Posts Tagged afraid
When last I wrote about my budding relationship with Clark Kent and myself, we had gotten well past the honeymoon stage. We were trying to maintain a relationship across state lines, and it wasn’t easy. That being said, we were still seeing a lot of each other, and I started to wonder if maybe it was too much. I often wondered, maybe there is such a thing as too much of a good thing…
We needed to find balance, and that wasn’t going to be easy. We’d been dating four short months, but, in reality, it felt like we’d been dating for close to a year, even though we were still figuring things out.
That Thursday night, my old roommate was gathering with friends at the new waterfront biergarten in Hoboken for drinks to celebrate his birthday (which I was unaware of until deep into the night). I mentioned it to CK and asked him to join me when he finished work. He agreed, but he had to work later.
When I arrived, I didn’t know too many of my old roommate’s friends in attendance. I began texting and calling other friends to join us. P and S both responded, “On my way.”
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time to write a blog, so I was utilizing my free time during the day at work to accomplish this. Apparently, my boss took notice to my poor use of free time since he wasn’t seeing any productivity coming from my time between projects. (Perhaps you can understand why I have been neglecting this blog for the past few months).
This is relevant because I was also coming off a really rough day at work. I received my review that morning, and it was not positive. My only saving grace was a preemptive strike made a few weeks earlier.
I noticed an opportunity to take over our social media duties (which were being completely neglected) and asked my boss if I could take them on. During my review, when he pointed out my poor utilization of free time, I countered with the argument, “That’s why I approached you about taking on the social media duties.” I thought maybe I’d saved my a$$. He countered with, “I only wish you’d come to me about it three years earlier.” I was defeated.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, I learned later that day we’d be merging with another company. So, on top of a bad review, I was petrified of being labeled a redundancy. Two weeks earlier, my career looked to be shaping up. I was taking on a new role, and finding early success. My experience with this blog and other social media was really paying off. Now, it looked as if my whole world could be crumbling around me.
A majority of it was out of my hands at that point. All I could do was put my nose to the grindstone for the coming weeks. But, on a Thursday night, I needed to forget. That meant I needed more than a few stiff drinks!
I drank beer after beer while mingling with old friends and some new ones. I was having quite a good time, but I was missing CK. I was texting with him back and forth discussing his arrival.
When he finally arrived, I was thrilled to see him. He could be comfort after a rough day, and I was finally properly lubricated enough to have a good time and forget about work, enjoying a night out with my man and friends.
CK grabbed a beer and immediately dove right into the conversation with all of us. I was chatting with S’s roommate, and the discussion quickly changed to his tattoos and body piercings. CK was a bit fascinated by tattoos at that time. He detailed for me the elaborate tattoos he was dreaming of getting.
S’s roommate was very much Mr. Machismo. I wasn’t sure how comfortable he was with the whole “gay thing.” There was just something about his attitude and the way he carried himself that I didn’t think he’d be too comfortable. I never formally came out to him, as I’d only met him a handful of times, but I assumed S clued him in. I was very pleasantly surprised just how cool he was with the whole “gay thing.” He turned out to be quite a laid back guy. It just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The two quickly formed a bond. At some point in the conversation, the roommate started talking about his anxiety over having to fly the next. CK took it upon himself to aid in this situation.
Immediately, I was unhappy. My mood shifted abruptly. I shut down. I’ll never quite understand why I react in this way to these types of situations. I think it stems from striving to suppress my feelings at the moment so I don’t create a scene in public. The deeper question is why do I become so enraged in the first place?
This time, CK wasn’t exactly participating. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, however, aiding and abetting someone else’s wrongdoing was equally as bad in my mind. He was enabling behavior he knew I was opposed to. I wasn’t just feeling anger. I was scared. I was afraid I was going to lose him. We’d had this discussion time and time again. If we continued to have the conversation, eventually, he would be faced with an ultimate decision, and there was a chance I would be a casualty of that decision. All of my emotions tied back to this very thought. I was afraid in the end he wouldn’t choose me, and as a result, I would have to choose me. I’d have to say goodbye for my own sanity, facing my greatest fear in life, being alone, on top of losing a man I loved. Obviously, I never wanted it to come to that.
