the city until then.
After Off the Wagon, LES wanted to go to a gay bar. The problem is, I don’t know where any of them are, and he was in a neighborhood he was not familiar with. I know there are a fair amount on Christopher Street, so we headed in that direction. We came upon a few gay bars, but they all seemed to be packed with daddies and bears. Neither of us were thrilled with the clientele so we continued on. The good news was we were heading towards the Standard the whole time.
We passed Employees Only, the bar I met Smiles in, and decided to stop in. LES was intrigued by its mysterious look. From the outside, it looks like a psychic’s parlor, not a bar – This is done on purpose. Being there made me think of Smiles, but I was really enjoying my time with LES. There was no drama, and we were having a lot of fun.
After grabbing one drink there, we started to make our way into Chelsea. LES wanted to stop into Gym, a slightly clubbish gay bar. He hit up the bar to grab us drinks, and I made my way to the restrooms. When I returned, he had four gigantic shots of Jäger waiting for us. I asked he what he was trying to do, and he explained there was a credit card minimum. He tried to give two of the shots away, but no one was interested. We each threw back two, and I prepared for a crazy night. LES wasn’t thrilled with the scene, so he proposed we move on.
It was time to hit up the Standard Biergarten, so we walked the last few blocks and bought our beer tickets. We found LES’s roommates and friends and made our way to the ping-pong table with our large beers. I liked his friends, and it appeared they all really liked me. We played a bit and had a really good time. The Standard also reminded me of Smiles, but I was having too good of a time to get depressed about it. LES was doing a great job of keeping me in the present.
Shortly after arriving, a strange black man came up to us wearing a letterman’s jacket and started talking to LES. It appeared LES made a new friend. We chatted with him about his jacket and took pictures with him. Apparently it was this guy’s birthday, and he was there alone. LES felt bad for him and bought him a beer, but I knew this guy was a stage-five clinger. He wasn’t gay (wedding ring) and wasn’t hitting on LES, but I could tell he was lonely and needed friends. I didn’t want to get stuck with him for the night. Somehow, LES managed to ditch him.
At one point, we discovered a photo booth near the restrooms. I told LES we had to hop in and take pix. We took some of the pumpkins that were lying around in with us and had a blast.
After all that drinking and not eating, I was starving. I wasn’t the only one. We all came up with a plan to distract the baker and steal one of the large soft pretzels they sell there. Everyone had a role, and we executed the plan flawlessly. I was having a lot of fun. I felt like I was back in college again, mainly because I was hanging out with a lot of fresh college graduates.
We scarfed down that pretzel like a pack of hyenas over a fresh kill and washed it down with yet another beer. While we ate, LES turned to me and said, “So, what’s the deal with this other guy?” I explained how we’d been dating for some time, but was honest about the uncertainty. I told him about Six Flags, and LES immediately replied, “You need to drop him!” I have a feeling he had ulterior motives, but maybe he was just looking out for me. It was flattering for him to ask about the “other guy.” I took that to show he was interested in me.
I was drunk. All the Jäger and all the beer finally caught up with me. LES was ready to go and proposed we head back to his place and smoke.
We took a cab to his apartment and smoked while we watched an episode of Archer. All of a sudden, I felt incredibly nauseous. LES looked at me and suggested we go for a walk outside because I had “pukey face.” I knew I did, so I agreed. I know myself, and I knew I would never give up to the urge to puke in his apartment. But, I also hoped the fresh air would help make me feel better. It did. LES was happy, and we went back inside.
It was around 2:00am, so LES invited me to just spend the night, and I climbed into his bed. I wanted to make out with him. It was all I could do to fight the urge to make out. I was drunk and not of sane mind, but I managed to realize how messed up that would be. As mad as I was about the Smiles situation, I still really liked him. I couldn’t lead LES on like that. He was too nice of a guy, and I liked him too much to do that to him. As much as I wanted to get at it, I behaved. Not a thing transpired the entire night.
When I woke early in the morning, I needed to make a quick exit. I had to get into work that Sunday morning, but there was no way I could go into work in the condition I was. I said goodbye, walked all the way across town to the PATH and went home to shower and change.
It was going to be a loooonnnggg day at the office. I was incredibly hungover, but had no regrets about anything from the day before.Follow @onegayatatime