I managed to suppress this anger and feeling of betrayal. My mind was jumping back to all the other times we discussed this very topic. This was only exacerbated because I’d written the blog post about our night at Matinee that afternoon. One of those very conversations was fresh in my mind.
I managed to suppress all this until we walked in the door of my apartment, and then I unleashed. I told him how unacceptable his behavior was, and he was completely dumbfounded. He had no idea why I could be so enraged.
Of course this only fed my fury. Had he forgotten all these other times we’d discussed this? Was I living a broken record? We argued extensively about this, and CK threatened to leave multiple times, making it to the door a handful of times.
We finally had a breakthrough at some point when he either feigned to understand my stance, or what I was so vehemently explaining finally sunk in.
We argued a lot about a lot of small things —Things I felt were very important. He felt I was trying to change him. I wasn’t. Honestly! I loved him. I just felt he needed to grow up in some aspects of his life. A person needs to adapt and evolve when entering a relationship, and I still wasn’t sure he was putting in the effort. I wasn’t trying to mold him into my ideal mate. I didn’t have a preconceived notion of who he should be. But, I felt there were some sacrifices he’d need to make to make me happy.
Perhaps I was the one who needed to change. In reality, we both needed to. Only time would tell if we could come to consensus on these types of issues.
Regardless, after fighting, we kissed and made up. Well, we more than made up. This was all followed by a lively romp in the sack. It was so incredible, we both finished at the same time for the first time. As we showered, we discussed our epic make-up sex. “And don’t think you can start picking fights with me just so we can have make-up sex buster,” I punctuated. We both had a good laugh.
No matter how much we fought, at the end of the day, I loved him. He made me happy. I loved that no matter how many times we fought, we always found a way to make up. I wanted to grow old with him, but the key word in that phrase for us would be grow…
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Preparing to get ready for the Scissor Sisters concert was a sh*t show and a half. This was twice now CK and I fought before going to an event. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever be able to go to these kinds of events without it turning into a fight. I had finally grown more comfortable with the crowds at these events, but I was growing uncomfortable with the idea of going with CK to them. Living up to what I thought were CK’s expectations was a lot of pressure to deal with.
CK and Hip were ready, but the tickets were nowhere to be found. After quite some time, Hip managed to find the tickets behind the couch. It seemed like he happened to know where they were in a moment of clarity. At this point, we quickly made our way out of the apartment to see if we could salvage what was left of the concert. Like the flip of a switch, CK began apologizing to me and asked me to come along and be happy. His main concern was getting to the concert, not whether or not we were okay. It was incredibly selfish, and it hurt a lot. We quickly hustled the ten blocks to the venue, but I skulked behind a few paces every turn we made. I was really hurting deep inside. Things weren’t going very well between us the way it was, but this took things to a new level. I wasn’t saying anything. I was in shock about what had transpired. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was still doing there.
I’m not good at putting on a smile and bearing down. I may have been present physically, but mentally, I was in a whole other world.
When we got to the doors at Terminal 5, a large mass of people were walking out the door. CK cut through the crowds heading in the exit only to find the concert had ended. Everyone was leaving. I stood on the street with my arms crossed because I knew there was no hope. I also wasn’t about to chase CK through a mass of people. When CK finally realized all hope was lost, his anger returned. Hip continued to apologize over and over again, but CK wanted none of it. I wasn’t upset in the slightest because I was in no mood to go to a concert. The three of us managed to find each other, and we all agreed we were starving.
I was pretty wasted, and we stumbled back towards his apartment searching for somewhere to grab food. We didn’t pass anything along the way, and CK mentioned getting take-out delivered. When we got back to his place, I hopped into bed immediately. I was hungry, but more importantly, I was drunk and upset. I wanted to go to bed to escape what was going on around me. I fell asleep in CK’s bed still fully clothed.
I woke the next morning to the sound of Hip knocking on CK’s door. Originally, we planned to go to the cloisters in north Manhattan, but those plans would never come to fruition. For some ungodly reason, Hip was wide awake with lots of energy. I, on the other hand, was incredibly hung over. Everything was too bright, too loud and too real. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep off my hangover. Hip sat on the foot of the bed talking about the night before and asking a lot of questions. Apparently, he had even more to drink than I did. He kept asking if we actually ever made it to the concert, and this was really the last thing CK wanted to hear. Every time he brought up the previous night, it made CK grow more and more frustrated.
At one point, Hip excused himself to use the restroom. CK and I took the opportunity to chat while he was absent. I was still quite upset, but I wasn’t going to make a scene. This was the perfect opportunity to talk. I brought up everything from the night before and explained how none of it was okay. I point blank asked him what Hip handed him the night before. He responded, “I have no clue what you’re even talking about.” When I pushed the issue, he denied any recollection of it emphatically. After my suspicions and insinuations, he detailed how the only substances he partook in the previous night was alcohol. Based on his reaction and emphatic response, I believed him. I was not okay with how he acted or how he treated my, but I did believe him. I put my worries aside and took his word for it. I had no reason not to believe him. After our previous conversations on the subject, I wondered if maybe I had finally gotten through to him.
I told him if he ever lays a hand on me like that again, we’re done. He didn’t hurt me physically, and I did loved him. But, this was not something I would tolerate. The next time, I was actually walking out the door, and I was never coming back. I made sure he understood how serious I was about this. I wasn’t afraid for my own safety. I was more afraid for both of us. I didn’t know what would happen if things escalated out of control because we both had short tempers. I stressed this point numerous times. Again, he apologized emphatically. I could see his apology was genuine, and I accepted it. He loved me, and I could see it pained him to know how much he hurt me. He apologized for everything and I forgave him for everything. “Forgiven, but not forgotten. We will not go through this again,” I added.
We literally kissed and made up, but things didn’t stop there. He was very sweet in his remorse. Apparently, he was feeling a bit frisky. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We started to make out, and when I pointed out Hip just on the other side of the bathroom door, he didn’t stop. As per usual, I woke in the morning raring to go, and CK took advantage of this. We were making out and my hands were exploring his entire body under the comforter. He was straddling me, and he reached down with his hand and sat on top of me. It was incredibly hot, but I was still a little self-conscious about the whole thing.
Just as I predicted, Hip emerged from the bathroom with CK still straddling me. I didn’t know what to do, but we didn’t immediately separate either. We both turned our gazes to meet his with a guilty look upon our faces. He knew exactly what was happening, but he went about his business accordingly. We all laughed at the situation as I slowly removed myself from CK. It was necessary to break the tension in the room.
We continued to lay around for a majority of the morning chatting and relaxing. Before Hip got back into the previous night, CK pleaded, “Can we talk about anything other than last night please?” After some time, we were finally able to motivate ourselves to get out of bed and face the day…
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One weekday, CK and I woke at my apartment, and I dragged him out of bed to toss around the medicine ball while we watched TV before work. I was motivated and a bit stressed, so I wanted to work out. We talked about working together to get our bodies back in shape before summer ended. It was miraculous I got him out of bed so quickly.
The planets aligned for us on the TV too. His favorite talking head, Rachel Maddow, was on my favorite talking head’s show, Real Time with Bill Maher. That was something we could both agree on.
When we were done working out, I made us some very healthy and delicious eggs for breakfast, if I do say so myself. Of course, because of our morning workout, we were a little delayed. We showered and got dressed quickly. On the way to the PATH, I wanted to grab a coffee, but CK was running later than he’d liked. He protested, and when I saw a long line, I passed. When we passed a second Dunkin Donuts, I told him I wanted to swing through. He’d apparently had enough and said goodbye on the spot. He wasn’t going to wait for me, and rightfully so. Better judgment kicked in, and I accompanied him to the PATH instead, where we rode together to his stop and gave each other a kiss goodbye.
Not only was I motivated to get my body in shape but also motivated to get my career in shape. Work was evolving drastically for me. I’d just taken on a new role I created for myself after chatting with my boss a few weeks prior. I pointed out our missed opportunity in the social media department and described how I could fill the void. After all, I had some experience in the social world (even though I couldn’t exactly show him my “portfolio”). I thought this could be the ticket to my future. Finally, I found something I could turn into a career instead of a job that generated me a paycheck. Something more than where work was just something I did between my time off. It wasn’t going to be easy, and there were bound to be a lot of speed bumps. However, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.
That morning, I was really thrown a curveball I wasn’t expecting. I was called in for my review, and it was less than stellar. I had anticipated this, and it’s the main reason I approached my boss with the social media proposition in the first place.
Just when I didn’t think it could get any worse, I learned my boss was altering his role at the company as well. He was taking a far less active role, and it didn’t bode well for me. My day was heading downhill fast. Little did I know, but it was about to turn kamikaze. Not only was my boss taking on a lesser role, but we were also merging with another company.
My heart was in my throat for the remainder of the day. My first reaction was fear. Would I be a redundancy? Would I be laid off? As much as this was just a job for me, I needed it very much. I couldn’t even bring myself to text CK or call my family. I was very afraid, ashamed, embarrassed, the list goes one…
After that day came to a close, I woke the next day with some clarity. My next reaction was motivation. The fear began to wane, and I realized I needed to put all my efforts into my new venture. It wasn’t easy to get there, however, it was much easier to get through with the support of my man. I’d told him everything that was going on. He talked me down off the ledge when I was worried I’d lose my job and made me feel much better about the situation.
The fear wasn’t completely gone, and I needed an outlet for my stress. The coworker who left to work at CK’s company asked us to meet her for happy hour at the Standard Biergarten. I had been texting CK that afternoon and asked him to join us. He was being cryptic about what he wanted to do, and told me he may have to work late. I could tell he wasn’t really feeling it, but I really wanted to introduce him to my coworkers. He missed her going away drinks a few weeks earlier, so when this opportunity finally rose again to meet my coworkers, I was pretty persistent. He wasn’t digging it. He had a long day, and he wanted to go home and relax. I was really disappointed, but I also understood. We made plans for him to come to my place for the night when I got home.
Shortly after hearing he was heading home, we decided to leave the biergarten. I tried calling and texting CK, but I got radio silence for two hours. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, so I decided to lace up and head out for a run. I needed to clear my head and work on my body again. I still couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t responding to me at all.
After my run, I finally got a text telling me he was heading my way. I started to make dinner, and when he texted me asking for a ride, I decided to go radio silent. Sure, I know it was petty, but I was in the middle of making dinner. I also didn’t appreciate him not getting back me when we’d discussed I’d call him when I was heading home.
When he arrived all that no longer mattered. We were both in good spirits because we were there to hug and comfort each other. That’s what it really comes down to at the end of the day, literally. I loved him, and he made me happy.
We sat and ate dinner together, but when I put my hand on his thigh, I felt something sticky/slimy. I pointed it out to him, and he didn’t have an explanation for it. My overactive mind immediately went to work connecting dots. Was it lube? Was that where he was for the two hours I couldn’t get ahold of him? I could go on for hours.
In turn, I got quiet. I was deep in thought and wasn’t quite sure what to say. After we ate, we sat on the couch watching TV. After some time, I suggested we head to bed. I was exhausted, and my head was spinning, but he wasn’t tired. Of course, we both fell asleep on the couch, waking up around three o’clock in the morning, finally moving to my bed.
I tried to put all doubt out of my head. Worrying about it would do no good, and I realized I was making quite a bit of a leap. There was a bigger picture here. I loved him. I won’t say that I squashed all doubt in my mind, but I managed to push it deep down so it wouldn’t continue bubbling up…
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It’d been a few days since CK and I got tested for STDs at the clinic. We had to wait for our results to come in. I am from the school of thought that believes there’s no use worrying. Worrying won’t change the results. So, from the moment I walked out the door of the clinic, I stopped thinking about it. I’d set a reminder in my phone to call when my results would be ready.
I had a busy day at work, so I had to put off calling until my workday calmed down. I found a private place to make the call and waited for the results with bated breath. I wasn’t particularly worried. Perhaps I should have been more worried. When we left the office, we both put reminders in our phones to call. Why hadn’t I heard from CK? Did he forget to call? Did he call and was afraid to share the news with me? The receptionist picked up the phone asking, “Please hold?” Apparently, we were going to drag this out as long as possible. When she finally came back to the phone, she asked for my name and what insurance provider I use. After giving her the information, I was put on hold once again. They really know how to up the drama — They should work for TNT.
Finally, she gave me my results. I was clean on all counts except one. I came back positive for Herpes Simplex Type I, aka cold sores. I’d had this since a child and “inherited” it like many Americans from my mother. This was not news to me. I was quite happy. I came back negative on all the heavy hitters — Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes Simplex Type II, Gonorrhea, HIV. Since CK and I had unprotected sex (yes I know how stupid we are), I assumed he would have good news to share as well. I texted him to ask him if he called yet.
I wasn’t expecting his response. He informed me that he did indeed call and received his results, but he wanted to talk in person. What could he need to talk to me in person about?! If I came back negative for all but cold sores, what could he need to discuss with me? Now, I was scared.
After work, we had plans to stay in the city. I left my office and walked to his apartment when he finished work. When he answered the door, he was in his underwear. He was about to hop in the shower just as I arrived. I gave him a big kiss and made myself comfortable while he freshened up. When he came out of the shower, we laid in bed together for a while – He in his towel and me fully dressed from work. I brought up the testing results, but he asked if we could talk about it later. I complied. After laying with each other, we got ready to go to dinner. It was getting to be about that time. We settled on a Greek place, Ethos, not far from his apartment we’d been to before. The food was good, so I wanted to go back.
We held hands while we walked there noticing dogs along the way. CK was still going on about how he wanted me to get a dog. I explained once again how I couldn’t handle one, nor did my lease allow for one. I told him, “When we live together, I will get a dog.” His eyes lit up as a smile spread across his face.
We shared a lovely and romantic dinner for two before heading back to his apartment for the night. I was impressed with myself for not bringing up the testing results sooner, but at this point, I had to ask. He was obviously holding something back. As we walked he told me a story about how he contracted oral herpes. In the middle of the story, I cut him off. I told him I was already positive for simplex I, and he had nothing to worry about. He was very confused. He didn’t understand how I was making light of this. He was actually quite miffed I wasn’t forthcoming with that portion of my results.
The way I saw it, I would bring it up when I had an outbreak. If he’d never been exposed to the virus or oral cold sores, we would prevent him from coming in contact with me, i.e. we would stop kissing until it went away. I really didn’t see it as a big deal. Lots of people get cold sores. In fact, 80% of adult Americans are infected with the virus. I’ve been fortunate not to have experienced them very often, but they do happen when I get too much sun or when my lips split in the winter. I could see the relief on his face and in his posture. For the first time all night, he relaxed.
It was at that moment we both celebrated our results. We stopped in the middle of the street to hug and exchange a giant kiss. At this point, he couldn’t wait to go home and have sex.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. That night, we had the best sex we’d had to date. It was incredibly passionate and incredibly raw. We had no worries and no cares. In the end, I finished inside him, and he finished inside me. It felt amazing. I’d never felt that before. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about it at first. I’d only ever finished inside one other guy before without a condom. I’d never allowed anyone to ejaculate inside me.
It didn’t feel like I thought it would. I imagined a lot more sensation than the actual moment, however, the act made me feel so much more. The emotions tied to the action added so much more to it. I truly felt loved by him, and I truly felt my love for him when I exploded my seed deep within him. I feel the need to say, this is not the deal that works for every couple. CK and I have spoken at length about this topic. We will continue to be tested on a regular basis, regardless of either of us feeling a “need” for it. We have made it part of our routine. We know there are risks any time you have unprotected sex, however, we have come to mutually trust each other and find comfort in that. I am in no way endorsing unprotected sex!
It’s incredible how much that simple act brought us closer together, but I think that night kind of sealed the deal for us (Pun not intended). We’d had passionate sex before, but I think that night was the first of many night we stopped having sex and started making love.
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My relationship with Smiles had come to a close. We met. We discussed. I guess you could say we had closure.
I’d already moved on to other men and began rebuilding my roster. It’d been a while since I was in the game, and I was a little intimidated. Over the three months I dated Smiles I lost my edge. It was my sister who pointed out to me, “I didn’t like you with him. You weren’t yourself. You were much more reserved around him.” I didn’t like the sound of that. I pride myself on being open and myself all the time. Apparently, I lost that somewhere along the way. I needed to find it again.
I would do so with the help of my therapist, Boston. I really lucked out in my timing. Boston was on a break from his final year of school, which meant his services were available. I was going to take full advantage. He was a good friend, and I missed him. I was really disappointed we didn’t get to meet up when he came to visit New York for New Years. It really made me look forward to the day when he graduates, and I convince he to come to New York or Hoboken so I can have him around more often.
Monday night when I got home from work, I called Boston. I wanted to give him an update on how everything with Smiles went since we’d been chatting about it a bit. I told him how everything ended and how I was moving on.
Ironically enough, Boston had a few tales of his own. Apparently, a little of me was rubbing off on him. I was very happy to hear this news. Sometimes I think he puts his love life on the back burner too much. I think he loses hope at times and engulfs himself in other ventures. I want to see him happy. He’s a great guy and he deserves this.
So, when he told me about a straight friend of a friend coming to visit and the sub sequential hookup that ensued, I was downright proud. He managed to attract a “straight” man enough that this man took the opportunity to make out in the bathroom of a club.
I was so happy to have my friend back. I loved swapping stories with him!
I also took the time to explain to him how LES wouldn’t talk to me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I could have done to him to make him stop talking to me all of a sudden. We were building a strong friendship. I had the feeling he developed feelings for me, especially since he asked me, “So what’s the deal with [Smiles]?” He invited me to his birthday, and I missed it. I apologized, and he told me it was okay. I invited him to my holiday party, but he dropped off the face of the earth and never showed. Following, I attempted to reach out to him on numerous occasions. Okay, so maybe I’m under exaggerating. I tried to text or call almost every day for a while there. I thought I was being funny, but now looking back, I could easily see my actions being misconstrued. Maybe he thought I had stalker tendancies.
In the end, things got very suspicious. He would never respond to my Facebook messages, and he never showed up as online. However, he never unfriended me. As long as that didn’t happen, I didn’t think he was all the annoyed by me. I sent him another long apologetic message on Facebook asking him to please reach out to me. When I finished writing it, I thought I’d give him a call to see if I could get through. It’d been about a month since I last texted or called. When I did, I was shocked to find out the number was no longer in service. He either blocked my number or changed his.
I couldn’t believe it. Had I really taken it that far. Maybe he wasn’t mad at me. Maybe he was afraid of me. I hung up the phone and immediately sent another Facebook message: “I’m sorry if I’ve been bothering you. Don’t worry. It won’t happen anymore.” I was mortified. Did he really think I was that insane, or was he really that mad at me. I was really hurt that someone would ever be that mad or upset with me that they’d simply cut me off. My ego was seriously bruised.I also happened to be perusing my old messages on OKCupid, and it told me LES deleted his account. When I made a new OKCupid account shedding an identity I’d used since college, I came to realize he was still on there and had an updated and active account. He’d blocked me on there as well. He really wanted nothing to do with me, and there was nothing I could do about it.
“You can be a bit aggressive,” Boston told me. That really resonated with me. I did tend to be agressive. I’m a tenacious man. When I see something I want, I don’t give up until I attain it — This goes for everything.
The interesting part was that I simply wanted a good friend back. He was a really fun guy to be around, and I wanted to introduce him to Boston. I thought they’d make a GREAT pair. I would have loved to see the two of them together. But, I don’t think that will ever happen. New York is a big city, and I don’t know that we’ll ever cross paths again.
Boston and I talked more over the course of the week. We almost had a nightly check in for a while there. We’d chat on the phone for about an hour about our dating lives and the mistakes I made with Smiles. He told me more stories about another guy he was helping to introduce to the gay world. I hope I’m not blowing up Boston’s spot, but once again I was proud of him. He was facing new challenges and having new experiences. I was happy to see my friend experiencing more of life these days. I understood how busy school made him, but at least he was taking advantage of his time off.
I was building my roster and had a friend to gossip about all the new things going on in my life. Things were getting better, but I still wasn’t happy to be back out in the dating pool. I was anxious to land another man, but this time around, I wasn’t going to just settle for a guy who was willing to date me. I needed to “find a man who will worship you like you worship him,” as my friend A so eloquently put it. I needed a real man, not another little boy. A man who could express himself verbally, emotionally and physically. I was going to find a triple threat, and once again I had one of my closest friends in my corner.
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December 25th — Christmas day. An important date on anyone’s calendar, but a date that carries more weight when one is dating another.
I’m quite the hypocrite, you see. I complain about the treatment of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve as a special holiday for couples, when I really just fancy another holiday more. I just hate the weight put those two days, but for me, Christmas carries much more weight.
I woke Christmas morning and hopped the shower. I’m so tired of seeing pictures of me Christmas morning with greasy hair and scruff. The timetables are quite turned on their head since I was a kid. My sister and I would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for my father to come home from the morning duties at the farm. On top of that, we’d have to wait til he showered so we could stand to be in the same room as him. Nowadays, my sister and I are the last to wake. I knew I could leisurely shower, as my sister would still be asleep until someone came to wake her.
My family and I opened our presents and shared in the joy of Christmas. My mother made us sticky buns for breakfast while I brewed a pot of coffee.
My mother’s side of the family came to our house in the afternoon to celebrate the holiday. We always spent Christmas afternoon with my mother’s side of the family, but this year was a little different. My uncle and his recent wife were not attending because she was due to have a baby in January. One of my aunts and her husband always came for New Years, not Christmas. This would also be the first Christmas without both my grandparents. It was a little more solemn for me. The only attendees were my aunt, uncle, and three cousins.
I waited until a convenient time to sneak away so I could call Smiles. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interrupting his Christmas plans. I went upstairs to my parents’ room to call him around 5:30. I got no answer. I’m not out to my extended family, so I then began to worry he would call back, and his caller id name would splash across the television screen, as does everyone’s name who calls. I worried my extended family would see a man was calling me on Christmas. I’m not sure why I worried. I’m not ready to tell them just yet, and I suppose I didn’t want them to jump to their own conclusions before I had a chance to properly tell them.
Smiles did call back, but not until 10:00 after everyone had left. I took the phone up to my room and talked to him for quite some time. Our phone conversations never lasted long, so it was nice that he didn’t cut it short. He told me about everything he’d been doing with his family. It was nice to hear he finally relaxed around them and realized they loved him no matter what state his career was in. It was a nice Christmas present to get to chat with him and feel closer to him even though we were miles apart.
I had an agenda as well. There was a question I needed to ask before it was too late. I was very nervous to ask this question. I’d failed to ask it once already on the way to the airport. I was afraid of the disappointing answer I expected. In the middle of our conversation, I asked him, “Can we spend New Year’s together?” In a shocking reply without thought, Smiles said, “Sure. I was going to [my friend’s] for a party. I’ll just tell him I’m bringing a plus one.
We chatted a bit more before ending the conversation. It was quite a nice Christmas gift to know I had New Year’s plans. I was beginning to worry I would spend New Years on my couch alone. All my friends had plans that didn’t involve me. I was already picturing myself in bed at 7:00pm. Knowing I had plans was great, but knowing I would spend the night with Smiles made my night. I walked around the rest of the night with a smile from ear to ear.
I’m not sure why, but the man-made me happy. I was happy to know it was his lips I’d be locking when the ball dropped on 2011.
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When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.
I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.
I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.
Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!
What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.
I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but that’s what my inner dialogue is. I get fixated on something, and it exhausts me until I get some closure on the issue.
Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”
I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.
When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.
I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.
He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.
I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.
This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.
That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.
After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.
With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.
I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.
When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…
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